Will Ziva Return After the 4 'NCIS' Season 17 Episodes?

Meredith Jacobs

NCIS fans have quite a bit to look forward to this season, especially for those who like Ziva David (Cote de Pablo). The character made a surprise return in the Season 16 finale, and now she'll be appearing in four episodes in Season 17. But will she be back for more after that?

"We gave it a nice big arc, and then we'll see what happens," de Pablo said during an appearance on BUILD.

For now, fans can expect to see a different Ziva from the one they're used to. "As soon as I read the script, it became very evident she had gone through some massive changes, that she had gone through challenging life situations, and that that would inform the character from now on," the actress teased. "This is a woman who's gone through some stuff, who's fighting desperately to save her friend, and also her higher objective at some point is to reunite with her daughter."

While Ziva and Gibbs (Mark Harmon) are fighting together, they do "have their issues with each other," she added. Both have questions, and Ziva has "wounds," though de Pablo stopped herself from saying more than that.

Mark Harmon & Cote de Pablo on Ziva's 'NCIS' Return, Tiva & the Threat to Gibbs

Mark Harmon & Cote de Pablo on Ziva's 'NCIS' Return, Tiva & the Threat to Gibbs

Why did Ziva come back? Will she stay? The reunited co-stars talk on-set memories, a possible Tony appearance, and more.

It all began in the final scene of last season, and de Pablo admitted she was "excited," "jittery," and "a little nervous" about coming back, considering how long it had been since she's been on set and seen the cast and crew members. "Even though the scene was only with Mark, there was that, 'Oh, it's the scene,'" she said. "You're going back into this obviously familiar place, but it's all very new after a long time."

Fans may have noticed a callback in the Season 16 finale as Ziva stood at the top of the stairs of Gibbs' basement. She confirmed it was "intentional" to remind viewers of the moment Ziva saved Gibbs from Ari (Rudolf Martin).

(Erik Voake/CBS)

As for why de Pablo decided to come back, she explained that while traveling, she was shown a lot of love for her character from fans and many asked about a possible return. "There came a point when I thought, 'I think the fans would love to see her,'" she said.

Her appearances also stemmed from a conversation with writer Gina Lucita Monreal, who always "loved and respected the character" of Ziva. She called and asked de Pablo where she thought Ziva had been, and after a conversation about the character, the actress "was once again back feeling all these things about [Ziva]."

And the fans are, too!

NCIS, Season 17 Premiere, Tuesday, September 24, 8/7c, CBS