Much of our investigation starts today with the presence of actress Elayn J. Taylor in the guest cast for the upcoming 19th episode of the season, entitled “Perennial.” Taylor last appeared on the show earlier this season for the episode “She” — otherwise known as the one with the big reveal that Ziva is actually still alive! Within that episode, she played the landlady for the shack that Ziva rented out to take notes and try to make sense of a number of her cases. It’s within that shack Ziva (or at least who we’re meant to believe to be Ziva) wrote out a note to Bishop asking her to keep her secret under wraps for the sake of her family. Basically, this was when NCIS broke its corner of the internet and finally confirmed a long-simmering theory.
If you missed it, check out more video reaction to the events of “She” at the bottom of this article! To go along with watching this, we strongly suggest that you subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more, and be sure to visit our NCIS playlist.
What we’ve done in terms of Taylor’s credit in “Perennial” is a bit of cross-checking. While she’s credited on IMDb, we’ve been around these mean TV streets long enough to do that sometimes, credits can be mislabeled on this website. However, the fact that she is both credited on IMDb and the official CBS press site (publicly available) for this episode is all the more intriguing. Once we start to see multiple instances of a name popping up, that’s when the alarms go off in our head.
Here’s where we have to be at least a tad cagey — within “Perennial,” Taylor is credited for the role of Odette Malone. Is this officially the same role that she had within “She”? We can’t 100% confirm that, and we never like to paint a blanket statement given that shows like NCIS often use the same actor for multiple roles. (For “She,” Taylor is credited only as “Hut Owner.”) With that being said, it’s rare that the same actor would play two different roles in less than half of season, and the NCIS creative team is certainly wise enough to know that eagle-eyed fans out there would do their research when they saw her name turn up in the credits. If they wer to give her two different roles in so short a span of time, they might as well be cackling to themselves behind the scenes.
What’s also interesting is that “Perennial” is written by Gina Lucita Monreal, a Ziva storyline specialist in recent years. The co-executive producer not only wrote “She,” but also penned the teleplay for “Past, Present, and Future” — Cote de Pablo’s final episode on the show.
We don’t want to go so far as to shout “Fire!”, but there’s absolutely a lot of smoke around the idea that “Perennial” is going to continue some element of the Ziva storyline. You wouldn’t know it based on the synopsis alone, which would allow you to think that this was just another middle-of-the-season NCIS episode. Now that we’ve gotten a hold of the guest cast and got out our shovel for a little bit of digging, it feels far to at least circle this episode on your calendar in pencil. There’s no guarantee, but there’s certainly reason for hope.
For more news on tonight’s NCIS…
Be sure to visit the link here right now! Meanwhile, let us know some of your storyline hopes for Ziva and the rest of the season in the comments! Remember what we said following “She” — regardless of what the writers do, we feel like they introduced Ziva being alive with a plan. Whether or not they revisit that plan this season remains to be seen.