'NCIS': New Season 17 Photos Hint at Major Reunion for Ziva in Upcoming Episode

NCIS officially returns to CBS on Jan. 7, picking up where the show left off during its fall finale in December. Episode 11 of Season 17 is titled "In The Wind" and will see Cote de Pablo return as Ziva. The official description of the episode shares that "Gibbs must face the reality of his actions after he assists Ziva with 'the one thing' she said she would need to take care of before returning to her family."

While Ziva had been planning to head to Paris to reunite with her family, but first, she's going to help Gibbs (Mark Harmon) after he killed Phineas' mother, Sarah/Sahar, which allowed Ziva to come out of hiding. The end of the fall finale saw Gibbs hesitate before going to tell Phineas his mom had died, and in a preview for next week's episode, Phineas has gone missing.

Ziva decides to help Gibbs find Phineas, though a preview for the episode shows him reminding her about her family. "Ziva, all these years, you've had one goal," he says. "To reunite with your family. Go to Paris."

"I know how much this boy means to you, Gibbs," she tells him. "Paris can wait."

Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) also jumps in to help, with a promo photo from the episode showing Ziva and Torres sitting on one side of a desk and looking at someone off-screen, Ziva with her arms folded and Torres looking less than happy.

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(Photo: Bill lnoshita/CBS)

The episode is Ziva's last confirmed episode for Season 17, which means her story will get a major push forward when the show returns. Ultimately, the preview hints that she might just make her way to Tony (Michael Weatherly) and their daughter, Tali, after all, what with the fact that Gibbs mentions Paris to her and Ziva will soon be absent from the show.

Speaking to TV Insider in December, NCIS executive producers Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder shared that the Jan. 7 episode will "get into some of" the repercussions of Ziva's experience on her relationship with Tony, as well as a potential reunion between Ziva and Tony.

"On the one hand, we wanted to see a reunion and we think the audience wants to see a reunion and if there has been a full-throated reunion in the past, that's a disservice to the storytelling on some level," Binder said. "On the other hand, when you're a co-parent, letting your co-parent believe you're dead is a pretty rough pill to swallow."

"We had split the difference and thought, 'What would really happen?'" he continued. "She really believes her life is in jeopardy, she really believes she needs to stay undercover, so she doesn't tell anybody. But if Adam Eshel's going to know, Tony's going to know. Just because he knows doesn't mean they've been vacationing in the Caymans and hanging out and having a good ol' time. Just because he knows she's alive doesn't mean there's been a relationship there, which still gives us space to do a reunion."

NCIS returns on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET.

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Photo Credit: Bill lnoshita / CBS