NCIS Recap: A Kiss Before Goodbye-ing -- What Grade Do You Give Cote de Pablo's Exit?

NCIS Ziva Last EpisodeIn the end, NCIS‘ Ziva David walked away from her badge not for fear of her future but to put her past behind her.

As Cote de Pablo‘s eight-year run came to an end this Tuesday night, it was revealed that at the start of the four-month time jump, Michael Weatherly‘s DiNozzo had made tracks for Israel to find his disappeared friend. There, he was met by both Mossad director Orli Elbaz (who’s probably not happy about Gibbs’ Captain Kirk ignorance) and Adam Eshel, both of whom assured the visitor they were on the same mission.

RELATED | Cote de Pablo Mum on NCIS Exit Details: ‘I Left Under My Terms, and That Was Wonderful’

How much Ziva’s welfare weighed on Tony’s mind was very evident through the first half-hour, first as he imagined her seated on the airplane next to him, then when Tony “saw” a young Ziva outside her childhood apartment. Across the hall, Tony and Adam chat up Dr. Deena Bashan, a childhood pal of Ziva’s, and she claims the women haven’t seen each other.

But soon enough, as Tony and Director Elbaz scrutinize security cam footage, they discover that Ziva and Deena had reunited, the day Ziva last texted Tony. Confronted with her whopper, Deena reveals that she was to be engaged to Ari Haswari, when Ziva killed her half-brother. Had any other NCIS agent come knocking, she may have played ball. NCIS Ziva Last Episode“But why should Ziva have the man she loves?”

Armed by Elbaz with the Mossad’s files on Ziva (as well as her Star of David necklace), Tony begins a months-long search that proves fruitless — or so he allows Gibba to believe, until it’s revealed that Ziva was at his side during that check-in with D.C. When Tony urges Ziva to come home, she roars, “You cannot beat down my door one moment and expect me to face my old life the next! You should not have come.”

Tony returns Ziva’s necklace to her, then observes, “You were looking back” as she went into hiding, visiting the place her mother was killed, her grandparents’ grave and ultimately the house where she was born. Ziva then relates her side of the guilt-ridden run-in with Dr. Bashan, saying, “How can I not think that for every man I killed there is someone out there crying? She was right, the center of all this pain is me. This is what I made myself.”

Tony brings out the “I WILL” list that Ziva made as a little girl and thought she had left buried: “The universeNCIS Ziva Last Episode is begging you to wipe the slate clean, and there’s plenty of room on the back of the list to start a new one. Maybe I can help you with that?”

RELATED | NCIS Planning New Orleans-Based Spin-Off, Exec-Produced By Mark Harmon

Later, Ziva buries an updated “I WILL” list by the olive trees, at which point Tony makes one final appeal: “You don’t have to do this alone…. Just come home. With me. I know you want to change; I can change with you.” With a kiss of her hand, he adds: “I’m fighting for you, Ziva.”

As the hour closes, we find ourselves at a small airport, at night — very Casablanca-like, as Weatherly tweeted some time ago — with Tony set to head back home. Alone. “What will I tell people?” “That you were right,” Ziva answers. “That I have to start over.” She says to tell Abby that she is doing this to make Gibbs proud (words she’ll appreciate). And if she doesn’t stand her ground, “I will be pulled back to where I started.” Tony invites her to call Gibbs personally, Past, Present, and Futurereminding that on the phone, “He’s a functional mute. A good listener.”

Before parting ways, Ziva starts, “Tony, you are so….” “Handsome? Funny?” Loved. They share a long, warm kiss, after which Tony walks away, shaking his head: “This is not easy… The hardest 180 of my life.” Tears stream down Ziva’s cheeks, and then a smile acknowledging a bittersweet affection, as Tony waves goodbye from the plane — where he starts his own “I WILL” list. And before the screen fades to black, we see Gibbs taking a call from the agent he visibly hates to lose.

Elsewhere in the episode, it is revealed — following a nifty bit of misdirection by way of a self-triggered explosion — that businessman/anti-terrorism advocate Tomás Mendez in fact is playing for the other, kill-happy side. And he’s about to take out another VIP when Gibbs — from the perch we saw him at in the Season 10 finale — shoots the cell phone trigger and Mendez… and apparently Fornell’s bum. But big bad Benham Parsa is still out there, Gibbs notes, “and he’s not alone.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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331 Comments
  1. Paloma says:

    Tonight’s show was BORING.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Ziva’s not dead, it sucks as an exit. We were promised a proper goodbye for her, that requires her death. If she’s still alive, that’s more of a “See you later”.

    • Stacey says:

      Which was the intention. They want her to come back one day. So they left it open ended!

      • John 1138 says:

        That production group dors recycle characters, a very long part of their DNA. Even I’m the JAG days, heck MAC was a recycle. ( well in they case the actress not the character).

  3. tahonia2 says:

    Maybe the whole re-entry of Ziva will be for one of the sweeps months when NCIS really needs to wipe S.H.I.E.L.D. away.

    • Darlene says:

      SHIELD did a great job of wiping its own self away with a 30+ percent drop in viewers this week. I guess that show is not all that viewers had hoped it would be.

  4. Lucy says:

    The “I’m fighting for you, Ziva” just KILLED me.

    Other than that, I’m just going to replay season 7’s “Truth or Consequences” over and over in my head as Ziva’s farewell episode. It’s my way of honoring Cote. (Sorry, too soon?)

  5. Yanet says:

    Depressing after 8 year on the show and we got 15 minutes farewell LOL and thanks to CBS not surprise at all great promos CBS

    Thank you NCIS.

  6. S. says:

    “who’s probably not happy about Gibbs’ Captain Kirk ignorance” LOL oh, Matt, thanks for that laugh. I needed it after this episode. Tony and Ziva’s scenes were heartfelt and beautiful but it made me sad because: look at how great they could’ve been, look how great their chemistry is, and it was wasted. Not purposely. I think every EP planned on doing something with them, eventually. And that was the problem. The “somedays” and “eventuallys.” I don’t blame Gary or CBS, it was CDP’s decision. And no one saw this coming. it’s just one of those things. But it sucks that for eight years she’s been on the show, say after year four or five, if they would’ve finally gotten them together then it could’ve been great. But, when GG gets control of the show and decides to finally work his way there then this happens. It was really tough watching her go. I thought Michael Weatherly really did an amazing job in this ep. Kudos to him for expressing the pain that we share at this loss so well. They had a special family and she was a big part of it. I won’t be watching anymore unless she comes back because it’s too hard for me. But I really like the cast and crew of NCIS and hope they still do well. Great recap as usual, Matt. I love it when you cover my favorite shows. You always do good.

  7. prish says:

    My husband was shocked at the episode, “She didn’t even say goodbye to the whole team. She just talked to Tony. I’m not watching these two episodes, again, in reruns. What about you?” I agreed with him.

    • Lia says:

      I agree with you completely! NCIS is NOT the Tiva show…Ziva should have been able to interact with her entire “family”

  8. Ilaina Meisler says:

    I agree that Ziva’s last ep was sad. She had exactly 10 minutes air time ( yes I timed it ). It wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t ruin it with all the spoilers and promises that didn’t happen.

    Anyone notice that when Mark Harmon talks about this he looks extremely pissed. He even looked pissed at Ziva’s phone call. He should have been happy/relieved. If he was directing it may have had something to do with the brevity of the character.

    Don’t know what happened but if I was cote, after 8 years, I would not work for anything less than pay parity and I mean next year also. Even if they gave her as much as michael this year he will probably get a huge raise next year. I know what it is like to be working next to someone, doing the same job and making a significant amt less. I suspect that is what the one year was about and may have been her sticking point. Who knows…Don’t think she would have jeopardized her career without a damned good reason.

    Wish her luck…want her back.

  9. ex-Tiva says:

    Cote’s acting was AMAZING but the Tiva storyline was very very weak! I mean after 8 years I-we expected MORE than a simple kiss! Especially with all the interviews of a satisfying Tiva closure! it was NOT satisfying AT ALL! what are they?! 12 years old teenagers? I expected way more from this episode!

    Only positive note: Michael WAS so damn good-looking! Forget Ziva… I’m here for you.. right now…

    and please CBS stop posting ALL the best scenes in the promos! It’s not fair!!

  10. Pat says:

    I was very disappointed with the ending of Ziva. I thought part two was suppose to be centered entirely on Ziva and Tony. That last scene with her saying goodbye to Tony was heart wrenching not only because of the kiss but more so with her tears. Those tears and her face I thought reflect how she was really feeling about her exit from the show.

  11. KittyJules says:

    I’m not sure how I could have been satisfied with this episode with only about 10 minutes of Ziva airtime. But it is what it is, so I have to be satisfied with what they gave us. I did love it. Just absolutely hate that the actress had to leave the show. I hope she is blessed with whatever in her life helped her to make this decision. And I hope we are blessed with her return before the end of the show.

  12. patriottony says:

    I’m probably in the top 2% of Die hard NCIS fans, but the show “took off” when they added Ziva, and will tank just as fast. Last year NCIS was the top rated show, but in the next few weeks you will see it plummet without her. The Agents of Shield will take them down.
    Ziva’s kick butt persona, humor and sexuality mad this show…without her you have a cranky old man,,a playboy and a couple of nerds…WOW…

    • Darlene says:

      Don’t think so, patriottony. SHIELD will have more to do working to get back all of the viewers they lost from last week. Right now, I’m sure they’re praying for really, really, really strong DVR viewers.

  13. stressline2013 says:

    I gave it an F because Cote didn’t even appear in either episode. You do that when an actor dies or quits in anger. This cheated everyone. I mean, her voice wasn’t even on the show when Ziva texted to Tony.

  14. Anna says:

    I thought I would be okay with the ending. But I just feel empty. I am a Tiva fan, but would have liked it better if they didn’t just throw that kiss in the end. I have been waiting for that kiss for 8 years and now it is just a big disappointment. Ziva deserved better. Honestly 10 min is not enough to say goodbye. The only glimmer of hope that is still keeping me going is that they did not kill her off so maybe she can come back for the finale. Tony coming home and she is already there, waiting for him, ready to try. That’s what I’m sticking to because I don’t think I could handle anything else. And the whole Ari and Deena thing? COME ON. Now after all this time they just throw her in? It just didn’t seem realistic. I wasn’t a big fan of NCIS LA but at least they didn’t disappoint.

  15. KirstyLou says:

    And I don’t think I’ve seen any comments about Michael Weatherly’s seriously super hot beard I mean seriously super hot. Think he should keep it.

  16. Karen C says:

    Well I have to say I was very disappointed in the advertisement of the last two weeks. I barely saw Ziva. These shows were really Tony eps and not giving Cote a great send off. The fact she never had an on scene goodbye with Gibbs was so disappointing. Her relationship with Gibbs to me was more important than Tony’s. Right now I’m upset and probably checking in once and awhile. Actually I think that Agents of Shield is a cute show and fresher. Good luck Cote and sorry that the CBS honchos barely showed you on screen.

  17. lizzie says:

    Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo were superb. But the end to the Ziva storyline was so weak. I have no trouble with the idea that, after losing her father and killing Bodnar, she needs time away and perhaps to give up the badge altogether. I have no trouble believing Tony understands this and wants her to have her time. But that, after 8 years of teasing, this story ends without even an I love you from either one? That Ziva is doing this not for herself or her future, or for Tony, but because this is what Gibbs would want? This is what Gibbs taught her? I seem to have missed that part. It’s ridiculous that Tony’s last conversation should be mostly about hey, you should call Gibbs.

    The rest of the story was the usual Glasberg cock-up, way too many characters, way too much exposition, not enough sense. I love Tony and most of the other characters and I want to go on watching this show, even without Ziva. But the writing is just terrible, terrible, and I’m sick to death of all of these grown men and women being utterly dependent on Gibbs. The thought of Tony taking life lessons from Gibbs in coming episodes is ridiculous. I just don’t know if I can stick with this show.

    But again, Weatherly and de Pablo were superb.

    • NCIS4evr says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Michael and Cote were amazing, and I loved “this” Tony, strong, competent and fierce. I hope they have Tony stand up to and question Gibbs in the future, but I doubt they have the guts to ever take Gibbs off that pedestal. The writing was so lame, and Glasberg and Gina Monreal are the weakest writers on staff. And making the “him” Ziva was doing this all for Gibbs was laughable. Gibbs won’t ever admit that his actions have consequences , so he’s hardly a role model. In the end, it always has to be about Gibbs. They wouldn’t even give Tony Ziva. What a gut punch,

  18. Bark Star says:

    Sad to see Ziva go. But I am insanely relieved that we will never have to suffer through another Tiva moment. It just felt so wrong every time, especially in her exit episode. The good thing about Ziva leaving is that all the annoying Tiva fans will be leaving with her.

  19. Dragonfly says:

    Disappointed, I did not feel like it was good bye Ziva, more like ‘oh, you want to say in Israel, whatever’ Tony/Ziva moment in the olive garden was great but not finished, he told her that he is fighting for her and then….nothing. Bad writing and as for me, I have new agent friends on ABC.

  20. Leanna says:

    I thought it was an excellent episode. I have prepared myself for Ziva leaving and I think they wrote it well. The homage to Casablanca totally fits in with Tony’s character, (I mean, how could you not have some kind of movie homage for the last TIVA scene ever) I think Ziva was in the episode just the right amount. Tony is the one that is staying with NCIS and Tony will be the one that we stay invested in, so the story really needed to be about his journey to find her and his coming to terms with her staying in Israel. Michael Weatherly and Cote DePablo gave amazing performances. It leaves the door open for guest appearences by Cote if she did decide to come back, but it also lets Tony move on. I was VERY happy with the monumental job the NCIS writers had to write such a loved character off of such a popular show. WELL DONE ALL AROUND :)

    • KirstyLou says:

      Well Said! Completely agree with you, I enjoyed the episode too.

    • Huskygrl says:

      EXACTLY! It was a fine episode, if a person is truly a NCIS fan we have to move on. And we have to move on with the actors and characters that chose to stay. Whatever the reason, Cote is the one that chose her path and as a fan I’m going to accept that and enjoy the gang we still have at NCIS!

  21. J. Lewis says:

    Waited forever for the TIVA romance to get started but no way. Ending was minimal at best there was more in Under Covers episode. Bellsario has managed to “JAG” us once more. 5 minuets of Tony an Ziva then 40 of let’s get back to Tony an Ziva. Maybe they could at the very least give us Abby and Tim. Relationships manage to work on Bones with problems, danger, killers and government morons. Maybe Fornelll and Gibbs could start dating as horrid as that sounds. None of these characters have a life outside of there office.

  22. Jeox says:

    I really enjoyed this episode – far more than I thought I would! I was dreading it, but actually I felt they addressed an important issue that was one of the reasons I never warmed to Ziva as a character: she gloried in her own violence and killing, and she never accepted responsibility for her actions. In her final episode, she started to redeem herself for me. I’ll never actively like her, but I could possibly like the person she might one day become a lot more than I’ve liked her for the past 8 years.
    .
    I think the reason a lot of Tiva fans were disappointed is that this wasn’t how they saw her. They saw her as a tragic victim, rather than someone who caused pain to others. They saw Tony as the skirt chasing buffoon who had to man up to be worthy of her when that was never who he was – just who they needed him to be in relation to her. I never saw either Tony or Ziva that way, and in the end, the show didn’t, either, which was a relief because up until now, with some of the poor writing in recent seasons, I haven’t been sure.
    .
    MW outshone everyone else, including de Pablo in this episode, showing once again that if you give him some deep emotional drama to play then he has the acting chops to do it. They should stop wasting him just on the comic relief, because they’ve turned his character into a one dimensional idiot lately when we’ve seen in the past (mainly the first four seasons) that he is so much more. In my view, de Pablo has always been a fairly average actor, with flashes of ability but nothing more, who has been greatly aided by having brilliant people to play off – like Harmon, McCallum and Weatherly. They’ve made her look better than she is. This episode was her chance to really deliver some emotional depth to her character that wasn’t about Ziva being a victim but instead about finding some real emotional maturity and facing up to herself and her failings, but de Pablo didn’t really take it and run with it. I didn’t feel she sold me on the character’s motivations, or delivered the emotional payoff that Weatherly did. He clearly knows and understands Tony inside out. I think de Pablo has always been just a little bit too in love with sexy victim kickass Ziva at the expense of the living, breathing woman inside. And, like the rest of the Ziva fans, she’s always been far too happy to handwave the inconvenient aspects of Ziva’s personality like her violence and anger issues, in favor of playing out a banal and misplaced romance and playing up the poor tragic princess angle. The show has played its part in this by glorifying Ziva’s killing instincts (paper clips, credit cards and killing a suspect in custody spring to mind) instead of exploring what being that kind of a person really makes you, inside. This was a belated attempt to address that – I wish they’d done it earlier, deeper, and longer, but at least it finally happened. It was far more necessary, to me, than the ludicrous Tiva stuff, but luckily there was very little of that in this episode.
    .
    Tony, at the end, seemed to me like a man relieved of a great burden. As MW said in a recent interview, Tiva was the sword of damocles hanging over him for many years, keeping him stuck in an artificial stasis, and now that it’s over, the character can move on. I hope we see him being lively and fun but also being given some dramatic, angsty plotlines, as in recent years those always went to Ziva. MW has proved (again!) that he’s more than able to play them. I would like to see him acknowledging that for him, Gibbs and the team will always win out over romance – because we’ve seen that time and again, and he’s just making himself unhappy by imagining it will be any different going forward. He lost his mom as a kid and had an absent, neglectful father. Gibbs and the team became his family – and the child inside who never had a family is always going to hang on to that over everything else. Ziva knew that in this episode when she became exasperated about his disquiet at lying to Gibbs – in that moment, she knew his heart would always belong to Gibbs and his family back in DC, and he’d never be able to give it wholly to her.
    .
    I wish de Pablo well – I think she’s right to try and get new acting experiences. She needs to learn and grow as an actor and move on from her first proper television role. But I think the show could learn, too – it placed far too much emphasis on Ziva and Tiva from S6 onwards and making her the central dramatic character on the show created unrealistic expectations in her fans, as well as making the show formulaic and one note. Tiva stifled Tony’s development as an individual character, and I’m hoping we can see him move on and become more of a dramatic hero now, rather than just a foil for her, which is how he was written in recent seasons.
    .
    NCIS has a real chance now to get outside the little Ziva/Tiva-shaped box it created for itself and find some creative energy again. I hope it takes it. There’s no reason for it to be ‘boxed in’ anymore ;-).

  23. Amazing performances from Michael Weatherly & Cote de Pablo. However I have some serious issues with the plot and was totally unconvinced by Ziva’s reasons for leaving. I always believed Ziva would only leave her NCIS “family” (and don’t forget she’s a US citizen now – can she just stay in Israel anyway?) if it were to protect Tony and the team. If she was ‘following her heart’ why would she let Tony go? And if she loves Tony (certainly looked that way) why was it all down to Gibbs? As it was, I needed another scene between the olive grove and the airport. Made no sense at all. One moment a bearded Tony is ‘fighting for Ziva’ having searched for her for several months and the next he’s clean shaven and has come to terms with her decision. How much time is supposed to have passed? Couldn’t we have seen them spend one night together? I guess maybe filming time with Cote was limited. At the end of the day you can’t please everyone, but left to me I’d have gone with the obvious: olive grove / bedroom scene / explosion resulting in fake Ziva death, blamed on Parsa, which frees Ziva up to help Mossad find Parsa (who I assume is still after her), but more to the point protects Tony. Ziva having realised she loves him, believes Tony could be hurt if he stays with her (after all Ziva has already said that those she gets close to die) and believing her dead forces Tony to move on, also prevents him from looking for her in the future. However, I’m not a writer, and I’m sure the fanfic writers could have come up with something really original!
    Very much hope that Tony doesn’t revert to the totally silly version we’ve seen rather too much of lately. I agree with an earlier comment that Michael Weatherly is totally capable of taking on a leading role, and CBS should be developing him as such. BTW any reason an NCIS agent can’t have a beard?!

    • Jeox says:

      Her reasons for leaving were clear: she realized just how much her violence and the violence inherent in her family history had hurt her and those around her. She realized that when she killed people there were those who mourned them, and she realized she’d buried all her family. I think she also realized that if she didn’t change her life radically then she would die with them. She remembered the child who wanted to be a ballerina, and she wants to find that child again – she wishes she’d been strong enough to walk away from her father’s trade when she was younger. She is older and wiser now, and she is going through a process of self-reflection. I know it might be hard for a Tiva fan to believe, but that was more important to her than a possible romance with Tony. She wanted to be the woman that the little girl who made the list could be proud of – and she wanted Gibbs, who she views as her adopted father, to be proud of that person, and not the killer she became.
      .
      She had to let Tony go – she had to let go of everyone from her past so she wouldn’t get sucked back into that kind of life again. I guess it’s a bit like being an addict, and she was addicted to violence, anger, and her own sense of drama and tragedy. I think she saw that. In this episode, for the first time since she joined the show, I actually found her an interesting and sympathetic character. Up until now she’s been angry, violent, and self-righteous, dispensing her ‘wisdom’ without ever looking at herself or examining her own flaws. She never faced up to who she is – she always enjoyed being that person. Now, finally, she’s doing some soul-searching. Bravo Ziva! FINALLY you stop being the cliched ‘kickass sexy ninja’, and feel *real* at last.
      .
      Any love between Tony and Ziva was never established by canon – we saw a lot of teasing of it, but they were never in a relationship and as far as we know they didn’t sleep together. This felt like a rightful culmination of that – an acknowledgment that they flirted with it but it was better, in the end, to not go there. They were both liberated by that. She can find out who she really is, when she’s not a killer and not being defined by her family, and he can move on and be free of the stasis the relationship put him in. It’s only if you romanticized their relationship as an epic soul-mate bonding out of all proportion to what we actually SAW onscreen, that you feel dissatisfied. Basically, it isn’t Tiva fanfic. It’s the show. If you want the full-blown romance then you’ll have to turn to the fanfic to find it as the show was always more ambiguous even while it was tiresomely extending the Tiva tease to the point of tedium.
      .
      I think we’ll see a much more interesting Tony now he’s been set free of Tiva. MW certainly looks like a man with a weight lifted from him, and I think Tony will be the same. He tried his best to support and love her but he could see she had to walk a different path. He would have helped her do that in DC, but she knew she had to do it alone. He accepted and respected that and so should we. He’s already done a lot of his soul-searching about his relationship with his father, his dead mom, the fiance who walked out him, his dirty partner from Baltimore, and his repeated sense of rejection dating back to his childhood. I think he knows and accepts that his heart belongs in his love for Gibbs and the team – who have never rejected him. He’s further along than she is. They hinted strongly that he’s been seeing a therapist a while ago, and he’s made a lot of progress. He understands his own demons and has come to terms with a lot of them, although he also accepts there is still room for more change and progress and he’s not completely ‘there’ yet. But he also recognizes she is only just starting out on that process and that she will have to do that in her own time and on her own terms. I thought it was positive for both of them and a far better resolution to her going than I was expecting.

      • Joni says:

        Good heavens, Jeox. You’re knocking it out of the park. You’re read on Tony and Ziva and Tiva is spot on for me.

      • yes, she's gone says:

        Have to agree, with Joni, Jeox, you read my mind and posted much better than I ever could. Am looking forward to the new season, no z and tiva is finally dead.

    • Mike Hammer says:

      ONCE a citizen of Israel, ALWAYS a citizen of Israel.

  24. Buttercup18us says:

    As always, the actors were incredible, playing their roles with the raw emotion that has drawn me in since the beginning. That being said, I thought the ending was poorly written and didn’t reflect the characters accurately. First and foremost, Ziva is and has always been a tough, albeit wounded, woman, able to knock the crap out of suspects with a single ninja kick. She isn’t, nor has she ever been, the type of woman to give up and run away! Things might get tough, and she might have her own struggles, but Ziva is way too strong, both physically and mentally, to run off and hide! And the Ari storyline! Now, after all these years, the guilt is killing her? Sorry, but totally unbelievable to me! Her relationship with Tony since the beginning has been leading up to the two of them declaring their love for one another. Which, they did! Well, sort of. Ziva’s “You are…loved” line to Tony was one of the most heartbreaking and touching lines of the show. But, does anyone think for one minute that Tony wouldn’t have said it back to her. We all know Tony has a difficult time saying those words, but he has traveled around the world on multiple occasions for Ziva – to find her, to rescue her and because he couldn’t live without her. So, wrong move from the writers with that! And, I don’t believe for one minute that there wouldn’t have been some interactions between Ziva and everyone else. Where was the funny, touching moment in the lab with Abby? Where was the goodbye between her and McKee? And, for heaven’s sake, where the heck was a goodbye with Ducky – with him offering some story akin to his life and him ultimately making her feel better about her decisions? Finally, a phone call to Gibbs at the end? Nope! Sorry! Their relationship was that of father and surrogate daughter. It was just all wrong!

    There were a few moments, Tony’s ‘I Will’ letter and Ziva’s necklace, that I loved. But even then, the letter wasn’t fully fleshed out. Tony should have written something about Ziva and his future intentions.

    I’m certainly sad that Cote de Pablo left NCIS, but I respect her decision to do so. Despite ongoing speculation and rumors, no one really knows the reasons. For me, I just think the writers failed miserably and forgot all about the characters and the relationships they’ve cultivated over the course of the series.

    If it were me, I would have certainly had some interactions with Ziva and the other characters. She would have had a goodbye with Gibbs that was meaningful and heartfelt! Then, I would have ensured that she and Tony declared their love and Ziva would have been sent on the run from some unknown force until she could either return to NCIS or she and Tony could spend their days living out their life together in Paris!

    • Kate says:

      I know this is what Tiva fans wanted – declarations of love, love-making, references to Paris and an awesome Ziva sent off on a mysterious, super-sekrit mission, and to be honest this was exactly what I was expecting to see! Instead what we got was so much more. It was a profound and poignant reason for Ziva leaving her family behind and becoming the person she once hoped she’d be. It isn’t too late for her to make a fresh start and I admire her bravery for giving up the life she’d known to accomplish this..
      .
      It wasn’t even OOC for her at all according to the show’s canon. Ziva dated Ray for 18 months. He wasn’t the right person for her but what she craved was the white picket fence. She also reached the point 2 years ago where she couldn’t do it anymore and didn’t want to lose another person she loved. Losing her father, and only remaining family member, was the catalyst.
      .
      She’s now come full circle from the person who first entered the show. From “you knock on the door, they answer, you shoot” to now reaching the understanding that she wasn’t the only victim of tragedy, which is mostly how she viewed herself. Killing Bodnar – she lost her head and wouldn’t hear reason. But, ironically, when she killed him she also killed that part of herself. Bodnar WAS her. He did the job that she did for so long. “You get orders, Tony. You may not like them, but you follow them.” Now there’s another side to the sexy assassin and that is the repercussions to those actions. The realization that there’s loved ones left behind, like she was, for each person she killed. It was never easy for Gibbs and he lives with these ghosts everyday. There won’t be a fairy tale ending for him but there’s still a chance for Ziva.
      .
      I think the writers did an EXCEPTIONAL job with this story at such late notice. It may not have been the direction they intended for Ziva but as Gary Glasberg said “this is the hand we were dealt”.
      Cote left. For now permanently and that’s the story they had to tell. The door is left open for a chance return but the reality is that she’s gone for good and that’s what they HAD to write to.
      .
      Well done to the NCIS cast and crew for pulling this off under such trying circumstances. I didn’t have high expectations for these episodes but you well and truly exceeded them.

      • Lia says:

        Personally, I’m not much of a Tiva fan. I much prefer Ziva as an individual. However I did not feel that the reason she left was valid. It was not the Ziva we got to know over eight years. The Ziva we knew wouldn’t have left her family because of her past. They, more than anyone, accepted her past. I am, in no way, throwing a hissy fit that the Ziva fans have been known for these past months. I accept that Cote wanted to leave. I just don’t feel that the way they did it was well-written

  25. as524 says:

    Absolutely did not expect to like this episode. Also did not see how MW could be right with his statement that the ep would please both tiva shippers & those who don’t see or like or want the ship.

    With a few minor details, they definitely pulled it off last night. This was, hands down, the ONE way to write ziva off that made sense (outside of killing her off). The ending & oh so much of their scenes together did NOT portray a man in love unless a fan was looking to see that. MW literally stole this ep & ran with it but for once cdp was able to keep up with him & really did the best performance I’ve seen her do as ziva

    Am now looking forward to what the future holds for the show. Wish cdp the best in life but really hope there are NO guest appearances for her as ziva. Tiva is dead & ziva is gone. It’s PAST time for the 2 1/2 month ‘campaign’ temper tantrum to be over and life to move on.

  26. Heidi says:

    Michael Weatherly made this episode and I agree the writers need to throttle back on his goofy persona and let him have a leading man status. He evoked some intense emotions – more so than Ziva, I thought. Love the Gibbs/Fornell Grumpy Old Men relationship. Yes, the show will survive w/o Ziva.

  27. Ace says:

    Is it me or does Cote look like she gained weight–maybe pregnant??

  28. sharie says:

    great episode, tony’s been in love with ziva for awhile, and ziva clearly put him in the ‘friendzone’ because they worked together. I loved weatherly and cote’s acting throughout, and harmon’s phone call reaction was so perfect. Tony’s functional mute’ was literally LOL. Wonderful episode, but the show loses its spunk without the ziva character.

    • Jeox says:

      Sharie – I think it’s the other way around. After all, Ziva’s old friend thought she was in love with Tony and it’s consistent with what we’ve seen onscreen. Tony, however, is less certain. He was the one in Jetlag who said that he wouldn’t have a relationship with someone he worked with because it’s against Rule 12. He cares about Ziva very much, and is a good, loyal and supportive friend, and I think he was prepared to believe they could have something once she left NCIS, but it was very early and tentative for him. I think he’s rather glad to be able to walk away from it and get back to his life at NCIS.

    • yes, she's gone says:

      Shari, I’ve never seen anything that says Tony was in love with z, he actually called her a psycho once. I believe that z loved Tony, at least as much as she could love someone. She cares more for herself than anyone else around her.

  29. I remember Gary Glasberg saying something like “Tiva fans will not be disappointed” in several interviews before the episode aired.
    Well. I stopped being an actual NCIS *fan* many years ago after they killed off Jenny. I continued watching, but never with the same passion and enthusiam I used to have. It was a just show I watched because it was, despite all, still good entertainment. Nothing special though.
    Now, having said that, you can well assume that my expectations for Ziva’s send-off (I always liked Ziva) and especially Tiva (one of the few reasons that kept me watching) were pretty low, given that I don’t really care about NCIS anymore.
    What shall I say. As low as my expectations were – they still managed to disappoint them.
    Way to go, NCIS. Way to go.

  30. TIVAFan4Ever says:

    This was a PATHETIC ending for an incredible character! MW and CDP knocked every scene out of the park…incredible job with the crap they were given! However, how lame are CBS and the NCIS producers to only have Cote on screen for MAYBE 15 minutes!!! I actually think she had less screentime than that! What a letdown! Everything was in the promo! We got nothng! The ONLY reason I watched this show to begin with was for TIVA so I am done! I won’t be watching NCIS anymore…I am sure others will follow…and I hope CBS knows why!!!

  31. 4theloveoffilm says:

    Goodbye, Ziva. I will miss you terribly. You were such an amazing character. May you find the peace and the life and the joy for which you long. Thank you, Cote, for eight wonderful years. God bless in your future endeavors. Ignore the negative people.

  32. People say that Ziva is gone and we have to get over it but they`re wrong.Ziva wasn`t in the first two seasons but she was in eight seasons she was part of this family and she still is.The real ncis fans is not only the people who have seen all the episodes.I believe the real ncis fans love every charakter with different ways and supprt them.For example TIVA fans love Tony and Ziva and their relationship but it doesn`t mean they don`t love MCABBY or the other charakters.This episode for me wasn`t the episode Gary Glasberg promised us.I think Ziva`s exit should be more emotional.Gary have said season 11 will reminds us why we watch ncis and many people watch for TIVA others for Abby others for Mcgee i don`t think the show can move on because Ziva is a part of it.For me it`s like Tony leaves or Gibbs or Abby BECAUSE THE CHARAKTERS MADE THE SHOW WHAT IT IS TODAY AND NO ONE MUST TO FORGET THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Andrea says:

      Of course the show can move on, and next Tuesday, those of us who want to will watch how that will occur. The one statement that you made with which I agree is that the characters make the show, but that doesn’t mean we have those characters forever, be they main ones or recurring ones: Kate, Paula, Jenny, Pachi, Lee, Gerald, Ari, Eli, Jeanne, Hollis, EJ, Ryan. Jackie… Some have died, some have left, some I liked, and some I didn’t. Ziva is simply joining that list, and I’m sure others will follow because that’s what happens. Ziva and Cote both decided to move on, goodbyes have been said to both, and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

      • Maybe you`re right maybe not we`ll see and we are going to decide if we want to keep watching the show.The charakters are great and funny but i have a feeling that ziva will return because before we learnt cote de pablo left the show i had a bad feeling that this was going to happen.I don`t know we`ll see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Ellen Letchford says:

    OMG! My heart broke with the ending. It felt so REAL! I am so going to miss Ziva and the romantic tension between she and Tony.

  34. tvdiva says:

    For the second season in a row the showrunners played up a great Ziva/Tony romance for all the viewers. Last year there was nothing – just a platonic tease, and this is even worse. I love Cote and Michael on the screen, but I was more elated over the banter between Fornell and Gibbs – and Fornell getting shot in the rear, than the Ziva/Tony long goodbye. I hope NCIS showrunners do better with the rest of this season. This was one deflated balloon of an episode.

  35. B2B80 says:

    She only told Tony goodbye (in person). Why in the world would they set it up that way? Huge disappointment.

  36. LKE says:

    I was never a TIVA fan. I didn’t want Tony and Ziva together…they never made any sense to me as a couple. With that being said, I thought their ending was really good. There were two people who truly loved each other, but their lives are in two different places now. And they had to let each other go. I thought it was simple and lovely…how can anyone say that wasn’t a beautiful ending?!

  37. cherry says:

    I didn’t mind Ziva except everything became about her and Tony. When you have s great cast of characters and you basically favored only two of them week after week and put everyone else in the background became ridiculous. Why is it when a female character came on it was only Gibbs and Tony who fell for them, what was wrong with McGee. He is going to be stuck with boring Delilah. Did anyone notice, in the cafe scene, he barely paid any attention to her until she said she had information. It ‘s sad since everyone knows Abby & McGee love each other and deserve a chance at happiness. I hope who ever they bring on that they don’t make this character the center of attention just like they did ziva. You know what character i like to see back, Lilt Tomlin as McGee’s grandmother, also his father too.

  38. Ana Rubio says:

    It was really emotional, they broke my heart, but I have to say after 8 years I expected more. But I’m happy it’s an open ending, so she can come back as a guest start. Like when Ziva has made peace with herself and can come home with Tony.

  39. Patty says:

    @ Ace I too thought she looked pregnant….perfect reason to be leaving the bow

  40. Kate says:

    Michael Weatherly absolutely OWNED this episode. He blew me away. It was right to focus this episode more on him because his is the journey we’ll continue to follow. The past couple of years may have been focused more on Ziva’s dramas and tragedies but in the background we’ve had Tony working through his demons and learning to open up to his team.
    .
    He can walk away from her with his head held high with no regrets. He’ll be fine. He was always brave and considerate and had always been there and could not possibly have done any more for her than he’d already done. But he also knows that Ziva has to go on her own journey and he’d reached the point where he was able to help her get started.
    .
    I really look forward to where Tony goes from here. I look forward to seeing him rebuilding his relationships with Gibbs. They’ve been very distanced and I’m not sure if that’s by design or because of the role he had to play in Tiva, but either way it allows us to see these relationships being rebuilt. I’d love to now see this free Tony getting new storylines.
    I’d love to see him dealing with the victims and (now we have his apartment) following him home at night and seeing the impact this has on him. Not only him, all of them – but I’ve always felt that Tony carries a lot on his shoulders that we’re never shown. NOW I’d love to see more of this in contrast to the Tony that brings humor to the squadroom once he dons his amour (suit) to face a new day.
    .
    Oh! And I must say how wonderful Gibbs was in this episode. I LOVE badass Gibbs. Mark Harmon was fabulous and he carried the bulk of these two episodes. I totally didn’t expect at the end of the season when he pulled the trigger for him to actually shoot Fornell. HAHA You gotta love that NCIS humor!

    • John 1138 says:

      “his is the journey we’ll continue to follow.” Definitely this.

    • Jeox says:

      I totally agree, Kate! MW did own this episode – he brought his ‘A’ game and I hope those that don’t like or understand the Tony character realize he’s been put in a box for a long time by the showrunner, but he was always an empathetic character from the beginning, with a lot of the emotional intelligence that he displayed in this episode.
      .
      Plus this: “It was right to focus this episode more on him because his is the journey we’ll continue to follow.” Absolutely! I look forward to following that journey, and I hope the showrunner can make up to MW for the lackluster writing for the character that we’ve seen for the past three seasons, apart from occasional flashes along the way. Tony, like MW, has proved his loyalty and compassion repeatedly – I hope we see more of this Tony, combined with the light-hearted atmosphere he brings but without the humiliation humor that’s been so evident in the past three years.

  41. John 1138 says:

    Overall liked the episode. Cote did a great job matched by Michael.

    Crime of the week felt rushed, no doubt the pacing got messed with to fit in the extra scenes of Tony’s search etc.

  42. Frank says:

    Okay. Ziva’s gone. I loved her, but it’s time, as she said, to move on. Bring on Maggie Q., the cutie Asian assassin chick from Live Free, Die Hard. She was pretty close to a femmy terminator and that’s who will be needed to replace Ziva David.

  43. Diane Repressler says:

    The writing, direction, and especially acting were truly superb in this episode. Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly gave what may well be the performances of a lifetime. Seldom is any television episode so powerful, so moving, and so very deeply satisfying. NCIS remains one of the finest television dramas in the history of broadcasting and promises to become even more excellently memorable as continues its unprecedented success. Expect both de Pablo and Weatherly to be nominated for Emmys for there stunning work in this particularly towering hour of magnificent television.

  44. GUEST says:

    DID I REALLY TOTALLY MISSED IT? WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT ZIVA MEANT WHEN SHE SAID “WE WILL BE OKAY” OR WORDS TO THAT…

  45. Simplemente no la vuelvo a ver, para mi terminó.

  46. Nancy says:

    My husband and I have been huge NCIS fans for years. We watched from the first episode, back in 2002. Yet we let a whole week go by without watching Ziva’s last episode from our DVR, which shows how much the show has let us down in the past year by becoming “angsty Ziva show.” I had very little sympathy for her. Ziva was upset because she realized that all those whom she killed had loved ones, but so did Kate, and so did Jackie Vance! And they were both better women than Ziva because they weren’t so emotionally cold. Ziva was also extremely selfish to stay in Israel when she had a “family” in the U.S. who loved her and would want to help her, and she didn’t have to return to NCIS to get help.

    I also think Cote is pregnant or has some kind of medical condition, which may explain her leaving the show. Her face in the final scene looked unusually chubby to me.

  47. Wiser than, like, gorgeous 16-year-old girl walks out of this unit and he’s like,” I’ve ruined people’s lives. The Doctor aided by one of the robots shoots Brian. However, first it would be sort of traumatic, it would prevent parents with genuine safety concerns over MMR from protecting their children from diseases and their child/children has autism.

  48. Jean says:

    I am sorry that Ziva is leaving at all because I really liked that character. I did not care that she was an assassin or how she was written down the years. Felt she was one of the best of the bunch of killer ladies on TV. She certainly caused a lot of debate in those years. Enjoyed Tony and Ziva chats particularly after a tough and sad episode. Never liked Kate if she had stayed I would not have and looking at assorted pictures of Bishop she looks unappealing and my guess is she will be a mix and mash of the two.

  49. CAPT. VERN says:

    OK ZIVA WAS A CRITICAL PART OF THE SHOW I WAS IN NAVEL INTELL WE LAUGH AT THE HOLLYWOOD SCIENS TONEY IS A JOKE TIM IS TOO BUMBELING ABBY INTERESTING BUT TOO GOOFY AT TIMES GIBBS OK VANCE UNREAL BUT AS REAL PRFESSIONALS WE GET A LAUGH FROM THE HOLLYWOOD IDEA OF NCIS , I KNOW YOU DONT WANT A DOCUMENTRY BUT MORE REALISTIC WOULD BE BETTER …CAPT.VERNE

  50. anonymous says:

    Hi, I am wondering, so ziva is in hiding right? what is the reasoning behind that? is she been targeted by someone, or is it part of her journey?

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