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

Season 19 of NCIS has begun. Even if you’ve been following the show for a long time, you might not have realized that there are no one-on-one scenes between two characters.

Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) and Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) haven’t had much interaction so far in the show’s run. You may find it difficult to believe, yet it is true (as of this writing). Here’s why Palmer and Vance don’t appear in many NCIS sequences together.

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

Palmer is the NCIS Major Case Response Team’s principal medical examiner. Prior to embarking on this position, he worked as an assistant to Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum), the chief medical examiner at the time. Jimmy was meant to be a fill-in for Ducky’s assistant, Gerald Jackson, but he ended up staying full time. Ducky is semi-retired and now serves as the NCIS historian. Palmer has taken up Ducky’s previous position as chief medical examiner.

During NCIS Season 5 Episode 14 (titled “Internal Affairs”), director Leon Vance joined the crew. Although he has a no-nonsense demeanor and may be severe at times, he genuinely cares about his agents.

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

During a CBS interview about NCIS Season 18, Dietzen mentions that Palmer and Director Vance do not have any scenes together. According to NCIS Executive Producer Scott Williams, there is no reason for the director to be in autopsy. This explains why Vance isn’t shown in scenes with Palmer.

According to Williams, the agency’s director being in autopsy would be unusual. “It wouldn’t make much sense,” Dietzen continues. “It would have to be for a specific reason.” Williams, on the other hand, thinks he might try to find a method to bring Palmer and Vance together in a future episode.

“Jimmy and Vance never have scenes together,” Dietzen explains. “[Jimmy Palmer] is geographically the lowest of the low. Palmer is in the basement, while Vance is in the high tower’s attic. I think it’d be amazing to see the two of us do something together.”

Palmer and Vance in Seasons 18 and 19 of ‘NCIS.’

Palmer and Vance did not have any one-on-one sequences in autopsy, but they were in the same room during NCIS Season 18 Episode 9 (named “Winter Chill”). Vance had just learned about Emily Fornell’s passing and had spoken with the team about flying over to support Tobias. Palmer enquired briefly about the poem Vance planned to share with Tobias. This was not, however, a one-on-one scene between the two individuals.

In addition, there is a moment in NCIS Season 19 Episode 2 (named “Nearly Departed”) when Palmer appears in the background while the rest of the crew chats to Vance. Palmer and Vance, on the other hand, don’t share any dialogue.

The unexpected absence of Director Vance from ‘NCIS.’

Director Vance was obviously missing for the scene in which Jimmy Palmer’s wife, Breena, is memorialized. Palmer has been with NCIS for many years. You’d think the agency’s director would come by to pay his respects. Perhaps Vance was simply overworked that day. In any case, it was odd that he wasn’t present to offer assistance to one of his employees.

Although Palmer and Vance aren’t particularly close on NCIS, Dietzen and Carroll have a good off-screen friendship. Dietzen claims that he and Carroll are close friends in real life. They socialize and play golf together. It’s comforting to know that their lack of scenes together isn’t due to behind-the-scenes squabbles.

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