For several years “Navy CIS” fans have been wondering whether fan favourite Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) is really dead or not. Earlier than expected, the answer to this question is now already available on Sat.1, where today a new episode from the 16th season is running again.
Attention, spoilers for the German TV broadcast of “Navy CIS”!
When the 13th episode of the 16th “Navy CIS” season was shown on US television in February 2019, we still speculated that local “NCIS” fans would have to wait until autumn to see the much-discussed episode in which we finally learn more about the presumed death of Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), a fan favourite who left the band years ago. Contrary to expectations, Sat.1 doesn’t take the annual break in the current season exactly in the middle, but only after the 14th episode of the 24-part season, so that today, April 10, 2019, at 8.15 p.m., we get an answer to the burning question whether Ziva really blessed the times.
We remember: Ziva David, who once worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad, was part of the NCIS team from the third season on, sometimes more, sometimes less – until she quit her service there at the end of Season 11 and returned to Israel. That was also the last time actress Cote de Pablo appeared in the role. In the 13th season, we only learn in dialogue that Ziva’s house was destroyed by an attack commanded by CIA agent Trent Kort (David Dayan Fisher) and that she herself died. Her and Tony DiNozzo’s (Michael Weatherly) little daughter Tali survived the whole thing, which eventually led to Tony’s NCIS farewell (and thus Michael Weatherly’s exit), as he now wanted to take care of Tali, whose existence he didn’t even know about until then.
Even then many fans doubted this story, not least because Ziva’s remains were never found. Also the former, meanwhile deceased “NCIS”-Showrunner Gary Glasberg declared after the broadcast of the episode that much thought was given to the exact wording of the announcement of Ziva’s supposed death. Nevertheless, viewers had to wait another three years for the story to be taken up again.
Here in Germany, the new “Navy CIS” episode bears the appropriate title “Zivas Geheimnis” (original title: “She”). And indeed the ex-Mossad agent is once again a big topic in this episode. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team come across the frightened daughter of ex-Navy recruit Morgan, who disappeared ten years ago in the middle of her pregnancy and was later declared dead. As it turns out, however, she was kidnapped and is still in captivity, while she was able to help her child, who was born there, escape. And as if that weren’t shocking enough, Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) also find out during their investigations that no one less than Ziva has been secretly investigating for years in order to track down the person in charge and thus ensure justice.
The NCIS team not only finds extensive records of Ziva’s case, but also a secret private office from which the ex-colleague continued to work on the case and for which the rent had already been prepaid until 2020. There, the agents also find a notebook with a letter from Morgan’s mother that Ziva wanted to read to the missing person’s kidnapper as soon as she caught him. In order to put this plan into action, Bishop now makes it his business to close the case – with success: Morgan can be found and rescued, her kidnapper caught.
However, when Bishop visits the perpetrator, who has been tied to his sickbed after a heart attack, to read the letter to him, a surprise awaits her. He explains to her that another woman had already preceded her and promised him that she would haunt his dreams. Bishop only now realizes that someone has torn the letter out of Ziva’s old notebook in the meantime. To confirm her suspicion, she hurries to Ziva’s secret office, which she finds unlocked and in which previously hung clothes suddenly lie around. Underneath is a note that finally proves that Ziva is still alive: “Eleanor Bishop, please keep my secret for the safety of my family.”
Even though after the US broadcast some viewers put up the theory that in reality Gibbs is behind Ziva’s tracks and message to give Bishop a real deal (after all, he was in possession of the notebook in the meantime), we assume that a really lively Ziva is still responsible for it. On the one hand, we don’t think Gibbs is capable of such a manipulative plan, on the other hand the makers could finally answer the long standing question about Ziva’s fate, without having to persuade Cote de Pablo to return again – which again might disappoint some fans.
The hope for a later guest appearance should perhaps not be given up completely. Finally, despite this large and probably long planned revelation, it is still necessary to clarify what exactly happened during the attack on Ziva’s house, whether she deliberately faked her death for the safety of her family and whether Tony actually knows about the whole thing. Maybe they will save the answers for another time, when not only de Pablo, but also Michael Weatherly could stop by to give the fans a double joy of reunion. Maybe even for the big series finale (which hopefully will be a few more years).