After years away from “NCIS,” Cote de Pablo got a call that changed her entire career trajectory when it came to television. It was one of the show’s writers who wanted to chat about her character Ziva. The two got into a deep conversation about what they both thought the special agent had been up to — and that’s when it all clicked for de Pablo. “The fans have been waiting for this,” she told KTLA. “I think there’s a part of my heart that’s been waiting for this.”
Interesting enough, De Pablo’s return in the Season 16 finale was such a secret that many of the cast and crew had no idea she would be coming. “It was like a top secret operation,” the actress explained on BUILD Series. She was nervous to be returning after years of being away, but the moment she stepped foot on set, she knew she had made the right decision. “As soon as I walked in, you know, the crew started clapping, and I felt, ‘Oh, I’m home,'” she said.
De Pablo only returned for five episodes, but fans were still freaking out. In fact, her comeback episode drew in 11.9 million viewers, according to TVLine.