‘NCIS’: Gary Cole Teases ‘Something Tragic’ in Parker’s Past

by Lauren Boisvert
Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“NCIS” is back on Monday Nov. 1 after a short break, and that means more of America’s favorite crime solvers. That also means more of Alden Parker, the NCIS team’s new boss.

Gary Cole recently spoke with TV Insider about his character, Alden Parker. He discussed how they’re similar and different, how the team is taking to having a new boss, and also hinted at a dark and convoluted past.

“There’s a situation that did not go according to plan,” Cole said, “and something tragic happened. He’s purposely kind of an enigma.”

An enigma, indeed. So far, he’s flipflopped on arresting Gibbs, and gotten himself fired from the FBI. He’s sarcastic, but he’s also trying to get the team to like him by getting his hands on the newest tech; he appreciates Gibbs’ legacy, and doesn’t want to replace him. But, there are so many things we don’t know about Alden Parker yet.

Those things will likely unfold naturally throughout the season, but, still, it’s hard to wait. I predict a bombshell of an episode that reveals Alden Parker’s secret past and, fans, hold onto your socks when that happens.

‘NCIS’: Gary Cole on Stepping into Full-Time Role

Gary Cole, in his own words, has done a lot of “dropping into shows, [usually] as a recurring character.” But now, on “NCIS”, Cole has some big shoes to fill. With his character, Alden Parker, replacing Gibbs as team leader, how is Cole handling being a regular cast member?

“Part of my job description is to get comfortable, whatever that takes,” Cole said. “I’m not trying to be [Gibbs]. The writers made that distinction.”

What could “get comfortable” mean for Alden Parker? Right now, the team is still wary of him, Nick Torres especially. Torres likely misses Gibbs, and is frustrated that he seemingly left them. In Gibbs’ last episode, “Great Wide Open,” he was saying goodbye to each of his team members in his own way; it’s likely Torres didn’t know Gibbs was saying his farewells and feels like he left them high and dry.

McGee is more open to Parker, because that’s just his nature. It would be out of character for McGee to hold a grudge against someone who hasn’t really done anything to him. He’s much more accepting and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. That’s what makes McGee such a great character. Plus, he’s most likely still affected by Gibbs staying in Alaska; that was an extremely emotional goodbye for him. McGee doesn’t have time to be petty when it comes to Alden Parker.

So, hopefully the team warms up to Parker as the season goes on. Hopefully, fans warm up to him as well. He’s not Gibbs, but he’s trying his best.