NCIS season 16 finale review: Is Cote de Pablo returning as Ziva?

NCIS - Daughters

Going into the NCIS season 16 finale tonight, we knew that Fornell was going to be in a horrible state. His daughter Emily would be admitted to the hospital, and he wouldn’t quite know A) what was wrong with her or B) what to do about what’s happening.

However, what we did not expect was for things to turn so dramatic so quickly. The moment that Tobias pulled the gun on the doctor and demanded more treatment for his daughter, it immediately felt like there was no coming back from this. Then, somehow, the doc opted to not press charges after we got back from commercial break. The guy got seriously lucky.

Want to get some more NCIS season 16 finale discussion? Then check out some of what we’ve got for you at the bottom of this article! If this isn’t enough for you, just remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and also take a look at our official playlist.

So what happened from here? Well, the struggle for NCIS was clearly trying to find a way to investigate a case where they didn’t have any real jurisdiction. Still, Gibbs promised Fornell that he would look into what happened and try to find a way to figure things out no matter what. Apparently, Emily didn’t overdose as the doctors initially thought — she was most likely drugged, and the question here becomes who did it and why.

Enter Diane’s ghost

This was teased in the promos leading up to this episode, and she showed up in order to demand justice in ghostly form. We almost feel like she was the devil on his shoulder, encouraging him to break the rules even if he made mistakes. This led to him demanding the case, but Vance didn’t want to hand it over. Luckily, Ducky was able to find some information that put it more into the team’s orbit.

The good news

As it turns out, Emily ended up being okay! She seemed to recover rather suddenly from what happened, and this actually led to a series of entertaining moments — apparently, Fornell bought all of the flowers in the world and also painted Emily’s toenails. He was happy that she was doing better, but he still wanted revenge … but he was interested to do it his own way.

For Gibbs, he still wanted to use his team if at all possible. That’s why he worked hard in order to determine who was responsible for the drug, which was not pharmaceutical grade. While we know that this finale was dramatic, there was certainly a few funny moments sprinkled throughout. That included seeing Fornell catch Gibbs having a conversation with nobody, which made him convinced that he was going outright crazy.

The bad news

As Gibbs chased down one of the leads, he learned that Emily was a whole lot more involved in partying than anyone first thought. Not only that, but a guy was dead and it appeared as though there was a larger murder case here. Ralphi, the apparent dealer at the heart of the case, was dead, and the team had to figure out precisely what happened. Unfortunately, it was hard to get a lot of information — Ralphi’s roommate didn’t know too much, other than that a podiatrist was somehow connected. Fornell beat the NCIS team to the doctor, and he was ready to torture him before Torres arrived and brought him in.

The podiatrist proclaimed that he hadn’t broken any rules, but he still had important information. Fornell was breaking down — his daughter was an addict and he never knew it. Tobias was so desperate that he wanted to find a way to speak with Diane himself, who “advised” him (though really it was just Gibbs) to just be a father and stop worrying about being some sort of crazy vigilante. This is what Fornell did — he went home and was there for his daughter, and got her to admit that she had a problem. That’s the first step, clearly, on the road to recovery.

As it turns out, Ralphi had stolen the podiatrist’s prescription pad, and the pharmacist who was filling the pills. They were able to pin the prescription incident on the guy, but he was hesitant to give up the guy. Why? Doing that would leave him dead. Nonetheless, it appeared this was done.


Is Cote de Pablo back? Well, she turned up in the closing seconds! Was she there, or was this just a figment of Gibbs’ imagination? We think the former, and she told Gibbs that he was in danger. That’s all you need to know … for now.

CarterMatt Verdict

Tonight, the NCIS finale brought you an emotional story for Gibbs, and one that allowed us to see further as to why Gibbs doesn’t want to get personally involved — he doesn’t want to feel anymore. He built walls everywhere so that he wouldn’t have to feel anything. Because those walls were coming down, he was starting to feel again. That’s why Diane was there — he was realizing things about himself that weren’t there previously.

Then, we had the Ziva cliffhanger. That’ll keep people talking — AS IT SHOULD IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING.

When could NCIS season 17 premiere?

If you do want a little more insight into that, you can do that over at the link here.

What did you think about the NCIS season 16 finale? Be sure to share right now in the comments, and check back soon for some other news. (Photo: CBS)

This article was written by Jessica Carter and you can follow her on Twitter here.

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!