Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NCIS and the departure of Ziva the Diva

NICS is one of those steady, reliable, and somehow, in spite of all the decomposed bodies cluttering our screen, comfortable TV shows, and when a major figure leaves, it's a shock.  So, since we know Cote de Pablo, as the beautiful, brilliant Israeli-born agent  Ziva is leaving the show, the big question for the upcoming early season is, what happens to Ziva?  They really can't kill her off: both her predecessor in the agency and the agency's female boss have both been murdered over the years: the show relies on a lot of repetition, but that would be serious overkill.  The producers are promising that there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth among the audience:  a 'heart-wrenching farewell' that will create 'a moment in TV history.'  My theory has been that she will return to Israel to fight the good fight there,  in the wake of her father's murder.  that would make sense, but would hardly be as monumental as the PR sounds.  Further, it wouldn't be a great resolution to the seven-year coy courtship between Ziva and Tony.

My guess, then, is death--not by murder but by nature.  Ziva will present with an incurable illness, and go back home to die. That would indeed be heart-wrenching, and provide a chance for some fine acting, not only for de Pablo but for Michael Wetherly as the clownish Tony, whose attraction towards Ziva has grown from sexist silliness to real love over the years.

But this guess depends much on the reasons for de Pablo's departure, about which both she and the network have remained determinedly silent.  If there were any chance she might return to the show, after, say, a year or two of trying to break into film,  they would surely dump Ziva in a recyclable fashion.  Death by illness would represent a moment of truthfulness in a show that, elegantly as it's done, is basic cops-and-robbers.   It would add potential interest for the rest of the cast, having to play out an unexpected form of grief.  and would certainly provide interest in the character of Tony, who has already matured a bit in the past few seasons, and whose frat-boy affect would have to change in the midst of shattering loss.  Should be interesting.

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