NCIS dove deep into Nick Torres’ (Wilmer Valderrama) past during the recent episode titled “Sangre.” The 14th episode of season 18 included a heartbreaking twist that could change the character as the series moves forward.
But what about the relationship between Torres and Bishop (Emily Wickersham)? Will fans get answers before the season finale?
‘NCIS’ has been ‘bread crumbing’ Torres’ backstory for years
Torres first arrived at NCIS in the season 14 premiere episode after the exit of Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo. When Gibbs (Mark Harmon) made him part of the team, Torres had a mysterious backstory after coming off of years of underwork.
The character is now in his fifth season, and Valderrama says they’ve been dropping hints about Torres’ backstory since he arrived.
“We’ve been bread-crumbing a lot of what Torres is to this team and who he is for years now,” Valderrama told Entertainment Tonight.
“That’s what’s exciting about this is weeks before [the episode] was even written, the writers and the showrunners came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we really want to do a Torres episode where we find out a little bit more of his past, where he came from so we can have a deeper understanding of who he is. I was excited about that opportunity.”
What led Nick Torres to the world of undercover work?
Valderrama explained that he shared with the NCIS writers his real dad’s journey back when he was younger and living in Venezuela. He says that his real dad was “really there for him.” But, they started playing with the idea of “what if he wasn’t?”
“Maybe that is a beacon that really led him into a world of undercover work and allowed him to capture the bad guy, and being emotionally unavailable because he never had that permission,” Valderrama said. “It was really fun to have that conversation.”
The ‘NCIS’ star says Torres and Bishop have been through ‘too much’
The relationship between Torres and Bishop has been a slow burn that’s lasted for multiple seasons. As Valderrama puts it, fans have “seen the seeds of a closer and deeper connection” between the two characters. He thinks they “really, truly have a very special and honest relationship.”
“They can trust each other. They know they’re not emotionally available to one another or to the world,” Valderrama explained.
“I mean, they’ve been through too much for them to break their own rules and figure out how you make that work. I think that’s why it’s so slow. They just don’t really know how to be in a relationship.”
Will fans get answers about Torres and Bishop before the end of season 18?
The NCIS star went on to explain that when you “wear the badge for that long” and give yourself to a life of service, it’s really hard to do something for yourself. For Bishop, the times she’s tried to be emotionally available have ended up really backfiring.
The same thing goes for Torres. Valderrama notes that most of Torrres’ relationships have been part of an “undercover scheme for him to get the bad guy.”
“It’s hard for them to really know how to make a square fit in the triangle. It’s this Tetris. They’re playing Tetris with their minds and they don’t really know where they fit with one another. But I will tell you, this is the season you’ll find out,” Valderrama revealed.
‘NCIS’ fans are finally going to get the answers they’ve been waiting for
The That 70’s Show alum went on to say that there’s “something exciting” about exploring the psychology of both characters and where they come from.
He says that whatever the fans have been wondering about — what the relationship is and what it isn’t — they’re “going to get the answers this season.”
However, Valderrama did dial it back a little and say that the answers fans will get about Torres and Bishop’s relationship will be “vague.” But he added that “it’s incredibly loaded. That’s all I can tell you.”
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