‘NCIS’ Reveals Parker’s Juvie Past & Teases a Possible New Couple (RECAP)

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for NCIS Season 19, Episode 15 “Thick as Thieves.”]

Heading into the latest NCIS episode, it seemed that all we’d be talking about would be team leader Alden Parker’s (Gary Cole) juvie past. And then Jessica Knight (Katrina Law) reveals she needs a date to her cousin’s wedding and things get much more complicated and awkward than we expected.

First, the team finds out that Parker was in juvie (for stealing, making Knight’s guess about the reason correct) with the uncle of their prime suspect in a m.u.rder — and the two are still in touch. Billy Doyle (Kevin Chapman) may have once been a big-time Philly gangster, but he has turned his life around, Parker insists. But his nephew, Sean, seems to be a different story … until he, too, is found d.e.ad. Their vi.c.tim, a petty officer, was in the wrong place at the wrong time, looking for possums, and stumbled upon him arguing with their k..il.ler.

Billy is ready to take matters into his own hands, even as Parker tries to convince him to let him get justice the right way. That doesn’t stop Billy from going around asking questions or trying to bribe (and threaten) Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) into letting him see the autopsy report after he follows him to the diner. Parker doesn’t take too kindly to the latter, warning his old friend not to cross a line again. Sean’s on-and-off girlfriend does give them something she doesn’t tell Billy: his backpack, and inside is a pager. That leads them to discover that Sean was working as an informant for the DEA.

His target, Kat Hanna (Ashley Platz), seems like the perfect suspect, and Parker gives Billy a chance to prove Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) right when he sees people can change. Billy does help them track her down, only she has an alibi: She was in Baltimore robbing a jewelry store. But what about the baseball card, from a past robbery, and murder weapon found in her apartment? Someone framed her, she insists. Once forensic scientist Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover) has that gun, the ballistics report reveals it was used in a gas station hold-up 18 years ago — by Billy. Did he kill his nephew because Sean found out he robbed a bank?

“Thick As Thieves” – Parker’s delinquent past resurfaces when NCIS is called to Philadelphia to investigate the death of a Navy petty officer, on the CBS Original series NCIS, Monday, March 14 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Gary Cole as FBI Special Agent Alden Parker and Kevin Chapman as Billy Doyle. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

With that a possibility, Parker gets so angry, he kicks a few dents in his desk, then apologizes for his “unprofessional” behavior. And with Billy MIA, Parker knows exactly where to find him: the church where they used to hide out as kids. But he’s not there because he k.i.lled his nephew. Rather, he found who did: Colin (Braxton Hale), the kid who works in his market (and who, honestly, we had marked as the killer from his first scene).

Sean had stolen from Billy’s market and gone to the apartment upstairs, where Colin is living. He saw the baseball card from the robbery and figured it out, then tried to blackmail Colin. Billy tries to talk Parker into leaving them there, but the agent refuses to let everything he worked for going straight be for nothing. Instead, he’ll shoot Colin, Parker suggests, and say it was self-defense. Billy can’t let him do that for him and gives up his gun. Colin’s a.rr.ested, and Billy thanks Parker for saving him. But he wasn’t really going to shoot him, right? Of course not, Parker tells him.

The event airs March 28. Who’s heading to the island?

Meanwhile, when Knight’s plus one for her cousin’s wedding bails, she tries to find a replacement so she doesn’t have to deal with the questions about why she’s single and hasn’t settled down … or end up at the kids’ table. She looks to Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) first, but he refuses to do the chicken dance. McGee has date night with Delilah. Parker (a weird choice, she notes) will do dead bodies but not wedding DJs.

Torres suggests she ask Palmer, but she hesitates, using his daughter as an excuse (she’s at a sleepover) and then putting it off. What’s the big deal, Torres asks, and that’s what we want to know. Then things get awkward when Knight does ask Palmer. With the house to himself, he planned to dig into a docuseries on the history of documentaries, he says, and she asks him to be her plus one. That’s not weird, right? He says yes, and she calls it a date before clarifying, “not like a date-date, just friends.” He agrees, “Totally.” And we’re left wondering just what is going on here.

Sonja Flemming/CBS

 

McGee and Torres have the same question after witnessing the two meet for the night in the bullpen, both dressed up (see above). “I’m really excited, guys,” Palmer admits before Knight comes over. “It’s been forever since I’ve been on a date. Not that this is really a date, Jess and I are just going as friends, but you know…” But when he sees Knight, Torres has to prompt him to speak. “You look beautiful,” Palmer says, and she in turn tells him, “You look great, too.” As they head out, Torres remarks they look like a “cute couple,” and he and McGee can’t help but wonder…

And so that leads us to our question: What do you think of a potential Palmer/Knight pairing? Let us know in the poll below.