Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The NCIS Side Character That Fans Think Could Take Over

The fourth episode of Season 19 of "NCIS" ("Great Wide Open") saw Special Agent Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon) decide to remain behind in Alaska rather than return to the team in Washington, D.C. This is a significant moment for the series, as Gibbs has been the core of the NCIS team since the show's debut in 2003. With Gibbs gone, only Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum) are left of the original cast, and while Harmon may return as Gibbs in the future, he'll likely be in a recurring guest star role and no longer as part of the main cast.

The question of who could replace Gibbs is one that many fans are asking. While there is a group of viewers who believe it should be McGee himself who steps into the team leader role, another character introduced in this season may be the one to take over. FBI Special Agent Alden Parker (Gary Cole) appears to be the character set to fill Gibbs' shoes.

The case for Alden Parker

First appearing in the Season 19 episode "Nearly Departed," Agent Alden Parker is investigating a suspected serial killer that Gibbs was pursuing. The suspect, named Paul LaMere (Jason Wiles), turned out to be a contract killer tied to a larger conspiracy. Initially aggressive to each other due to Parker's opinion that Gibbs is a loose cannon, the pair part ways respectfully in "Great Wide Open" after Gibbs and McGee unravel the conspiracy. Parker decides not to arrest Gibbs despite the orders of the FBI. Later in the episode, NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) notes the FBI wasn't happy with Parker and charged him with insubordination. Vance also informs the team that Gibbs would not be returning to the NCIS.

This information, combined with the knowledge that actor Cole is a regular member of the "NCIS" cast, has some fans thinking he's likely to take Gibbs' place. In a Reddit post, user gamingglen wrote, "Parker as the new lead for the NCIS team? Seems to me that it is pointing that way. The FBI director is more interested in saving face than seeking justice, and Parker was not happy about that. If Vance asks Parker to join NCIS I think he would. I'm quite okay with that. Or McGee is given lead and Parker joins the team. I'd watch next season in either case."

A somewhat controversial choice

Not everyone feels this is a good idea. Later in the same Reddit thread, user ellieacd added, "Yeah, no. McGee did not spend 18 years in the team and become a senior field agent for some dude who got fired from the FBI and has spent all of 5 minutes with NCIS to become the lead on the team." User KHGOB13 had strong feelings as well, adding, "Okay here's what I think might happen for the rest of the season. I think Parker might be something of a mentor to McGee to help him learn the ropes of leading the team because the difference between being the SFA and Lead Agent is night and day. Then in the season finale, we see him assume command of the MCRT." Redditor monkglonk agreed, writing, "I'm hoping for this as well. Parker wasn't a supervisor at the FBI, he shouldn't just waltz into NCIS to be a boss."

While it would be good to see McGee step up and become the official leader of the NCIS team in the wake of Gibbs' departure, it might make more sense for Vance to engage an experienced investigator like Parker as an interim head while McGee prepares to take over. While we can't say what the future holds, we definitely can't wait to see what happens next.