Mark Harmon is the face of NCIS and the actor behind our beloved Agent Gibbs. From resisting vulnerability to insisting that his vital “rules” remain obeyed, Agent Gibbs is private by nature, yet caring and compassionate. Thus, the character has not only found his way but has deep-rooted himself into our hearts.
Though many NCIS stars have come and gone — Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, and Pauley Perrette — Harmon remains steadfastly committed to the show responsible for his long-lived success and worldwide recognition.
Over the course of sixteen seasons, we have watched Mark Harmon’s Gibbs develop a father-daughter bond with Ziva, a mentor-mentee relationship with Tony DiNozzo, and a protective dynamic with Abby. Mark Harmon has managed to lead the show, narratively and behind the scenes as an Executive Producer, quite seamlessly. However, he is not without his flaws.
Though Mark Harmon may be the best Agent Gibbs we can imagine, one decision he makes in the role gets on a lot of fans’ nerves, and it has to do with how he addresses a fellow cast member.
Many ‘NCIS’ fans do not like when Mark Harmon’s Gibbs calls Ziva “Ziver”
In certain scenes, as he did when Cote de Pablo’s Ziva returned in the final moments of season sixteen, Mark Harmon will call Ziva “Ziver.” If you’re wondering how this decision came about, Christopher J. Walid — one of the screenwriters behind NCIS — once explained:
“”Ziver” started with Mark Harmon. We write it sometimes now. Not a lot. Gibbs uses it as he sees fit.”Christopher J. Walid on Twitter
So, when it comes down to it, Ziver is a pet name Gibbs uses when he sees fit — when the moment feels right. Thus, it should come as no surprise that he chose to use this name when Ziva returned, as Harmon likely felt it indicated to the audience that Gibbs still possessed warm and compassionate feelings for his former agent. However, certain fans are just not into it. One NCIS enthusiast noted:
“@ChrisWaild #Ziver just sounds like he is mispronouncing her name. It doesn’t sound like a “pet” name or whatever. Makes me cringe.”Twitter user
If you take to Reddit, there is a whole forum titled “a pointless thing that annoys the hell out of me” discussing Mark Harmon’s tendency to call Ziva “Ziver.” While some understand the reasoning and see it as a term of endearment, others just find it bizarre. One Reddit user explained:
“So ncis. I’m rewatching it again for the 343275+th time…Does anyone else notice Gibbs sometimes says Ziva and sometimes said Ziverr…It’s just something that drives me up the wall”Reddit User
Others chimed in to discuss the choice and one Reddit user explains the decision as both “stupid” and “annoy[ing].” While others aren’t too bothered, most fans don’t seem particularly fond of the nickname, so maybe Mark Harmon should stop using it. Since it’s unlikely that Mark Harmon will stumble upon this opinion, to those who can’t stand the choice: find solace in knowing that the name “Ziver” is used quite sparingly.