NCIS kicked off Season 17 on a thrilling note thanks to the return of Cote de Pablo as Ziva David, which both confirmed that she wasn't a hallucination at the end of Season 16 and that her story was far from over. Fans knew ahead of Season 17 that Ziva would appear in more than just the first couple episodes, but there was no news of precisely when her second two guest stints would go down. Now, CBS has announced the dates, with one before the end of 2019 and the other early in 2020.
Cote de Pablo's next appearance on NCIS will be in the December 17, 2019 episode, which also happens to be the midseason finale. Fittingly, her other appearance with be in the January 7, 2020 midseason premiere. There are no details available just yet about what will happen in these episodes, but considering de Pablo's next (and quite possibly last) two appearances in NCIS Season 17 will be these two episodes, the odds are pretty good that the midseason finale will end on a cliffhanger.
Considering NCIS performed quite well in the ratings with the two Ziva-heavy episodes of early Season 17 (and the NCIS franchise on CBS continues to lose to the One Chicago franchise on NBC in most key ways), the return of Ziva could provide a much-needed boost for the long-running show.
Ziva's departure at the end of her second episode back certainly was open-ended, and fans were left with a lot of questions. NCIS did at least go on to explain why Gibbs won't go looking for Ziva after it was such a huge deal in her return two-parter that he hadn't searched for her after news of her death. Perhaps the biggest cliffhanger of Ziva leaving her friends behind for a second time in early Season 17 was when Ziva would reach out to Tony.
Ziva did explain some of what's going on with Tony and their daughter Tali, and all signs point toward Tony being in the dark that Ziva hasn't been dead all this time. Ziva was more open with her regrets about the separation with Tali, but it was clear that she misses Tony as well. Her second episode back ended with Ziva promising of Tony that "he will" hear the news of her return from Ziva herself.
She didn't provide a time table, but that's good news for Tiva fans nonetheless! Should we start keeping on eye out for hints that Michael Weatherly steps off the Bull set to revisit his old NCIS stomping grounds? NCIS technically wouldn't need Weatherly to show that Tony and Ziva reunited, as the show could always shoot a Michael Weatherly-shaped stand-in from behind and focus the reunion on Ziva and Tali.
Still, anything is possible at this point, and we can only hope that the reason Ziva is apparently only back for four episodes in Season 17 isn't a sign that she's going to die for good this time around. For now, you can catch new episodes of NCIS that may or may not drop some details about what's up with Ziva ahead of her return in December. NCIS (opens in new tab) airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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