Performer of the Week: Cote de Pablo

NCIS Cote De PabloA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Cote de Pablo

THE SHOW | NCIS (CBS)

THE EPISODE | “Shabbat Shalom”

THE AIRDATE | January 8, 2013

RELATED | Matt’s Inside Line: Get Scoop on NCIS‘ Ziva and the Tragic Aftermath

THE PERFORMANCE | Just as Ziva knew that her father, given his long tenure with the Mossad, was living on the razor’s edge, many of us as viewers knew that something was afoot as Eli’s latest visit neared. Nonetheless, just like Ziva, we were shocked and shattered by the what, and the how.

Capping an hour that explored the many colors of this complicated father-daughter relationship — including the NCIS agent’s disappointment to learn that the episode’s murder victim died at his hand — Ziva tried to share Shabbat dinner with him at the Vances’, but had her fill of his words before having one bite of food. As she then stepped outside to cool off, hot bullets came flying at the Vance home. After hunting down the shooter, Ziva raced inside to check on her father, but the look on Tony’s face telegraphed the worst of news. As Ziva set her own eyes upon Eli’s lifeless body, de Pablo’s expression instantly morphed from professional resolve into horror into, as she cradled his head in her arms, the weeping visage of a little girl who’d lost her abba. There was no holding back for de Pablo as the actress let her alter ego’s emotions, and tears, flow, whispering a Hebrew prayer into her late father’s ear. WATCH IT HERE:

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RELATED | Tuesday Ratings: NCIS Hits a Season High

HONORABLE MENTION | Once Upon a Time‘s Lana Parrilla, who in the ABC drama’s winter premiere successfully ran the gamut from heartbreaking (as Regina helplessly failed to prove herself to son Henry) to wise-cracking to, in the flashbacks, the most menacing of all.

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week?

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101 Comments
  1. SAM says:

    All of her deepest, darkest fears about how her father would meet his end came true.

  2. cchick22 says:

    I rarely tear up at TV shows, but those few moments of her breaking down had me sobbing along with her. Truly an outstanding job by Cote!

  3. Ella says:

    Highly deserved with this honor =)

  4. Ram510 says:

    How is that Scandal has yet to have performer of the week, are you guys watching?

    • Katie says:

      Just what I was thinking! I was sure you were going to pick Huck from Scandal this week.

      • Lisa B says:

        I totally agree, for some reason they are totally ignoring Scandal and it has had some great moments so far this season

        • Arthur L. Burke Sr says:

          I cannot believe any person could have been any better than Cote. Her Ziva was a masterpiece. I watched her over and over and over. I have not seen many women who could hold a candle to her in looks. To me she was my Angel (I am 95 butI still have a brilliant memory) Ziva, I am going to miss you more than you can ever believe. I shall wait for whatever it is that lured you away. I was NOT a Tony fan at all. His ego was treacherous, snooping, taking others’ ideas and sending them to Jethro Gibbs as his own. I am sure I, under the right circumstances, would have been another Jethro in the War. I could have been a sniper and enjoyed it. Arthur Burke Sr

  5. Kathi says:

    Totally deserving!!!!

  6. Nubiesque says:

    Matt, I TOTALLY agree with you. I was blown away with pride by Cote’s performance. I’ve always loved Ziva for her many, many complexities. She has always been my favorite character among an already fantastic cast, and is the one I owe credit for drawing me in as a vested fan. I could identify with her the most. It has been a intriguing, fascinating journey watching Ziva David find her place, her value, and her identity in the world of NCIS. I cannot wait to see what’s in store next for this wonderful character. Kudos to you, Ms. DePablo; every accolade you receive from your hard work in the near future will be well-deserved. :)

  7. sara says:

    My picks were same as yours. I probably would have reversed them with Lana up top but Cote was really spectacular.

  8. Sunny says:

    Cote freaking blew me away with her performance, not just in that scene when she returns and sees her father dead, but throughout the entire episode. An amazing performance. Rocky Carroll was also brilliant. That ending was wow.

  9. kendall says:

    I cried all through the ending like crazy, for me the most heartbreaking moment was when she yells abba & the praying in hebrew wow fantastic !!!!

  10. Gaara says:

    Totally agree. Days later, her poignant scream of “Abba” still haunts me T_T Cote deserves all the awards

  11. Karen says:

    I was hoping to see her pic before I clicked on the link. Good choice ! An incredible performance and I doubt many of us will be able to get “Abba!” out of our minds any time soon

  12. ncisrulez says:

    Cote de Pablo was awesome! I cried! OMG she was amazing in that scene!

  13. Aly says:

    Although Cote did a fantastic job, I definitely would have picked Lana as first choice. She had such a brilliant range in the latest episode – going from snarky yet vaguely happy to heartbroken in SB, playing Cora-as-Regina Regina, going from “regretful” to crazy in FTL… Her ‘final words’ speech was absolutely amazing, and was done on a green screen. Very talented.

    • twilight123 says:

      I loved Lana’s performance on Sunday! I totally forgot about the “Cora as Regina” part of it. Good catch! This only furthers my belief that she is raising the bar on what could otherwise be a very campy show. Love her work as the evil queen!

  14. Kay says:

    CdP’s cry of Abba will be remembered long into the future. Then the muttering of Hebrew prayers as she cradled his body.

  15. estefania says:

    she is so talented , beautiful, nice actress, she achivied with her performance in this epi to go trough screen and emotive NCIS viewers, , she made me cry like baby , when she screamed ABBA!!! this is heartbreaking scream, this comes her soul and heart, she is really wonderful actress and thanks so much tvline for giving her some recognition to cote de pablo and NCIS cast and crew… tha they deserves more…
    I hope cote de pablo follows brilliant as now, she deserves it and more

    thanks TEAM TVLINE

  16. Lindsey says:

    That scene broke my heart… If Cote de Pablo doesn’t get an Emmy Nom then they can shove it because that was an amazing piece of acting!

  17. morecowbell94 says:

    Could not agree more. Such a powerful performance. Excellent pick!

  18. KBRAD says:

    This woman never fails to disappoint! Her acting in this episode was phenomenal and she definitely deserves the mention.

  19. Laine says:

    Cote’s performance was astounding, touching and heartbreaking. Perfect. Well done, TVLine, Lana Parrilla does deserve an honourable mention. Her acting is just crazy amazing. Both very powerful women on screen.

  20. Bravo!!! best performance by here ever and that is saying something!!! She sold this made me cry and feel like I was their and shared her sadness! Brilliant acting 5 stars our of 5 :)

    • jacqueline dearborn says:

      I agree whole hartedly. Her best performance thus far for awhile now.The girl’s got the skill,hope we see it more in future.

  21. Kathy says:

    That performance was outstanding and Emmy worthy by Cote de Pablo. I will never forget that last scene.

  22. Miss Katie says:

    Cote was amazing.

  23. Rach says:

    Cote deserved this 100%. As soon as she yelled, “Abba!” my heart broke for Ziva and I cried along with her. Cote is a fantastic actress and hardly gets recognized for it.

  24. Cindy Woods says:

    Cote broke my heart. What a fantastic actress. I can not wait to see her revenge mode now. She plays the up and down emotions of Ziva so well.

  25. John says:

    Agree wholeheartedly. That was one of the best acting jobs I have ever seen on tv by Cote De Pablo. All I could say after watching was wow. What an actress.

  26. anti-ziva says:

    not a surprise that she was picked by you guys….maybe one of these days she’ll even learn how to act.

    • Gaara says:

      Human beings should be able to feel that thing called empathy, not because you love or admire the other person but because you recognize their raw emotion and you ask yourself “what if I was in their shoes / what if that thing happened to me too” or simply you went through it too and you know exactly how that pain feels like.

      The more you know…

    • you are right,,,don’t like her acting,, she talks through her nose, sounds witchy,,, need someone new to take her place

  27. John Veivers says:

    It’s funny how people’s opinions vary so much.

    • maggie says:

      People’s opinions do vary, but not in this case. Out of 31 comments so far, ONLY 1 differed from the almost unanimous consensus that Ms. de Pablo did an excellent job.

      • jacqueline dearborn says:

        Make that 32 for good job.Enjoyed this epersoid and plead for more of Cote’s deeper side.

      • Andrea says:

        I’ve found that, more often than not, it has become best to not respond about Cote if one does not share this fervent devotion that she tends to inspire. That’s why there are likely few contrary opinions. For the record, I don’t like Ziva or Tony and Ziva. I think that Cote is a perfectly fine actress who seems like a nice person and enjoys her fellow co-workers. I did shed a tear when Eli was shown to be dead and Ziva sat with his body, but it is a significant stretch for me to say that Cote was brilliant or even that that was one of the most brilliant performances in the show’s history. Cote did her job and she did it well, but I would not say that she was brilliant.

  28. ziverfan says:

    Cote de Pablo deserves an Emmy for that performance,incredible acting by her,she is amzing.

  29. maggie says:

    All throughout the episode Cote de Pablo was wonderful, but the ending was outstanding.

  30. zoyarose says:

    Yes, Cote de Pablo did such a marvelous job of calling out for her ABBA, and we felt like we were right there feeling Ziva’s pain, watching her cradled her Abba’s head and crying as she realized she lost the last of her immediate family!!!! I still tear up thinking about it days laters. She deserves all the awards for this episode.

  31. Natalie says:

    I so agree with this. And whoever wrote this up and painted the picture of the little girl who lost her abba – perfect description of the part that moved me the most – to tears actually.

  32. Natalie says:

    Oh and the prayer too. Great call, Team TVLine.

  33. Nadia says:

    Cote was truly heartbreaking in this episode. Jonny Lee Miller also gave a spectacular performance this week.

  34. Claire says:

    Amazing show and an amazing cast! I love how this show continues to grow and the cast evolve. Ziva/Cote has always been a favorite of mine and I was thrilled for her with her performance. She is a gem, I love how her character in particular has evolved — please, please, please sign the contracts already so I can breathe! :)

  35. Steph says:

    Cote was amazing.

  36. lame says:

    Gary Glasberg is the reason NCIS is no.1 and has been for almost ten years. What a twist in the Ziva arch! Just like he has in the pass he’s stunned us once again. No one is safe in a Glasberg series!!!

  37. Julie Fine says:

    Truly one of the most brilliant performances I’ve ever witnessed on television.

  38. sophie says:

    I just love NCIS.. But this episode? WOW! Haunting!
    Cote was truly amazing, and if she doesn’t get an EMMY for this, or at least a nomination, something is REALLY wrong :/

  39. Lillian says:

    Gary Glasberg, while doing a fantastic job , hasn’t been with the series for 10 years and has been sole showrunner for the past 2. Just sayin’.

  40. Syd says:

    Cote crying justifies this being an award winning performance? Really? And why are being so heart broken about Eli dying. He was an ass. Good riddance.

    • Wenn says:

      Not all that heartbroken about Eli dying, but heartbroken about what it does to Ziva. As for Cote’s performance? There are not many actresses out there that can pull off a performance that lets ME feel the characters pain. Yet she did that with one word. That is why she deserves all the awards.

      • Syd says:

        Sorry, the whole time I was annoyed at how she turned back into the untrustworthy person she becomes whenever Mossad is involved.

  41. Wenn says:

    Her screaming Abba is something that will be etched in to my memory and gives me goosebumps 10 miles high every time I hear it (Not to mention leaves me sobbing pile on the floor). The raw emotion, the horror she felt was conveyed in that one single word and there are not many actors/actresses out there that can pull that off. She’s amazing and she deserves all the awards.

  42. TVDIVA says:

    Cote is so darn good. She had me going through a box of tissues.

  43. Cote de Pablo is truly the best actress I know. I wouldn’t even call her an actor but an artist instead because her performances are always to an A++++!! And you believe in it, you really believe that a girl breaks because her father is dead!
    She is so amazing and I really wish for her to get an adward :D :D

  44. Kim R says:

    It was so good I watched it again the next morning. :) When the bullets exploded in the Vance’s home it was such a shock. The episode had been going along as normal up until that point. Cote did an excellent job and when her face dissolved into a girl crying out for her father, it was heart wrenching. So good. What added to the heartbreak were the last exchanges she had with her dad. No do-overs. No resolving. No chance to come together at some point in the future. Sad sad.

  45. Adz says:

    I broke down and cried so much!! Her acting is splendid!! She truly did an amazing job!!!now I can’t wait for shiva I’m sure it will be great!!!well done cote and the cast and writers of ncis!!!

  46. Katie says:

    Cote was magnificent throughout the entire show with her emotions running up and down as she learned more about her father . Emmy worthy for sure. I love the Ziva character even more.

  47. reen says:

    Perfect choice. This was an amazing episode, and Cote de Pablo was incredible. Even before the bullets flew, which I did not see coming, she was superb. When Ziva cried “Abba”, I choked up and the tears were streaming. Absolutely gut-wrenching. And then the prayers… Yes, perfect choice.

  48. Svenja says:

    That was just a stunning heart-breaking performance. Her best work in my opinion. It will haunt me forever

  49. Sara says:

    Throughout the years, there have been a few scenes on this show that, no matter how many times I watch them, make me cry like a baby. This scene moved to the top of that list. It’s haunting and will stick with me forever. It was perfectly played by Cote and she DEFINITELY deserves all the awards for it!

  50. Glo says:

    There are only a few shows that have left me speechless…this episode left me in tears! Cote truly deserves to be nominated for her brilliant, heartfelt acting.