Bishop’s Evolution Is Just Getting Started on ‘NCIS’ With Her Major Spring Cleaning

NCIS Season 17 Episode 17 Bishop Odette Training
Spoiler Alert
Eddy Chen/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 17, Episode 17 of NCIS, “In a Nutshell.”]

If it doesn’t spark joy, the agents are supposed to donate it. That’s the agreement the NCIS team makes in Tuesday’s episode, but for some, that’s easier said than done. While McGee (Sean Murray) has a hard time letting go of the past, Bishop’s (Emily Wickersham) willingness to give away even her favorite things raises eyebrows.

She not only comes into work carrying two large bags with her, she also has five more loads in her car. “I no longer have room in my life for things that don’t bring me joy,” she offers as an explanation. But the team’s worried about what Jack (Maria Bello) calls her “major urge to purge.”

“I’m simplifying,” Bishop says, insisting there isn’t something more to it. And when Gibbs (Mark Harmon) doesn’t say anything, she’s the one to stop the elevator and freely offer an explanation, citing exactly what executive producer Steven D. Binder teased would come up this season. “They are just things that I don’t need anymore,” she says. “People evolve, and I’m not the same person I was when I first started.”

Mark Harmon Emily Wickersham NCIS Season 17 Episode 17 Gibbs Bishp

(Eddy Chen/CBS)

But Gibbs doesn’t necessarily agree with how she’s going about it. “You gotta evolve,” he agrees, but adds, “you can’t erase it all.” And that means not giving away everything, so he gives her her hat to hang onto, clearly representing a piece of herself.

It’s only after he’s left that we get a hint about what’s behind this transformation of Bishop’s. Odette (Elayn J. Taylor) texts her two simple words: “Tomorrow. 6am.”

In the fall finale, ex-CIA instructor Odette (also known as Ziva’s landlord) was evaluating Bishop while helping her tenant/friend. “It took a lot of guts to walk away from me with that drive,” she remarked. “I see a certain promise in you, Agent Bishop. I’d like to offer you some specialized training, if you’d be interested.”

Clearly Bishop has taken Odette up on that offer, and it’s very possible that this major cleanse by the NCIS agent is her new mentor’s idea.

“Odette sees a lot in Bishop that she saw in Ziva, this bright young human who has great potential,” executive producer Frank Cardea explained. “She’s hoping to become a mentor to her just like she was with Ziva.”

“Ziva had the benefit of growing up in a family whose father was Israeli military veteran and Mossad agent, so the skills she had were dug out at an early age,” Binder added. “Bishop grew up on a farm in Oklahoma and her career took her as an analyst to the NSA. She’s come a little late to this superhero crime fighting world, but better late than never.”

Emily Wickersham NCIS Season 17 Episode 17 Bishop

(Eddy Chen/CBS)

Whatever the case may be, whether Bishop’s purge was her or Odette’s idea, it’s likely this won’t be the last time her behavior sparks concern from her teammates. After all, this is clearly changing her and she’s trying to let go of her past (and her former self) in somewhat of an extreme way at the moment.

We’ll have to wait and see just what that means for Bishop as an agent going forward, but one thing’s for sure: she’s definitely not going to be the same woman the team met sitting on the floor by the time she’s finished with that training from Odette.

NCIS, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS