NCIS has cracked the code for an obsession-worthy TV drama, giving us people to care about, and cases that shock us. One of the most popular Special Agents is Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), who became a cast member in season 3.

Sure, NCIS might not exactly be a romantic show, but the love story between Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is truly a beautiful thing. While we swoon over them all over again, let’s talk about the end of Ziva David’s NCIS story.

What happened when Ziva David left NCIS?

Photo via CBS

Ziva David had an incredibly intense end to her character arc on NCIS. While the season 21 finale of NCIS was definitely attention-grabbing, we could never, ever forget Ziva’s ending on NCIS. In season 17, we learned that Ziva, Tony, and their daughter Tali were together in Paris. It was the happy ending that this beloved pair needed after so many years of pain.

But before they spent time in The City of Lights, we thought Ziva was killed when her family’s Tel Aviv, Israel farm was bombed. This was the first shocking plot point. The second was discovering she had a daughter and hadn’t let Tony know. But, Ziva always kept us guessing, and she wanted people to think she was dead so she could be safe from Sahar (Louise Barnes), who wanted Ziva to pay for murdering Ziva’s half-brother Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin). Phew, that’s a lot to think about.

When she came back for NCIS season 17, Cote de Pablo told CBS News that a lot had been going on in Ziva’s life since her last episode. The actor said, “She has been undercover. She has not been in touch with her daughter which is a real source of pain for this character. She has not seen Tony DiNozzo, which is her big love.” While it was sad to let go of Ziva’s time on NCIS (and even sadder when Tony left, too), we’re glad she’s okay now and that she can be with her family. Each character on the procedural may be amazing at their jobs and we may love them all, but Ziva was compelling. When she fell in love with Tony, it was everything we wanted, and it’s sweet to know they ended up together.

Unlike Delilah Fielding-McGee (Margo Harshman), who pops up every now and then, we haven’t seen Ziva in a while. But good news for those who love Tony and Ziva (which is everyone): we can check out the Paramount+ spinoff called NCIS: Tony & Ziva.

Did Cote De Pablo want to leave NCIS?

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo as Tony and Ziva on NCIS.
Photo via CBS

We might assume that when an actor is on a show like NCIS for so many seasons, they’re super comfortable with their job, and would never want to make a change. But as we know, there are a variety of reasons why someone might want to try something new. While she acted after NCIS, Ziva is her best character.

In Cote de Pablo’s case, she wanted to leave NCIS and was super honest about her reasoning in 2016. According to Hello! Magazine, she said she quit “Unfortunately because of political things and scripts not being good enough.” She added that when she found out that the plan for Ziva was for her to live in Israel again and be “miserable,” she didn’t like that. De Pablo said, “I felt like the character wasn’t being treated with the respect she deserved.”

Anyone who misses Ziva on NCIS is likely thrilled about the spinoff. Since Cote de Pablo signed onto the series and sounds happy about it whenever she’s interviewed, we can guess that she’s content with where her character is now and feels it’s a great creative choice. If we don’t already have Paramount Plus, it’s definitely time to get it so we can catch up with Tony and Ziva. There’s no release date yet, but we’ll be here.


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