‘NCIS’ 17: A Happy Ending For Ziva, Tony, and Tali Is Unlikely

Following Cote de Pablo’s return to NCIS as Ziva David, fans quickly discovered that the former Mossad Agent would be back to kick butt in four episodes. With two episodes down — and the major threat seemingly taken care of — what’s left for Ziva? 

Cote de Pablo NCIS
Cote de Pablo of ‘NCIS’ | Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Ziva may have two more episodes to go; however, considering her re-entrance is a few episodes out, NCIS has yet to build the narrative that will elicit her last two appearances, leaving fans to prophecize what’s bound to occur.

The most popular theory — or at least the most beloved one — goes as follows: Ziva, Tony, and Tali are all reunited, and they go on to live a safe and happy life, free from external threats.

While the above storyline may be the one fans are hoping for, as Ziva and Tony deserve to meet face-to-face — following years playing both halves of TV’s hottest will-they-won’t-they slow-boiling romance — is it too peachy? Is it too far-fetched? 

Given that Tony’s reappearance involves several external factors regarding Michael Weatherly, could the writers find a way to reunite Ziva with Tali, yet exclude Tony from the picture? If Michael Weatherly is too busy with Bull, will the writers somehow forge a meeting between mother and daughter, sans dad? 

The above narrative — no matter how well-developed — will feel like a stretch to viewers; what father would allow his daughter to, without his presence for emotional support, see the mother she believes is long dead? Not to mention, Tony would want, and demand to see Ziva! Tony is not the “let’s just sit on this and let it play out” kind of guy.

The only way Tali and Ziva can reunite is if Tony returns, and Tony will only return if Ziva’s last two episodes unfold in such a way as to beckon Michael Weatherly’s reprisal. So, let’s consider all that must work out for this dream scenario to hit the small screen.

What needs to happen for there to be a happy ending, reuniting Ziva, Tony, and Tali in ‘NCIS’ season 17? 

Starting with logistics, Michael Weatherly, though currently leading a hit show of his own, would have to make time for a brief cameo appearance, likely for Cote de Pablo’s final episode. Given that Michael Weatherly has always said he would return if the time was right, this is a believable turn of events. 


If Tony returns, he then has to believe it’s wise to reintroduce a mother who his daughter believes is deceased. Doing such would cause some severe psychological trauma, yet so would keeping her in the dark for the remainder of her existence. We also have to assume there is not a new maternal figure in Tali’s life.

For the happy ending to unfold, Tony must also be completely comfortable with the fact that the former love of his life kept him in the dark for years, and never found a way to hint at her existence (unless the show decides to write something in that proves otherwise). However, based on the second episode’s events, it seems that Tony is completely unaware of Ziva’s existence.

Tali was so young when Ziva left that, while she will remember her mother, seeing her will be like seeing a ghost. Since the girl is only a child, she should realistically respond shell-shocked; would she run and hug Ziva, or stand there frozen? The latter seems much more believable. Now, putting the likelihood of happiness aside, what if Ziva doesn’t make it out alive? 

What if there’s more to the threat, and the real purpose of bringing Ziva back was to mend her relationship with Gibbs, not reunite with her family. Ziva and Tony already received their romantic farewell; it was Gibbs and Ziva’s relationship that was left fractured. Ziva could die, after mending her dynamic with Gibbs and leave no reason for the writers to introduce Michael Weatherly back into the show.