Episode 3 of NCIS season 17 airs on Tuesday, October 8. The return of Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo, shocked fans and in-show characters alike, and her comeback will have an impact on the show’s characters and storyline moving forward.
The official description for episode 3 entitled “Going Mobile,” reads “After the body of a Marine lieutenant is found hidden under an 18-wheeler, the team tracks the vehicle’s previous locations to pinpoint the crime scene and suspect; Sloane encourages the team to sit down and talk about Ziva’s recent reappearance.”
According to Cote de Pablo’s IMDb profile, she is not credited as appearing in episode 3 of season 17; she is credited for episodes 1, 2 and 4 in the show’s latest season. Nevertheless, the episode synopsis proves that Ziva will still have an important role to play in the episode, even if she is not physically present in the episode.
The season 16 finale revealed that Ziva was, in fact, alive, a revelation that neither the viewers nor the show’s starring characters saw coming. In the season 17 premiere, the characters continued to process that information, which was especially significant for Gibbs, who is also being targeted by the people Ziva had to play “dead” in order to hide from.
While Gibbs and Ziva were on the run, Bishop, Torres, and McGee were also aware that Ziva is, in fact, alive.
In an episode 3 teaser, Jack confronts Ellie, Nick, and Timothee address their “unresolved feelings” in an effort to boost team morale. She suggests that Ziva’s brief reappearance and sudden departure is weighing on them and negatively impacting the team.
It appears that Cote de Pablo, as Ziva, will be present for at least two more unaired episodes of season 17, even if the characters are concerned that Ziva has gone again for good.
The Cast Talks About Cote de Pablo’s Return as Ziva
While the NCIS team discusses Ziva’s return on-screen, Cote de Pablo and her co-stars have been discussing her return to the cast for season 17 in interviews.
Diona Reasonover told Digital Spy that she was “the last one to know” that Ziva was returning as a character on NCIS, and that she still doesn’t know the extent to which the character is back on season 17: “They don’t tell me nothing! This is one of those where I don’t know when the character’s coming back or what the storyline will be. Would I love to hang out with Cote more because she’s very cool? Yes, I would love that. Do I know if it’s going to happen? I have no clue.”
Mark Harmon talked about the changes in Cote’s portrayal of Ziva since the last time fans saw her on NCIS, telling TV Insider “Cote in some ways plays a very different character. Ziva is older, more experienced. She’s been on her own for a long time. Gibbs is not accustomed to change, and they already threw a lot of change at him last season.”
Tune in to new episodes of NCIS season 17, Tuesday nights at 8/7c on CBS.