'NCIS' Is Going All in on Comparing Bishop & Torres to Tiva

Meredith Jacobs
Spoiler Alert Monty Brinton/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 17, Episode 7 of NCIS, "No Vacancy."]

If it walks like an office romance and talks like an office romance, it's Tiva 2.0 on NCIS.

The CBS drama continues to flirt with going there with Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) just as the two continue to toe the line of friends and partners and more. Even their dates notice in "No Vacancy." Yes, their dates, because the two end up in the cliché double-date scenario.

At the end of "Institutionalized," Torres told Bishop he'd been seeing someone "older, mature," for a few weeks ("six months in Torres years," she remarked). And going by the Torres timeline, Episode 7 is the perfect time for him to meet her family, specifically, her son, Ricky. The only problem is he's envisioning a kid since she said he's off "at camp" and buys him toys. But when Ricky shows up to introduce himself, he's Marine Staff Sergeant Richard Devol, and he's been at Camp Pendleton.

While this first meeting is a bit awkward — Ducky (David McCallum) walks over with coloring books — Richard does hit it off with Bishop. They run into Torres and Elena while out for dinner, and of course they decide to sit together.

Bishop and Torres whisper back and forth behind their menus about who's too young for whom, then Bishop gives the worst fake laugh in the history of the show at Richard's joke. Torres retaliates by mocking her laugh, cuing up the inevitable "how long have the two of you worked together?" question from Elena.

(Monty Brinton/CBS)

Fortunately for everyone, work calls, which means Bishop and Torres can continue to dance around their flirtation and talk to each other and their coworkers about how there's definitely nothing going on between them. "I don't care who you date, just like you don't care who I date," Torres tells Bishop with a ridiculously long pause before confirming, "Right?" She agrees, making them both lying liars who lie horribly.

"This is exactly why we have that rule: You never date a coworker" (or go on a double date with one), Palmer (Brian Dietzen) informs Torres. "The line between personal and professional can sometimes be tricky. After Tony and Ziva, we all learned that lesson big time. ... It started off great. They were constantly flirting, constantly fighting, too." Sound familiar, Torres?

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The next inevitable moment comes at the end of the episode, as Bishop and Torres share that Richard and Elena are both out of their lives. (He returned to Pendleton, she dumped Torres.) They agree that Torres was just being "overprotective" about Richard, with Torres going so far as to tell her, "You're like a sister to me." And then they go out for burgers, ready to hit the reset button until the next time one of them starts dating and we start this cycle all over again.

And it's a dance that's so very familiar to NCIS fans who watched Tony and Ziva take years to get together. Ziva even told Torres, "tell her how you feel," when she was around in the second episode of the season, and that was enough to distract him during their fake fight.

(CBS)

Is it just a coincidence that this episode — and the tease of that letter Torres wrote to Bishop while under hypnosis — comes as the series gears up for Ziva's return in the December 17 and January 7 episodes? Or might we see more comparisons made between the two office romances?

NCIS, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS