Over the past several weeks, “NCIS” fans have by and large made it very clear that they are not exactly pleased with saying goodbye to Cote de Pablo. The actress stunned the TV world with her announcement that she was leaving the show earlier this summer, and since that point, the internet has frantically searched for answers as to what went down. Was it a contractual issue, a creative dispute, or a simple desire to go on and do other things? While the following story may be somewhat-sentimental, you are not going to get a concrete answer.
In her first major interview (save for a brief statement following the news of her leaving) with TV Guide, Cote declined to go into specifics about why she is leaving the show; however, she did stress that this was not originally her plan to say goodbye this fall, but since it is happening, she really wanted to make sure that fans had the closure that they so wanted after all these years:
“Did I want to leave under those circumstances? That’s another story. But I’m not of the belief that you just take off and leave fans hanging. A lot of people don’t get the privilege of going back to a set and being able to say goodbye to people. I left under my terms, and that was wonderful.”
While you may not have heard much from Cote over the past month (as she is not tapped into the social-media world), she did confirm that she has clearly seen all of the love and the fan support that has transpired online since that time:
“I was incredibly moved by the blind support people had without ever getting reasons as to why I left. People trusted that what I was doing was what I needed to do, and that’s unconditional love from people who don’t even know me. That’s been the most beautiful thing out of this process.”
Finally, the most important thing for fans to note is that it is still possible that Ziva could resurface again on the show someday. Cote made it clear that the door is at least partially open for another appearance in the future, though we’ll have to wait and see just how a return would actually take place:
“The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn’t die. As long as a character doesn’t die, the character can always come back. Not that it would actually matter, because we bring back characters from the dead all the time on NCIS!”
Just for fun, you can watch a sneak peek for tonight’s “NCIS” premiere below. Meanwhile, click here if you want to read a little bit more about how Ziva’s story will be wrapped up.