‘NCIS’: Fans Weigh in on All the ‘Bishop Hate’ Following Emily Wickersham’s Departure

by Suzanne Halliburton

Some NCIS fans feel betrayed. They were invested in the character of Ellie Bishop played by Emily Wickersham. They loved her. And now she’s left them.

Ellie Bishop joined a trend of women leaving NCIS. Caitlin “Kate Todd, played by Sasha Alexander, left the show after 49 episodes. Then fans became enamored with Ziva David (Cote de Pablo). Abby Sciutto (Pauley Perette), the NCIS forensic scientist, dashed at the end of season 15.

And earlier this year, Jacqueline Sloan, an NCIS profiler, left the show. She and Jethro Leroy Gibbs shared a kiss as Sloan opted to stay in Afghanistan.

So you can see why fans feel burned. It’s almost like they’re a bunch of spurned boyfriend/girlfriends. You don’t want to emotionally invest in anyone new. The characters keep changing. But then, there’s always blowback. In this case, there is an entire Reddit discussion entitled “I don’t understand the Bishop hate.”

Bishop’s Sudden Departure Stunned NCIS Fans

First, for a quick recap: In the season 18 finale, Bishop decided to leave NCIS. Viewers didn’t know this, but Bishop had been working with Odette, her handler for a deep undercover assignment, probably with the CIA. She needed to trash her career with NCIS to be believable in this new, still detail-free assignment. So she planted some 10-year-old NSA documents at an abandoned home of an international gun runner. Agents recovered the files. It took a day for the NSA to accuse her of leaking top-secret documents. That’s a prison offense.

Nick Torres, Bishop’s love interest, figured out what was happening and confronted her. Gibbs also seemed to know and gave his approval. After the NCIS finale, Emily Wickersham announced she was leaving the show. Katrina Law, who plays Jessica Knight, likely will be Wickersham’s replacement on the full-time cast.

Show’s Fans Respond to Show Upheaval

“I was excited for her from the beginning, so I never really thought she was annoying, or a replacement,” an NCIS fan wrote. “That’s why I never understood why people didn’t like her.

“Either way, she’s pretty much gone now. The only thing we can do at this point is not hate on Knight so much. She’s barely a character at this point. Give her a few episodes. She might turn out cool.”

Another said: “I actually loved Bishop. She was quirky and crazy smart. Remember when she used to sit on the floor surrounded by files and make insane connections? What I hated was that they seemed to dumb her down, much like they took the special features of Ziva and made her more normal as time went by.”

Still another said: “You probably have a point, as a long time viewer all I can say is: I felt the same way when Ziva joined. She never really fit the gap that was left by Kate in a way that satisfied me. But to each their own.”

After 18 seasons of female cast changes, you could make the point that hell hath no fury like an NCIS fan scorned.