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NCIS Cote de Pablo Ziva David CBS

Cote de Pablo is returning to NCIS as her fan-favorite character. Ahead of the Season 17 premiere, she wants fans to know they should not expect the same old Ziva. Fans last saw her when she made her presence known to Gibbs, but in those fleeting moments, it was hard to tell how much Ziva’s time off-screen had changed her.

Well, prepare for some insight on that front from Cote de Pablo, herself. Upon reading the script, de Pablo immediately noted the changes in her NCIS character. Ziva will make a more intensely seen return in Season 17, and she is bringing a new side to herself with her. In an interview, de Pablo told BUILD:

I was a little nervous, but as soon as I read the script, it became very evident that she had gone through some massive changes; that she had gone through challenging life situations and that that would inform the character from now on. This is not just, you know, the happy-go-lucky I'm having a good day Ziva or the Ziva that came into the squad room [and] I was gonna have a flirty scene with Tony. This is a woman who's gone through some stuff, who's fighting desperately to save her friend and also I think her higher objective, at some point, is to reunite with her daughter, and so. . . she keeps the eye on the prize.

From what Cote de Pablo is saying, NCIS fans can expect a determined and changed Ziva when she makes her return. Clearly, a lot has happened off-screen. All of which makes sense, as there has been a lot of time in between her exit and her return.

Since leaving the show, Ziva was presumed dead after being “killed” off-screen. Then came the bombshell revelation that she was seemingly alive last season. Thus, kicking off a lot of teases. After a lot of questions about the NCIS character’s future in Season 17, there are finally some answers.

Ziva’s return will be a massive part of the season premiere. The excitement has continued to build as photos were posted of Cote de Pablo and one of NCIS’ major stars. Not to mention, that explosive trailer for the new season. But, the buzz does not end there.

For NCIS fans hoping that Ziva will stick around for more than a single episode appearance, there is excellent news. The CBS crime drama is planning to bring Cote de Pablo’s fan-favorite character back quite a few times in Season 17. As to whether or not a reunion between Ziva and Tony will take place during those appearances, it is not looking super likely at this point.

Who could have expected Ziva to return in such an exciting way, though? Anything seems possible at this moment in time for NCIS, especially as the series prepares to kick off Season 17. There are a lot of reasons to remain hopeful.

In the meantime, do not expect the state of Ziva and Tony's relationship to go entirely ignored by NCIS. Answers are said to be “forthcoming” when it comes to the handling of the duo. The wait to find out what the drama has in store for viewers is almost over. NCIS and Ziva will make their much-anticipated returns tonight (September 24)!

NCIS comes back with the premiere of Season 17 on Tuesday, September 24, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. The crime drama’s return is part of this fall’s premieres. You can catch up on the heroics of Cote de Pablo’s Ziva in previous seasons of NCIS on Netflix, along with arriving new content.

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