NCIS has been on the air for 17 seasons and counting. Thus, many of the show’s once integral characters have since departed the series, going on to explore new opportunities. Michael Weatherly now stars in his own CBS procedural Bull. Yet, his NCIS character Anthony DiNozzo boasted a mentor-mentee dynamic with Gibbs and a slow-boiling, edge-of-your-seat romance with Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David.
As for Ziva David, Cote de Pablo recently returned, yet her initial departure left quite the empty space for the writers to fill; her loyal-to-a-fault personality and father-daughter relationship with Gibbs was at the heart of the show. And finally, Pauley Perrette’s Abby Sciuto brought a needed levity to the series. Using forensic science to help bust the bad guys from the lab, she received forehead kisses from Gibbs as she excitedly saved the day in gothic attire. Since leaving the show, each of these cast members have been replaced.
Today, Wilmer Valderrama portrays Agent Torres, stepping into Michael Weatherly’s role, while Emily Wickersham portrays Agent Bishop (in place of Ziva David). More recently, Diona Reasonover stepped in as the new Chief Forensic Scientist, Kasie Hines. Yet, which replacement is the best? Let’s start with the worst replacement and work toward the best.
3. Agent Torres often feels like a less satisfying version of DiNozzo
When replacing a character, the writers must be sure to avoid direct mimicry. Otherwise, viewers will endlessly compare back to the prior character. While Torres isn’t exactly like DiNozzo, he is a sweet-talking man who is also falling for his field partner. Not to mention, he can be a bit arrogant and self-assured; yet, it’s not as humorous as it was with DiNozzo. The cocksure attitude feels more forced and hypermasculine (adhering to an uninspired, crime drama formula). He’s good looking, so the writers decided his entire persona must align with such? He can be more than the muscly man who is a bit too cool for school.
2. Agent Bishop had potential…at first
Agent Bishop came onto the scene nothing like Ziva David. She had her own quirks and talents; she spread evidence out on the floor around her, sitting in the middle as she strived to put the puzzle pieces together. She was intelligent and clever — with shticks and tendencies that had the potential to become traits and qualities.
As time went on, the writers downplayed Bishop’s individuality. She became another agent who could kick butt on the field and get the job done. They seemed to lose sight of the character — they seemed unable to sculpt the foundation they had built into something original and long-lasting.
1. Kasie Hines is the least of all evils
Kasie Hines is nothing like Abby Sciuto, which is a win for the series. Replacing Abby Sciuto — a character who was so unique and so original — required a complete change of pace. And, the writers did just that. Kasie Hines often has some one-liners tucked up her sleeve, and she seems to step out of the lab a bit more often than her predecessor. She has a different style and a different way of carrying herself.