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NCIS Star Brian Dietzen Revealed How He Wants Jimmy Palmer To Die & It's Perfect

We all have to go sometime, and that too applies to fictional characters in long-running properties like "NCIS." During a panel at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in June, some members of the drama's current cast were quizzed as to how they'd like their characters to die. Brian Dietzen's response relating to his character, Jimmy Palmer, is emotionally moving — and important to the actor.

"I think that having a character come down with ALS and seeing that progression over time, especially for someone who's a scientist, who's a doctor, whose control of his physical faculties and trying to cover it up over the course of time, but his mind still works until he finally passes, is something that, I mean, it's a terrible disease," Dietzen confessed, as quoted by People Magazine. Indeed, ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, progresses slowly from simply muscle weakness to wasting and paralysis, ending with the muscles that keep vital organs working losing their strength, eventually causing death. Jimmy naturally would be forced to leave his role on the team — which we know from his "NCIS" backstory means a lot to him.

Dietzen admitted he'd considered the topic before for a good reason, as  "NCIS" has worked with the ALS Association before. And it turns out Dietzen's got another reason to want this ending for Jimmy.

Brian Dietzen thinks there would be 'a beautiful tragedy' in Jimmy's passing of ALS

Brian Dietzen added that his other goal in portraying Jimmy's death by ALS would be to spark interest in research on the condition. Jimmy seems like an ideal person to come down with the illness, according to Dietzen. "To see what happens to someone who has operated over the course of the last many, many years, getting to this place and losing control of his physical ability to do his job," the actor said.

Jimmy's slow-moving illness would take a whole lot of seasons — it might not even arrive until the series ends, or if Dietzen wants to retire from the role in such a scenario. And yet, he sees value in it. "That would be beautiful, it would be tragic, it would be sad," he said. "But I think it would be a pretty cool thing to do and to bring to light."

Since most deaths in the "NCIS" world come with shocking, intense, and sudden spurts of violence, Jimmy dying that way would be both unique and upsetting — and it could draw attention to a good cause. It isn't happening yet, but one can see why the idea appeals so much to Dietzen. After all, bold moves are what ensured him a long-term role on "NCIS" in the first place.