‘NCIS’: Did Bishop Really Care About Torres?

We’re still processing that NCIS Season 18 finale. One situation lingering in the back of our minds is what went down between Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama). Were Torres and Bishop doomed from the start? Did Bishop ever really care?

Torres will never be the same

Torres was crushed during NCIS Season 18 Episode 16 (titled “Rule 91”). He thought he and Bishop were going to have a relationship, but things took a drastic turn. The look on his face at the end of that episode said it all. His hope for finding true love was crushed. The blow was especially painful considering he recently experienced his father abandoning him for a second time (NCIS Season 18 Episode 12, titled “Sangre”).

During an interview with TV Line, Valderrama says Torres will go back to not trusting people. When he initially arrived at NCIS, he didn’t share much about himself and he was suspicious of most people. However, he began opening up and made his teammates part of his life. After experiencing so much abandonment, Torres will begin to retreat again.

Did Bishop really care about Torres?

We wondered if Bishop was simply flirting with Torres just to pass the time. Was he a fun distraction? Did she know all along she would never settle down and start a relationship? Our take is that Bishop did care for Torres, but she had her sights set on her next career move.

It’s possible Bishop’s divorce made her hesitant to enter another serious relationship. That painful experience likely convinced her to walk away. She also felt she wouldn’t be able to sustain a relationship in addition to working with Odette (Elayne J. Taylor). She felt the new, high-intensity career path she’s on would get in the way of a happy relationship, so she cut her losses and moved on without Torres. Her marriage to Jake Malloy (Jamie Bamber) didn’t last because he had an affair, so she might have been fearful this would happen again.

During a special interview with CBS, late NCIS executive producer Gary Glassberg said he wanted to split up Bishop and her husband was because broken relationships are common among agents in real life. Glassberg said it can be hard for agents to maintain relationships in this industry, so he wanted to bring this reality into the show:

In the real world of federal agents, divorce happens all the time. It’s a very stressful situation, careers go in different directions. We were intrigued by the idea when we originally introduced her that when you’re with an agency like the NSA, unless you’re married to another NSA agent, you can’t talk about what you did at work. If you put her as an NCIS agent and he remains at the NSA, if their careers are all they have in common, then it’s going to start to deteriorate. And that’s something we talked about going all the way back to the creation of this character. [We thought] wouldn’t it be interesting to split them apart and see what happens?

Bishop has been planning her exit since 2017

Torres was becoming suspicious after he saw the improvement in Bishop’s combat skills. When she slid across the floor at the beginning of episode 16 and shot two bad guys, it was clear she was receiving special training off the clock. During NCIS Season 17 Episode 10 (titled “The North Pole”), Bishop was offered an opportunity to train with Odette, a former member of the CIA. Apparently, Bishop took her up on that offer.

At the end of NCIS Season 18, Bishop tells Torres, “I never meant for us to happen.” Unfortunately, Torres wasn’t part of her plans and he ended up getting hurt. Hopefully, he will get over her and find his one true love.

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