‘NCIS’ Season 19 Ends With Huge Cliffhanger as Parker Goes on the Run

by Suzanne Halliburton

Get out those mixed tapes and blast some classic Bon Jovi. It’s time to talk NCIS and that runaway season 19 finale.

NCIS ended its Alden Parker-centric episode Monday night with a huge cliffhanger that also involves the FBI, his ex-wife and a criminal mastermind named The Raven. And we can’t solve the case until the fall, although know that Parker’s fellow NCIS agents are on the case.

So here’s how “Birds of a Feather” unfolded. It all started with a guy taking photos of birds, then he shifts the lens to a female jogger. Then someone kidnaps said jogger and takes her away as the photographer sends a text message.

Turns out that jogger is Vivian Kolchak. She’s the ex-wife of Alden Parker, or “Park” as she calls him. And we start learning all sorts of details about Parker, who took over from Gibbs as special agent in charge early in season 19. Did you know that Parker’s dad lives in a senior living center in Washington D.C.? That Parker’s dad is retired Navy and is really bitter that his son wasn’t able to wear the uniform? Plus, Parker’s dad still talks to his former daughter-in-law. The two spoke the morning of his kidnapping.

Somebody Wants to Set Up Parker in This NCIS Finale

And speaking of that kidnapping, someone sent over the photos to the NCIS tip line. It didn’t take long to identify Viv. She’s a former FBI agent who now explores unexplained activity for the Department of Defense. Jess wondered if this was a case of X Files come to life. And McGee pondered whether Viv was the “real-life agent Mulder.”

The agents find the kidnapping scene and discover that the photographer chewed on unsalted sunflower seeds. Parker figured out who it was before DNA identified the guy as Frank Ressler, Parker’s former FBI partner. Parker helped get Frank fired after Frank took a bribe from someone the two were investigating.

The team goes to Frank’s house. Viv’s vintage, two-seater Mercedes is in the driveway. It’s under a tarp. And Frank is dead. They found his body inside the garage. But here’s the weird part. The DNA under Frank’s nails belongs to Parker.

Vance takes Parker off the case. But the agents go to Parker’s place to tell him to come into the office for questioning. He invites the agents in. Viv is there. She’d escaped, flagged down a car, and called her ex. But who murdered Frank? The FBI believes its Parker. Then the agency tracks down the money Frank took. It’s in a bank in the Cayman Islands. The account is in Parker’s name. And get this, the FBI has placed bugs all over Parker’s house.

Meanwhile, Viv is able to recall enough detail that the agents were able to track down where the kidnappers had stashed her. It was an abandoned pet store at a strip mall. When they got there, that’s when they saw “Never More” spray-painted on the wall. That’s in reference to The Raven, the mastermind behind a plot to poison the water supply of the city. It almost killed Jimmy and Kasie. This was back earlier this season. The Raven sent an envelope to Parker with a card that said “Never More.”

Parker Says He’s Not Gibbs. Agents Shouldn’t Risk Career for Him

Ducky did a quick personality profile of The Raven. He compared him to someone who loves to lick a lollipop. “This Raven takes pleasure in prolonging things,” Ducky said.

“Then if I’m a sucker, consider me licked,” Parker tells the team.

He doesn’t want them trying to help clear his name. He’s not Gibbs, Parker says. He appreciates their loyalty, but he doesn’t want them risking everything for him. It’s over, he says.

And of course, there are more conversations about Gibbs, like the mention of rules five, eight and 15. The last one is telling — Always work as a team.

Robert Voets/CBS ©2022

With Parker out of the office, the team gathers to talk about what to do. They decide, together, they will help Parker. They give him a burner phone and pack some clothes for him. With the FBI wanting to arrest him, Parker and Viv drive off in her Mercedes. She mentions that she still has the mixed tape he made her when they eloped. So Viv turns on the music full blast. It’s “She’s a Little Runaway” by Bon Jovi. And by the way, Viv secretly texts messages someone, just like the photographer did in the first scene. She then puts the phone back in her purse.

And NCIS fans, that’s it for season 19. Parker is on the run with his ex wife, who may or may not be The Raven.