Post Mortems
NCIS Recap Bishop Kills Chen

NCIS: Emily Wickersham Mulls Bishop's Fate — and a Promotion for [Spoiler]??

This week on NCIS, Agent Bishop (played by Emily Wickersham) pulled the trigger on her revenge plan against Chen — and along the way, let slip new intel on where things stood with her and boyfriend Qasim at the time of his death.

Working covertly with Reeves, Bishop confronted one of Chen’s couriers, who had heard “whispers” about an attack on the city’s electrical grid. When Gibbs caught wind of Bishop’s rogue investigation, by running into her and Reeves at the same abandoned radio tower that played a role in Chen’s latest scheme, they awkwardly worked together to learn that the plan was to infect diesel-run generates with a virus that would make them explode.

The evidence against Chen, though, was circumstantial, Congresswoman Flemming told NCIS. After she ordered that Chen only be surveyed versus arrested on charges he’d easily beat, Chen showed up at Gibbs’ home to inform him and Bishop that he has been working for the CIA, to help bring in a Syrian warlord. That doesn’t sit well at all with Bishop, so she swaps phones with Flemming and leads Chen to a rendezvous, where she presents him with a “Sophie’s choice”: wait for punishment at the hands of the Syrians she just ratted him out to, or trigger the virus that would explode the generator to which he was cuffed. Chen chose the latter, as Bishop, Gibbs et al watched the building explode from outside.

Afterward, Flemming suggested to Gibbs that it may be time for him to sit in the “big chair,” hinting that (her boyfriend) Vance may not be Director for much longer. Bishop then arrived, expecting a fierce lashing from Gibbs — though, she argued, she did what he himself would have done. Boss quietly-but-sternly warned, “Each time you go rogue, there’s a price to pay — and it isn’t cheap.” Before leaving, Bishop left with Gibbs a greeting card she was going to give Qasim on the day he died (and which she needed to stop looking at). In it, she answered “yes” to the marriage proposal he had made after 104 dates, as seen in new flashbacks.

TVLine invited Emily Wickersham to reflect on Bishop’s rule-breaking ways, where things stand with Gibbs and a possible change at the top of the NCIS totem pole.

TVLINE | When you get a script like this and see all the crazy stuff Bishop is up to, do you stop and flip to the end to see if she still has a job? Because when that radio tower blew up, I was like, “She is so fired.”
[Laughs] Exactly! “Am I being let go?? What’s happening??” I was so excited about this script because it’s fun when you get a meaty episode that is focused on your character — and in particular, in this one, getting to go after Chen. But my favorite part was being able to explore and show the audience Bishop’s relationship with Qasim. That was really cool.

TVLINE | I have to NCIS Bishop Kills Chenadmit that when I was pitched this post mortem on Bishop’s revenge scheme, I thought to myself, “Um, how long was she dating this guy? That she is driven to avenge him?” But then these flashbacks showed us there was so much more going on.
I felt the same way. I always love my scenes with Rafi Silver, who plays Qasim, and I was so bummed when I read that he was getting killed. I was like, “I wish that we had explored that relationship more, that the fans could see what was really there.” So I was so happy when this episode came along, that we could see the evolution of their relationship and why she does what she does.

TVLINE | Gibbs warned Bishop that there’s “a price to pay” for going rogue. Will we see what she did weigh on her?
I’m so curious about that myself, because at the end of the episode there’s this mutual understanding between Bishop and Gibbs. The thing is that Gibbs would have done the same thing, even though it wasn’t “right” or abiding by the rules. So I’m sure it will weigh on her internally, emotionally and all that. But I’m kind of curious if work-wise there are consequences.

TVLINE | I was expecting something worse, a bit more heated, from Gibbs — though what he came back with was pretty damning, especially the way that Mark Harmon delivered it, where he takes that beat and then quietly, sternly tells you how it’s going to be.
Bishops and Gibbs have such an interesting relationship, because her really believes in her, and to her, he is the ultimate mentor, so obviously his opinion means a lot. She knows she did the wrong thing, that she let him down, but she also knows he would have dome the same thing. And because of that there’s this weird moment between them where it’s like, “OK, I see you.” And you don’t know where it’s going to go after that.

TVLINE | All told, what do you think of Bishop’s evolution these past few years? We met her as this numbers nerd sitting on the floor, now she’s skulking around corners, waving a gun….
It’s funny, my first episode popped up on TV recently, and it was so interesting because the character really is pretty different. Over these past few seasons, they have really given Bishop a lot to do, and we’ve seen her grow, a lot. She’s learned so much at work, she has gone through relationship things — death, cheating, all of this stuff. For me, it all adds to the character and makes her so much more fun to play.

TVLINE | Lastly,NCIS Flemming Vance what can you say about the episode’s other big moment, the one that Ellie walked in — where Flemming was hinting to Gibbs that it may be time for him to sit in the “big chair”?
When we got to that moment at the table read, I was like, “Wait, what? Hold up….” We all kind of turned to each other. It was like a little tiny thing, but it was a big drop, so I am super-curious about that, because that would be a big deal, and a big shift.

TVLINE | But you haven’t seen that topic revisited in any scripts since…?
Nothing since — but I will keep my eyes peeled for you.

TVLINE | Hmm, that just makes writing my headline a bit tougher. I can’t really say “Emily Wickersham Talks About Gibbs’ Possible Job Change” if….
Well, there is always the possibility of change at NCIS. How’s that? [Laughs]

Want more scoop on NCIS, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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48 Comments
  1. Ellen says:

    Why can’t we have shows with enough light you can see the cast? Tired of shows filmed in twilight.

  2. JoAnn Moss says:

    A lot of tidbits were dropped, reminiscent of early NCIS, that might go somewhere — and might not. I really enjoyed this one and have to admit, after watching the promos, that Bishop might be burning her bridges. I have grown to like her a lot and would like for her to be around till the end. That suggestion from the Congresswoman was a shocker. Is she double crossing Vance or thinking of him moving to SecNav ? Personally, I think that was just a writer’s tease! I agree that’s Mark Harmon’s quiet delivery at the end was much more effective than a chewing out ! Brilliantly played!

  3. suzi says:

    I’ve always liked Bishop, and I’m glad she’s getting some decent story lines, but the accelerated romance with Qasim seemed forced. As far as Gibbs in the big chair, he never wanted it before, and I’m not so sure he would now.

    • Really!? says:

      Bishop still does not fit in. And, she was totally wrong in this episode.

    • suzi says:

      It’s amazing to me how many posters confuse their opinion with fact. Some like the character, some don’t–neither “side” is right or wrong. As far as her choices,
      once Gibbs got away with killing Pedro Hernandez, the rules changed for everyone.

  4. Mark says:

    Why did they ever add Bishop to this show?. She’s the most boring idiotic character NCIS has ever had. The whole thing went down hill when the Killed off Mike Franks. Losing Cote De Pablo was unavoidable but picking Bishop as a emplacement has been a disaster.

      • Eyerollcommencing says:

        Funny, I TOTALLY DISAGREE! Her character has grown and she is doing a great job. However, to a certain group, (and you know who you are), every time she is highlighted in a story or even mentioned, the same usual suspects are front and center, b*tching and whining about her. Have to say, now you are just looking pathetic, slow hand clap to you all–we get it. Any person put in after Zeva the Wonder Spy would be getting the same treatment–get a freaking grip. SMDH

        • Oh really? I hate Bishop. She is a useless character. I’m not a Ziva fan, but at least her character had more likable traits than Bishop. From the first moment she was introduced I couldn’t stand the way she was written.
          I’m even struggling to watch this latest season because the new characters just don’t mesh. It’s time to end the show imho before it drags on too long.

          • Not happening. The show was renewed for two years last year, and given the current ratings it’s getting, it’ll go through next season as well. As long as it stays in the Top 20 in the ratings, it’ll stick around.

          • Considering I know lots of people who have stopped watching I would take those ratings with a pinch of salt.

  5. Chloe says:

    I’ve always liked Bishop but after her actions in tonight’s episode, I think she deserves to be fired. And even though they tried to suck us into liking Qasim & being fans of their relationship, I didn’t buy into it. I think he was rather a bore & while I would never wish a real person dead, I’m glad this not real character is gone.

  6. Jeanne says:

    Just as always no reprimand or anything. How do they all get away with murder. As far as Gibbs he isn’t Gibbs anymore. He hasn’t been in a long time. The old reruns on USA are much better in acting, and storylines.

  7. At last an opportunity to test the credibility of the show; most have been plausible or even in the fringes of gray areas of acceptable, however, Bishop, regardless of her motives or intentions, in the real world would be canned after being suspended and investigated.

  8. Cordell says:

    I question if some of you who claim that this show suck even watch it. I see the same folks complaining week after week and when I click on other articles about other shows I see the same names over and over again. If the show sucked so bad it would not be on for 14 seasons. So half the things I see you guys post and complain about, I ignore. I think a lot of you complain just to complain

  9. Really!? says:

    I figured at some point in the next couple of seasons that Gibbs would at least be asked if he were interesting in being Director. However, now is not the time with the team having so many new members and Tony now gone. AND, I do not trust Flemming one bit.

  10. mehstry says:

    I thought that the season started out weak, however, for me, 3 of the last 4 show have been great. That being said, I wish to address the constant complainers. Get over it. Nobody and I mean nobody loved Zeva more than I did. I was so disappointed in Ellie at first, that I just wanted to stop watching. But I love NCIS, I hung in there, and at the moment, very happy with the show, and Ellie. Seems to be the same group of whiners, complaining about her all the time. It is time to get over it. Ellie has shown lots of growth, but you folks will not give her credit. I read a few weeks ago, when someone wrote that they hated her eyebrows. WHAT!!! Reminds me of several years ago, when some wrote they hated Ziva’s widows peak. Do you silly critics just sit around looking for something to complain about?
    Next, about Gibbs taking over, and those who say that he never wanted the job, why would he want it now. It seems to me that over the last couple of seasons, we have seen Gibbs begin to slay the demons that haunt him. With the help of Cyril Taft, and I forget the lady shrink, that came after him. Plus Mike Franks ghost, (remember this is a TV show) So Gibbs has done some healing, and he has grown. Remember, he has always been a mentor, and a father figure to those who work with him. He will do fine in the directors chair

    • Paige says:

      Gibbs has said many times over the years he does not want to be the director. He loathes the politics of it all. It’s been a point of discussion with every NCIS director too. The show would have to go a looong way to un-ring that bell to make it remotely believable that’s a position for Gibbs and that he wants to sit in that chair. From a show business perspective, it makes sense to move Mark into that role to cut back his hours, but still keep him tied to the show, but to date it goes against cannon of the last 13 1/2 seasons.

      On a side note, the same darn dogs bark eveytime there are scenes at Gibb’s house. It’s got to be the oldest and loudest dog ever.

      • Andrew Hass says:

        Even though Gibbs may not want to be NCIS director this could make him start wondering about his career and what will happen when he does have to give up field work.So maybe Gibbs won’t be director but maybe he moves into another position at NCIS where he still can do what he loves to do.

  11. jj says:

    The only thing I am interested in Bishop is her death. She totally ruined NCIS. Her character is dreadful.

    • Eyerollcommencing says:

      Don’t you ever stop? You’ve been whining since she started. If she is so “dreadful”, why do you still watch? Are you into self-abuse? Must be, you never shut up about it…

  12. KLS says:

    I thought midway through they were going to kill off Bishop, right when they finally gave her something to do! Now that Chen is gone, can we send Reeves home?

  13. Sam Curitiba says:

    Bishop has grown on me and I think she fits in well with the familiar old characters. She’s intelligent and complements McGee. However, bringing in three new characters this season has bombed. There is NO REPLACEMENT for DiNozo, so the smart-ass mouthed female (who played the same personality on BLUE BLOODS) isn’t credible as a brainiac former intelligence instructor. She doesn’t “click” with any of the other characters, and the new Tony substitute doesn’t add anything but a level of stupidity in his character. McGee looks at him as if he were a fly on the wall he wants to swat. The ONLY new face that has a unique perspective and whose personality is unique yet meshes well with the other old characters is the British M16 agent. The problem with the other two new characters is a lack of intelligence in their comments and interactions with the veterans. I would hope NCIS in reality is noted for intelligence and professionalism.

  14. Cat says:

    Bishop giving Gibbs’ the card she had intended for Qasim was pure manipulation to keep her job. I liked Bishop, and supported her addition to the team, when she first arrived as someone who had her own quirks (sitting on the floor to work; being overly analytical, etc). Then they took away those quirks and made her totally manipulative…first with finding out what her husband’s “classified” mission was…then trying to manipulate Tony’s Dad into giving her the apartment…then manipulating Reeves into helping her with Chen…then trying to save her job with the card (which looked like it was brand new and just thrown together to sway Gibbs; if she had intended it for Qasim wouldn’t it have been more careworn and tear-stained???)…my hope is that Gibbs will fire her (not likely) or send her back to NSA to be NCIS’s liaison there so we don’t have to see her again.

  15. ginny says:

    I have never cared for the Bishop character. To this day, this character is off. I continue to watch the show for the other characters. It would not bother me at all if the Bishop character were to leave the show.

    • BM says:

      I think Bishop is suffering from the fact that she had to replace Ziva. I’m not a fan of her character myself, but I think that is in part due to the fact that TPTB probably wanted a character that was totally different from Ziva/the opposite. That is what Bishop was when they introduced her but it also seems that the character didn’t inspire. She seems rather bland in comparison with other characters and I don’t see a straight line with her. I think if they had allowed her to stay more of the analytical person, it would have benefited the character.
      No one on the show had to “get rid of their past” – Ziva was always a little bit Mossad, Tony was always Tony, Gibbs always has the Marine in him and McGee is still the computer specialist. But once Bishop became an NCIS agent, the analyst was gone and I think that was a mistake.

      • Chloe says:

        You’re certainly right in that she suffers from replacing Ziva. The diehard Ziva fans will never give her a chance. All they do is complain about Ziva leaving & talk about making her come back to the show [as if you can force any person to return to a job they’ve chosen to leave]. I like Bishop but after her actions in last night’s episode, realistically, she should be fired.

  16. Cindy says:

    NCIS is what it is…..I still watch it, but there are so many new characters that there is no time for any of them to have significant exposure each week. I am wondering if Gibbs will take the Director’s position by the end of the season, because that would free Mark Harmon up from being front and center on each show. I know he is getting older and maybe just wanting to fade out and just take part in the directing. He is also involved with NCIS: New Orleans. I dearly miss the show the way it was, but sadly, time does move on.

  17. Andrew Hass says:

    I do wonder if this will lead to Bishop’s exit as the season progresses and maybe it’ll be her choice to leave because she may want a fresh start and not be reminded of things that happened on a daily basis.As for Gibbs, i do wonder if and when NCIS ends he becomes the director and McGee becomes a team boss with Vance becoming SecNav.That way the series ends with the three of them in new places.

  18. nancy says:

    Loved it! And love seeing where a character lives, gives you a glimpse into them. Her cute apartment with all the little touches, very homey…

  19. Chinyere says:

    NCIS is now very boring without “the very special agent” Tony D’Nozzo. (Spelt wrong, I know) He was the spice or seasoning of the show. Please, work out ways of bringing him back, even as a special guest, I don’t mind. I actually fell asleep, in the history of NCIS, I’ve never done so. Just shows how bored I was watching it.

    • tomus225 says:

      Sry, but I haven’t missed Tony the character. It was time for him to grow up. I do miss Gibbs not being on screen as much!

      • Chinyere says:

        Yes, Tony might be childish but he spices the show up. Even in serious matters, he still makes me laugh. These new characters are so boring, so much so that I fall asleep. There’s no zest in the show any more.

  20. T Ackerman says:

    So….does this mean they might be finally getting rid of Bishop?

  21. Don’t think Gibbs will become director. He’s not even an Asst. Director, so he’d be jumping at least one level of management. And it doesn’t even appear he’s the boss of the office; where are the rest of the agents in the DC office?
    He may be a very senior field agent, but he’s not a chief of the office.

  22. jane says:

    Whatever they do on NCIS just get Bishop off the show. Getting really tired of her. This last show on Tuesday was really boring with her in it. Her character is dumb and she is a really bad actress. She brings everyone down to her level. She might be better in something else, but not in NCIS. She can’t do drama. The new lady, from Blue Bloods is good, the new guy ify. You need to get the cast right or afraid the show will go down. Sure don’t want to lose the rest of the cast. They are great!!!!!

  23. Nina Trawick says:

    NCIS is the best. Never miss it. Also ever miss NCIS New Orleans. It is great. Michael Weatherly is good in Bull. Tuesday night on CBS is my favorite tv night!

  24. Nina says:

    Gibbs hold the story together always. Can’t do without him!!!

  25. Grundoon says:

    I used to look forward to this show ever since it morphed out of JAG. Now, not so much. New characters, tired of Abby going “Gibbs,Gibbs,Gibbs” etc. I have ignored the fact that NCIS doesn’t have jurisdiction over most of their cases, but know it was needed to make a show run.
    I’m burnt out and think the show is too.

  26. Carla Walters says:

    NCIS I have always loved the way they were like a family. Gibbs always being like a father orson.either.they were close worked very well with each other.Abby is the one who holds everyone She is the only one Gibbbs lets hug him on regular basis in fact she hugs everyone.Ducky is like Gibbs father figure. And I love his character I wish we could have seen Ellie and Qasim relationship develop. Besides work,the difficulties getting certain people to understand their love.bridging prejudices,creating understanding,compassion in a world of hate. That would have been interesting .this was too short. Just a tease,but I would have felt like Ellie just not to the level she took.you may think it but not act it out.but I understand it. Ziva did it after murder of her sister,turning of her brother,death of mother and father. And herprotection of her and tony baby girl. Gibbs because of his family.and his FBI friend killing the man who killed his family. Totally understandable. Tim MaGee is find his place as Tony’s replacement. Give him a chance. It took time for Mr. Palmer to find his place. Everyone needs a chance,they all have something to offer. And you are right I think the directors girlfriend wants his job. I do not like her character. But l love this show.

    • Chinyere says:

      For me, the show has lost it’s vavavoom, since Tony left. The light has completely gone out. I would like to know what the ratings are now compared to when Tony was in it. I’m sure I’m not the only person that feels this way. I used to look forward to Fridays, to watch NCIS, but now, I tend to fall asleep watching it. I really don’t know what last Friday’s episode was about. Yes it’s that bad.