You Might Have Forgotten Why Delilah Fielding Uses a Wheelchair on 'NCIS'
Why is Delilah in a wheelchair on 'NCIS'? Here's what we know about the character and the reasoning behind the wheelchair's usage.
Fans of NCIS who loved watching Delilah in the past few seasons of the show are overjoyed to see that their favorite character has been receiving screen time in the hit procedural. A lot has changed in the few years since Delilah, who is played by Margo Harshman, endured some seriously life-changing injuries. Nonetheless, she is once again proving to be an integral part of the show's main storyline.
For more recent fans who may have not backtracked far enough to find out yet: why exactly is Delilah in a wheelchair on NCIS? Is it a reflection of the actress who plays her? Keep reading to find out.
Remind me, why is Delilah in a wheelchair?
Although McGee brings up a new girlfriend at the end of Season 10, we don't actually meet Delilah until the opening episode of Season 11 of the hit crime show. Things are a bit awkward at this time because as soon as we meet Delilah, she also meets Abby — but the two quickly warm up to each other and become fast friends.
Flash to: the gala in Season 11, Episode 12's "Kill Chain" that's being thrown in Delilah's honored. Remember, she's hugely respected in the counter-terrorism world and blows everyone away with her expertise as soon as she joins McGee in the Department of Defense.
Except Benham Parsa happens to have selected that very gala as his latest symbolic target and proceeds to bomb the place. This leaves Delilah suffering a paralyzing spinal injury that leaves her permanently paraplegic.
Delilah's storyline was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings.
Following her hospitalization and her eventual return to NCIS back in 2019, we watch as Delilah grows accustomed to her wheelchair and deals with the trials and frustrations that go along with adjusting to a new way of life. Her partner McGee also spends plenty of time coming to terms with his girlfriend's permanent disability, and viewers are center stage as he navigates the fine line between actually being helpful and becoming overly protective of her emotions.
It turns out that the plot line of Delilah learning to live her life as a disabled person was inspired by the real-life successes of women who survived the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and rebuilt their lives.
"I remember seeing a piece on I think it was the Today show about a bunch of women who had really managed to start pulling their lives back together again," executive producer Gary Glasberg said during a Television Critics Association press tour, according to Entertainment Weekly.
"I wanted to try to capture some of that on our show. So the intent was — and is — to show someone who comes from a government background involved in something tragic like this and manages to persevere," he said. "We're very excited about the arc of what that character is going to face as someone in a wheelchair and how that's going to be portrayed," he continued. As for the characters surrounding Delilah, Gary was also interested in portraying the "psychological challenge[s]" that affect the people around someone who suffers such a life-altering accident.
Does Margo Harshman, the actress who plays Delilah, use a wheelchair in real life?
Unlike Investigative Computer Specialist Patton Plame, played by Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, who uses a wheelchair, Margo Harshman, who plays Delilah, is able-bodied. Millennials might remember Margo from the best show of our tween years, Even Stevens, in which she played Louis' friend-turned-girlfriend, Tawny Dean.
Since then, she's appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Without a Trace, 90210, Modern Family, Boston Legal, House, Bones, and in a recurring role as Sheldon's assistant Alex Jensen in The Big Bang Theory.
Go Margo! New episodes of NCIS air every Monday at 9:00 p.m. EST on CBS.