Cote de Pablo, NCIS

Ziva (Cote de Pablo) may be back at her desk on NCIS, but she's far from being fully integrated back into the team.

That could all change in Tuesday's episode.

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When a Marine's death on foreign soil is connected to the freighter on which Ziva was held captive in the Season 6 finale, she will not only get involved in the case, but she'll also have to face her past. The good news for viewers: We'll finally get to see just what happened during Ziva's captivity.

"We're filling in the blanks," executive producer Shane Brennan tells TVGuide.com. "In the audience's mind, we're filling in how she ended up being captured by Salim, and the audience gets taken on a ride back to her time on the ship. It's a companion piece to the season opener."

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As is usually the case with NCIS, everything is not as it first appears. "It's done in such a way that the audience will be kept guessing as to what happened," Brennan says. "It's a very clever, engaging, not-to-be-missed episode."

Brennan says the back story will make it clearer why Gibbs (Mark Harmon) hesitates to trust Ziva enough to make her an NCIS agent. Naturally, Gibbs already knows more than the audience. "I don't think there's ever a time in Gibbs' life that he hasn't known more than he's let on," Brennan says.

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Brennan says the unresolved issues between Ziva and Tony (Michael Weatherly) will be dealt with to a lesser extent, but that conflict will continue to be important in the weeks ahead. "Certainly this episode will help resolve some — I won't say all, but some — of the questions that have been left hanging over the last couple of episodes," he says. "Those questions are in the process of being answered, and what you'll have over the next couple of episodes is a resolution of the issues that they've grappled with in the very recent past."

Even though the new season is barely under way, Brennan is already thinking of the finish line. "We've got the rest of the season laid out, in terms of what the audience is going to learn about our characters and the way they're going to be thrown together in some very dynamic and interesting episodes."

NCIS aire Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.