The latest NCIS case shone a spotlight on Ziva David's legacy, dropping a clue the character might still be alive.
"She" saw the team work on a decades-old case of a missing agent after a little girl was found hiding in a storage unit at the base. The case brought memories of Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) to the forefront, when it was revealed that she had been working on the case, even after the trail ran cold.
The little girl, named Lily, quickly bonded with Bishop (Emily Wickersham) after finding out that the little girl is a kidnapping victim and she had been trapped in a basement her entire life.
Kasie (Diona Reasonover) finds a match to Lily's mother's DNA belonging to a missing NCIS agent, and the case makes Gibbs (Mark Harmon) emotional. Bishop looks up the case file on the woman's disappearance and discovers that the 18-year-old had just signed on to the navy and she had been believed to be dead.
The team then investigated after finding out NCIS had kept a file on the case despite them initially turning it over to the sheriff's department, which Gibbs revealed to Leon (Rocky Carroll) he had always thought it was a mistake. When they find the file, Bishop and Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) find out Ziva was the agent investigating the case.
Bishop admits she wishes that Ziva was not dead since she wishes she could've learned things from her. She makes the choice to keep her involvement with the investigation a secret from Gibbs and McGee (Sean Murray) while they continue to look into the case.
As the team investigated the location of the missing woman and her captor, Bishop visited an old home that Ziva had rented. She revealed that Ziva hadn't made a payment on the house since her death. The landlady let Bishop into the home, which she said was still kept exactly as Ziva had left it. While looking around, Bishop finds hundreds of notebooks filled with notes and at that point she decides to clue Gibbs in on the Ziva connection.
Gibbs, McGee and Bishop study Ziva's notes, with McGee revealing that they couldn't reach out to DiNozzo about the development. The notebooks contained her feelings about many of the team's cases, including the missing woman. Gibbs acts mysteriously about if he knew about Ziva's secret investigation. When Bishop tries to push him further on the subject, he threatens to fire her if she keeps secrets form him again.
On her way out of the house, Bishop takes the journal concerning the missing woman's case. Back at the base, Palmer (Brian Dietzen) revealed that Ziva had been the agent who gave up the case to the sheriff's office and Gibbs was very angry about her mistake at the time. Since then, Ziva had kept track of the case to make up for her mistake in secret.
Upon reading the journal, Bishop finds a letter from the missing woman's mother, aimed at the kidnapper. Gibbs tells her she's getting to personally involved but Bishop lashes out. Gibbs admits that it hurts him to see Ziva's empty desk every day and that getting too emotional leads to death, just like what happened to her. After the argument, he takes Bishop off the case and sends her home.
Bishop ignored Gibbs' orders and rushes to help the team when they find where the little girl had been caught. She finds herself in a scary situation when she finds the man attempting to escape with the woman. The altercation leads to both Bishop and the woman falling into the water. However, they save the woman and arrest the captor successfully.
The episode ends as Gibbs reads Ziva's journal and after he allows Bishop to go read the letter to the man, he silently agrees to start letting emotions get into his cases once again.
After the man tells Bishop someone already gave him the letter, she returns to Ziva's house and finds that many items are gone. She finds a note that asks her to keep Ziva's secret "for her family's safety."
Viewers said goodbye to de Pablo and Ziva David in 2013, when the character saw herself embark in a journey of revenge after her father was murdered. After killing her father's murderer, Ziva left the team and left the United States, leaving behind her love interest Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly).1comments
Ziva was then revealed to have been killed in a mortar attack back in 2016, setting up DiNozzo's exit from the series, when he left the team to take care of their daughter, Tali.
Could this twist mean Ziva will eventually return to the team? NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.