‘NCIS’: How Badly Do Fans Want Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David to Return?

The Rolling Stones once memorably sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Be that as it may, that won’t stop NCIS fans from wishing that Cote de Pablo’s Ziva will come back to their favorite show.

Sure, the show tried to kill Ziva off, but the producers doubtlessly had their fingers on the pulse of the fans. Not only did they keep the character’s death offscreen, but they revealed Ziva wasn’t actually dead, she was just in hiding. And with that kind of tease, hope for a revival is not unfounded.

Even we here at The Cheat Sheet have gone back and forth about it. We have said Ziva will not return. Then we said that she would. We’ll break down the case for return vs. no return.

Why Ziva wouldn’t come back

Cote de Pablo on NCIS
Cote de Pablo in NCIS | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

For starters, de Pablo herself was clear on why she walked away from the show. At the end of season 11, we learned Ziva went to hide out in her native Israel after a terrorist group set its sights on her agency.

Then in season 13, we heard but did not see that she had been killed in a mortar attack. Fans were crushed.

Eventually, Cote de Pablo herself said that as much as she had loved the character and her fans, she just wasn’t happy with the scripts anymore.

“They were going to send [Ziva] back to Israel and make her a sad, miserable woman. I said, ‘What do I leave all the women that are watching and following the show?’ And I didn’t think it was fair. So, I said, ‘Unless someone can really write something fantastic, I won’t go back.”

Besides all that, Ziva’s main love interest, Tony, ran into trouble in real life. Michael Weatherly, who played Tony, was accused of sexual harassment by actress Eliza Dushku on the show Bull. And earlier this week, Steven Spielberg’s production company announced it was cutting ties with the show. So if Tony can’t come back, does it make sense for Ziva to do so?

History has shown that fans don’t always get their wishes People begged for the Beatles to get back together, but that never happened when all four of them were still alive.

Here’s why Ziva could still return

There are two big reasons why Cote and Ziva could still return. First and foremost, the show left the door open by strongly indicating she wasn’t actually dead.

Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham) was working a case that led her to Ziva’s old office. Ellie discovered a note supposedly written by Ziva: “Eleanor Bishop – For the safety of my family, please keep my secret.”

Second, although Cote de Pablo wasn’t happy with the show, and she said a giant payday wouldn’t lure her back, a good story just might.

“I need to get really excited about something, because for eight years I was really excited about this character. I don’t want to start anything unless it’s like that,” she told TV Guide.

Moreover, showrunner Steven Binder is leaving the door open for de Ziva, although he’s not making any promises.

Binder told TV Line:

“I don’t want to say ‘the sky’s the limit,’ but given that she’s been gone for years, there’s a lot that could have happened that could be fodder for us … We’re always trying to think about what the audience wants to see, what we want to see, what makes sense, what’s interesting. We’ll see what sticks.”

Sometimes fans do get what they want, because happy fans mean higher ratings, and higher ratings mean happy advertisers. Besides, they’re not necessarily asking for the moon.

“I just want a Ziva reference somewhere in these last 2 episodes, I’ll even take it in the last 10 seconds of the finale @NCIS_CBS you better deliver something, ” fan Danielle tweeted.