NCIS aired its first post-Gibbs episode on Monday night. The week prior, Gibbs said goodbye to his team during what might be the final time we see Mark Harmon on the show for a while.
Now, it was time to see not only if Gibbs’ team could do the job without him but also see if NCIS fans were going to keep tuning in to see what was in store for the rest of the NCIS cast.
We are likely to see much more of actor Gary Cole playing Alden Parker, especially since he brings a good presence to the show. But just being there will take some getting used to for NCIS fans who have been die-hard Gibbs supporters over the years.
It’s also likely that the NCIS cast could see a number of recognizable guest stars throughout Season 19 to help the show retain viewers. Some of those guest stars were slated to appear in this new episode called Face the Strange.
NCIS recap for Season 19, Episode 5
The episode began with a group of delinquents being led by an officer who was going to teach them wilderness skills rather than have them go to jail after they had been tried as adults. They came across a man who was dying and then the opening credits rolled.
At the office, McGee walked in to find a frustrated Torres, who couldn’t believe that McGee left Gibbs behind in Alaska. McGee said that Gibbs had seemed “happy” and that it wasn’t his choice to leave their boss behind.
That’s when former FBI agent Alden Parker walked in behind McGee and mentioned that they would be glad to hear that he had turned down an offer from Director Vance to come work at NCIS. The revelation caught everyone off guard.
As a reminder, Parker got fired by the FBI for supporting Gibbs during the Alaska episode.
Parker helps out the NCIS team
Vance convinced Parker to go with the team as they went to pick up the body of the man. Parker agreed and helped an injured Palmer (he was faking an injury) load the body into the van. As Parker was saying goodbye and good luck to McGee a short way down the road, the van exploded. Luckily, only the body had been inside.
Ducky came into the offices to help Palmer examine what was left with the body and they discovered that a bomb had been inside of the body. Their working theory was that the man was a suicide bomber with a local target but that something had gone wrong. It appeared that the bomb had poisoned the Naval officer, putting an end to those particular plans.
But through some investigating done by Kasie into the background of the dead man and some interviews done by the team, they started to figure out that the man who had died used a pacemaker and that when he went in for a procedure, the bomb was attached to it.
Later, the team (led by Parker, who was assigned to the task by the DOD) went back to someone who had been cleared as a suspect when more incriminating stuff came up about him. But it turned out he was innocent as well, and that he too had a procedure that placed a bomb inside of him. Ducky and Palmer went to work and succeeded in getting the device out of him after some tense moments and a building evacuation.
At the heart of it all was a mafia boss who was testing out the device on the first person and was going to use the second person as a sort-of Trojan horse at a hearing to take out witnesses. Luckily, the NCIS team, with the help of Parker, was able to solve the case.
McGee or Parker in charge at NCIS?
Within this episode of NCIS, we learned that McGee had been offered Gibbs’ job but that he had turned it down. He didn’t think he wanted to take on a job that was all-encompassing and that he needed to stay focused on his family. After McGee turned down Vance, the job was offered to Parker, who turned him down at first, as well.
When the episode came to an end, Vance and Parker chatted again, and it looked like Parker might be ready to take over Gibbs’ team. Nothing was settled during the episode, though, so we will have to tune in next time to find out what has happened.
NCIS airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.