‘NCIS’ Reveals New Clues About The Raven

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS fans have been spewing theories all summer. The topic? Who is The Raven, the person who framed Alden Parker for murder, the terrorist who wanted to set off a biotoxin in a Virginia city?

The Raven first appeared (or was mentioned) in NCIS season 19 during an episode called “The Helpers.” Coincidentally, that was the episode co-written by Brian Dietzen, who portrays medical examiner Dr. Jimmy Palmer. Then the Raven showed back up in the season 19 finale, “Birds of a Feather.”

The season 20 premiere, along with the season two kickoff of NCIS: Hawai’i, are devoted to the Raven.

And if you read the fine print in the plot teases released by CBS, you know who the Raven is. This terrorist isn’t Viv (Teri Polo) Parker’s ex wife. And he’s not FBI Assistant Director Sweeney. He’s a guy named Herman Maxwell played by Michael Weston in the NCIS premiere. Then if you look at the guest list for NCIS: Hawai’i, Weston’s character has three identities: Maxwell/Raven/Hearns.

Michael Weston (left) guest starred in Fox drama The Resident. (FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

Actor Who Portrays Raven Is Part of NCIS Universe

Weston does have a connection to the NCIS universe. He played LA police officer John Quinn in NCIS: Los Angeles way back in 2011.

You may recognize him from another network heavyweight franchise. That’s Law & Order: SVU, the longest-running network drama currently on air. Weston portrayed Simon Marsden, the half-brother of Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson. He appeared in five episodes over two years.

So the Raven is a character nobody knew existed before last February. It’s kind of like the end of season 18, when Gibbs’ boat exploded as he took it out on the lake for the first time. Fans spent weeks pondering who blew up the boat, wondering if investigative journalist Marcie Warren (Mark Harmon’s real-life wife Pam Dawber) was the culprit. Instead, it was former soldier turned hitman Paul Lemere (Jason Wiles). Lemere blew himself up, but not before forcing Gibbs to reflect on the ethically-challenged decisions he made during his career.

After a summer of speculation in 2021, Gibbs caught the guy who blew up his boat. Fans thought it could be Marcie Warren. Instead it was Paul Lemere. (Michael Yarish/CBS ©2021)

Fans Also Thought They Knew Identity Of Season 19 Bad Guy

Here’s the NCIS plot tease for the season 20 premiere: “Special Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) is still on the run with his ex-wife Vivian (Teri Polo), so the team investigates who from his past might have a personal vendetta against him in hopes of clearing Parker’s name. Enlisting the help of NCIS: Hawai’i’s Special Agent Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) and Computer Specialist Ernie Malick (Jason Antoon), who are in town meeting with Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) in preparation for a global military exercise, the group tracks down their prime suspect, The Raven.”

Then, Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) and Jess (Katrina Law) head to Hawaii for the second hour of the crossover. This is the plot summary: “Special Agent Tennant’s team, along with NCIS agents Nick Torres and Jessica Knight, learns about plans for an attack on RIMPAC (The Rim of the Pacific Exercises) in Oahu, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.”

The crossover is Sept. 19. Stick with Outsider. There will be more details.