Tonight is the “NCIS” episode that viewers have been waiting to see and wanting to avoid at the same time. When you just think about what was going on back when Cote de Pablo first joined the show, Carrie Underwood was your “American Idol” (and “American Idol” was still a smash), CBS was hoping for big things from a new show in “Criminal Minds,” and no one had ever heard of “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” or the prospect of AMC not even doing anything in their scripted department. Even Dexter Morgan was in his infancy stages.
So clearly, a lot has changed with Ziva as a major character. The show became the most-watched show on television during her tenure, and she and Tony (“Tiva”) became one of television’s most-shipped couples. They were the ultimate “will they or won’t they,” a pairing that was probably put off too long, even if there were occasionally some good moments that came out of it.
If we were to go back and play Sargent Second-Guess everything, we suppose that we could sit here and wonder whether or not the Tiva story would have progressed more had anyone known in advance that Cote was going to leave the show, or wonder if there was any better way to handle the situation this summer. Her exit at this point is what it is and the thing to remember here is that it is not at least a situation where there was bad blood to the point where there was no goodbye at all.
Tonight, there is a promise for satisfaction, and for those who have enjoyed the story with Ziva over the past several years to feel some sort of closure with the end of it. Do we still imagine that many will want more? Certainly, and it would be strange if they didn’t. Luckily, the door is not closed forever on a Ziva comeback; just as Paget Brewster is returning to “Criminal Minds” for its 200th episode, it would not be a surprise to see her come back for some particularly important hours down the road.
But for now, we pledge faith. There are so many other strong creative people on this show, and it has always been our philosophy to never give up on a show without at least at least giving it few chances. It wasn’t the writers’ fault that Cote is leaving, and so it seems fair to see what sort of story they could come up with next. It may take an episode or two for the new “NCIS” to find its footing, but we may better know the direction of the show at around the November sweeps.
But for now, what is your state of mind leading into this episode? We want to hear your thoughts below. Click here if you do want to see a Ziva-specific preview for the hour, which is just a taste of what you will see.