‘NCIS’: What Does Cote de Pablo Think About Her New Castmates?

Coming back to a TV show you left a long time ago probably feels like a high school reunion: Some names may stay the same, but boy, are the faces different. That’s likely the experience Cote de Pablo is having with her return to NCIS. So far, however, de Pablo likes that about her much-awaited return to NCIS.

Now that the first episode of Ziva’s return is the rear-view mirror, we’ll detail what de Pablo looks forward to when she reports for work on her old stomping grounds. 

Cote de Pablo loves the new faces

Cote de Pablo visits the Build Series to discuss the CBS series “NCIS” at Build Studio in New York City.
Cote de Pablo | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

De Pablo has spoken about how much she enjoys working with her former castmates, particularly Mark Harmon (Agent Gibbs). However, she’s having fun with people who weren’t on NCIS when she left in 2013. 

“There’s a couple of cast members that have [left], but it’s part of the dynamic of a very long-running show. People come, people go, and then new people come in. I have to say, the new people are great,” she told Rachael Ray in a recent interview. “Meeting Wilmer (Valderrama) was fantastic and Emily (Wickersham) was fantastic, and they were really sweet, and they made me feel very welcome and loved.”

De Pablo has particular reason to feel a kinship with Wickersham because she plays Eleanor Bishop, the agent who found the note Ziva left behind that confirmed she was alive but in hiding. NCIS had said that Ziva died in a mortar attack, but as de Pablo put it in the interview with Ray: “No body; no crime.” 

What else has changed on ‘NCIS’?

Ziva looks very much the same as she did when she left, but she was a changed woman — and not in advantageous ways. She is clearly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as she has been in hiding to protect her young daughter. She takes anxiety medication to calm her nerves, but they have the side effect of dulling her senses. That’s not a great state for someone undercover to be in, even if she’s no longer an official agent.

It was that dilemma that convinced de Pablo to return, she told Ray.

“I thought coming back would be fantastic, and I thought, you know, if you’re going to bring me back, just make sure that you understand that the character’s been gone for five years, and that obviously, whatever she’s been doing these five years are crucial, meaning, if she’s disappeared, if she hasn’t kept in touch with anyone, if she’s in an undercover mission, make that relevant to the story,” she said. 

How did Ziva’s return do in the ratings?

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“To Be Continued…” See you next week. #NCIS

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According to TV Line, the season 17 premiere delivered NCISbest ratings since February, drawing 12.3 million viewers. Ziva will return in episode 2 next week, as she continues her mission to neutralize the threat posed by Sahar while butting heads with Agent Gibbs. While Agent Gibbs is glad to see her again, he does not always approve of her tactics, particularly shirking the assistance of other NCIS agents. 

After the second episode, Ziva is expected to go out of sight again, but de Pablo and the show have assured fans the character will return for at least two more episodes later in the season. Fans were mostly thrilled. But one commenter on TV Line said: “We can pretty much guess what is going to happen now  … Ziva is going to be suspected as being a terrorist for a short time and then it will be revealed that she was good all along. I’m sorry, but if my not-so-clever self can figure out the future story arc, its usually because its been done a thousand times before.”