The big reveal happened at the very end of the episode, with the previously-thought-to-be-dead Ziva appearing at the top of Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) basement staircase to tell him that his life is in danger.
"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva said. As a pleasantly flustered Gibbs struggles to find words, she says, "Well, aren't you going to say something?" All Gibbs can say, with a hint of a smile, is, "Ziva!" ahead of the season finale ending.
Understandably, fans wanted to know how Weatherly would react to the bombshell moment, as Tony and Ziva shared quite a bit of strong chemistry back in the day — as well as a child, which was revealed during Tony's goodbye episode when Weatherly moved to CBS' Bull.
"michael weatherly deleted his social media knowing damn well ziva was coming back to ncis and that I, specifically, would bombard his mentions demanding answers. a true genius," another fan joked.
"I'd like to know when Michael Weatherly is going to tweet about Ziva/Cote being back," someone else said.
"FIRST OF ALL, OH MY GOD," one fan wrote after seeing Ziva's return. "SECOND OF ALL, HOW DID THEY GET HER BACK? THIRD OF ALL, CAN WE KEEP HER? FINALLY, WHERE IS MICHAEL WEATHERLY WHEN YOU NEED HIM?"
Weatherly recently removed his Twitter and Instagram accounts amid sexual harassment allegations made against him by former Bull co-star Eliza Dushku, who appeared in three episodes of the show in 2017. In December, the actress and CBS reached a $9.5 million settlement after she complained about Weatherly's alleged lewd behavior, writing a detailed Boston Globe op-ed about the toxic atmosphere on the show's set and the sexual harassment she faced. After she filed a complaint, she said she was dropped from the show.
Weatherly later issued a statement, saying he was not part of Dushku's firing, but apologized for his behavior, which was "both not funny and not appropriate."
CBS also issued a statement at the time, which read, "The allegations in Ms. Dushku's claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done. The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time."