'NCIS': What Happens to Ziva in Her Possible Final Episode

Tuesday night's NCIS featured possibly the last appearance of Ziva David, played by actress by Cote de Pablo. After exiting during an arc in Season 11 that left her presumed dead, Ziva returned in a Season 16 cliffhanger, alive and well. Since then, Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the NCIS team have helped her take care of her enemies, clearing a path for Ziva to return to society outside of hiding. However, she helps the gang with one final mission on her way out.

Spoilers ahead for NCIS Season 17, Episode 11: "In the Wind."

The midseason premiere, entitled "In the Wind," featured the NCIS frantically searching for a young boy who is on the run. Gibbs personally feels to blame for the boy fleeing, so he becomes erratic trying to hunt him down. Ziva joins the search to help Gibbs clear his conscious.

While she aids the investigation, she tries to contact her partner, Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), so she can reunite with him and their daughter, Tali. However, she has not received a reply from him, which worries her. She fears that maybe Tony does not want her back in their lives after she was in hiding for so long.

"I can't help but wonder if the living will have me back," Ziva says to Dr. Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen) at one point.

She has a similar discussion with Gibbs later in the investigation, excited that after this mission, her ledger will be cleared.

"When we find this boy, I'll be free," she says.

"You sure? You don't seem so free to me," Gibbs says to her. "All these years, you've had one goal: to reunite with your family."

Ziva then admits she has worries about whether or not she will be able to be a proper mother and partner with her PTSD.

"I have spent years, looking over my shoulder, like a combat vet trying to return to some sense of normal," Ziva says. As a mother, as a partner, can I?"

She adds, "What if I'm too damaged to go back to who I was?"

Just as she reveals that she hasn't heard from Tony, she receives a text message from him. The message includes a video of Tali expressing her excitement about reuniting with Ziva.

"I guess Tony didn't feel safe enough to send it until now," a relieved a emotional Ziva says.

After the boy is found, Ziva says her goodbyes to the team, minus Gibbs. She is set to head to the airport, but before she walks out of the office, Gibbs steps out of the elevator and they share a few words. Gibbs tells her to "not make them come looking" for her, meaning that he hopes she stays in contact. She then walks into the elevator and gives Gibbs a wink as the doors close.

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NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m ET on CBS.

Photo Credit: CBS