NCIS Review: Farewell to Ziva

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Well, there you have it: 

The Tony and Ziva moment so many have hoped for (or dreaded) has finally happened. They had their romance, albeit in a bittersweet way. The way they ended it seemed believable and sad, given the fact that this was Cote de Pablo's final episode with NCIS, at least for now.  Fortunately, in "Past, Present, and Future," she was left alive in Israel, while Tony hopped a plane back to the U.S.

Ziva's Final Farewell

Like last week, the show was packed with detail - although this time, it seemed to flow a little more fluidly. Plus, we got to meet an interesting and ruthless new Secretary of the Navy named Sarah Porter. Her impatience and demand for action left little to the imagination: she didn't want Parsa found and tried in court. She wanted him dead. You have to love an unequivocal order like that:

SecNav Porter: Gentlemen, as you may know I'm not military. My background's business. And the first order of business the President has appointed me to address is preventing further attacks. The second is to bring swift justice to those committing them, by any means necessary. | permalink

Seems a little ironic and sad that we learned so much about Ziva at a time when we have to say goodbye to her. Once again, the writers have outdone themselves by painting a believable picture: Ziva is emotionally overwhelmed by the deaths of those she loves. In particular, as if killing her brother wasn't bad enough, she's learned that she shot him just before he was going to propose to her Israeli next door neighbor and childhood best friend Doctor Deena Bashan. Guilt city.

I don't think the writers could have made it any clearer that Tony had it bad for Ziva: dreaming about her, then day-dreaming about her and finally figuring out that she wasn't moving forward in her life, but back to her past (hence the name of the episode). You have to wonder if, when Gibbs finally got hold of him after he'd been traveling for a few months, Tony actually thought he fooled him when he lied about not finding Ziva. Somehow I doubt it.

Gibbs has always been hyper-aware, so when he told Tony to "do what you have to do," it's possible that he knew Tony had already found her. Even though in the previous breath he told him to respect the fact that she didn't want to be found. I think that maybe Gibbs was affording them both some privacy.

Another treat in this episode was learning more about FBI Agent Tobias Fornell. Up until now he's been presented as a kind of staid and dusty character who has been outwardly grumpy toward Gibbs. Watching him pile up on the pancakes and "extra extra bacon" kind of made you shudder in arterial empathy: hopefully he doesn't have such meals too often. 

And then to get shot in the butt and see him being wheeled into the ambulance ass-up? Well, that just added insult to the embarrassment of his ignorance about Mendez. I like that he and Gibbs are friends, but there's something missing from that picture. Maybe their ex-wife Diane needs to make another appearance. She always seems to get both men riled up and antsy.

Did anyone really think Gibbs was going to shoot Fornell? As we suspected, he had him in his rifle sights but only for a moment. Lots of tension in the moments before Gibbs took the shot: Tobias wanders about, sees that there are no bodyguards on the roof, radios in to get it investigated, the car door opens and Mendez's phone rings, he says he has to answer it, his finger hovers over the "answer" button, Gibbs lines him up and, just before Mendez's finger hits the button, Gibbs shoots. I knew he would get him in time; I think we all did. Still, though, what a way to drag it out.

I think I lost track of the body count in this story arc over the two-part episode. Two bodyguards at the house where Gibbs killed Mendez, three assassins at Ziva's not-so-safe safe house, SecNav Clayton Jarvis (plus likely a whole bunch of others killed by the bomb at the concert hall), the man Mendez was visiting at the hospital (plus a whole bunch of others killed in that bomb blast), the assassins who tried to take out Gibbs in Iran.... I'm probably missing some. Anyway, there was lots of action over these two shows, which more than counterbalances the touching romance between Tony and Ziva. 

Final thoughts:

  • There was a lot to cover in this episode so it's no surprise that we didn't get to see McGee's new squeeze Delilah.
  • Parsa and his gang of merry men are still out there. The NCIS team have their work cut out for them this season.
  • Deputy Director Jerome Craig stepped out of the NCIS office once Director Vance came back. We don't know if he'll make another appearance this season, but I hope he does. He's a curious character.
  • There was lots of great dialogue in this show as you'll see in this episode's NCIS quotes. There were so many lines it was impossible to capture them all, though - the writing for this episode was that good.
  • That was an amazing bitter-sweet ending: with Tony creating his own Ziva-inspired list of "I wills" list while on the lonely flight back to the U.S., while Gibbs takes a phone call from Ziva.

Now it's your turn. What did you think? Were you happy with the way the romance between Ziva and Tony played out? Did the ending and Ziva's exit make sense to you?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (515 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter



the show needs her it is going down hill fast pay her the same as the men


I think both of the so-called farewell to Ziva episodes were sorely lacking. Yes, GG had a short time to rewrite them, but that was his fault-he should have had a backup script written when Cote hadn't resigned by the time the season finale aired. And I am really tired of the negative things being posted about Cote, especially those blaming her for these poorly written episodes and trying to make it look like her departure was about money or ego. She said it was personal and shouldn't have to disclose the exact nature of the personal issue. I can bet that if one of her male coworkers left the way she did, there wouldn't be as much of a negative backlash (mostly by the same posters over and over again that obviously didn't like Cote in the first place). These episodes were promoted as a farewell to Ziva, but Cote was barely on screen. It couldn't have been about money, since in Season 9 there were many episodes that had Jamie Lee Curtis (too many IMO) featured far more prominently and she had to be more expensive to pay than Cote! I felt these episodes could have been done much better (and should have show a goodbye with all the other characters, not just Tony), especially since her reason for staying in Israel made no sense-Ziva had already dealt with her past as a killer and changed way back in Season 7. To me, these episodes were a slap in the face to Cote, and most likely will not watch anymore until TPTB realize their mistake and get her back!


I want Ziva back on NCIS and maybe get together with Tony and have this the romance they deserve. may be get married and have fumily


What I got out of it is Ziva made a big rethink when the doctor whined about no one mourning murders. Ziva, honey, your dear sweet brother was a vicious murder who enjoyed it. Why don't you and doc join the Manson girls.
The lack of logic in the whole thing was Jump the Shark Territory. And how come the man who was prosecuting Gibbs show up in a truck to rescue him. But what bugged me the most is she could slobber all over Tony but not take two seconds to say good bye to any of the people three episodes ago she called "my family." If I was the new SecNav I would make mean old prosecutor go through every thing 2 or 3 more times to see if she wasn't a plant.


I was left pretty much unsatisfied. As talented as the NCIS writers are, there is simply a limit to what you can do in two episodes. I just hope that is the only time they are ever challenged again with such time constraints. It's the best show ever but this had to be one of its lowest points. Now, back to the business of leaving everyone else in their dust!


This remind me of that 70 show when Topher Grace got so sick of the show he stop showing up and would only do part with certain people sound like Cote did the same


ziva debe tener su propia serie,se lo jala gente.
no tiene reemplazo en ncis,la serie llego a su tope y han aparecido buenas series ya basta de ncis.
y que no sean ridiculos de querer ponerle otro amor a tony,ya ese molde se rompio.
capitulo final solo vi cansancio y agotamiento.


I'm glad that Tony and Ziva got it together (Brief Encounter anyone?) in a bittersweet way. However all the reasons given do not add up. There were apparently time constraints involved and may have added to the pressure of getting an episode together in time.
My main problem is Ziva's shooting of her brother. As a Mossad agent she was duty bound to protect her country from a rogue agent which Israelis do and have done since their birth. Remember he was responsible for Kate's execution for what appeared to be no particular good reason. Of course she would grieve deeply but what choice did she have and she did seem to come to terms with it.
As for her so called doctor friend,surely they would have had their showdown years before, as someone has said, at Ari's funeral. I have got the sneaking suspicion that it was orignally going to be just a single episode but got extended to embrace the outgoing Pablo hence the apparent disjointed storyline.
However despite all the quibbles under the circumstances not the worst I've seen


This was better than last week that didn't take much. Granted it was lady minute. It the tiva wrapped up was weak and was over hyped. The writing still seems to lack focus and creativity? I've felt the show was winding down to for the last few seasons. There is nowhere else for the story lines to go witness by the stale choppy scripts. Love the show love the cast but I think it he series is winding down which after 11 years isn't surprising .


I don't think the viewership will decrease at all. NCIS has proven over nad over why it's one of the top rated shows on TV........Great but sad start to the season...... The door was left open for Ziva to return and I do believe at some point.....and it may not be this season......that she will return........ I was laughing at Fornell being shot in the butt.........Gibbs looked as if he was about to cry when Ziva called him........

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NCIS Season 11 Episode 2 Quotes

SecNav Porter: Agent Gibbs, with your reputation, I expected Parsa to be disposed of long before now. So, do tell me, please: what sort of help am I not providing?
Gibbs: Influence.

Ziva: Tony. You are so...
Tony: Handsome? Funny? What?
Ziva: Loved.