‘NCIS’ Fans Are Trying to Figure Out New Character Vivian Kolchak: Here’s What We Know

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS fans are pondering this question: Who is Vivian Kolchak? How will this character fit in with the rest of the cast of season 20. And gulp, is she a terrorist?

Basically, Viv is the only new character NCIS producers have announced for season 20. She got introduced in the finale “Birds of a Feather.” And Teri Polo plays Viv, the former FBI agent. She’s the ex-wife of Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and still enjoys a terrific relationship with her father-in-law. She loves to jog for exercise and she drives a vintage Mercedes in pristine condition. She may or may not be the Raven. And she currently works the ultra-cool job of investigating paranormal activity for the Defense Department.

After watching the finale back in May, some NCIS super fans gleaned some clues about Viv, who left with Parker to figure out who killed his ex partner.

“Any idea what could have been the cause of the divorce,” one NCIS fan asked on the NCIS SubReddit board. “They seem to still love each other and not being antagonistic towards each other. But Vivian said that there are some things couples don’t come back from or something like that? What could it be?”

Vivian Kolchak (Teri Polo) is Alden Parker’s (Gary Cole) ex-wife. (Robert Voets/CBS)

One NCIS Fan Wondered If Parker/Kolchak Lost a Child

Another fan thought he had the answer. And a possible plot twist for more upcoming episodes.

“My take is they lost their young child (which has to be the absolute worst thing).” the NCIS fan wrote. “On a boat accident (Parker said earlier in the season twice that he has traumatic memories on boats). They were married 97-05, so any child would be 8 or younger. … I bet in the next season, we’ll see Parker look sad at some tombstone (very Gibbs like angst!)”

Cole joined the cast at the beginning of season 19. When he started on the show he was an FBI agent. But he got fired when he refused a direct order to arrest Gibbs (Mark Harmon). After Gibbs decided to quit NCIS and hang out in Alaska, he recommended Parker take his job. (Tobias Fornell vouched for him). Just as everyone finally was figuring out who Parker was, writers gave him an ex-wife.

Before joining cast of NCIS, Polo co-starred on Fox comedy The Big Leap. (FOX via Getty Images)

Polo Recently Starred In Big Leap Playing Woman with Mid-Life Crisis

Polo needed a new job for fall, 2022. She had been one of the leads in Fox’s The Big Leap, which was a cheeky behind-the-scenes show about a fictional dancing reality series. Polo’s character used the reality show to redefine her confidence and identity after learning her husband cheated on her with strippers. She’s done crime procedurals like NCIS before. After all, she was a recurring character on Law & Order: LA and did two guest stints on Law & Order: SVU.

The clues from the NCIS finale suggest she was in on her own kidnapping, which happened early in the episode. The man who snatched her from the jogging trail was Parker’s ex partner, who turned up dead. So she may be in on his death, although someone is setting up Parker to be the fall guy.

This time a year ago, NCIS gave us a similar what-if vibe when they hired Pam Dawber, Harmon’s real-life wife, to be a recurring character. When the show went on summer hiatus, a ton of fans suggested that Dawber’s Marcie, an investigative journalist, was the serial killer who blew up Gibbs’ boat. But that would’ve been too obvious for NCIS writers. The bad guy was Paul LeMere, the hitman.

So stay tuned for the premiere Sept. 19 to find out how much NCIS fans will be seeing Viv this coming season.