Is ‘NCIS’ Making a Big Mistake Hyping Ziva’s Return so Much?

We’re finally starting to learn more about how much Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) is going to factor into NCIS’ 17th season, and it’s more extensive than fans initially assumed. All reports have her involved in the first two episodes of the season, and then two more episodes later in the season, presumably to tie up her perilous arc.

For many Ziva fans, though, four episodes don’t seem like enough. While many fans didn’t think she’d be seen even for four episodes, those who appreciated the energy de Pablo gave to the show wish she’d become a series regular again.

Fans can rest easy knowing Ziva’s return wasn’t a dream

Cote de Pablo
Cote de Pablo | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

We admit some guilt in thinking Ziva returning might have been a fantasy sequence in Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) imagination. Everyone should have known better than NCIS wouldn’t go there and this was the real Ziva returning to put closure on her having to fake her death for six years.

Based on the recent preview for the first two episodes, there’s a lot going on with Ziva and Gibbs becoming entangled in some dangerous plot elements.

All we can tell so far is that they’re running from an assumed terrorist, a woman named Zahar, and Gibbs looks like age is catching up with him. From all indications, we’ll be seeing a two-parter that involves Gibbs and Ziva possibly resolving her story with a terrorist organization.

What fans really hope for, though, is a second half where she finally reunites with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly). There could be some danger here, though, that if there isn’t a proper reunion of those characters, all the Ziva hype could end up creating fan backlash.

Will Ziva’s return be disappointing?

Weatherly has been very coy on whether he’ll make an appearance with Ziva, outside of saying he’d like to. Based on body language during a recent interview about it, he more or less gave away something will happen.

But it’s not so simple: Weatherly is still involved with Bull and any involvement with NCIS would likely be brief. All those who remember the incredible chemistry Weatherly and de Pablo had on the show might be disappointed if they find out DiNozzo only shows up in a brief reunion scene.

After six years, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding Tony and Ziva. Did the two find each other or are they still apart? And if they found one another: Are they together or did they fail to make it work? And if they didn’t find each other, have either of the two moved on? CBS has a lot of questions to answer regarding the plotline and fans will surely be disappointed if they don’t receive answers.

Is there a Tony-Ziva spin-off show in the works?

Chemistry like the kind we saw with Weatherly and de Pablo is already rare enough on television. Casting departments always look for the best chemistry between leads, but finding it on the level of these two actors only happens once every decade or two.

Having it stripped away from NCIS in 2013, when de Pablo left the show, can be solely blamed on the writers for not respecting the Ziva character enough. Now there’s a very real chance of restoring all of that, depending on whether Weatherly can return on a more extensive basis — maybe next season.

While fans would welcome a Ziva/Tony spinoff show, CBS and the creative team of NCIS have yet to drop any concrete hints that anything of the sort is on the table.