For many years, the NCIS team of Ziva and Tony were whom steadfast viewers of the show shipped the most.
That ship sailed after actors Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly both ended up leaving the series, so Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) have become the new couple with a romantic edge.
Some fans aren’t having it, though, thinking that either the show is being derivative, and/or Bishop and Torres aren’t being given the chance to develop. At the same time, there are also signs that the NCIS franchise might be flagging.
What happened with Tony and Ziva?
For several years, the romantic couple on the show were agents Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David, with the pair powering a devoted fanbase. Weatherly had been with the show since its first season, with de Pablo joining in the third season.
However, their romance came to what seemed to be an abrupt end. De Pablo left the show after season 11, and Weatherly too would end up leaving the show after season 13.
That seemed to bring a definitive end to the Ziva/Tony relationship, but fans noted that Ziva’s death occurred offscreen in season 13, so they held out hope that she could return someday. That glimmer of hope became brighter when Bishop found a note from Ziva revealing that she was not actually dead but in hiding to protect her family. It turned out she had a child, with Tony being the father.
Then, Ziva fans were ecstatic when she made a dramatic reappearance in the season 16 finale, Ziva went on to have a recurring role in four episodes of season 17. Fans held out hope for a Ziva/Tony reunion, but this did not materialize, with Weatherly committed to the show Bull. So it fell to Bishop and Torres, who had formed a “will they or won’t they” sort of dynamic.
What do fans say about Bishop and Torres?
According to a Daily Express article from late January, Bishop and Torres were in “won’t they” territory. At the end of the episode “Head of the Snake,” Torres was terrified when Bishop was on a plane rigged to explode. She ended up being OK, and they had what the site called a “passionate embrace,” indicating they’d finally take their relationship to the next level.
That ended up not happening, and fans were not pleased. On Reddit, one said, This last episode is just a discount version of the Tony and Ziva shipping container episode in my opinion.” The season 3 episode ‘Boxed In’ had DiNozzo and David get bolted inside a shipping container by two armed terrorists.
Other viewers agreed this seemed like sloppy seconds. A review of the episode on TV Fanatic said, “It was more of the same, with the pair pretending to be just partners when they could become so much more. Not that they have a boatload of chemistry together, but enough already. Get them together or give them other love interests.”
Is ‘NCIS’ running its course?
While fans are waiting for some steam between Bishop and Torres, it looks like NCIS as a franchise may be losing steam. Reports, such as this one in The Hollywood Reporter, have indicated that Mark Harmon, the central figure of the show, may be leaving NCIS. While this has not been confirmed, the article says, “Sources say when Harmon heard CBS would end the flagship series if he left, the star and exec producer began conversations with the network and producers CBS Studios to return for a handful of episodes if the procedural was to return for a 19th season.”
Even if Harmon were to depart, and the flagship NCIS were to end after a very lengthy run, the franchise would still be up and running. An NCIS Hawaii series is in the works, although NCIS New Orleans will end after seven seasons. NCIS Los Angeles has run for 12 seasons.
If NCIS writers want to get Bishop and Torres together once and for all, they may not have much time to do it.
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