NCIS gave fans a head fake Tuesday night during the blockbuster season finale. The show knew Emily Wickersham was leaving, yet put in a scene where Ellie Bishop was guilting Gibbs for quitting on the team.
The NCIS official Twitter account posted the clip Friday and added “Knowing what we know now — this hits a little different.”
The scene came right after NSA Deputy Director Ronda Ellis convened a Zoom call with NCIS director Leon Vance and Bishop. Ellis revealed that documents found at a gunrunner’s abandoned house contained classified information about a Syrian refugee program.
The last person who had access to the files was Bishop, who worked at NSA before she joined the NCIS team. Vance told Bishop to go home and allow NCIS to clear her name.
Rather Than Go Home, Bishop Confronted Gibbs About Leaving NCIS
Instead of going home, Bishop went to the home of Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and had a strange conversation, in hindsight, with her boss. Gibbs was home, waiting out his suspension for assaulting a suspect (Gibbs assaulted a dog abuser). Yet Bishop confronted him about abandoning the team.
Bishop: “You disappeared without a word.”
Gibbs: “you picked a helluva time to to come at me.”
Then Bishop asked Gibbs “you’re not ever coming back, are you?”
At this point in the NCIS finale, we all thought Bishop was innocent of leaking documents. You never thought she was leaving, did you? But as we learned throughout the show, Bishop was training for a deep undercover job. And she needed to destroy her reputation, publicly, to be believable on her covert assignment. So that’s why she planted the documents at the abandoned house. Torres appeared to figure this out before anyone, but now it’s unclear when Gibbs was clued in to Bishop’s new task.
Towards the end of the NCIS finale, Bishop met again with Gibbs. He told her he was proud of her. She looked at the name of his boat “Rule 91” and asked what it meant. (Gibbs has lots of rules).
Gibbs tells Bishop of Rule 91 “You’re living it. When you decide to walk away, don’t look back.” So obviously, Gibbs knew something about Bishop’s future plans. When did he figure it out.
The show ended with an intense cliffhanger. Gibbs took out his boat for the first time. As he drove across a lake, the boat blew up. But as every fan was saying WOW, GIBBS IS DEAD, the camera gave viewers an overhead look at the boat debris. We see Gibbs’ lifeless body floating in the water. Then he swims away. And scene.
About three hours after the show aired, Emily Wickersham posted on Instagram that she was leaving NCIS. She’d been with the show since season 11. The news stunned NCIS fans, who still were pondering what happened to Gibbs.
Fans Hate to Say Bye to Bishop and Maybe Gibbs
One wrote: “Her constant need to learn more combat skills. Hell, even her footware changed, she went from normal feminine shoes to constantly wearing combat boots. We all saw the change in her, specially when she secretly kept Ziva’s old secret apartment.”
Another wrote: Heartbreaking Ellie would never do this it is just not who she is. Without giving any context as to why other than an ego trip this storyline is so unbelievable. It does not make sense for Gibbs to say he is proud of Bishop for following her gut. She betrayed her country.
Still another NCIS fan posted: “If fans continue to agitate against the writing of our beloved NCIS, we will never get a season 20 … And I would love it, since it would be a very special milestone … Please make it happen, pretty please … I wasn’t happy with so many deaths in s18 + Emily leaving … but pls.”