‘NCIS’: Why Jimmy Palmer and Director Vance Don’t Have Scenes Together

NCIS Season 19 is underway. Even if you’ve been watching the show for a long time, one thing you might not have noticed is that two characters have never had a scene together (at least with speaking lines).

Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) and Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) haven’t interacted with each other so far during the show’s run. You might find this hard to believe, but it’s true (as of this writing). Here’s why Palmer and Vance don’t have scenes together on NCIS.

Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer and Rocky Carroll as Director Leon Vance

Brian Dietzen as Jimmy Palmer on NCIS | Eddy Chen/CBS via Getty Images

Palmer is the chief medical examiner for the NCIS Major Case Response Team. Before taking on this role, he assisted Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum), the chief medical examiner at the time. Jimmy was supposed to be a temporary replacement for Ducky’s assistant, Gerald Jackson, but he ended up staying full time. Ducky is semi-retired and is now the NCIS historian. Palmer has taken over Ducky’s former role as chief medical examiner.

Director Leon Vance joined the team during NCIS Season 5 Episode 14 (titled “Internal Affairs”). Although he has a no-nonsense attitude and is sometimes tough, he cares deeply for his agents.

Why Palmer and Vance don’t have scenes together on ‘NCIS’

Brian Dietzen | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

During an interview with CBS about NCIS Season 18, Dietzen points out that Palmer and Director Vance don’t have scenes together. NCIS Executive Producer Scott Williams says there really isn’t a reason for the director to be in autopsy. This is why we don’t see Vance in scenes with Palmer.

According to Williams, it would be unusual for the director of the agency to be in autopsy. “It wouldn’t make much sense,” adds Dietzen. “There would have to be a special reason for it.” However, Williams says he might try to find a way to get Palmer and Vance together in a future episode.

“Jimmy and Vance do not have scenes together, ever,” says Dietzen. “[Jimmy Palmer] is the lowest of the low geographically. Palmer is in the basement, and Vance is in the attic upstairs, the high tower. I think it would be great to see the two of us have some stuff together.”

Palmer and Vance during ‘NCIS’ Season 19

Palmer and Vance haven’t had any scenes together, but they were in the same room during one scene this season. During NCIS Season 19 Episode 2 (titled “Nearly Departed”), there is a scene where Palmer is in the background while the rest of the team talks to Vance. However, Palmer and Vance don’t have any speaking lines together.

The unusual time Director Vance was absent on ‘NCIS’

Director Vance was noticeably absent during the scene where there’s a memorial for Jimmy Palmer’s wife, Breena. Palmer has worked for NCIS for so many years. You would think the director of the agency would stop by to pay his respects. Perhaps Vance was just really busy that day. Either way, it was a little weird he wasn’t around to offer some support to one of his employees.

Although Palmer and Vance aren’t close on NCIS, Dietzen and Carroll have a good friendship off camera. Dietzen says that in real life, he and Carroll are close friends. They hang out and play golf together. It’s good to know their lack of scenes together isn’t because of behind-the-scenes drama.

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