The introduction of NSA analyst Ellie Bishop was not what I expected — and I mean that in a good way.
Why? Well, let’s dig into the episode and hopefully I can explain.
Bishop was called in after the SecNav discovered a bug hidden in a pen, a scenario similar to one she had once written about in a report for NSA. Now, I won’t go so far as to describe Bishop as a “reclusive data freak,” as her co-worker referred to her. But I will call her unconventional. She sits on the floor to work, remembers things using food associations, and can retain almost everything she reads. It was also established pretty early on that she’s a bit of a lone wolf, a quality that would come back and bite her in the butt later on, when she went after a lead on her own and almost made them lose the suspect.
Largely, though, she proved herself an asset, especially when it came time to interrogate a suspect they had nabbed. In that pretty great scene, she made the suspect believe she was his lawyer without introducing herself as one; thus, he foolishly ‘fessed up to everything. Like McGee, I am unsure if such a thing would hold up in court, but kudos for cleverness, Bishop. (Side note: She was also a talented artist, which reminded Abby of Kate. The mere mention of Kate’s name brought a smile to my face.)
But Bishop wasn’t just the in-control genius in the episode, and I was glad for that. Painting her as too perfect would have made for a pretty dreadful intro, in my opinion. I like my heroes with a side of flaws, and we did get to see Bishop’s slightly unhinged side after her co-worker was killed, a moment that also led to a nice scene in which the team sort of rallies around her in support. (I awww’d when Tony and McGee gave her money so she could buy a soda.) Even Gibbs, it turns out, had a bit of a soft spot for her, too.
At the end, the gang caught the perp, who turned out a guy who had bitter feelings over the appointment of a SecNav who didn’t have any military experience. And once it was all over, Bishop approached Gibbs to apologize for some of her Team of One behavior. That’s when it was revealed that Bishop had once applied for a position at NCIS years ago before joining the NSA — and Gibbs had known that all along. “I wanted to see if you were still up for a challenge,” he told her of the test. “I’d like to keep you around.” I particularly loved this scene because it showed not only that NCIS was a long-time ambition of hers, but that she still has things to learn from the experience of working with the team.
So Bishop is now on a joint duty assignment, sticking around for a while, I assume. No doubt in due time we’ll learn more about her life in Oklahoma, her three brothers, and that ring on her finger. And I’m looking forward to that.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
With a name and a mustache like that, I’m shocked. — Tony, re: a suspect
“She pulled a Palmer” — Tony after Bishop hit a suspect with the car. (Technically, he ran into it.)