There are just two episodes to go in this season of CBS' NCIS, and playing a sizable role in them is Michael Rivkin, the Mossad agent who last week surfaced in bed alongside Ziva. This Tuesday, Tony finally gets some quality face time with Rivkin, and it's unlikely either gent will be smiling. Merik Tadros, who plays Rivkin, shared a look at what's to come.
TVGuide.com: So, the elusive Michael Rivkin is now among us....
Merik Tadros: [Laughs] Yes, apparently so.
TVGuide.com: Did they tell you, back during [the Season 6 premiere] "Last Man Standing," that they had plans for you to return, but that you'd have to sit tight?
Tadros: The way they set it up, I figured I would make some sort of comeback at one point, but I never knew when it was going to be. I had no idea.
TVGuide.com: You have not exactly endeared yourself to fans landing in bed with Ziva.
Tadros: Yeah, I had a sense that people would probably be angry about that. They're very passionate about the potential love for DiNozzo and David. I'm just doing my job!
TVGuide.com: How is Cote de Pablo as a scene partner?
Tadros: Oh, she's amazing. She's a sweetheart and an amazing actress.... It was very, very easy to have to be in love with her.
TVGuide.com: Do things get intense in these last two episodes?
Tadros: It gets pretty intense, without question. And it was very exciting, because I felt like it shed light on DiNozzo and David in a way that has never before done in the show. It was nice to be a part of that.
TVGuide.com: What's the mood when Tony and Rivkin finally come face to face? Do they "mark their territory"?
Tadros: I would assume so, yes.
TVGuide.com: Shane Brennan told me that Rivkin would "cause some waves." Is the surf going to get only rougher before it calms down?
Tadros: You guys right now are witnessing the calm before the storm.
TVGuide.com: At the end of the day, will Rivkin's presence bring Tony and Ziva closer together, or drive them apart?
Tadros: I think that love can hurt and heal. In this case, we'll have opportunity to see both of those things take place. I don't want to say too much, but... I think it will only make their connection stronger, as they learn a lot more about each other.
TVGuide.com: One theory being batted around is that whatever is going on "between" Rivkin and Ziva is an "arranged" thing that she's trapped in.
Tadros: Well, with the underworld of espionage, you would never really know. They could easily have been paired and had to be in love and then had to learn to love each other.... The way I've always approached it is that Rivkin loves Ziva. They've always wanted to add some suspense and mystery to all of it, but I would always say to the directors, "How could I not love her?" But he also has a job to do. And so does she. [Executive producer] Shane [Brennan] is a genius, so it's been a great pleasure to just go along for this ride. I'm excited to watch the finale [airing May 19] myself just to see how it all plays out!