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NCIS Finale Recap: Why Did Tony Leave?

And did Ziva come back?

Liz Raftery

The mortar explosion that destroyed Ziva's farmhouse (and killed Ziva in the process, R.I.P.) wasn't the only bomb that NCIS dropped in its Season 13 finale.

It makes perfect sense that Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) would leave the agency, thanks to the revelation that ... he and Ziva (Cote de Pablo) have a daughter!

Yep, that's right. Who saw that coming?! Her name is Tali, after Ziva's deceased sister, and she looks to be about 2 years old. (She's also adorable, and scratch-free, despite surviving a deadly bombing less than 24 hours earlier.) Guess we know the answer to the question that's plagued #Tiva 'shippers for years. For those who are curious about the timing of it all, Tony later tells McGee that he and Ziva had a "fond farewell" before she left the agency.

NCIS: 14 things we'll miss about Tony DiNozzo

Anyway, Mossad Director Orli Elbaz (Marina Sirtis) brings Tali to the States to break the news to Tony, hours after he learns that Ziva was killed in the attack. She also tells him that Ziva kept Tali's existence a secret because she didn't want to disrupt Tony's life any further. To quote Ducky, "It's information overload."

While Tony's babysitting Tali at his apartment (and getting some child-rearing tips from Jimmy and DiNozzo Sr.), the rest of the NCIS crew are in full manhunt mode for Trent Kort, the former CIA agent who's the mastermind behind it all. By the time they finally apprehend him, Tony's arrived on the scene and when Kort goes for his gun, everyone unloads their weapons.

It's Jimmy who first questions Tony about whether he's coming back to work now that he's a single dad and all, a question that's clearly weighing on Tony's mind when he goes to visit Gibbs in his garage at the end of the episode. "I've never been anybody's everything before," he says, before telling Gibbs he's quitting the agency. He'll first head to Israel with Tali to "find some answers," and then to Paris, a place Ziva loved.

While we don't get a real-life Cote de Pablo cameo in Weatherly's big exit episode, we do get plenty of flashbacks, as well as Tony hallucinating a ghost Ziva sitting at her desk, after he hears that she's been killed. Tony bids heartfelt farewells to Abby, McGee and Bishop, and then leaves the building for good.

What did you think of the NCIS season finale? And how much will you miss Tony DiNozzo?