‘NCIS’ Boss Teases the Season 19 Finale: ‘Gibbs’ Energy Permeates the Story’

Wilmer Valderrama, Gary Cole, Sean Murray in NCIS
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The NCIS team draws close to protect one of their own, boss Alden Parker (Gary Cole), when he’s framed for murder in the Season 19 finale. This tricky perp is someone who benefits more from “Parker being disgraced rather than killed,” reveals NCIS executive producer Steven D. Binder.

Parker, of course, does not take this sitting down. “When he feels the system is being used against him, he’s going to do what he’s going to do. We push things pretty far,” Binder says. He gets help from his ex-wife and still close friend, Vivian Kolchak (Teri Polo, who returns next season), an FBI agent turned paranormal investigator for the Department of Defense. Could the quirky Parker’s many hobbies have driven them apart? His passion for bird-watching comes into play; another pastime is revealed in a visit to an expansive new location we’ll be seeing in future episodes.

Sean Murray, Katrina Law, Gary Cole in NCIS

Sonja Flemming/CBS

With Parker pushing the limits, senior field agent McGee (Sean Murray) becomes the de facto leader in the bullpen. “Parker put his ass on the line to help Gibbs in Alaska. McGee hasn’t forgotten,” Binder says of their former boss. “Gibbs’ energy permeates the story.” The loss is still felt by Torres (Wilmer Valderrama), who’s been using alcohol to deal with his feelings of abandonment. “He’s pulling away,” Binder says. “The family’s going to pull him closer.”

And the family’s all here! Onetime medical examiner Ducky (David McCallum) returns for the last two episodes, initially to help his successor Jimmy (Brian Dietzen), who’s also in a budding romance with newish agent Jessica Knight (Katrina Law). Binder promises a finale “moment” for the pair, but expect zigs and zags. Forensics genius Kasie (Diona Reasonover) has insight for Knight on workplace relationships: Turns out she’s got something going on too!

That doesn’t distract Kasie from finding a key clue — literal bread crumbs left by a hungry criminal. Don’t these bad guys know who they’re dealing with?

NCIS, Season 19 Finale, Monday, May 23, 9/8c, CBS