Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop is played by Emily Wickersham
|Occupation / Title:||Probationary Special Agent, NCIS|
|Personality Type:||Eidetic memory|
|Endearing Trait(s):||Speaks her mind|
|FAMILY MEMBERS:||Jake (husband)|
Mother, 3 brothers
- Backstory items revealed in 11.09 Gut Check, 11.11 Homesick, 11.14 Monsters and Men:
Bishop was raised in Oklahoma and has three brothers. After graduating from college, Bishop applied for jobs at NCIS and the NSA (among others), eventually choosing NSA. She was assigned as a Preemptive Terror Analyst stationed in the Middle East, tasked with identifying those that would become dangerous terrorists. Benham Parsa was one; she saw a small boy filled with anger at the loss of his non-combatant parents, a boy that caused pain in others to match his own pain, a boy filled with loneliness.
As Parsa developed into the terrorist that she predicted, she continued to study him for years and eventually became intrigued by "the man, not the monster". Her NSA supervisors removed her from the Parsa case for her own good and (among other things) tasked her with imagining potential threats, the ways in which those threats could be used against the United States, and possible counter-measures to the threats. She would describe her results in papers that would be reviewed, published and distributed throughout the intelligence community.
One such imagined threat was a small voice-recording device disguised as an every-day object (such as a pen) that was planted on a senior government official. One of the potential uses was blackmail, with the eavesdropper threatening to expose government secrets if certain actions were not taken. Bishop's paper on this threat was eventually located by DiNozzo after exactly that situation played out: MTAC's security systems detected that SecNav Porter was unwittingly using a common pen that contained a sophisticated eavesdropping device.
Seeking more information, Gibbs found the author of the analysis (Bishop), brought her to NCIS to assist with the investigation and subsequently offered her a "Joint Duty Assignment" to NCIS while the team pursued Benham Parsa. After Parsa was captured (and subsequently killed by Gibbs a moment before Parsa would have killed Bishop), Gibbs offered Bishop a probationary position at NCIS as an agent.
- Although Bishop was previously received firearms training through the NSA, her FLETC firearms evaluation included "the alley": a narrow course that features cardboard cutouts of people suddenly appearing. Some of the cutouts are threats (in one case, a man holding a knife to a woman's throat) while others are more innocent (a mother holding a swaddled baby low in her arms.) The challenge is to correctly identify and fire upon the dangers while leaving the innocent unharmed. Bishop mistakenly shot the mother with the baby, thinking that the swaddling clothes looked wrappings that were hiding a gun aimed at her. This error preys on Bishop's mind: the solitude and urgency of the decisions in the alley bothers her, and she wonders what it would be like to intentionally shoot someone. Even so, at the conclusion of 11.15 Bulletproof she doesn't hesitate to take part in a ferocious gun battle.
- Bishop appears to constantly evaluate herself and her decisions -- not necessarily to berate herself over her failures, but to proactively find ways to improve herself. For example, she studies the 600-page Medical Examiner's Handbook before making a voluntarily visiting to Autopsy to familiarize herself with "actual dead people who are... dead." (11.10 Devil's Triad) Even though overcoming these weaknesses can be hard or uncomfortable, Bishop pushes herself through the experiences with a determination to improve. She appears to be quite competitive against herself, always trying to improve her timing or scores on items. (11.15 Bulletproof).
|UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES:|
- Bishop's eidetic memory is keyed to food: She associates certain important memories with whatever she was eating at the time. At one point, she crunches on a cheese curl in order to remember one of Gibbs' rules.
|DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES:|
- Bishop defying Gibbs' direct course of action, telling him that she has a better plan. (And Gibbs agreeing that her approach was better.)
- At the end of 11.14 Monsters and Men when Gibbs told her she was now a Probie agent, and Bishop hugged him before it wasn't allowed.
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