Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo
Ziva David has left the building.
Actress Cote de Pablo made her long-awaited exit from NCIS this week. How did Ziva's storyline wrap up? Read our recap to find out:
The episode opens with Tony (Michael Weatherly) heading to Tel Aviv to find the MIA Ziva. There, he teams up with Adam and new Mossad Director Orli Elbaz (Marina Sirtis), who shows him a cryptic note from Ziva at the bottom of her childhood wishlist: "Stop this for him." What does it mean? After a prickly initial meeting, Adam (Damon Dayoub) and Tony visit one of Ziva's childhood friends, Dr. Deena Bashan (Lena Georgas) to try to find out. Ziva's friend thinks the "him" could be Tony, but says the last time she saw Ziva was months ago at Ziva's father's funeral.
Meanwhile, back at NCIS, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and Co. are investigating the terrorist group "Brotherhood of Doubt," and suspect the group's next target is Mendez (Costas Mandylor).
Cote de Pablo talks about her decision to leave NCIS
Continuing on his Israel investigation, Tony sees surveillance footage that proves Dr. Bashan has lied about not seeing Ziva. He confronts her, and Bashan confesses that she was in love with Ziva's brother, Ari, who was going to propose to Bashan before Ziva killed him. She has little interest in helping Tony find Ziva, with the reasoning: "Why should she have the man that she loves, when she took mine from me?" Yikes.
Next we flash-forward to October. Tony, rocking some facial scruff, is still in Israel looking for Ziva. But he's getting close. He can feel it. (We can too, seeing as there's only about 20 minutes left in the episode.) "If Ziva doesn't want to be found, you aren't going to find her," Gibbs cautions him. "You should respect that." Tony doesn't, and says he's going off the grid to follow a new lead. But as he shuts down his computer, we see that he's already found Ziva. In fact, he appears to be taking the call from her house. How long have they been shacking up?!
Not long, apparently. Ziva isn't exactly welcoming him with open arms. "You shouldn't have come," she tells him, but softens after he returns her Star of David necklace. We find out that Ziva has been on a tour of her past in Israel, visiting places like her grandparents' graves and the home she was born in — and Tony's been tracking her the whole time, anticipating her movements based on a dream he had.
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And then we find out her real reason for leaving NCIS.
Speaking with her brother's almost-fiancee forced Ziva to do a bit of soul-searching, she tells Tony. "How can I not think that for every man I kill, there's someone out there crying for him?" she ponders. "The center of all this pain is me. ... This is what I made of myself, but it's not who I wanted to be." Tony reminds her that, based on the note she wrote as a child, she wanted to be a ballerina. But despite his entreaties for her to come back to D.C. with him (even just to work as a grocery bagger!), Ziva refuses.
Ziva and (a now clean-shaven) Tony share a tearful goodbye on an airplane runway. Ziva explains that the "him" she's stopping it for is Gibbs, whom she wants to make proud. (Burn! You can tell Tony's a little bummed it's not him.) But he doesn't leave without a parting gift. "You are so loved," Ziva tells him. They kiss, and he leaves. "Hardest 180 of my life," Tony says before boarding the plane. On board the plane, Tony starts to make his own "I Will" wishlist, and discovers that Ziva has snuck her necklace into his pocket. Aw.
Also of (non-Tiva related) note: It's not actually Fornell (Joe Spano) whom Harmon was targeting in last season's finale! (Though he does accidentally shoot Fornell in the rear.) Rather, it's Mendez, who we learn has actually been working for the terrorists, not against them, with Parsa pulling the strings. Ziva's apparently not the only one leaving the show, as Mendez gets shot right through his iPhone as he's about to detonate a bomb.
What did you think of Ziva's goodbye? Should she have gone with Tony? Will she enroll in ballet school? What do you think she said to Gibbs during that phone call? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments!
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