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wilmer valderrama torres emily wickersham bishop ncis cbs

After a much longer break than usual, NCIS is finally back in production for a planned return later this fall. If you've spent any time at all with the naval procedural in the past few years, one of the big storylines you want to see continue to move forward is the relationship between Ellie Bishop and Nick Torres. The two have grown steadily closer over the past four seasons, but while it's clear that they have tingly feelings for one another, they have yet to pull the trigger on a full-blown romance. Now, Wilmer Valderrama is talking about how the show is "doing something different" with the duo in Season 18.

Fans of NCIS have become very invested in the potential romance for Torres and Bishop, seeing as how the two have become both incredibly dependent on each other professionally and personally, and are obviously mutually attracted. Season 17's Valentine's Day episode briefly made it seem like love confessions were imminent, but they never happened, and the abrupt end of the season shut down all hope that we'd get to see Torrship (Bistor?) as a reality any time soon. So, what's on tap for them at the beginning of Season 18? Here's what Wilmer Valderrama told TV Insider:

It's interesting because there's so many things Season 18 has to talk about, a lot to reflect in this moment. Our national community has been fighting for justice and things that really are important. NCIS is going to be very thoughtful and very responsible in how we portray certain stories and as we return to television. The exploration of relationships within the characters and all that stuff, it's something that's always a mystery. I certainly don't think that we will do something the show has seen before, and we're definitely trying to work on doing something different.

Well, Wilmer Valderrama certainly makes a good point about what's going to be needed when Season 18 gets underway. There are a lot of shows, especially ones like NCIS that deal with the legal system and / or law enforcement which now have to find ways to talk about the very real reckoning that's currently going on with those parts of society. It sounds like the drama will be focused on figuring out how to do that while slowly getting back into the growing romance with Torres and Bishop.

Valderrama mentioned that they were trying to do something different with the possible couple, but what does that mean, exactly? He seems to be comparing them with the other fan-favorite NCIS couple, Tiva, which makes complete sense, seeing as how Tony and Ziva also inspired long-term swoony feelings from the audience. But, that romance was such an epic love story (which took a long time to get a happy ending), that it's possible we'll eventually be treated to a Torres / Bishop romantic relationship which feels a bit more down to earth, while still giving us all the feels we deserve.

Wilmer Valderrama also spoke more about the mystery of his character, who's had to come around to working so closely with a team after eight long years undercover, and whose life before that mostly hasn't been discussed on screen:

I don't know what's in store for any of the other characters, but for my character specifically, we're going to be finding out so much more about his past this season. This season is going to really focus a lot on where he really came from, what was his upbringing and his family, so we're going to get learn a little bit more about his family since Torres has been such a mystery to the audience for the last four years. It's going to be fun to peel some of the layers off and really give the audience a little bit more justification of why he is the way he is. That excites me because as an actor, that's what you want. You want to play those layers. You want to play the peeling of those layers and become more vulnerable because that's what brings you closer to the other characters.

So far, all we know about Torres' previous life, besides his undercover tenure, is that he has a sister and niece who survived a car bombing which killed his brother-in-law, and that whole thing was set in motion because of Torres' undercover mission. His father also abandoned their family when he was very young, and it sounds like all of this will come into play as we dig into why Torres is the stubborn, unpredictable (and yet so, so lovable) man he is.

Who wants to bet that "the peeling of those layers" will, at least partially, involved Torres becoming even more "vulnerable" with Bishop? We might get yet another emotional hand touch scene before too much longer, fans! Right now, Wilmer Valderrama and the rest of the NCIS team look to be headed back to the small screen at some point in November, but be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest!

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