Why the ‘NCIS’ Season 18 Finale Might Not Be the Last We See of Bishop

Ellie Bishop Emily Wickersham NCIS Season 18
Bill Inoshita/CBS

NCIS has said goodbye to more than a few cast members of the years, and Emily Wickersham was the latest to depart, with her character, Special Agent Ellie Bishop, setting off for locations unknown in the Season 18 finale. However, since Bishop is still alive, there’s always the possibility that she could return.

“Rule 91” served as the culmination of a storyline that started for Bishop in Season 17, when ex-CIA instructor Odette (Elayn J. Taylor), also known as Ziva’s (Cote de Pablo) landlord for that secret office of hers, offered her “specialized training.” Since then, her behavior began to change, with her teammates taking notice. For example, in Season 17’s “In a Nutshell,” she had a “major urge to purge” instead of regular spring cleaning. And in Season 18, the entire team noticed how much Bishop had changed, especially after a Lara Croft-like move, sliding across the floor and taking out two arms dealers with two bullets to their chests in the finale.

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The answer may be quite simple, if you spotted the clues in 'Rule 91.'

Then, to her team’s surprise, Bishop not only was accused of leaking NSA files but also confessed to doing so, claiming she didn’t agree with a program 10 years ago. However, it became clear that something else was going on when the arms dealer supposedly in possession of said files had no idea what they were. As Special Agent Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) pieced together, it all traced back to Odette. She was the one to plant the files, all part of establishing Bishop’s cover as a disgraced NCIS agent. We don’t know much else, other than she’ll be gone “too long,” and that‘s why she and Torres aren’t happening.

Following the finale, Wickersham confirmed her exit from the CBS drama, which she joined in Season 11. “Hangin’ this hat and jacket up. What a great ride it’s been,” she wrote alongside photos from the set.

But it’s easy to already see a few possibilities for how Bishop could pop up again for a guest spot at some point before the series ends. Her undercover work could somehow cross with one of the team’s cases. She could finish her assignment, decide not to return to NCIS, but her expertise on something is needed for an investigation. Bishop and Torres could finally get together (off-screen), and she could join him for some big event in the series finale (whenever it may be).

NCIS Season 18 Finale Bishop Torres Ellick

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Let’s just hope NCIS doesn’t kill her off-screen on this assignment. But hey, even if that happens, as proven with Ziva, that could always be reversed.

NCIS, Season 19, Fall 2021, CBS