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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (512 Votes)

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

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It was an interesting episode. Cote de Pablo finally showed some acting,chops, realizing that subtle is the route to go,in conveying complex emotions. Michael Weatherly again was,magnificent. While Mark Harmon is always given the accolades as an actor, I think that Michael weatherly is really maturing into one of the finer actors on TV at this time.He has been superlative in the first two episodes. As for Tiva.....I think Tony really gave it his all to bring Ziva back home. I'm not sure if he is in love with Z or just loves her. But by the end of this episode I am convinced that Ziva is in love with Tony... A little. She loves Gibbs more and her own personal issues take precedence. I hope that Ziva finds happiness. I hope Tony finds happiness too. I just hope that it is not together. I never bought into the romance before. Ziva was always too judgemental of Tony and seemed to not get the core of his personality. I think Tony was intrigued and titillated by Ziva. But it was easier to love her from afar than to pursue a,viable relationship. He is afraid of being hurt and knew just how much hurt Ziva would give. Tiva was a mild risk for,them both. I am happy that the Tiva relationship,is over. Let us move on and watch the remaining team members get their mojo,back.

Gigi2776

I had planned on giving NCIS a chance after Ziva's exit. However, by the end of the episode, I felt empty and somewhat ambivalent towards the fate of the team and this show. This "ending" was clearly over hyped. I have come to believe that only men write for this show because the only way they know how to end a female character's story is to kill her off: Kate, Dir. Shephard, Agent Lee, the two female NCIS team leaders who were love interests for Tony, Vance's wife, and by default, Gibbs' wife AND mother, Tony's, McGee's, and Ziva's mothers. And because they couldn't kill of Ziva, they had no clue how to do an ending worthy of what she contributed to the show. Now that's she's gone, though, I may let episodes of NCIS stack up on the the DVR while I indulge in S.H.I.E.L.D.

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I was a little disappointed. Things did not seem to flow the way they usually do. It seemed the writers did not either have enough time, or didn't do a good job setting up Ziva's leaving. It did not make sense to me, at all. I could not connect to it. Tony's did not fight, at all, it seemed. Honestly, I saw everything coming from the beginning. There seemed no suprises with the first two shows of the season. Yes, I knew Ziva was leaving, but the rest of the show I saw coming. The writers usually keep me guessing and didn't this time around.

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Hard to keep track of who was who and who they were really after and all the names! Did NOT like the ending for Ziva or the final kiss after so much teasing thru last season. We were taken from nothing but flirting between Tony & Ziva to "I love you...goodbye". Wasn't really emotionally tied to Ziva leaving. Perhaps because it wasn't a surprise. I don't know but as a avid fan of NCIS and especially Tony...I was disappointed.

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No more romances for Tony please. And I take offense to the fact that everyone thinks Tony's a joke. He has.always been top notch when it comes down to it. His character has always been funny and crazy, even when Kate was on the show. He's the same agent he's always been!! That's what makes him.who he is. Abby is the same and so is McGee. Why not address those issues?

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Loved bearded Tony too. I thought MW knocked it out of the park, and that CdP did some of the best work she's done in quite a while. Considering the production team only had 4 four days from the time CdP resigned and starting to shoot the premiere, I think that the writers did a good job of winding up Ziva's character. I too hope now that the writers don't have to give Ziva all the exciting moments, flattery, and drama, that Tony will be able to get back his skills, intelligence, and significance to the team and become once again, more than just the teams clueless joke. I also hope that they allow his character to move on and don't have him pining away for an absent Ziva.

Julia64

Amazing performances from Michael Weatherly & Cote de Pablo. Not entirely convinced as to Ziva's reasons for leaving. Always believed Ziva would only leave her NCIS "family" (and don't forget she's a US citizen now - can she just stay in Israel anyway?) if it were to protect Tony and the team. If she was 'following her heart' why would she let Tony go? Would also have liked a scene twixt the olive grove and the airport. Felt a bit of a leap. One moment a bearded Tony is 'fighting for Ziva' having searched for her for several months and the next he's clean shaven and has come to terms with her decision. I guess maybe filming time with Cote was limited. Very much hope that Tony doesn't completely revert to the totally silly version we've seen rather too much of lately. Any reason an NCIS agent can't have a beard?!

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It was an interesting way to wrap up the Ziva character. I wasn't expecting for the writers to focus on the "broken bird" aspect of her character, but it worked for me.
When Fornell went down, I was shocked that he'd actually gotten shot (makes sense, though, given how close he was), and laughed at the surprise that he'd been hit in the backside. One of the best lines all night!
I did like that they didn't catch Parsa. Gives them something else to worry about all season.

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The show was good and sad.why didn't they bring up Paris or Berlin at least in one of Tony's memories. I hope Ziva returns to the show but if she doesn't the show will go on and I will continue to watch it. The whole cast is great! Gibbs is fantastic!

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I'm frankly glad it's over and that they left the door open for Ziva's return. There wasn't as much romance shown as I expected, but this a military-theme show, not a telenovela. I think the show will go on, just as it did when Kate left, but this time we can feel happy.

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.

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