'NCIS' Star Cote de Pablo Responds to Possible Tony Return After Ziva Twist

NCIS is only a few weeks away from showing Ziva David and Leroy Gibbs' deadly team-up. The CBS crime procedural shocked viewers during May's Season 16 finale when the presumed dead former agent appeared in Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) basement breaking her cover and warning him of a looming threat.

"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva (Cote de Pablo) said in the pulse-pounding scene.

After the pair stood quietly staring at each other, Ziva breaks the ice saying: "Well, aren't you going to say something?" Gibbs stays in shock and simply said her name.

With the Season 17 premiere on the horizon, Harmon and de Pablo kept things vague as they teased the upcoming reunion storyline in a new interview with TVInsider. While much of the story will revolve around the two former colleagues and friends facing the major threat from Ziva's past, the one lingering question about Ziva's return is: What about Tony (Michael Weatherly)?

The actors both remained coy about the possibility of seeing beloved character Tony DiNozzo back on the series this season, though they did not say a definite "no."

"Maybe," Harmon told the outlet with a laugh. "Michael is a little busy at the moment."

"He's shooting a procedural [CBS' Bull]," de Pablo added, before providing some context about the possible state of the former love interests' relationship, given Ziva being presumed dead for many years.

"I don't think Ziva and Tony have seen each other or communicated in a long time," she added. "[Their daughter] Tali was delivered to him [by Mossad], and that was the end of it. Don't ask any questions, dot-dot-dot, to be continued."

While we may not yet know if Weatherly will reprise his role on the beloved CBS series, showrunners Frank Cardea and Steven Binder recently teased to TVLine fans will get answers.

While teasing the season premiere and what comes after the Ziva shocker, Binder said how much Gibbs knew about Ziva "is the elephant in the room" at the start of Season 17. "Answer will be forthcoming" about what Tony and Tali have been doing since he exited the series, though it was not confirmed whether that means the character will be seen this year.

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Weatherly exited the series after Ziva's presumed death, with the Mossad delivering the daughter she had given birth to for him to take care of after her passing. The reveal led Tony to choose to leave NCIS in favor of a more quiet life for Tali.

Are you ready for more Ziva drama? NCIS returns for Season 17 Tuesday, Sept. 24 on CBS.

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