'NCIS': Ziva Absent From Episode 3 and Fans Are Not Happy

NCIS fans wish Ziva's return could have lasted forever, and protested her absence from Tuesday's new episode. The CBS crime procedural dealt with the aftermath of Ziva David's (Cote de Pablo) "return from the dead" as they investigated the death of a Marine Lieutenant whose body was found under an 18-wheeler. The high-stakes episode brought plenty of action, but fans were stuck wondering when Ziva would be back to wrap up her tense storyline.

Spoilers ahead for NCIS Season 17, Episode 3: "Going Mobile"

The episode revolved around the big investigation into the mysterious death of the Marine Lieutenant, but also saw the team exploring their feelings about the elusive Ziva returning with the high-stakes mission after being presumed dead for five years.

Sloane (Maria Bello) encouraged the members of the team to explore their feelings about what happened. At the beginning of the episode, the team seems to feel divided after the Ziva happenings, McGee (Sean Murray) thinks they are burnt out, but Sloane says the team might be suffering from a feeling of "unfinished business" with Ziva's sudden return. She says he door is always open for those who want to talk.

Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) accuses Bishop (Emily Wickersham) and McGee of making the team be punished after lying about Ziva in the beginning. They say they are fine, however, and head to work on their case.

Later, McGee stops by Sloane's office pretending to have an excuse to talk to her. He admits he was hurt by Ziva not saying goodbye, but more specifically he thinks Bishop had changed since meeting Ziva.

The think Bishop might be struggling to think that she would suffer the same fate as Ziva. Their conversation is interrupted when Bishop also arrives in Sloane's office, but they refuse to talk to her together.

Sloane later finds Bishop and asks her if Ziva's resurgence has affected. Bishop insists she feels fine, despite how weird the events turned out. She then points Sloane toward Torres, saying he hasn't been the same since he lost the fake fight against Ziva.

Sloane confronts Torres in the elevator and they discuss the fake fight. He refuses to say he was distracted when Ziva confronted him about his crush on Bishop, the points her to Gibbs as the one most affected by Ziva's return. The conversation also brings up Sloane's crush on Gibbs, but she refuses to admit it, as well.

Tensions rise among the members of the team and Gibbs gives them a stern talk when it distracts them from their work. Ducky (David McCallum) tells Gibbs Sloane asked him about the leader's mental state, and Gibbs wonders why she is not asking him herself.

Eventually he arrives in her office and he lashes out at her for asking around about him. She says she knew he wouldn't talk to her directly so she is asking around.

She avoids talking about the chemistry between them and instead brings up Ziva. He says he is upset about her faking her death and then leaving again. He says he gets her actions, however, and knows he should have looked for her but he made a mistake. Sloane says he has to be OK with letting her go, again, until she returns.


Fans can expect de Pablo to reprise the role of Ziva for two more episodes in Season 17. Series show runners previously teased she might be back in late fall, early winter so it could be sooner than we think.

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