‘NCIS’: Ziva David Actress Cote de Pablo Explained Her ‘Top Secret’ Return To the Set

by Anna Dunn

NCIS actress Cote De Pablo once talked about how she returned to the set to revive her character, Ziva David. Ziva David is one of the multiple original NCIS characters that are no longer on the show.

Ziva was presumed dead by characters and fans alike. So for her to return, the return to the NCIS set had to be very secretive. Not only was it secretive, but it was also just generally anxiety-inducing to return to set in general.

Her first time back on the NCIS set was for the final scene of season 16. An important moment where Ziva and Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, see each other again for the first time.

“The first time back on set… that in itself can be kind of nerve-wracking as someone whose been away for a long time. I hadn’t seen a lot of the crew members. I hadn’t seen a lot of the cast members and even though the scene was only with Mark there was that like ‘oh. it’s the scene’ you know?” She said in a 2019 interview with BUILD.

The Production Team Was Incredibly Cautious

And of course, Pablo’s nerves weren’t the only thing she had to juggle with. She also had to be as secretive as possible about her shocking NCIS return.

“It was like a top-secret operation. My god, these guys were like no joke. They were calling every second like ‘we’re delayed by an hour. we’re delayed by two hours. Just you wait. Stay put.’ I was like ‘Where am I going to go? I’m here for this!” she joked.

She also had to enter through a secret back entrance in the studio.

“Five minutes before the call pulled up, the executive producer called and said ‘DUCK!’ I was like ‘What where?’ he was like ‘people may see you’ there was nobody there. It was like 12 midnight.” She laughed. While the whole experience was intense for her, she was greeted with flowers and hugs from a production team who really missed her while she was away.

Some Fans Think Ziva Could Return to ‘NCIS’ Again

While NCIS is on hiatus, fans have been theorizing away about what’s going to happen next. Season 18 ended with a literal bang when Gibbs was blown off a boat in an attempted killing. However, right before the episode ended, his body, which was floating still in the water, moved and he started to swim away.

Many believe that Gibbs will either go on the run or fake his own death entirely. Gibbs was chasing a serial killer with an investigative journalist. If that’s the case, some people speculate that Ziva will come back. It’s based on a conversation Ziva and Gibbs had about her own fake death.

Ziva told Gibbs that she would have never stopped investigating if he had died suspiciously. Now, Gibbs may have “died” fairly suspiciously. When it comes to Ziva’s potential season 19 return, there’s nothing more than fan theories and speculation at this point, but it’s not impossible.

Fans will have to find out this fall when NCIS returns to CBS.