'NCIS': Mark Harmon and Cote de Pablo Tease 'Absolutely Real' Threat After Ziva's Return

NCIS fans thought Ziva David was dead for a very long time, meaning there must be a very good reason for her surprise return. While show producers have hinted at the "dangerous" reason for the beloved character to come out of hiding, Cote de Pablo and series star Mark Harmon took it upon themselves to tease the threat coming their way when the show returns for Season 17.

Fans will remember Ziva's (de Pablo) shocking return in the Season 16 finale, in which she appeared after years of being believed to be dead to warn Gibbs (Harmon) about "danger" coming his way.

"The threat is real," Harmon told TVInsider after the interviewer brought up Ziva mentioning a woman named Sahar (Mouzam Makkar) in the season premiere trailer, who is spearheading the manhunt against the characters.

"We are very much in danger," The actress said. "The only way to justify Ziva [possibly] breaking cover and jeopardizing herself and the people at NCIS was to make the threat absolutely real."

"She lost her father [Mossad Director Eli David, killed in Season 10], so she feels responsible for her father figure, Gibbs, and has to save him," she added. "She's also trying to keep her daughter a secret and safe from the people who are trying to get to Gibbs and to her."

Fans will remember news of Ziva's "death" surfaced in par with Tony DiNozzo's (Michael Weatherly) exit from the series, when he also found out Ziva had given birth to a baby girl, Tali. At the time, Tony decided to leave the team in order to live a quiet life away from danger with his daughter in Paris.

The actress also revealed the big enemy Ziva and Gibbs will be fighting against has ties to her past. With the outlet recalling the parallels between the Season 16 finale scene, and Season 3 when Ziva stood in the same spot on Gibbs' basement to kill her half brother, Ari Haswari, to save Gibbs' life.

"Ari's always involved. There's something that has to do with him and some loose ends still lingering," de Pablo revealed. "You see some of Ziva's past come back — flashbacks and hints of things that have marked her [in the years she's been gone]."

Along with the epic adventure Gibbs and Ziva are about to embark on, the character will also have some heartwarming reunions to go through with some of the other members of the team.

Harmon teased the season premiere will have Gibbs and Ziva doing their own thing as they fight the common enemy.


"Episode 2, there is more interaction — mostly with McGee (Sean Murray) and a little with Ducky (David McCallum)," de Pablo revealed to the outlet.

NCIS will return for Season 17 Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.