'NCIS' Fans Lose Their Minds After Fan-Favorite Character's Surprise Return

NCIS dropped a major bomb at the end of the Season 16 finale, featuring the return of a fan-favorite character that broke social media.

Spoilers ahead for NCIS Season 16 Episode 24 "Daughters"

While the episode spent most of the time in the case of Tobias Fornell's daughter's overdose, the final seconds of the finale confirmed to fans, and to Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon) that Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) is alive. And her return means bad news for Gibbs.

After the conflicted leader of the NCIS squad makes peace with the ghost of his ex-wife Diane (Melinda McGraw), Gibbs is surprised to hear his front door and sees that Ziva — long believed to have died abroad — is alive and well, and has an ominous message for Gibbs.

"Hello Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," Ziva says to a stunned Gibbs.

After the pair stand quietly simply staring at each other, Ziva breaks the ice saying: "Well, aren't you going to say something?"

Gibbs stays stunned and simply says her name before the episode ends with the biggest shocker of the season.

Fans of the television series were in shock at the return of the beloved character, despite some clues dropped earlier in the season that Ziva was alive, and in hiding, hoping to keep her family safe from harm.

The discussion about Ziva possibly still being alive first came up during the episode "She," in which Bishop (Emily Wickersham) discovered that former member of the team had investigated a cold case long after the trail went cold.

Following Ziva's research led Bishop to a house Ziva had rented in secret where she kept all kinds of files and other notes. With her seemingly posthumous help, the team was able to uncover the secret to the case and also helped Gibbs kickstart his journey to becoming more in tune with his emotions.


At the end of that episode, however, Bishop returned to Ziva's old and found some items were missing. She then found a note from Ziva where she asks Bishop to keep her secret to protect her family.

What could possibly have brought Ziva out of hiding? Can it be fall already? NCIS will return for Season 17 this fall on CBS.