When the death of his father causes a young man to take to a building's ledge, Palmer risks his life to talk him down. The team faces a race against time to work out what happened, while Palmer must face not only the son's demons, but his own.
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Poor Ryan gets laid off from his job the day before his 27th birthday, then witnesses his father's death by a road rager on the birthday proper.
- A Day in the Limelight: Jimmy Palmer gets the spotlight, having to talk down and rescue a troubled son grieving the death of his father.
- Arc Words: The saying Ducky tells Jimmy when he feels down in the Cold Open reappears as the way to bring Ryan in from the ledge:Ducky: When you're going through hell, keep going.
- Drives Like Crazy: The killer turns out to be a road rager who was accidentally cut off in traffic by Ryan's dad in the Cold Open, so he got revenge by running him over with his car.
- Interrupted Suicide: Jimmy spends the entire episode trying to talk down Ryan, with the latter getting more irate with him trying to play the hero, because Jimmy has so much more to live for. Jimmy responds that he sees only the bad in his profession, never any good. So preventing one death is a good enough reason to try.
- It's All My Fault: Ryan blames himself for his father's death because he feels as if he wouldn't have been killed by that car if Ryan didn't need the money due to being recently laid off. So Team Gibbs makes it their goal to find the killer so they can convince Ryan that he isn't to blame for what happened.Gibbs: The kid blames himself. Let's go find out who killed his dad.
- Man Hug: During the epilouge, when Jimmy goes to Gibbs' basement to apologize for telling Ryan about the death of his family, Gibbs shuts him up with one of these.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Jimmy is the first one to see Ryan on the ledge, and is the one to get on the ledge to try and save him a full minute before anybody else notices what's going on. He relates to Ryan later that he was never a hero like his colleagues, because he had too much of a self-preservation instinct.
- Scheherezade Gambit: Jimmy provides commentary throughout the episode, constantly telling tales of his team, and having a ton of aesops and adages to tell Ryan. The gambit comes into play since he is trying to stall Ryan from jumping.
- So Proud of You: Ducky to Jimmy when the latter accidentally reveals to the team that he passed his ME lisence exam.
- Status Quo Is God: Jimmy reveals to Ryan, and accidentally to the Squad Room, that he aced his ME exam on the third attempt, making him an official Doctor, as well as a full Medical Examiner, rather than an assistant. However, Jimmy doesn't tell the team this, not least his mentor Ducky, because he likes the dynamic the team has, and he doesn't want to give it up.
- Taking You with Me: When Palmer climbs onto that ledge and grabs Ryan, he threatens Gibbs and Torres that he'll take both of them down since he doesn't want anybody else to get closer.Ryan: (After he's calmed down and talked out of suicide) You know I never would have taken you with me, right?
Palmer: I know. Let's go inside.
Ryan: Okay. Thanks, Jimmy.
- Talking Down the Suicidal: Palmer spots Ryan on that ledge, is the first member of the team to reach him, and then holds onto Ryan for at least three hours while trying his best to talk him out of it. It ultimately gets through to Ryan.
- Team Dad: Jimmy believes that Gibbs is this 100%; since the death of his family, he has converted NCIS into his new family, and Jimmy's commentary on Kelly and Shannon hits Gibbs hard.
- Title Drop: "When you're going through hell, keep going."
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
- Jimmy as it turns out has been wanting Gibbs' respect, like the rest of the team has, but has never gotten so much as a hug or thank you. Gibbs changes all of that in the final scene.
- Ryan also admits that he's this, because he never really was what his father wanted him to be as he went to school for artitecture instead of what his father desired (studying buisness or joining the military), and was never really sure whether his dad was proud of him or not. It turns out that his father really was proud of him because he carried around the picture of Ryan's senoir thesis project in his wallet and, given the wear and tear around the edges of the photo, would constantly show it off to others. This realization is one of the reasons why Ryan is talked out of suicide.
- "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Jimmy's insecurities come to the fore as he faces each of his issues head on, since the alternative would be going off the ledge. Ryan faces his demons also, with Jimmy's prodding.
- What You Are in the Dark: Ryan makes an attempt to get away from Jimmy so he can jump, only for Jimmy to slip and hang from the ledge. Ryan helps him back up, claiming he doesn't want his death on his conscience. Jimmy calls him on his BS, citing that he had previously said he would take Jimmy down with him if NCIS didn't back off.