NCIS fans have been investigating a case of their own lately: whether or not Agent Ziva David will be part of next season. So far it is known that Cote de Pablo, the actress that portrays Ziva, has not signed on for next season yet. Now consider that in last night’s episode of NCIS, Ziva embarked on a rogue mission to avenge her father’s death. Rogue as in, no backup. It’s not a huge leap to suspect that this means Ziva will be killed off before the end of the season, but according to showrunner Gary Glasberg this is absolutely not the case.
“No, that’s not a game that I play,” Glasber told TVLine’s Matt Mitovich, referring to the idea that the plot might have been constructed to provide an exit for Pablo should she not renew. “My job is to creatively keep the show going and do the best job that I can, and let other people work that stuff out. I’m all about the show.”
In the last episode, Ziva had set off to find Ilan Bodnar, the man she blames for the assault on Vance’s home. Although this plot thread seems outside the overarching storyline, according to Glasberg it will connect next week. “We send Ziva off, with Tony, on a clue trail that leads them to Berlin. This arc connects into the story that becomes the season ender and dovetails into what will propel us into Season 11.”
Mark Harmon, NCIS’s lead man, renewed his contract with the series back in February leaving Pablo the only series regular without a contract. The article at TVLine, though, points out that the last time Pablo negotiated she didn’t sign until late April.
So is there reason for fans of NCIS to be concerned about whether or not Pablo and Ziva will return to the series next year? Glasberg becomes sort of an artful dodger when confronting that question directly stating: “I’m confident that things will work out [with de Pablo], and we’ll present the best finale that we can and go from there.”
Seems like Glasberg is leaving the future of NCIS up in the air at this point. The series could certainly go on without Ziva, hence the ‘go from there’ portion of his response, but his confidence in the negotiations is by his own admission just guess work “I actually have had very little input and interaction with [negotiations].” Glasberg had stated earlier in the article.
If we had to speculate on this and what the wider impact could potentially be for NCIS and its numerous fans, the loss of Ziva and Pablo, as difficult as it would be to swallow, could make for a disarmingly dramatic plot device for the NCIS finale. Even though killing major characters has become sort of a cliché in drama programming these days, it’s not something that NCIS has ever tread into lightly. If Ziva does leave the series at the end of this season it is sure to have NCIS fans grieving and talking for months. Time will tell.