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



Enjoyed last evenings NCIS. I feel Ziva can return at a later date and with no big problem. Thought both MW and Cote did an excellent job of ending Ziva's part (for now) in the show. Love all the actors in NCIS, they do an excellent job of making it "real".


I too believe that Ziva is pregnant. Her face was much more rounder. And the way that it ended I felt that she could come back. I sure hope so. Love this show so much and I hate change so I hope this change is good.


It was an interesting 2 episodes, found it interesting that though it was Cote's last 2 episodes, for now, she wasn't even in the 1st one and in the second one about 10-15 minutes. It was a sad ending, I am guessing the crying came easy to her as she was saying goodbye to Tony since it was her final episode. I am glad she called Gibbs at the end. I don't know how I am going to like it now that she is gone, she isn't the main reason I like the show, but she's a big part. So I will give it a try but I am hesitant, they will not be able to replace Ziva. Kate was a little easier to replace because she was only on for 2 years and it was the beginning of the series so it was easier to accept Ziva as a replacement. But Cote was on 8 years as Ziva, it's just hard to picture someone else.


After Tony and Zivas - SO obviously loving each other and caring for each other through out ... well forever... It seemed so flat to me. The ending was to me - I love you, yeah sure love you too, okay. Bye now. - It did nothing to me at all. And after the writers or producers or whoever saying that this would be the most emotional and delicate work they ever did on the show I was SO disappointed! Kate dying - that was emotional, Tony saying goodbye to the love of his life - hmmm not so much. I didn't care much for the two first episodes at all. If Tony had stayed with Ziva and never returned - THAT would have been and ending. Or... Ziva being on the plain the Tony and living with him at his apartment - then, later, they could find out they where no good for each other or what ever, but... this, no. Try again.


I watched tonight's episode "Past, Present, Future" - Good-bye to Ziva. I thought it was it was one of the best 2 arc episodes. I just finished watching the episode and I guarantee you that Cote/Ziva is pregnant and that's why she left. If you go back and re-watch entire episode all the angles with Cote are positioned strategically nothing completely side ways or straight on. A sweater folded over her arm in front of her stomach and all baggy shirts.Mainly waist high views instead of full length and the only thing missing was the over sized purse to cover stomach. You can also see the changes in her face.I found it odd that Cote hadn't really done any interviews on talk shows to help promote the show and the only comment she has really made is that her leaving was a personal decision. I think now that the episode has aired there may be an announcement in near future. Congrats I'm positive!!! What do you think?


I like how it ended. It leaves the door open for Ziva to come back at some point. Love how they played out the relationship between Tobias and Gibbs. Keep up the great work!


Gary did a great job considering the time constraints and all of the resolution required in two episodes! I know where he was going with that broken aspect of Ziva's soul . . . when she killed Bodnar she regressed to the assassin her father had taught her to be . . . and that's what she has to purge, and yes, she has to be alone to get it done. Anybody get the feeling Tony and Ziva had more than a few days in that house? I got the impression Tony had not just 'found her' that day when Gibbs had the video conference! But when Tony answered that call, real life intruded, and Ziva knew it was time to move out of that dream.
Gibbs' voice was rough with emotion when he took 'Ziver's' call.
Fornell getting shot in the ass was hysterical.


it was perfect how Tony & Ziva said goodbye


First of all I'd like to thank you for the review. It said everything I had in mind. Every line that was said between Ziva and Tony on airport, could've been said by Michael and Cote herself. You could clearly see that this was a goodbye for them as well. As for Ziva, I still hope/believe that she'll come back. It might take a while but she will return. Though Ziva leaving breaks my heart I can't help but be excited for this Bishop girl. In my head I'm picturing her as ''Felicity Smoak'' from ''Arrow'', portraited by Emily Bett. I won't give up on NCIS, because I don't believe this is the end: It's just an intermission.


The last two shows seemed odd. You can tell they had one idea in mind and then when Cote said she was leaving they tried to make it work but you could tell it was forced. It did not jell for me at all. I am glad they did not kill of Ziva maybe she will be back when the show ends.

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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.