NCIS: Is Delilah Really Paralyzed? Wheelchair Explained

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Margo Harshman as Delilah in NCIS

NCIS features Margo Harshman as Delilah Fielding, and upon her return to the series, fans are looking back and asking whether she is truly paralyzed.

Harshman's Delilah first joined the NCIS team as a supporting character in 2013's Season 11 premiere, working as an intelligence analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense.

She and Sean Murray's Timothy McGee quickly built a relationship before getting married in 2017's Season 14, and she's seen an episode or two of work per season over the last decade.

Is Delilah Paralyzed on NCIS?

Margo Harshman as Delilah Fielding in NCIS

NCIS Season 11, Episode 13 put Delilah Fielding in the middle of a terrifying situation as she is honored at a huge gala for her work in the counter-terrorism field in the prior episode.

Episode 12 ends with the gala being bombed by terrorists, leaving Delilah seriously injured with a piece of shrapnel lodged into her spine.

Delilah then goes into surgery while McGee heads back to work in Episode 13, but McGee hides the fact that his girlfriend's injury left her permanently paralyzed as he holds back his emotions.

This leaves Delilah forced to use a wheelchair in NCIS, which she still does to this day as she and McGee build on their relationship together.

Speaking on the injury in 2014 with Entertainment Weekly, Executive Producer Gary Glasberg noted that this story arc was inspired by a real-life event: the Boston Marathon bombing from April 2013. That attack saw the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon bombed by terrorists, leaving three people dead, 17 with missing limbs, and hundreds more injured.

Glasberg recalled seeing a piece on the Today show about a group of women who had started "to pull their lives back together again" after the attack, hoping to show that same level of perseverance on NCIS for Delilah:

"I remember seeing a piece on I think it was the Today show about a bunch of women who had really managed to start to pull their lives back together again. 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."

Glasberg explained how the episodes after her injury would show Delilah taking "control of her life and [rising] up after what she’s been through." He also shared his excitement to see her arc move forward with the added challenge of using a wheelchair:

"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."

Glasberg later called it "a psychological challenge" for Delilah as she took the next step in her journey on the show.

Things To Know about Delilah Actress From NCIS

Margo Harshman as Delilah Fielding in NCIS

As shown by her early appearances in NCIS Season 11, Margo Harshman is an able-bodied actress, with her character's injury forcing her to use a wheelchair narratively.

The 38-year-old star has 42 credits on her resume since 2000, arguably her biggest of which being Tawny Dean in 42 episodes of Disney Channel's Even Stevens

Shortly before joining NCIS, she also starred in four episodes of the hit CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory.

Harshman largely stays out of the public limelight when she's not on camera, as her Instagram page (@margohrsh) is private for those wanting to follow her.

New episodes of NCIS Season 21 air on Monday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS before streaming the next day on Paramount+.

Read more about NCIS on The Direct:

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- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.