Tonight’s episode of “NCIS” is appropriately named “Past, Present, and Future” as it jumps around in time during Tony’s (Michael Weatherly) emotional, months-long search for Ziva (Cote de Pablo). In the beginning, it is unclear whether Ziva is so hard to find because she is in hiding … or because she has been captured and needs rescuing.
The story picks up in late May with a determined Tony on a plane to Tel Aviv, the last location where he heard from Ziva, when he is taken into custody by Mossad. Marina Sirtis returns as Orli Elbaz, the head of the Israeli intelligence agency, who has replaced Ziva’s late father Eli (Michael Nouri). She convinces Tony that they should work together to locate Ziva, because she knows that Eli would have wanted her to make sure that his daughter was safe.
Still, Tony is skeptical if the Mossad can be trusted. But, as Israel is their turf, he knows they have a much better knowledge of the lay of the land than he does, so he agrees to work with them — at least until he gets his feet wet.
Even so, Gibbs (Mark Harmon), who is back in Washington, D.C., cautions him, “If Ziva doesn’t want to be found, you won’t find her. You need to respect that.”
One of the interesting aspects of “Past, Present, and Future” is so many people are not who they seem to be. And an important element of the past, Ziva’s having killed her brother Ari (Rudolf Martin), comes into play as to why she is missing and what lies ahead for her future.
Meanwhile, Sarah Porter (Leslie Hope), the new Secretary of the Navy, passes down a message from the president that he is not happy that Gibbs and the NCIS team have not yet located Parsa and his growing terrorist ring.
When an Arizona hideout for the organization, Brotherhood of Doubt, is located, pictures of their wish list of human targets is discovered. Most are NCIS personnel, but Tomás Mendes (Costas Mandylor), a member of an international anti-terrorist organization, is not, and it is decided between NCIS and Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell (Joe Spano) to take him into protective custody to keep him alive.
Finally, NCIS gets a break in the case, and we discover just who the target is in the crosshairs of Gibbs’ sniper rifle — and why Navy Captain Dominick Wayne (Allan Louis) lies dying next to him.
But, of course, the moment everyone is waiting for is when Tony finally tracks down Ziva — and the two spend their final moments together.
In a previous interview with xfinityTV, executive producer/showrunner Gary Glasberg told us, “There are some really lovely, fantastic moments between Tony and Ziva that I hope pay off for all the Tiva fans and provide the closure that they are looking for. They’re funny and heart-wrenching and give us a little bit of what people have been waiting for between them.”
Glasberg may not have gone as far as fans would have liked, but the bittersweet ending will tug at the heartstrings.
Cote de Pablo’s final episode of “NCIS” airs Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 8/7c on CBS.