‘NCIS’ Season 16: How Ziva’s Return Would Affect Mark Harmon’s Gibbs

The finale for NCIS Season 16 is right around the corner. While fans are excited about a potential Ziva (Cote de Pablo) cameo, the episode is going to focus on Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his struggle with rule 10. But how would Ziva’s return affect Harmon’s character moving forward?

Mark Harmon, Cote de Pablo 'NCIS' Season 16
Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Ziva (Cote de Pablo) | Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Does Gibbs know about Ziva?

One of the biggest questions surrounding Ziva’s return is whether Gibbs knows she is alive. The only character that officially knows Ziva is still around is Bishop (Emily Wickersham), who uncovered her secret earlier this season. So far, Bishop has kept the news to herself, though she did bring up the subject to measure Gibbs’ response.

Gibbs has gained a reputation for knowing everything that is going on with his team, which is why Bishop subtly tried to determine if her boss knew about the Ziva situation in the episode, “Perennial.”

According to Carter Matt, Gibbs gave no indication that he knew what Bishop was talking about, but that doesn’t mean he failed to look into it. In fact, there is a good chance that the conversation led to Gibbs searching for answers on his own. But if Gibbs did find out that Ziva is alive, he has done a great job of hiding it.

What do we know about the Season 16 finale of NCIS?

There has been a lot of confusion about the NCIS Season 16 finale. For starters, there were reports that the installment was titled, “Alternate Twilight,” though that turned out to be nothing but a rumor. CBS just confirmed that the official title of the finale is “Daughters.” Per the official summary, fans will watch as Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano) begs Gibbs for help in his case against a few local drug dealers.

Tobias is desperate for help after his daughter, Emily Fornell (Juliette Angelo), overdosed on opiates and was rushed to the hospital. Gibbs struggles to help out because he knows it violates rule 10, which states that you should never get personally involved in a case. As fans will recall, Gibbs’ first wife, Shannon, and his daughter, Kelly, were killed because of drug violence.

The whole episode will explore Gibbs’ desire to help Tobias while struggling with the consequences of breaking his own rule. The synopsis does not mention Ziva, but fans fully expect to learn something about her fate before the season is out.

What are the chances that Ziva returns in the NCIS finale?

Ziva’s return has been one of the most talked about storylines in Season 16 of NCIS. The speculation kicked into high gear after Bishop started looking into one of Ziva’s old cases in the episode, “She.” Bishop eventually came across Ziva’s hidden office, which included files and information on several cases. We learned that Ziva is actually alive after she left a note for Bishop, asking her to keep things quiet out of respect for her family’s safety.

While we know that Ziva is still out there, she has yet to make an appearance on the show. Pablo has not commented on the latest rumors surrounding her character, though she did talk about returning to the show in 2016.

The actress revealed that killing off Ziva was her choice and that she left to pursue other projects. She also said that she is open to returning to the series if the circumstances were right. Given how things are unfolding in Season 16, we’d say things are primed for her return.

We should get some clarification on the Ziva front

Barring a major spoiler, there is no way of knowing if Pablo will reprise her role before the season is out. At the very least, fans can expect to learn more about Ziva’s fate and where the show is planning to take her storyline. With the finale focusing so much on Gibbs, this probably will not happen until the very end but at least we’ll get some answers. Exactly what that entails, of course, is yet to be seen, but we can only hope that we will get a Ziva return eventually.

New episodes of NCIS Season 16 air Tuesday nights on CBS.