‘NCIS’ 17: What’s Keeping Ziva From Reuniting With Tony Now?

Cote de Pablo returned to NCIS as Ziva David — warning Gibbs of imminent danger coming their way. Yet, with help from her NCIS crew, she managed to eliminate the threat seemingly at the root of her disappearance within two episodes. Not too shabby, eh? But wait, why no Tony? With Zahar out of the picture, what’s keeping Ziva from reuniting with Tony and daughter Tali at last? 

Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly as Ziva and Tony in NCIS
Cote de Pablo (L) and Michael Weatherly (R) as Ziva and Tony in ‘NCIS’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Ziva David did not appear in episode three of NCIS — catalyzing an outcry among fans desiring her presence in each and every episode — however, what do the writers have planned for her re-entrance? And, why is it still unsafe for Ziva to meet up with her former beau and child? 

Many are curious as to what other threats must be taken care of, as to warrant such an extended delay between Ziva’s reappearance (and subsequent handling of the threat) and Tony’s entrance.

Is Michael Weatherly planning to reprise Tony, bringing fans the highly-anticipated reunion they’ve been craving? Or, is he going to sit the season out? Have the writers devised a way to avoid his incorporation and, if so, what is it? If the writers are merely delaying his appearance, what is still stopping Ziva from picking up the phone and hurrying to her daughter’s side? 

What could still be keeping Cote de Pablo’s Ziva from reuniting with Tony and Tali in ‘NCIS’? 

Fans know that Zahar was a threat tied to Ari; however, Zahar also possesses ties to the Mossad, and, as a result, she could be intertwined with Orli Elbaz (the current Mossad director) or Adam Eschel (Ziva’s previous Mossad operative boyfriend). One NCIS  fan believes that Orli is the likely culprit preventing the reunion, stating:

Well it probably wasn’t just Adam who knew she was not at the farmhouse….Orli Elbaz perhaps. What are they going to do, give us all the mysteries.

Reddit post/ Reddit User

So, who exactly is Orli Elbaz, and what do we know about her relationship with Ziva? Orli Elbaz grew up in Israel and later fell in love with Eli David (Ziva’s father). The two began an intimate affair, which destroyed Orli’s marriage and led Ziva to resent her. Ziva initially believed that Orli seduced her father for political gain, yet later admitted to Tony that she may have actually loved her father (in the episode titled “Berlin”).

Ziva notes that if Elbaz never showed up in her life, she would be a very different person. However, there’s a political/covert tie-in as well, as Orli was involved in earlier operations in which Ziva declined an offer to be placed into contact with Mossad operatives in Rome. Could the show be resurfacing this story, resurfacing their fraught emotional circumstance, and digging through all of Ziva’s dirty secrets in a bid to answer all of the unanswered questions? Will the show close all possible problems before reuniting her with Tony and Tali? 

While this is a possibility, some fans note that lazy writing seems to be at the center of Ziva’s prolonged stay away from Tony; hopefully, with two more episodes featuring Ziva to go, Tony will come back, or the writers will devise a narratively sound way to avoid a reunion.