How ‘NCIS’ Fans Are Feeling About Gary Cole’s Alden Park

by Brianna Vacca

Season 19 of NCIS has officially emerged. And with a new season, comes new surprises. Some good, some bad, and mystification in between.

Gary Cole has recently joined the cast alongside renowned Mark Harmon, Sean Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Brian Dietzen, and more. The show began in 2003 and has had a number of twists and turns along the way.

Gary Cole’s newest character Alden Park has intrigued fans since his arrival. He’s joining as series regular FBI Special Agent Alden Park and one main question surrounds the cast. Will Gary Cole be replacing Mark Harmon on the show? This season picked up immediately where Season 18 left off. The season finale saw Gibbs being “killed” as his boat exploded. Season 19 picks up and shows the team searching for him. A lot of mystery still surrounds the character leaving people feeling conflicted, but leaving some feeling pleased.

Fans complimented his “old school attitude” and his ability to adapt to the ever-changing technology. One says, “I like him. He’s got the old school attitude in him but he actually uses technology!” Another responds, “I’m starting to come around your way of thinking. I like how he’s tech-savvy.”

“You know what… The writers played it well. I think we are going to be okay,” one commenter wrote while another one says, “He is definitely growing on me. Like they do with ducky, I bet Gibbs will be on occasionally rarely.”

Gary Cole Receives High Praise

Some just like Gary Cole as a person. They say, “I like Gary Cole in just about every role I see him in.”

We know now that FBI Agent Alden Park has an extensive background with the FBI. Actress Katrina Law also makes a comeback this season as her character, Special Agent Jessica Knight, was introduced in the last two episodes of Season 18. One commenter mentioned Law in their opinion, “I like Park. I like Knight too. They didn’t try to make her exactly like the former female agents.”

Before Season 19’s taping, NCIS executive producer and showrunner Steven D. Binder praised the two and the impending season at the time. He says, “We haven’t shot a single frame quite yet, but with the addition of Gary Cole and Katrina Law to the cast, this is already shaping up to be one of the best seasons yet. Going into season 19, we are excited to have new characters and stories to tell that adds to and reenergizes the world we’ve come to love over the 400+ episodes.”

Who is Gary Cole?

The American television, film, and voice actor inaugurated his career at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 1985. Cole has nearly four decades of Hollywood experience with his debut being the movie Heart of Steel. He’s also played Mike Brady in The Brady Brunch and Bill Lumbergh in Office Space.

An NCIS fan mentioned that Cole “will never not be Bill Lumbergh to me.”

The actor has also played Principal Shepherd and other miscellaneous characters in Family Guy, Bob Russell in The West Wing, Reese Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and more.