NCIS' recent "In a Nutshell" episode saw the return of Odette Malone (Elayn J. Taylor), which could have some pretty big implications on the rest of the characters on the show. In the episode, Ellie Bishop (Emily Wickersham) packs up her office while talking to Gibbs (Mark Harmon) about how much she's grown while working with the NCIS team.
While the changing cast is a running theme of the show and Ellie Bishop is no exception to the rule, the last scene of the episode suggested that Bishop is being trained by someone on the outside—possibly with links to Ziva David (Cote de Pablo).
The hour ended with a dramatic reveal of Bishop receiving a text from Odette that simply reads, "Tomorrow. 6 a.m."
It's been a while since Odette Malone was introduced on the show, so here's the recap you need about her story to keep following along. Keep reading!
Who is Odette Malone on 'NCIS'?
Played by Elayn J. Taylor, Odette Malone made her first appearance on Season 16, in the episode called "She." The episode was the first to reference the fact that Ziva was still alive, and when Bishop finds Ziva's office, she also meets Odette, who at first seems like a regular caretaker of the old cabin.
However, audiences soon discovered that there was more to Odette's past than she was letting on. At first, there were small clues, like the fact that she had an advanced knowledge of weaponry, which suggested some sort of military training. She was also quickly revealed to be one of the few people who knew that Ziva was still alive.
Then, in Season 17's Episode 10, viewers discovered that Odette was in fact ex-CIA, and had worked at a "hardcore ranger school for spies," as explained by Torres (Wilmer Valderrama). And after getting closer to Bishop throughout Season 17, Odette finally made a shadowy offer.
"I see a certain promise in you, Agent Bishop," she said. "I'd like to offer you some specialized training, if you'd be interested."
While Odette didn't elaborate on exactly what the training was, and viewers never got to see Bishop's response in the moment, this week's episode has circled back to this special training, suggestion that Bishop did take Odette up on her offer—and that the pair might even be working together in present-day.
Odette sees Bishop as another version of Ziva: young, talented, and in need of a little guidance. It makes sense that Odette would want to develop a mentoring relationship with Bishop, and if that's the case, she's probably the person who taught Bishop all the new combat skills she's been displaying over the past few episodes.
Many fans are speculating that Odette's return could also signify a new Ziva plot line. It seems unlikely that Ziva will actually return, since she, Tony (Michael Weatherly), and their child Tali are all living in Paris. But the reveal that Bishop and Odette are in regular contact suggests that Odette could reconnect the two characters in the near future.
Uncover more answers and see where the story goes when new episodes of NCIS air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.