'NCIS' Star Reacts to Ziva's Surprise Return in Season 16 Finale: 'They Gave Me a False Script' (Exclusive)

Diona Reasonover was just as blown away by Ziva's surprise return as fans of NCIS. The CBS crime procedural pulled off one of television's most shocking moments this year in the Season 16 finale last spring after the long presumed dead former special agent surprised Gibbs (Mark Harmon) at his house, warning him of danger coming his way.

The Ziva drama took over conversations throughout the summer, as well as for the first two episodes of Season 17. Ziva (Cote de Pablo) and Gibbs were caught in a tense race to safety as they took on a terrorist group seeking to neutralize Ziva once and for all.

Diona Reasonover, who has been a series regular on the show since Season 16, opened up to PopCulture.com about finding out about Ziva's return along with the audience.

"When Ziva he came back last year for the finale, I was watching the show just like everybody else," the actress told PopCulture.com in a phone interview Thursday.

"The last moments were happening, and I was on my phone texting my mom like, "What'd you think of the episode?" And I just hear, "Hello, Gibbs." And I snapped," she adds of the final moments. "Because I think like, 'Oh this is the last scene. I know what the last scene is. We read it in table read.' It's totally different. It wasn't in the script that I read it all. 'What? What?' I was freaking out."

While the action in de Pablo's first two episodes of Season 17 did not lead to a meeting with Kasie, Reasonover said the pair got to share scenes together for Ziva's upcoming episodes. The show revealed Tuesday that de Pablo will reprise her role once again for the Season 17 winter finale on Dec. 17. Her final episode will be the winter premiere on Jan. 7, 2020.

When asked if she could spill some details about the upcoming episode, Reasonover joked she doesn't trust what she knows following the big Season 16 finale surprise.

"Now I realize they lie to me," she said. "They gave me a false script, so I don't exactly know. Last time Ziva came back, it wasn't even the real script and you didn't even know she was coming back. So, maybe I don't know."

"I'm not kidding when I say they gave us a false ending," she said of the Season 16 finale script. "Like, they gave us the script, and it was just some Gibbs scene, and I was like, 'Oh okay.'

"I remember thinking when I saw the title of the episode, which was called 'Daughters,' I was like, 'Huh, interesting. Because 'daughters' is plural, and there's only, I guess, one 'daughter' in this script. That's a little weird."


"And then when I watched it I was like, "I was right. My suspicions were correct. There was another daughter," she added, referring to the beloved returning character.

Ready for more Ziva later this year? NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.