Coté de Pablo Weighs In on NCIS' New Dynamic Duo, 'The Year of Tiva' and An 'Interesting' Twist

This Tuesday at 8/7c, television’s most watched drama – CBS’ NCIS – will at long last bring together two of Gibbs’ agents in a new and intriguing way.

That’s right, Ziva and Abby are going to split off and work a case together. And Coté de Pablo, for one, tells TVLine she is “really excited” about the must-see match-up.

“It’s the first time they actually put those two characters together in an episode just about them,” the actress notes. “They get Abby outside the lab, we’re in Gibbs’ house…. It was fun working that dynamic with Pauley [Perrette]. She’s great to work with.”

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Setting the stage for this alliance of fierce femmes is the abduction of a girl whose friend Lydia (Kyle XY‘s Kirsten Prout) witnessed the incident – as her father died trying to stop it, no less. “We need to keep her protected, and as we do there’s bonding between the three women,” de Pablo previews. Given the subject matter and the trinity of actresses involved, she says, “It’s not a real ‘action’ show. It’s more an emotional show than anything.”

Coming out of this collaboration, de Pablo believes Ziva and Abby will grow closer. “There’s a moment where Abby saves the day… and fans will love it,” she teases. And while this is not the “Ziva and Abby Go Undercover” episode she and Perrette oft have pitched the writers, “We have not given up on that,” she insists.

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Speaking of formidable females: This week’s NCIS also introduces viewers to the spectacularly named Miranda Pennebaker, played by ER alum Alex Kingston. Though she figures into a separate part of the abduction storyline, de Pablo describes Miranda – “a well-connected woman with questionable morals,” per CBS – as someone “who doesn’t particularly run in the same world that we work in.”

Miranda does, however, share a mystery history with Gibbs, a connection de Pablo is anxious to see explored down the line. “I would love to know how they met,” she says. “We’re all crossing our fingers that she comes back.”

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‘THE YEAR OF TIVA’?
And then there are the men in Agent Ziva David’s orbit. This week’s episode finds Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) curious-slash-jealous about some plans Ziva has with a mysterious man. “It’s a funny bit with a great payoff,” de Pablo promises. “The only thing I can say is that Tony is able to relax when he meets the guy.”

As for Weatherly’s pre-season pronouncement that “This is the year” for “Tiva,” de Pablo can only chuckle the way a sister marvels at her bratty brother. “I think that is maybe Michael and his wishful thinking,” she offers. “I’ve had years in which I thought, ‘Oh my God, this a Tiva year,’ and there have been years he thought were Tiva years…. The truth is, we have yet to find out where that storyline is going to go. I think they’re toying around with us like they always do.”

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One story arc de Pablo can properly tease is the latest appearance by Ziva’s father Eli David (played by Michael Nouri). Set to resurface at midseason, the actress says, “He comes to make peace with his daughter… but then drama unfolds.”

I point out that showrunner Gary Glasberg has hinted at an “unexpected reveal“/”big sort of turn” pegged to Eli’s encore. “I’ll agree with him on that…,” de Pablo allows. Without revealing specifics, she shares this much more about the twist: “It’s an interesting thing to explore – and something we have never seen my character go through.”

All told, as de Pablo forges on with NCIS Season 10 – the final year of her latest pact with the hit drama – she confirms that she is very much still having a great deal of fun. “Always. They’re kicking my butt, but always,” she underscores. “We’re still the No. 1 drama, and that’s crazy to us even!”