Why Did Ziva Leave NCIS? What Sparked Her Unexpected Departure?

Why Did Ziva Leave Ncis

The departure of Ziva from NCIS has left lots of fans sad and many are yet to understand the reason “Why did Ziva leave NCIS?” NCIS fans were upset when actress Cote de Pablo announced her departure from the famous CBS series at the end of season 11.

Her character, Ziva David, had been a staple of the cast since 2005, because of her fiery personality and apparent romantic tension with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly).

Why Did Ziva Leave NCIS? What Sparked Her Unexpected Departure?

Even though it’s been years since her departure, there are still a million unanswered questions. What made her leave the show? Will she ever return? 

And what’s the story behind the mysterious upcoming episode in which she’s purportedly involved? Here’s all you need to know about Cote, 39, and what she’s been up to since she left.

Why Did Ziva Leave Ncis

In an interview with TVGuide in 2013, Cote was evasive about her reasons for leaving NCIS. “As far as my decision to leave, that’s a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that,” she was quoted as saying. 

“Leaving was not something I had considered for a long time.” It was an extremely difficult and frightening experience.” Oof.

The publication said there was an “impasse” that prevented Cote from staying, while the network asserted at the time that it had nothing to do with money. 

Cote, on the other hand, continued to praise his experience and even remained open to the notion of returning. 

“The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn’t die,” she went on to say. “As long as a character doesn’t die, the character can always come back.”

So, Will Ziva Ever Return to NCIS?

This is when things become complicated. Ziva was, in reality, murdered off during the departure of her love interest DiNozzo in 2016. According to Deadline, the couple had a daughter, and the child was now in DiNozzo’s care after an explosion took Ziva’s life.

But, as is typically the case, there’s more to the story than that. Cote announced in April of that year that she would not be returning for DiNozzo’s farewell. “I chose not to,” she told a crowd at Babson College, according to Fox News. 

“I spent eight years creating and loving this character.” I felt or sensed that the character was not being treated with the respect that I believed she deserved, thus all the money in the world was useless.

She went on to say, “Unless someone can really write something fantastic, I won’t go back.”

What Does this Mean Now?

All of this leads us to today, and the enigmatic season 16 episode named “She.” It was meant to air on February 5, but it is now on February 12. The following is how the network describes the highly anticipated show:

“After a malnourished and confused 9-year-old is found hiding in a storage unit, NCIS reopens an old missing persons case when the girl is believed to be the daughter of a Navy recruit who disappeared 10 years ago. Also, Bishop discovers notes that Special Agent Ziva David kept on the case long after NCIS officially stopped investigating.”

Every NCIS fan is definitely buzzing with ideas as a result of this. Will she appear in a flashback? Will it only be a Ziva-centric plot? Is Ziva even still alive?!?! We can hardly stand the tension.

Cote has been keeping herself busy since her departure from NCIS. Her most notable role was as Jessica in The 33, a film based on the true-life events that trapped 33 miners in Chile for 69 days.

She also participated in the 2016 TV movie Prototype and has a project dubbed Seneca in the works for 2019.

The actress has also been speaking up for causes close to her heart. She collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015 to raise awareness for cervical cancer, as the disease runs in her family.

“I lost my grandmother to it,” she said, according to Prevention. “The first time my heart was broken was when my grandmother passed away.”

Last Thought

Though she does not appear to be romantically involved with anyone at the time, she and Michael are resuming their relationship on television. According to TVLine, the two are teaming to produce MIA, a new cop drama for CBS.

NCIS underwent a transformation in the aftermath of Ziva’s departure. New characters entered the forefront, and the dynamics of the team changed, but Ziva David’s legacy survived.

Her departure was more than just a plot twist; it was a moving examination of the human condition, a journey from the depths of treachery to the possibility of atonement.

As we reflect on the emotional journey that unfolded, the question of why Ziva departed NCIS remains unsolved, leaving an everlasting impression on viewers’ emotions and proving the enduring power of storytelling.