Cote de Pablo made her entry into ‘NCIS’ during season 3 as the Israeli Mossad agent Ziva David, quickly becoming a beloved character on the CBS crime procedural. Her interactions with Tony DiNozzo and her dynamic with Leroy Jethro Gibbs, along with the family drama and danger surrounding her character, made her a fan favorite. However, her departure in season 11 marked the beginning of a series of popular character exits on the show.

The reason for Cote de Pablo’s exit from ‘NCIS’ in season 11 remained unclear when it happened in 2013. Her character, Ziva, was seemingly killed off-screen. It wasn’t until three years later, during a public Q&A, that she shed light on her decision to leave the series.

De Pablo explained, “Unfortunately, because of political things and scripts not being good enough, I chose not to [return to NCIS]. Look, I love this character. I worked for eight years crafting Ziva, and when I felt like the character wasn’t being treated with the respect she deserved. They were going to send [Ziva] back to Israel to make her an unfortunate, miserable woman… and I didn’t think that was fair.”

Her candid comments led many to believe she might never return to ‘NCIS’ and reprise her iconic role. However, in a surprising twist, she made a brief return in the final moments of the season 16 finale, thrilling fans.

Her second exit from the series was on much better terms. Before her return, she had expressed that she would consider coming back to the franchise only if Ziva’s storyline was handled more thoughtfully. Ziva returned for four episodes in season 17 as a recurring character, and following her guest appearance, she clarified that her initial comments about why she left ‘NCIS’ had been taken out of context.

De Pablo has chosen to live a private life after her ‘NCIS’ stints. Most of the original cast members have left the show, with the exception of David McCallum (Ducky). Currently, only Sean Murray’s Tim McGee and Brian Dietzen’s Jimmy Palmer remain from the early days of the series. De Pablo has not added any new credits on IMDb since her appearance in ‘NCIS’ Season 17, and there are no projects listed as ongoing.

By chrysos