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NCIS has been on the air for 17 seasons and counting. Thus, as time goes on, some characters are left in the show’s dust. And as fan favorites depart to explore new opportunities, new actors, playing new roles with different (or parallel) storylines, come in to take their place. 

For seasons on end, Ziva and Tony were a large part of NCIS’s secret to success. Their slow-boiling romance — which seemingly went on forever — kept fans hooked to the screen. Their chemistry was palpable, and the romantic tension between the two kept building until they finally accepted their love for one another. All Tony’s years of teasing and flirtation eventually worked in his favor!

NCIS Emily Wickersham and Wilmer Valderrama
‘NCIS’ stars Emily Wickersham, Wilmer Valderrama visits the CBS Photo Booth during the PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Today, though Ziva returned, Tony is no longer part of the show. And, Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Nick Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) have stepped in to take on the romantic arc plotline. Whether it was wise to mimic the show’s prior romance with new characters remains up for debate, as “Tiva” created a space in fans’ hearts that no one else could fulfill. Yet, it has become clear that the show has a new romantic duo in the works, yet one scene with the characters left fans wishing Ziva and Tony had a similar on-screen moment. 

Diving into the ‘NCIS’ episode ‘Saved By the Bell’  

In the 2019 episode “Saved By the Bell,” Bishop and Torres go on a double date, yet even their dates seem to realize that the two have more than a buddy-cop, co-worker dynamic going on. 

In the scene, Torres explains that the man Bishop is on a date with is “too young” for her (via a whispered discussion behind their menus). Bishop happens to be on a date with Torres’ girlfriend’s son. Torres and Bishop continue to bicker behind their menus, as their dates sit across from them, staring with confusion.

The awkwardness is evident. Bishop giggles at her date’s joke incessantly, and in a high-pitch voice. Torres goes on to mimic and mock her laugh, and Bishop goes on to defend herself. Meanwhile, their dates are across the table, and they remain largely uninvolved in the somewhat heated, somewhat humorous conversation. The dates try to break the tension, try to ease the moment… largely to no avail. Eventually, Bishop and Torres receive a message from work, and they must depart — leaving their dates (the mother/son duo) behind.  

Ziva and Tony would have been great in the above scene 

While Torres is a great character, he’s got nothing on Tony’s quick tongue and clever sense of humor. Tony would have epically handled such a double date, leaving fans laughing, whale simultaneously making his feelings for Ziva evident. As for Ziva, she would be able to spar, keeping up with Tony as she always had. Commenting on the YouTube clip, fans explained that they wished Ziva and Tony shared such a scene: 

How in the world did something like this NEVER happen to Tony and Ziva?

YouTube Commenter

Former ‘NCIS’ Star Pauley Perrette on Her ‘Sparkle’ With Michael Weatherly

Another viewer chimed in to explain that, in the end, this scene just didn’t live up to the “Tiva” power, stating:

TIVA-Best 100%

Borres- 10%

YouTube Commenter 

Tony and Ziva never got to receive a moment like this, for their storyline played out a little differently. The writers didn’t hint as heavily with “Tiva,” leaving moments like the one above largely out of the picture (for better or for worse).