‘NCIS’: Cote De Pablo’s 10 Best Ziva David Moments

Losing a special character on a TV show is never easy, especially when you are dealing with someone like NCIS’s Ziva David. Cote de Pablo joined the hit crime drama as Ziva in Season 3 and quickly became a fan favorite until her departure in Season 11. From her epic romance with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) to all of the unique elements she brought to the team, here is a list of the 10 best Ziva David moments on NCIS.

Cote de Pablo as 'NCIS' Special Agent Ziva David
Cote de Pablo as ‘NCIS’ Special Agent Ziva David | Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

1. Ziva’s introduction

It is hard to forget Ziva’s first scene with her future lover, Tony. In the Season 3 episode titled “Kill Ari,” Ziva arrives in Tony’s office while he is talking dirty to a fellow co-worker on the phone. Ziva immediately gives Tony a hard time about it and it is clear the pair share a special chemistry right from the start.

2. Ziva’s driving skills

In the 50th installment of NCIS, Ziva gets to drive her car after having spent six months in the UK. Needless to say, Ziva did not show any signs of rust. Instead, she drove through the city at break-neck speed, treating her fellow passengers – Tony and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) – to a near-death experience.

3. Undercover with Tony


In the Season 3 episode, “Under Covers,” Tony and Ziva share their first intimate moment together. The pair are assigned to go undercover as intimate partners and it does not take long before things get hot and heavy. In order to avoid breaking cover, the two are forced to pretend like they are head-over-heels for each other. The ensuing makeout sessions were the beginning of what would become a lasting relationship.

4. Ziva shows her mettle

Throughout her time on the show, Ziva was never one to back down from a fight. In the Season 6 finale, Ziva got into a physical altercation with Tony after he killed her boyfriend, Michael Rivkin. Although Ziva clearly had feelings for Tony, she did not hold back and told him exactly how she felt.

5. Lost Trust

Following the death of her boyfriend, Ziva had a difficult time trusting Tony. In fact, she even told Gibbs (Mark Harmon) that she could no longer work alongside Tony and left the country to work with Mossad. After a mission turned sideways, Ziva found herself captured by a terrorist group and in desperate need of a rescue. Leading to one of the most favorite ‘NCIS’ fan moments of all time.

6. Tony to the rescue


Alone and being tortured in a terrorist camp, Ziva is finally rescued by the NCIS team in the Season 7 premiere, titled, “Truth or Consequences.” After the threat was neutralized, Tony shows up to escort Ziva to safety. The move helped Ziva trust Tony once again and made her realize that NCIS is her true home.

7. Ziva’s family

Ziva offered a rare glimpse into her family life in Season 10. In the installment, “Shell Shock: Part II,” Ziva admitted that she greatly misses her sister, Tali, who had tragically passed away. Ziva confessed to Tony that the most difficult time is around Tali’s birthday, and he responded with some authentic comfort.

8. It’s a trap

While they had their ups and downs over the years, one of Tony and Ziva’s most memorable moments came when they got trapped inside an elevator in Season 10. The two could have easily started bickering in the confined space, but instead, they got a little flirtatious as they waited to be rescued.

9. Ziva faces death

One of Ziva’s most difficult moments on the show was the time her father, Eli David (Michael Nouri) was killed – and it happened right in front of her eyes. In the episode titled “Shabbat Shalom,” Ziva and Eli are attending a dinner hosted by the Vance family when the place is hit by gunfire. Ziva managed to escape the fight in one piece, but her dad sadly fell victim to the gunshots. Ziva’s reaction to Eli’s death is easily one of the most devastating moments of the show.

10. Tony and Ziva reunite

After her father’s death, Ziva ventured to Israel to find his killer. Tony then jetted across the world to find Ziva, though he ultimately respected her wishes and left her alone. Their departure was the last time we saw Ziva until her surprise appearance in the Season 16 finale of NCIS.

Cote de Pablo is set to return as Ziva David in Season 17 of NCIS.