'NCIS' Super Bowl Spot Teases Ziva's Return With 'Biggest Secret of All'

During Super Bowl LIII, CBS teased a dramatic new episode of NCIS, possibly involving the return of Cote de Pablo's Ziva David.

In the next episode of the long-running drama, titled "She," a malnourished and confused 9-year-old is found hiding in a storage unit. The NCIS team combs through missing persons cases and discover that the child could be the daughter of a Navy recruit who vanished 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, NCIS Special Agent Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop (Emily Wickersham) discovers that Special Agent David kept investigating the case, even after the team stopped.

The very brief teaser CBS showed during the Super Bowl Sunday promised that "biggest NCIS secret of all" will be revealed.

"Don't tell me about Ziva!" Gibbs (Mark Harmon) yells at a member of his team in the clip.

It is not clear if de Pablo will be making a special appearance in the episode, since she does not appear on the cast list. She made her final appearance on the show in the 2013 episode "Past, Present and Future." Three years later, NCIS revealed that her character was killed in a mortar attack, leaving DiNiozzo (Michael Weatherly) to take care of their daughter, Tali. DiNozzo left the show in 2016 to spend more time with Tali.

In a 2013 interview with TVGuide, de Pablo said it was a personal decision to leave the show after eight years.

"As far as my decision to leave, that's a personal thing, and I'd rather leave it at that," she explained at the time. "The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing — at times terrifying."

De Pablo continued, "Leaving NCIS was not planned, so there is no plan. If I were panicking now, it would defeat the purpose. I need to get really excited about something, because for eight years I was really excited about this character. I don't want to start anything unless it's like that."

Since leaving the show, de Pablo has appeared in the movie The 33. In August 2018, de Pablo joined former NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly to develop a CBS police drama called MIA, about a rookie female homicide detective in Miami.

NCIS is now in its 16th season, and is CBS' longest-running drama still on the air.

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"She" airs on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. This week, CBS is airing a two-hour episode of The World's Best on Tuesday.

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS