Agent Ed Girard wasn’t a big part of the NCIS cast, but he served as a plot device during the new episode of the show. That correlation wasn’t revealed until much later in the hour, but keen viewers likely picked up on it right away.
The episode itself, called “Crossing the Line,” had two components. The NCIS team was investigating a man-overboard fatality aboard a Navy destroyer at sea. This meant that the agent left behind, Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama), was tasked with mentoring high school students who had won an essay contest.
It is that secondary story that tied to former agent Ed Girard, who had been killed during the Navy Yard bombing that ended Season 9.
This was back when the NCIS cast included Scott Wolf and Jamie Lee Curtis as recurring characters and when Michael Weatherly (Anthony DiNozzo) and Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) were still on the show.
— NCIS (@NCIS_CBS) February 27, 2019
Why was Agent Ed Girard important to NCIS cast?
Torres was required by Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) to mentor three teens and show them how the department worked. Torres wasn’t really thrilled with the assignment, deciding to instead use the three high school students to run errands for him.
It wasn’t until later that Special Agent Sloane (Maria Bello) let him in on the secret of the episode.
One of the students was named Max Girard (Sloane Morgan Siegel), tying everything together for the episode. Max is the son of former Agent Ed Girard, who died in the building “six years ago” in the script.
Max was trying to connect with his past by coming to the building, which Sloane figured out was a way for him to find closure.
Agent Ed Girard was shown as a picture on the wall of fallen agents, which probably led to a lot of viewers trying to remember who he was on the show.
Do not fear, this was just a plot device in order to tie a past episode that people would remember to a current storyline. It was also a way to learn more about Agent Torres, who spoke about his father abandoning him when he was just five years old.
NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.