Did the ‘NCIS’ Season 17 Premiere Trailer Just Hint That Ziva May Not Be the Only Character Returning?

Season 17 of NCIS has been all about the return of Cote de Pablo as Ziva David, but a new trailer hints that the character might not be the only one returning to the hit crime drama. Season 16 confirmed that Ziva is alive and well when she walked into Gibbs’s (Mark Harmon) basement to warn him about a threat. Despite speculation that Ziva may have been a hallucination, producers confirmed that Pablo will be back in action in the season 17 premiere. But what about a potential reunion between Ziva and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly)?

'NCIS' Ziva season 17
‘NCIS’ star Cote de Pablo as Ziva | Photo by Eric McCandless/CBS via Getty Images

Inside Ziva’s return to ‘NCIS’

Prior to season 16, Ziva was last seen at the end of season 11. The character was written off the show after she moved to Israel. At the time, Pablo revealed that she decided to leave the series because Ziva’s storyline was not headed in a direction she liked. Fortunately, there were no hard feelings between Pablo and the show, so there was always the possibility that she would return.

Fast forward two seasons and we learned that Tony is the biological father of Ziva’s daughter, Tali. Tony had no idea that Ziva had a baby – let alone that he was the father. Once Tony learned that Ziva died in a mortar attack, he left the country to take care of his daughter and deal with his former lover’s apparent death.

So by season 13 of NCIS, we had lost both Pablo and Weatherly, seemingly ending their epic, yet slow-burning, romance once and for all – or so we thought. Last season, Bishop (Emily Wickersham) discovered that Ziva was alive when she was looking into a cold case. The shocking twist – which some of the cast members didn’t even know about – led to speculation about when Ziva would return to the show, though most fans did not expect anything to happen in season 16.

Producers surprised everyone by giving Ziva a short scene at the very end of season 16, sparking even more theories about her involvement in the series moving forward. One of the biggest mysteries heading into the new season surrounds a possible reunion between Ziva and Tony.

‘NCIS’ trailer teases more returning characters

A new trailer for the upcoming season, which premieres later this month, hints that Ziva might not be the only character returning. According to Cinema Blend, the clip confirms that Gibbs and Bishop will not be the only agents working with Ziva this season. The trailer is packed with reactions from the other agents after they learn about Ziva’s true fate. But the part that is really interesting is when Ziva talks about reuniting with her daughter.

We know that Ziva went into hiding to protect her family from a threat. Once the danger has passed, we can assume that Ziva will finally get to see her daughter again – which brings us to Tony.

If the threat is eliminated this season – no doubt with help from Gibbs and the rest of the NCIS team – then there is a strong chance that Ziva will reunite with her family. Based on the last time we saw Tony, it is safe to assume that he is still with Tali, which sets us up for a major reunion in season 17. But what are the chances that Weatherly returns to reprise his role?

Will Weatherly return to ‘NCIS’?

The only thing that might prevent Weatherly from returning to NCIS is his busy schedule. The actor is currently working on a new season of Bull, so coordinating schedules could get tricky. That said, Weatherly’s involvement in NCIS would likely be minimal, and producers could just bring him back for an episode or two, depending on what they do with Ziva’s story.

Weatherly also hinted at a potential return in a recent video. After a fan asked him if he was returning to the show, Weatherly dodged the question by saying he couldn’t talk about it. There is no telling if Weatherly will be back, but there is no doubt his return would be a huge hit with fans.

Season 17 of NCIS premieres September 24 on CBS.