The last time we saw the two characters was in the final few moments of the NCIS season 18 finale. NCIS writers called this episode Rule 91. Gibbs named his boat for one of his rules. And we didn’t know what that rule was until Bishop asked him.
Gibbs told her, “You’re living it. When you decide to walk away, don’t look back.”
So, We Know Bishop Is Walking Away from NCIS Job
Bishop most definitely is walking away. She deliberately tainted her career by planting some high-level NSA documents and getting caught in the security breach. She’s also apparently working with Odette, a deep undercover CIA operative and an associate of Ziva David. In order to take the assignment, she needed to trash her NCIS career. Torres figured out that part.
Wickersham, as Bishop, has been an NCIS regular since season 11. She was former NSA who transitioned to NCIS. And the entire Rule 91 episode lurched between Bishop plotline/big reveals. To open the episode, she shot and killed two gun runners with some nifty, previously unknown, shooting skills. Torres and McGee applauded her ability to slide across the floor and accurately shoot two bad guys. They likened it to “Lara Croft.”
So, NCIS fans definitely know Bishop is going undercover. But will Gibbs be joining her? He already was on suspension and had yet to be reinstated. He seemed to know about Bishop’s next assignment.
Is Gibbs Going Undercover for Serial Killer or With Bishop?
And then there’s this loose end: the episode closed as Gibbs’ boat blew up in a lake. Gibbs still is alive. He was swimming away from the wreckage as the cameras cut away. He’d just named his boat Rule 91, so he’s walking away from something, too. Did he fake his own death to find a serial killer? That plotline doesn’t have many details, although there’s speculation that Marcie, played by Harmon’s wife Pam Dawber, may be a foe and not a friend on the case in season 19.
Harmon may be stepping back from NCIS in season 19 and not be in as many episodes. So his absence can be explained by some faraway undercover assignment.
There’s also a heaping bucket of cold water to throw on the fan theories. Emily Wickersham, who plays Bishop, announced she’s leaving the show. She made the announcement on her Instagram account, hours after the season 18 finale. Wickersham posted a photo of herself as Bishop and said, in part, “Hangin this hat and jacket up. What a great ride it’s been.” Maybe she’s only hanging up the NCIS jacket. Her assignment, on the show, seems to be with the CIA. Maybe she’ll pop by the NCIS office late one night.
In hindsight, NCIS directors were readying for Bishop’s departure when they brought on Katrina Law for the final two episodes. Law plays Jessica Knight, who joined NCIS.
These NCIS theories will keep us guessing throughout the summer. The show won’t be back on until fall.