In an interview with Deadline, the showrunner opened up about Michael Weatherly’s final episode as Tony DiNozzo and the shocking realization that his former colleague Ziva (Cote de Pablo) did not survive the blast at her family’s farmhouse in Israel.
According to Glasberg, despite the fact that Ziva is presumed dead in the finale, it’s not as black and white as that.
“Tremendous thought was put into every element of what you saw last night,” said Glasberg. “Down to the lines of dialogue, the specific wordage. At the end of the day, I leave it in the hands of our fantastic fans and audience. To quote Tony DiNozzo at the end of the episode, ‘You gotta believe what you gotta believe.’”
As for whether that means Tony and Ziva could waltz back into NCIS headquarters one day? Glasberg isn’t ruling anything out.
“NCIS is a show and a franchise that’s known historically for leaving lots of things unanswered and leaving all doors opens,” Glasberg told Deadline. “We revisit all kinds of things in all kinds of ways. We never say never and I’m not going to stray from that kind of approach.”
It’s interesting that Glasberg intended for DiNozzo’s exit and Ziva’s fate to be so open to interpretation. We’re sure fans far and wide— many of whom were distraught when led to believe Ziva had died before introducing Tony to their little girl— will feel consoled over the idea that perhaps DiNozzo’s former partner-in-crime survived after all.