Ziva (Cote de Pablo) returned from the dead in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger at the end of NCIS's last season. The Season 17 premiere picked up mere seconds after she showed up in Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) basement, but it took a little longer to get answers about how all of this was possible.
Right as Gibbs started to ask how Ziva had survived the blast that took her father's life, they both came under fire. They managed to escape by creating a makeshift bomb to distract the guys shooting at them and climbing out of the coal chute attached to the basement (because of course Gibbs has a coal chute).
It turns out that the bomb that killed Eli was set by a woman named Sahar, and it was actually intended to take out Ziva all along. After Ziva realized that she was the real target, she decided to let her team, and her partner Tony (Michael Weatherly), believe that she was dead rather than risk their safety. Her mission during the five years since has been to take Sahar down and ultimately return to her family and friends. Unfortunately, Sahar decided to go after Gibbs, so Ziva returned prematurely to protect her former mentor.
The details are still sparse, but it seems that Sahar -- full name Mira Sahar Azam -- is targeting Ziva because something went down between Sahar and Ziva's brother, Ari. It seems like a good, old-fashioned revenge tale, but it's still unclear what exactly happened to make Sahar go to such extremes.
Thanks to McGee (Sean Murray), Ziva and Gibbs were able to track down Sahar by the end of the episode. Ziva was ready to kill the woman who had stolen her life, but Gibbs was able to stop her. Sahar made a vague threat that if Ziva killed her, a U.S. Senator would be dead by morning, but that doesn't really seem to matter to Ziva. Will she actually heed Gibbs' warning about losing herself if she takes Sahar's life? That remains to be seen in next week's episode, because this Sahar nightmare is far from over.
NCIS continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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