'NCIS': Cote de Pablo Says Fans Will 'Get Some Answers' About Where Ziva's Been

NCIS is just days away from coming back, bringing with it long-awaited answers about Ziva David. The beloved character made a shocking return during the Season 16 finale to warn Gibbs (Mark Harmon) about imminent danger, despite being presumed dead since 2013, and fans have a lot of questions.

Cote de Pablo, who reprised the beloved role for the cliffhanger scene and is set to return for four episodes of Season 17, teased viewers won't have to wait long to find out what has kept Ziva away for so many years.

"I think the audience will get some answers as to where she's been," the actress said during an interview with WUSA9 Friday.

The NCIS alum is set to appear on the first two episodes of the season, and will then return for more. She revealed it was a conversation about her character's emotional journey undercover that motivated her to step back into Ziva's shoes.

"I think what excited me about the potential comeback is the fact that I was working closely with a writer... and she really wanted to get my take on what's been going on with Ziva, 'what do you think these years have been for her? What's it like to be away from her daughter?'" she said. "So, we really kind of went into deeply emotional things that, I think, will inform the character."

As for what brought Ziva back into the fold after so many years, de Pablo said there were only three possible ways that would make the comeback make sense.

"Obviously one of the main reasons for this character to come back would be for Gibbs (Mark Harmon), for Tony (Michael Weatherly) or for Tali, her daughter," de Pablo said. "Tony is not there so that was out, and Tali is supposedly with Tony so that was also out... the obvious one was Gibbs.

"They always had a wonderful relationship. So, I thought, that would be a great way to come back," she continued. "If something's going on with Gibbs or he needs to be warned about something, or saved, or potentially taken away from harm. That would be a good enough reason to break any kind of undercover operation."

Ziva David made a triumphant return in the final minute of the Season 16 finale, when she arrived at Gibbs' basement to warn him of a looming threat. The episode left Gibbs' speechless after seeing his friend essentially return from the dead.

Harmon and de Pablo previously teased to TVInsider viewers can expect to see a very different Ziva.

"It's not a given that they're going to be exactly who they were," de Pablo said earlier this month. "We have different ideas pretty much the entire episode. Ziva is used to working by herself, and all of a sudden she's trying to tell Gibbs what to do. They haven't seen each other for a long time and have to find trust again."

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Harmon also teased the friends will have disagreements during their upcoming mission, adding: "Cote in some ways plays a very different character. Ziva is older, more experienced. She's been on her own for a long time. Gibbs is not accustomed to change, and they already threw a lot of change at him last season."

Are you ready for Ziva's return? NCIS premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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