Why NCIS: Sydney’s Mackey Keeps Her Tragic Past A Secret Explained By Star

NCIS: Sydney star Olivia Swann explains why Special Agent Michelle Mackey keeps her tragic past a secret from everyone else on her team.

  • Olivia Swann, who plays Special Agent Michelle Mackey in NCIS: Sydney, revealed that Mackey keeps her tragic past a secret from her team to maintain an image of strength and to protect both herself and her teammates.
  •  Mackey’s fear of vulnerability makes it difficult for her to trust others, which prevents her from opening up about her past mistakes.
  •  The consequences of Mackey’s past may resurface in future episodes, and if her team were to discover the truth, it could potentially affect their trust in her leadership of the task force.

NCIS: Sydney star Olivia Swann has opened up about Special Agent Michelle Mackey’s tragic past, and why she decided to keep it a secret from the rest of her team. While interrogating petty officer Frank Doherty in episode 4, Mackey shut off the room’s mic and revealed how she disobeyed her commanding officer in Afghanistan to save three young soldiers. However, doing so resulted in two of her own getting killed, something she feels responsible for.

Speaking with TVLineSwann revealed why Mackey keeps her past a secret from the rest of the NCIS: Sydney team because of her fear of looking too vulnerable. The actor explained the agent finds it difficult to trust people, making it challenging for her to open up to those she cares for about her past mistakes. Check out what Swann had to say below:

She’s a woman who has built a career on being strong and having an armor, and leading with that strength. I think that, in her mind, showing any sign of vulnerability to her team would change their view of her. She doesn’t think would be helpful for her role as a leader. She’s protecting herself but also protecting her team, because when you’re out in the field, when someone knows a weakness it shifts their behavior. No matter how close I think we’ve seen [the merged NCIS/AFP team members] start to become, she’s a very guarded person and, I think, finds it difficult to trust people.


Will Mackey’s Past Resurface In NCIS: Sydney?

As the leader of the NCIS and AFP joint task force, it’s clear Mackey doesn’t want her past to be used to question her authority in cases the team investigates. While members of the team know she went to court after defying an order and was found not guilty, they aren’t aware of the extent of what she did. If team members were to discover the truth, their leader doesn’t seem sure they will trust her with running the task force.

Given the reveal of Mackey’s past halfway through season 1, it’s possible consequences in the present day won’t be shown until a possible NCIS: Sydney season 2. While another season of the spinoff has yet to be announced, the series spending season 1 building its characters may be beneficial if the truth about her past is destined to become common knowledge. The drama that may ensue will be more hard-hitting if deeper characterization gets explored first.

While it’s unclear how Mackey’s past will come back in NCIS: Sydney, the fact it was established in episode 4 means it will no doubt have a role to play again soon. Perhaps her past will resurface in a future episode, forcing her to confront what transpired head-on. This could also be done with the support of her team members, who she learns to be vulnerable around despite her current reservations.


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