‘NCIS’ Fans Say This Character Has Grown “Less Intelligent” Over Time

Though NCIS is currently the most popular scripted drama on the air – boasting a loyal fanbase spreading diverse demographics– the show isn’t without its flaws. While NCIS has several captivating characters in its ranks – who retain defining quirks and typifying tendencies – not all characters are treated equally (in terms of narrative complexity and logical continuity). 

'NCIS' Cast
‘NCIS’ Cast | Photo by Kevin Lynch/CBS via Getty Images

From the serious and internally conflicted Agent Gibbs to the secondhand man McGee, viewers keep coming back to see what the show holds for its long-term mainstays. However, as for one of the newer additions, viewers feel the writers behind NCIS have dropped the ball.

Pauley Perrette, Michael Weatherly, and Cote de Pablo have all departed the series, going on to explore new opportunities. Though Pablo has returned, her replacement remains in the show.

Though “replacements” are never expected fill the shoes of their predecessors, many fans feel that Emily Wickersham’s character, Eleanor Bishop, got off to a good start, but then grew progressively less inspired. To be more specific, fans argue that her character has lost the intelligence that defined her earlier on.

Why fans feel Eleanor Bishop has grown “less intelligent” with each passing season of ‘NCIS’ 

When Eleanor Bishop first graced the small screen on Tuesday nights, she came onto the scene as the girl capable of putting all the pieces together – the girl who could draw connections between seemingly distant factors. Bishop would sit on the floor with papers surrounding her, and figure it all out. However, those moments have grown rare and few, if not utterly absent. One fan stated:

“I miss her sitting around with her papers around her, figuring stuff out.”

Eleanor Bishop doesn’t seem to be “figuring stuff out” anymore. Since this was the central part of her character, many feel that the writers have wiped her of her brainy appeal. One NCIS enthusiast asked fellow viewers:

“Does it seem that they’ve made Bishop less intelligent over the last few seasons? She was this brilliant NSA analyst and it seems most of those skills have vanished.”

One fan confirmed the above-mentioned viewer’s suspicions, stating:

“She was a brilliant NSA agent and they’ve turned her into just another cop.”

Most fans merely want to see Bishop returned to her original glory. No one ever expected her to rival Ziva; however, when the writers made her disparate from the former Mossad Agent, she grew interesting through contrast. One fan stated:

“I just want to see her sit on the floor sometime. That was her first real quirk I don’t know why they dropped it. When things got tough it’d be cool to see her break it out. Like in any Bishop-centric episode.”

Moving forward, if the writers want viewers to remain interested in Bishop, they should consider bringing back the qualities that defined her from the start, instead of pretending like they never existed.

Will Ziva’s return to ‘NCIS’ help the writers improve Bishop? 

Now that Cote de Pablo is back on NCIS, the writers should be free to write Bishop without looking at her as Ziva’s replacement, or as the one who discovers Ziva is alive. With Ziva back on the show, the writers may be able to award Bishop the attention she deserves. 

Eleanor Bishop needs some fine-tuning to reach her full potential. While focusing on Ziva’s narrative arc will probably take precedence in the following season, the writers should use Ziva’s return to separate the two characters further. They must cut the string attaching the characters, bring unique qualities to Bishop, and return her to the former, inspired character she was at the start (or, at the least, displayed signs of becoming).