Fans also know that Ziva was presumed dead in season 13, when a mortar attack that former CIA agent Trent Kort arranged blew up her home. However even while in hiding, Ziva was mentioned often in the series.
In season 16, an episode titled “She’, Agents Eleanor Bishop and Nick Torres find notes that Ziva had made on a secret investigation she had been doing into the case, which is a ten-year-old cold case. And by the end of season 16, in an episode titled “Daughters”, Ziva shows up in Gibbs’s basement, warning him of danger.
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During the season 17 premiere, “Out of the Darkness” the viewers learn that Ziva faked her own death, to protect her family. The threat to her family was a woman named Sahar, who was involved with a Hamas splinter group, with Ziva’s biological brother, Ari. Sahar sought to avenge Ari’s death, and fans know that Ziva killed her brother to protect her team.
In season 17, episode 11, “In the Wind”, viewers see Ziva making plans to reunite with Tony and Tali, who she has not seen in six years.
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— Lara (@Lara_Croft_01) September 2, 2013
Ziva was unable to cope after sending Tali away, and developed post-traumatic stress disorder and severe anxiety, and throughout the season she claimed her anxiety was one of her demons, taking a toll on her health.
Anxiety can be a demon, especially when you’ve sent your only child into another country with someone that you know but the child does not. How Tony would accept her daughter had to weigh on her mind day and night, honestly. It could have gone badly.
Miss you in NCIS! Loved Dovekeepers! What is next?
— Lynn roden (@roden_lynn) October 3, 2017
Gibbs and Ziva talked briefly about what her life in hiding featured and how it differed from a life with her child.
She greatly feared losing Tony and Tali. NCIS exec. producer, Steven D. Binder claimed that this fear was a handicap in an interview with TV Insider.
Frank Cardea spoke about episode 20 and the series moving forward. They were asked if they planned to revisit Ziva’s story, and the response was very enlightening. It truly gave us hope of seeing her on-screen again.
“When we first even remotely considered bringing Ziva back, there was a secret meeting between Steve Binder, myself, Mark Harmon, Cote, and Gina. Gina was brought in from Day 1. Gina came up with the basic arc of what the four episodes were going to be. We’d only continue that arc as long as Gina’s willing to do it.”
So if you miss Ziva, have hope! Let’s all entrust our hearts to Gina, and hope that she keeps the arc going.
As of right now, de Pablo seems to have a free season. After leaving NCIS in 2013, she starred in a series in 2015, The Dove Keepers. Later in 2015, she starred in The 33, a film. Other post-NCIS bits include Prototype, The Crossing and Seneca.