‘NCIS’: Nick Torres Faces Dark Past and Vows to Get Himself ‘Right’

NCIS gives us a deeper look at Nick Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama) and the heavy burden he’s been carrying for years. During a recent episode, Nick’s past comes back to haunt him, and we get to see how he’s been coping. Here’s what happened last time on NCIS.

Nick Torres wrestles with his past during ‘NCIS’ Season 19 Episode 18

Wilmer Valderrama sits down and looks sad as he plays Nick Torres on NCIS.
Wilmer Valderrama as Special Agent Nicholas Nick Torres. | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

During NCIS Season 19 Episode 18 (titled “Last Dance”), Torres must face demons from his past (Valderrama once said Torres will go back to who he was). One situation that had weighed heavily on him for years was abandoning a woman he dated (Maria) while undercover as Carlos Salazar.

Maria was the cousin of a criminal (Raymundo Diaz) that he put in prison. However, Diaz was released from prison after bribing the guards with $1 million. Once he was out, he came looking for Torres so that he could kill him.

Torres lived for many years with guilt about leaving Maria behind. He promised her they would both enter witness protection and live happily ever after, but that was a lie. He only told her that so she would give up Diaz and have him put in jail. Torres went on with his life as an NCIS agent, but he was haunted by guilt.

Nick Torres seeks help from Dr. Grace

Torres likes to handle things alone, but he soon realizes it’s time to seek professional help so he can sort through his feelings. Torres talks to staff psychologist Grace Confalone (here’s who plays Dr. Grace) about his struggles. In addition to guilt about Maria, he’s also feeling a sense of loss because his father abandoned him as a child. He reunited with his father years later as an adult, but his father ended up abandoning him again. Nick is also still processing Bishop’s abandonment and Gibbs’ retirement.

At first, Nick asks Dr. Grace for all the answers, but she tells him she doesn’t have the answers. All she can do is point him in the right direction and help him find his way. Toward the end of the episode, Nick happily reports that he was able to mend fences with Maria. He says it was one less person weighing down his emotional “backpack.”

Dr. Grace lets Torres know he deserves love in his life, but Torres doesn’t feel he’s deserving yet. He says he wants to get himself “right” before he pursues another romantic relationship. He says he will do that by “facing his demons head-on” and “becoming the man he wants to be.”

What happened the week before on ‘NCIS’

NCIS Season 19 Episode 17 (titled “Starting Over”) focuses on a man who fell from a roof after a scuffle with his wife. The wife discovered he had another family, and they got into an altercation. This death was tough for Knight (here’s who plays Agent Jessica Knight) and Palmer (played by Brian Dietzen) because he attended their grief group. He lost a friend in combat.

What to expect in the next ‘NCIS’ episode

NCIS Season 19 Episode 18 (titled “The Brat Pack”) focuses on an investigation into a group of teenagers after a series of break-ins at Quantico. Agent McGee (played by Sean Murray) gets close to one of the teens during the case.

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