‘NCIS’: Where Does Gary Cole’s Alden Parker Stand Heading Into Season 20?

by Shelby Scott

Season 19 of NCIS concluded in May and since then, fans have all had the same question: what comes next for Special Agent Alden Parker? The last we saw the special agent in charge, he had gone on the run with FBI agent and ex-wife Vivian Kolchak. However, in a last moment turn of events, we found out Kolchak is not who she seems. So where does that leave Parker?

Last week, some of our favorite onscreen special agents returned to the set of NCIS, including cast members Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, and Diona Reasonover. After kicking off their first day of filming for season 20, multiple NCIS stars shared behind-the-scenes “welcome back” clips on social media. However, CarterMatt pointed out that notably missing from every one of the NCIS crew’s clips is Alden Parker actor Gary Cole. But why?

Well, given that his character had gone on the run, fleeing NCIS and other investigative agencies, it’s likely Cole isn’t shooting at the same time or place as the rest of the cast. In addition, keeping Gary Cole’s online appearances to a minimum ahead of the Season 20 premiere heightens the excitement for his character’s storyline, making us wonder just how dangerous Kolchak actually is.

Further, if agent Parker is actually in danger from NCIS‘s season-long villain the Raven, producers aren’t going to tease his safety any time soon.

Every Gibbs-Head Slap From ‘NCIS’ Seasons 1-12:

Before Alden Parker filled the role of special agent in charge, Mark Harmon‘s character Leroy Jethro Gibbs remained a stalwart within the NCIS universe. Fans of the CBS drama first met Gibbs during the series’ pilot in 2003, “Yankee White.” And it was also then that we met beloved characters including Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard and Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.

The series kicked off with a rather serious plotline, with a U.S. service member dropping dead while aboard Air Force One. However, during the fifth episode, “The Curse,” NCIS fans witnessed the first ever Gibbs head slap. Overall, it added a kind of lightheartedness to the series that, in a way, helped in defining the father-son relationship between Gibbs and former special agent Tony DiNozzo.

Across DiNozzo actor Michael Weatherly’s 13 seasons on NCIS, his character accumulated a number of Gibbs’ head slaps. However, other characters, including Timothy McGee, Kate Todd, and Ziva David were also awarded a handful of their own. In commemoration of those characters and the iconic Gibbs head slap, there is actually a six-minute-long clip of every one between seasons one and 12. Check it out below.

Following Mark Harmon’s heartbreaking departure from NCIS early on in season 19, we hope the above clip lends you a smile as we anxiously await the premiere of the series’ milestone 20th season.