NCIS Just Moved on From a Major Season 18 Loss

The following contains spoilers from NCIS Season 20, Episode 11, “Bridges,” which debuted Monday, Jan. 16 on CBS.

NCIS is approaching its 450th episode. That’s truly an impressive feat that only a few other series have been able to match. The downside to such a long run is that many characters come and go — often in painful ways. NCIS killed off Caitlin Todd at the end of Season 2, and she started a long line of emotionally taxing character exits.

However, NCIS fans don’t let go very easily. Whenever a character is written off, they hope and hope for a return, often years later. Ziva David left in Season 11 but made an appearance in Season 17 and some viewers are still lobbying for Tony DiNozzo’s comeback. Likewise, they mourn dead characters along with the rest of the team. With that attitude, Season 20, Episode 11, “Bridges” was a bit emotional as the series officially moved on from Jimmy’s wife Breena Palmer.

The Subplot of NCIS’ ‘Bridges’ Was More Important Than Its Plot

The main plot in “Bridges” followed the NCIS team as they investigated a m****r at a shady motel. Agent Parker’s credit card had been used to rent the room, because his identity had been stolen by the son of his former crush. The victim was revealed to be a foreign spy, and the people trying to con her had no idea. While that was an entertaining mystery, the episode’s subplot had much more far-reaching consequences.

At the very beginning of the episode, Jessica Knight had date night planned with Palmer. They were excited to go and see the brand-new Codename Fury movie. Knight suggested bringing Palmer’s daughter Victoria along, and he started acting cagey and vague. For some reason, he really didn’t want Victoria to go to the movie with them. Knight spent the whole episode trying to figure out if there was a problem in their relationship, but there was a much deeper reason for Palmer’s reservations.

NCIS’ ‘Bridges’ Showed Palmer Moving On After Breena’s D***h

While Knight and Palmer are a great couple, it hasn’t been that long since Breena Palmer died from COVID-19. The character’s d***h was mentioned in Season 18, Episode 7, “The Last Day,” though it was revealed she had died two months earlier in December 2020. While he started to move forward in NCIS Season 19, Episode 13, “The Helpers” by taking off his wedding ring, he hadn’t crossed the final bridge — hence the episode’s title.

In Season 20, Palmer has gotten used to dating Knight. Yet allowing Knight to be a part of Victoria’s life was thhat last step he hadn’t taken. It would mean he’d officially moved on from Breena and started a new family. He admitted everything to Knight, who was very supportive. Despite Gibbs’ famous rule about dating coworkers, Knight and Palmer’s relationship became more serious because he was able to open up to her about his tragic loss. In doing so, both Palmer and the NCIS audience were able to finally say goodbye to Breena.

NCIS airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.

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