NCIS' Scoop: Sparks Fly When Jessica Knight's Father Meets Her Boyfriend

Russell Wong, Gary Cole, Katrina Law, Wilmer Valderrama and Sean Murray

NCIS returns from its hiatus tonight with a fun episode that introduces us to Jessica Knight’s (Katrina Law) father, Special Agent in Charge Feng Zhao (Russell Wong), who works with the DC team to unravel the mystery of a recently used service weapon belonging to a missing agent. OK, that not the fun part. The amusing part comes when Jessica introduces her dad to her boyfriend and new love Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen).

And you might expect it would go well. After all, what father doesn’t want his daughter dating a doctor—even over protective dads, but Zhao isn’t your normal father.

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“It’s not necessarily that he disapproves of Jimmy and the relationship, it’s more about he wants more for his daughter,” Law told Parade at the celebration for the 1000th episode of NCIS. "And he’s worried that his daughter may have stagnated in DC out of a little bit of trauma from losing her React Team. So, he’s basically just checking in with her to make sure that she’s still on the path that she wants to be. But, in the meantime we do get to see a daddy-daughter fight, which is kind of kick ass. So, very excited for the audience to see that.”

Russell Wong, Katrina Law<p>Courtesy: CBS</p>
Russell Wong, Katrina Law

Courtesy: CBS

The plans that dad has for his daughter are in line with her becoming the next director of NCIS, after all, there’s already been one female director—Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly)—so it’s possible that he doesn’t want any man to get in her way, no matter how lovely Jimmy is.

“Funny that you say that because the episode is called The Plan,” Law continues. “The plan is actually the career plan that her father and Jessica had actually worked out for the two of them for Jessica to go on. So, yes, he does eventually see her being a director one day. Right now, she’s not necessarily headed towards that path, so he’s basically making sure that that’s still what she wants.”

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And as for Jimmy, he’s had a tough couple of years. He lost his wife Breena (Michelle Pierce) during the COVID pandemic, he nearly died alongside Kasie (Diona Reasonover) in the lab, then he was kidnapped and sent to Hawaii, so there’s been a lot. And in the middle of all that, he met and fell in love with Jessica, blurting it out in front of everyone in the squad room.

Brian Dietzen, Russell Wong, Katrina Law<p>Courtesy: CBS</p>
Brian Dietzen, Russell Wong, Katrina Law

Courtesy: CBS

“Just because you fall in love with someone, you can’t just say, ‘I love you,’ and then all of a sudden everything is perfect from there on out till eternity,” Dietzen says of having to meet Jessica’s father. “There’s going to be bumps along the way, there’s going to be some things that happen. So, when Jimmy meets Knight’s father, it doesn’t go entirely according to plan. And there are some bumps in the road a little bit when he’s meeting her dad and figuring out what their next steps are together.”

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In the 2022 “Turkey Trot” episode, we met Jessica’s sister—and her dangerous boyfriend—so we know that Zhao probably doesn’t have high hopes for Robin (Lilan Bowden), which is why there would be so much more pressure on Jessica to achieve the success that he wants for his daughter.

Katrina Law, Russell Wong<p>Photo: Robert Voets/CBS</p>
Katrina Law, Russell Wong

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

It was once that episode aired that Law says she began a campaign to expand her family and have her father introduced on the show.

“One of my favorite things about NCIS is the fact that people gravitate towards it because of family, because of family ties and because of the chemistry and connection between all of the characters,” she says. “I felt up until last year we had only just met my sister, so I really wanted to delve deeper into Knight’s not necessarily history but her current situation outside of work. With the father coming in, I think we’re going to learn a lot more about Knight. I’m excited to see what doors that open in the future, what other family members we can have come in.”

NCIS airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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