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When the action picks up here in Season 7, several months' time has elapsed since Gibbs left Ziva in Israel.
No one at NCIS has heard from her since then.
When we first see Tony, he has been taken prisoner in Somalia by a terrorist named Salim Ulman. It is presumed, correctly, that he went looking for Ziva, but the details have yet to be revealed.
Until he reveals the details himself.
He can't help it, because Salim injects him with a truth serum to learn all about NCIS and in particular, Tony's mission and what brought him to the Horn of Africa.
How he was able to find Salim's base? Why would be travel so far to target just one person? Affected by the serum, Tony fills his adversary in on the plot details, allowing viewers to come along for the ride.
It's been three months since Ziva disappeared, and the NCIS team presumes she is dead. They spend much of the episode interviewing replacements for her at NCIS HQ.
But while they try to move on, at least on the surface, they can't let Ziva go. Through some digging, they are able to pinpoint her last whereabouts, and discover she was on a mission to take out terrorist Salim Ulman.
In the present time, Tony tells Salim that he traveled to North Africa to extract vengeance on the individuals responsible for Ziva's disappearance - which turns out to be him.
We later see that McGee is also in the dilapidated building where Tony is being interrogated, but is collapsed on the crowd, semi-conscious, while Tony continues to be defiantly glib despite Salim having the upper hand.
Salim demands that Tony reveal the identities of all NCIS agents in the region, and threatens to kill a hostage if he doesn’t.
He brings in a hostage covered in a shroud and says he will give them one minute to decide who talks and who dies. Salim leaves the room and to the surprise of Tony, the hostage is Ziva. She's alive.
It is then we learn, via more flashbacks, how she found Salim and how NCIS team later tracked her down - Salim has everyday products shipped from America, including his favorite caffeinated beverages.
He was, in essence, tracked down by his own soda habits.
As for how Tony and McGee were captured, well, it was by design. Gibbs and Vance did not have enough confirmation to move against Salim in Somalia so Gibbs encouraged Tony to "change the circumstances."
He and McGee got themselves captured, and when they did not report to Gibbs after a certain period of time, he knew where they were and who took them.
Back in the present moment, Salim returns and is about to execute Ziva, who pleads with Tony and McGee to let her die and save themselves.
Before he can kill her, Tony nonchalantly informs Salim he's going to be dead in 30 seconds because his boss, former Marine sniper Gibbs, is in Africa right now.
On cue, Gibbs takes him out, with a single precision shot through a window from a faraway hill.
The NCIS agents on the ground mobilize and take out the other guards watching over Ziva, Tony and McGee, allowing them to be rescued.
This sets the stage for more high drama next week, but of a different sort: How will the NCIS agents respond to the fallout of everything that transpired once their "Reunion" period ends?