NCIS seasons 16 and 17 saw Agent Ziva David was actually alive and well after pretending to be dead for several years. But will she soon be taking over Agent Gibbs’ role?
NCIS season 17 finished earlier this month after the series had to be cut short. Like most shows around the world, filming had to stop because of the coronavirus pandemic and so the last few episodes of the series had not been filmed. Instead of the intended plan for the finale, the CBS crime drama ended on an emotional note with Arizona, which focused on the final wishes of a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Viewers and NCIS alike believed Agent Ziva David (played by Cote de Pablo) was dead after being killed in a mortar attack thanks to CIA operative Trent Kort (David Dayan Fisher).
However, this wasn’t the case as she was actually in hiding and needed to ensure everyone believed she was dead so her loved ones – including Tony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) and their daughter Tali – would be safe.
But when she heard that Agent Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) was in danger, she had to reveal herself in order to warn and protect him.
This was how season 16 ended but thankfully she returned again for the beginning of series 17 as well.
The team eventually discovered that it was in fact Gibbs’ neighbour Sarah (Louise Barnes) who was the terrorist Sahar who wanted to see him dead.
They managed to put a stop to her plans and killed her but this was especially devastating for Gibbs as she was the mother of Phineas (Jack Fisher), a young boy he had grown close to since they moved to the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, Ziva was contemplating whether or not she should speak to Tony as she was scared him and Tali wouldn’t want her back.
But of course, they did and Ziva ended up travelling to Paris where they now lived to be reunited with her family.
Will Ziva David return to take over from Agent Gibbs?
Actress Pablo had previously said she couldn’t see herself returning to NCIS but this was before she came back to the series last year.
In 2016, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Pablo explained the reason why she left was not because she didn’t love the show but that Ziva was not getting the “respect” that she deserved.
Pablo explained: “Look, I love this character. I worked eight years crafting this character and loving her.
“And so when I felt or I perceived that the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved, no money in the world [would suffice].
“They were going to send her back to Israel and make her an unfortunate, miserable woman.
“I said: ‘What do I leave all the women that have watched and followed the show for so long?’ And I didn’t think it was fair. So I said, ‘Unless someone can really write something fantastic for her, I won’t go back.’”
So could the idea of being promoted to Gibbs’ role be enough to entice Pablo back to NCIS?
When the show began, Gibbs was 53-years-old but he is now at least eight years beyond the NCIS field agent mandatory retirement age of 57.
Under federal law, he should no longer be allowed to serve as an agent.
Harmon himself is 68-years-old and at the moment, has only been signed up for the 17th season and has not yet officially agreed to take part in another series.
Could this mean there is a possibility that in season 18 Gibbs will retire from NCIS and Ziva welcomed back as his replacement?
As of yet, neither theories have been confirmed but it is starting to sound more likely that Gibbs’ time on the show is almost up.
Speaking to Cinema Blend, executive producer Steven B. Binder said: “I would say in that regard, this is a general statement about humanity and specific to Gibbs, there’s only so much one man can take.
“He’s getting close to redlining. What that looks like, tune in.”
CBS has not yet officially renewed NCIS for an 18th series but as the news is usually announced in April every year, fans should find out imminently.