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NCIS Fans Are Buzzing Over Parker's Dark Side (But Agree It's Justified)

Contains spoilers for "NCIS" Season 20, Episode 14 — "Old Wounds"

Working at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is normally a high-octane and stressful job, with very few "easy" days — at least if the mega smash hit television show "NCIS" is being discussed. This season of "NCIS" starts off with Alden Parker (Gary Cole) being targeted, and from there, the main characters must contend with fellow parents at a school, a slain petty officer in a national forest, home invasions, estranged husbands, and a Thanksgiving explosion, to name just a few of Season 20's events.

Having just aired the Brian Dietzen-written Episode 14, titled "Old Wounds," this installment of "NCIS" begins with a scene involving Parker running through the woods as he narrates his thoughts, implying that he wished to turn the tables on his would-be pursuer. "NCIS" then flashes to their office building, and it is noted that this is two days before the previous scene with Parker. Although the "NCIS" team enjoys a brief moment of levity, they are soon called out to investigate the death of a soldier. As they comb the crime scene for evidence, drugs are found with a mysterious branding, and Parker gives a look like he recognizes the symbol, though he gives no direct indication to his coworkers as he quickly leaves the investigation.

It is then revealed why Parker reacted in such a way, and his behavior certainly attracted the attention of not only his friends but audiences as well.

Some fans became very concerned about Parker's behavior

The reason why Alden Parker reacted so strongly to the branded drugs directly correlates to his previous history as an FBI agent. This is because that specific brand was previously used by Clayton Wills (Bill Dawes), and in the past, both Parker and his old partner Jeremy Brighton (Michael Patrick Thornton) were instrumental in arresting and incarcerating the drug dealer — though at great personal cost to Brighton, who ended up paralyzed.

In other words, Parker feels personally responsible for his partner's wound and has a vendetta against Wills, which is why throughout this episode Parker displays drastically different behavior, and his normal calm and friendly demeanor is replaced by an angry and obsessive individual. Though Parker eventually gets a modicum of peace and justice, this temporary personality shift caused quite a discussion about the character.

Considering that Parker is usually the cheery center of "NCIS," fans weren't quite sure what to make of his development over "Old Wounds." On Twitter, @elizabethl36 wrote, "I would not want to be Parker when Vance arrives to have a word with him," while @TeresaAustene tweeted, "I was totally thrown by Parker's dark side. Great episode."

Others weren't so sure about Parker, with @bugsme012 saying that he was acting like an idiot throughout the episode, @MissIceTee stating that they don't like this iteration of him, and @_natalieviolaaa wondering exactly what was going through Parker's head.

Other fans felt like Parker is justified in his actions

However, not all questioned Alden Parker's behavior in this particular episode of "NCIS," mainly because some fans believe that he is somewhat justified in his actions. Several tried to explain Parker's shift in demeanor, with @TheKevNation saying, "So that may be the reason PARKER is hell bent on Clayton Wills. He wants revenge for what happened to his colleague Jeremy." Twitter user @JBraxt29 also felt like they understood Parker, and stated, "No wonder Parker is so heated! Clayton Wills put his old partner in a wheelchair. No way he's letting go at a chance at payback!"

Additionally, @rlplate was thoroughly impressed with the episode and said that they completely empathized with Parker, noting that his shift in behavior made perfect sense within the context of the episode. @MsLindsieStarr also felt the same way, and mentioned that Parker had pretty much a normal reaction, all things considered.

Either way, many fans on both sides definitely had a question or two about Parker in this episode of "NCIS," though it seems like there is a difference in thought as to whether or not Parker should have behaved like that. Still, one thing is certain: Parker doesn't like to have unfinished business.