How NCIS Season 19 Finale Finally Broke From Tradition In A Big Way

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the NCIS Season 19 finale, “Birds of a Feather.” Read at your own risk!

NCIS aired its Season 19 finale, and it was one for the books as a couple of key reveals set the stage for Season 20. Alden Parker might be in mortal danger after the return of “The Raven” and the introduction of his ex-wife, but that’s not what had me talking after the finale. I was actually stunned about the major development regarding Jessica Knight and Jimmy Palmer, which seemingly broke from the typical tradition of how romance plays out on the CBS series. 

Just one episode after Knight and Jimmy confessed feelings for each other and had a coffee date, they decided to talk out exactly what all that meant for them. As a hardened NCIS fan, I was fully prepared to see one of them decide to take a step back and nothing change between them, but the exact opposite happened. They made out not once but twice in the crime lab after confirming that the dates meant a  more to them than something casual, and it seems like they’re officially a couple. 

If you’re an NCIS viewer who was around for the drawn-out cat and mouse game between Bishop and Torres and other past romantic pairings like Ziva and Tony, this had to feel like a shock to the system. Executive producer Steven D. Binder shared with TV Insider the reasoning behind the decision and how Palmer and Knight differ from other past pairings: 

That stems from in the past, a lot of the couplings have happened over time a lot more organically than this one is occurring. Tony [Michael Weatherly] and Ziva [Cote de Pablo] were not a thing for a really long time, and then they were a thing. Torres [Wilmer Valderrama] and Bishop [Emily Wickersham], again, were not a thing for a really long time, and then they were a thing. This time, we just want to go a different route, and this route can go anywhere. By getting together sooner, they can break up sooner, and then we can be in that space, or they can be together. We just didn’t want to slow-walk the part that we’ve slow-walked before because that enables us to get to places that we haven’t done before.

NCIS fans won’t have to watch Jimmy and Knight go back and forth any longer because the writers wanted to explore a relationship within the confines of a season rather than continue with seasons of casual flirting moments between them. I’m certainly not mad about it, and eager to see what new ways this dynamic reinvigorates the show in Season 20. 

Of course, I’m not sure the focus will be on the new couple immediately, especially given Parker’s situation. After all, a murderous ex setting up the NCIS team leader is a big situation, not to mention life-threatening. Now isn’t really the time for public relationship announcements, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how Jimmy and Jessica approach that when Season 20 rolls around. 

NCIS is done with Season 19 over at CBS, but Season 20 is on the way. Now that the procedural is on a break, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the 2022 television schedule and find that next show to get into as the summer draws near. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.