'NCIS' Season 16 Finale: Find Out Which Fan-Favorite Makes a Surprise Return

The character's appearance will not be the last time as showrunner Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder tease in a joint statement, 'This surprise moment is just the beginning.'

AceShowbiz - "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service" aired its season 16 finale on Tuesday, May 21. In the episode, fans of the long-running CBS drama were pleasantly surprised when a former cast member made an unexpected appearance.

[SPOILER ALERT!] Cote de Pablo, who played Ziva David, susprisingly appeared when the episode was nearing to its end. "Hello, Gibbs," she greeted Special Agent Leroy Jethroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon). "No time for pleasantries -- you're in danger," she continued saying as she walked down the stairs.

"Well, aren't you gonna say something?" she later asked. Gibbs was understandably speechless as "Ziva," was all he could say. However, he showed a faint smile at the end.

Ziva's appearance will not be the last time as "NCIS" showrunner Frank Cardea and Steven D. Binder teased in a statement, "This surprise moment is just the beginning. We are thrilled to share that Cote de Pablo will guest star in the NCIS Season 17 premiere this fall as Ziva's warning to Gibbs unfolds."

The producers did their best to keep the return under wraps. They deliberately didn't include the scene in the script or call sheet and only the showrunners had copies of the scene. Additionally, during the filming day, Pablo arrived via a back gate entrance. The top-secret was also filmed with a skeleton crew since the full crew had been wrapped for the day.

Pablo played Ziva from 2005 to 2013. The actress decided not to renew her contract with the series when season 11 was underway. "We offered... a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money," said then-CBS CEO Les Moonves. The actress shared, "I left under my terms, and that was wonderful."

Ziva appeared in season 11 only to bid love Tony DiNozzo a sad adieu.

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