Cote de Pablo Had ‘Doubts’ Returning to ‘NCIS’: What Was She Afraid Of?

Cote de Pablo’s return to NCIS may have been met with widespread audience adulation; however, that doesn’t mean the decision was easy for the actress behind our beloved butt-kicking former Mossad agent. De Pablo returned to NCIS in the final moments of season sixteen, for the first episode of her five-episode arc. 

Cote de Pablo of NCIS
Cote de Pablo of ‘NCIS’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)

With two episodes left to go before she bids us farewell once more, fans are prepping for heartache, as she is set to return for the last episode of the year, which usually points to an emotional cliffhanger. Cote de Pablo will return once again, ending her reprisal on January 7 (the first episode of the new year). 

While Cote de Pablo has enjoyed her time back on the show — and has clearly stepped into a new and reinvented Ziva David with ease — she had a few concerns before signing the dotted line. 

Cote de Pablo talks doubts and concerns surrounding her ‘NCIS’ return 

Cote de Pablo sat down for an interview with Cindy Hsu of CBS New York to discuss her return to NCIS. And though she is thrilled to be back in the role that kick-started her career and her ascension to household name status, she did have doubts regarding the reprisal. Cote de Pablo, discussing what it was like to be back on the show, told the interviewer:

It was really nice. It was really cool actually. I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it again. You always have these doubts when you’re disconnected from something for a long period of time, and I remember going back to set and being a little jittery, a little nervous…

CBS New York

Cote de Pablo hadn’t played Ziva David in about six years, as she explained to the interviewer. She was stepping into a role that — with each day away — had become more and more foreign. Thus, it should come as no surprise that she had doubts. What if she couldn’t do it? What if she couldn’t become the Ziva everyone remembered and wanted her to be? 

Though nervous, Cote de Pablo explained that when she put on that “quintessential Ziva jacket, military, and the boots and all that stuff, [she] just heard the crew clapping, and [she] felt just welcomed, and [she] immediately felt … home.” 

Returning to NCIS as Ziva David was no easy task, as the character is a fan-favorite among those who have been watching the show for years. When Bishop started to discover clues indicating that Ziva might still be alive, the tension only grew, and the expectations surrounding Cote de Pablo’s potential return only heightened. If she returned, what would the story be? Why was she gone for so long? How would she be different?

De Pablo may have had some doubts — she may have been worried she couldn’t “do it again —” but she has impressed fans and critics alike. No one is ready to see her depart yet again. Who knows, maybe the writers will figure out a way to keep Ziva around. Anything is possible, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up.