One NCIS Star Only Learned About Cote De Pablo's Ziva Return When The Episode Aired

NCIS Diona Reasonover Kasie Hines CBS

(Image credit: Sonja Flemming / CBS)

NCIS thrilled fans with a Ziva bombshell to close out Season 16, which opened up a barrage of questions surrounding if she would return to the CBS drama. (As well as why she left in the first place, and what she had been up to since.) NCIS’ boss promised that there would be more to the Ziva storyline than just teases last season.

Well, viewers were not the only ones who were left shocked by the finale twist. The extra lengths that NCIS went to conceal Ziva’s comeback from the cast and crew apparently weren't just to film the scene itself. During a session on Instagram Live, NCIS’ Diona Reasonover revealed that she only learned about Cote De Pablo’s return when watching the episode as it aired. Reasonover said (via Carter Matt). In her words:

I’m [very] excited that we have Ziva at NCIS. It’s pretty cool — actually, just to tell you guys something, I did not know that Cote was coming back. I didn’t know! I was watching it just like everybody else — I had looked down from my screen to type something, and I heard ‘hello, Gibbs.’ . . . I was screaming just like everybody else.

NCIS can really keep a secret! Keeping fellow cast members from learning about Cote De Pablo’s return had to take a lot of effort from the producers. That NCIS did not even make De Pablo’s return privy to the rest of the NCIS stars tells you how clandestine they kept it. In the end, Diona Reasonover got to enjoy the surprising moment along with fans.

All of the secrecy paid off in a stunning way as Season 16 wound down. In NCISseason finale, Ziva revealed herself to Gibbs, who was in his trusty basement. Following a somber “Hello Gibbs,” Ziva descended Gibbs’ staircase declaring him there was “no time for pleasantries.” Why?

His life is in danger! Despite the brisk appearance, the former co-stars did share a sweet moment when Ziva asked if Gibbs was going to say anything. To which Gibbs’ responded with a poignantly stated “Ziva,” as she smiled at him. Ziva’s return is destined to shake up NCIS as the veteran series heads into Season 17, with its premiere date already set.

Even if it is real or a figment of Gibbs’ imagination, there will be implications regarding Ziva’s reemergence, even if the show's newest cast member Diona Reasonover can't share all the details, even if she had them. The cast has already provided a pretty strong hint regarding the Season 17 premiere, and Ziva's role therein. One question on fans’ minds is undoubtedly still what Cote De Pablo’s NCIS future holds.

In the aftermath of Ziva’s return, her fan-favorite pairing with Tony has the potential of ending more happily. The pair share a daughter together, who Tony is raising off-screen. Actor Michael Weatherly left NCIS in Season 13, taking Tony with him, and his exit came two seasons after Cote De Pablo’s departure in Season 11. Weatherly's return is doubtful, though, given his full-time job on Bull.

Six seasons after leaving, there is new hope about what the future could hold for Ziva David. A fan-favorite, who NCIS viewers, are super excited and curious to see back in action. What will Season 17 hold for the character? It is a mystery for now. That is why you have to keep staying tuned!

Guess what? The new season has already gone into production, as revealed by Diona Reasonover herself in another Instagram post.

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NCIS Season 17 premieres on Tuesday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. In the lead-up to the series’ return, there is no shortage of premieres this summer. You can also stream the past fifteen seasons of NCIS on Netflix, along with some upcoming premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.