‘NCIS’ Fans Hope These Unresolved Questions Get Answered in Season 20

by Suzanne Halliburton

By now, we’re assuming all you NCIS fans have watched the season 19 finale. So it should be OK to talk plot details for September without any spoilers.

(But if you don’t know anything about the Raven, maybe turn away).

The NCIS season 19 finale gave us season 18 vibes. Or it could harken back to any of the finales when the agents bonded together to help Gibbs get out of a predicament. But in NCIS and its current form, it’s about the agents opting to risk their careers to help the new guy — Alden Parker (Gary Cole).

Alden Parker (Gary Cole) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) will be looking for the Raven when season 20 starts. (Michael Yarish/CBS ©2022)

NCIS fans know that the most pressing question for season 20 is who is the Raven. And then why is this domestic terrorist obsessed with Parker? For some background, we first heard about the Raven in a late February episode called “The Helpers.” Coincidentally, Brian Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer, co-wrote the episode, which featured guest star Heather Eaton as Carol Wilson. The agents failed to arrest the person who was responsible for developing a biotoxin that nearly killed Jimmy and Kasie. At the very end of the episode, the Raven delivered a message to Parker. “Never more.” Up until this moment, there hadn’t been a connection between the special agent in charge and the leader of a cult.

Then in “Birds of a Feather,” NCIS introduced Vivian, Parker’s ex-wife. She’s a former FBI agent who now investigates paranormal activities for the Defense Department. Someone kidnaps her at the beginning of the episode. Parker’s former FBI partner ends up dead. And the agents figure out Raven is behind it all. But here’s the problem. The Raven is setting up Parker to take the fall and the FBI is believing all of it. Parker and Viv take off in Viv’s vintage Mercedes to stay a step ahead of the FBI. But she secretly texts someone “It’s done. I have him.” It was exactly like the text message that was sent when Viv was kidnapped.

The season 18 finale dealt with a serial killer. And it took four episodes for the NCIS agents to solve the case, which also served as an extended send off for Mark Harmon’s Gibbs.

Another question for season 20 is whether Jimmy and Jess get together, romantically. (Michael Yarish/CBS ©2022)

Considering that Parker is on the run, solving who the Raven is will be tops on the season 20 agenda. NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder discussed the Raven in an interview with TV Insider.

 “One of the things we want to do with this character is make them more multidimensional than we have with some other of our bad guys that have crossed episode lines,” Binder said. “A lot of times they’ve just been the generic Big Bad. This guy we want to, at some point, know him a little better and be surprised by him and also maybe relate to him in some way. I think the Raven’s gonna be surprising. I think she’s gonna really throw you for a loop when you find out what what’s going on with them.”

There’s a lot of speculation that Viv is the Raven. Or maybe it’s FBI Deputy Director Wayne Sweeney. He really doesn’t like Parker. We know that from when Parker refused to carry out orders to arrest Gibbs last fall.

NCIS season 20 premieres Sept. 19. We’ll know soon enough.