Does Ziva Reunite With Tony & Tali on 'NCIS'? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 17, Episode 11 of NCIS, "In the Wind."]
After all, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has to deal with the fallout of telling Phineas he killed his mother, which leads to the boy running away. And despite Gibbs' multiple attempts to send Ziva to Paris, she leaps in to help him — but that's not the only reason she stays in DC.
As Ziva admits to Palmer (Brian Dietzen), she worries if the "living" would have her back and that her daughter won't recognize her. He assures her that Tony would never let Tali forget her, but she explains that she's texted Tony to let him know they're safe and he hasn't responded.
Gibbs can tell that her claims that she'll be "free" when they find Phineas may not be completely true. He knows she knows he doesn't need her help. Ziva compares what she's feeling to that of a combat vet trying to return to some sense of normalcy and shares her concerns that she can't be a mother or a partner. Her anxiety didn't die with Sahar, and she worries she's too damaged to go back to who she was. Just as she tells Gibbs she hasn't heard from Tony, he sends her a photo and video of Tali telling her she loves her and misses her. Gibbs knows Ziva's now ready.
And Ziva is, once the time comes for her to join her family in Paris. All that's left to do is say goodbye to the team in DC. She thanks Jack (Maria Bello) for taking care of Gibbs' heart, advises Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) to "tell her how you feel, you wuss," and tells Bishop (Emily Wickersham) she's "overgrown" her shoes and Odette will be ready when she is.
She tells McGee (Sean Murray), "I'll miss you most of all, scarecrow," but she'll see him soon; Tony sent a video of Tali telling him to come visit. Gibbs catches her just before Palmer takes her to the airport and reiterates that Ziva's ready. And with one last look around the bullpen, Ziva leaves to go reunite with her family… off-screen.
As for Gibbs and Phineas, the kid runs off, leaving behind a note reading "don't look for me" after learning his mother's dead. They eventually track him down in Philadelphia, where he's ostensibly going to find his aunt, only for an eyewitness to report he got into a van with a man he assumed was his father. Phineas told Gibbs earlier that Sahar had said his father is crazy, but can they trust anything she said?
Whoever the man is, they do wonder how he managed to find Phineas before them. One possibility is that the kid has the other half of a pendant with a GPS receiver they found on Sahar's body.
Jack spends the episode tracking down any and all information she can get on Sahar's past and the possible identity of Phineas' father with Vance (Rocky Carroll) and his contact in Damascus.
She also forces Gibbs to take stock of how he's feeling by using his own move of stopping the elevator against him. Earlier, he admitted to Ziva that he blamed himself for not seeing what was right in front of him, and here, he tells Jack he regrets his "we'll see" answer when Phineas asked if he could stay with him. She assures him it was the right move; Phineas didn't need him to make a promise he couldn't keep. When she hugs him, he uses that to reach behind her to restart the elevator.
And it's Vance's contact, Embassy Worker Jamal Antar, who fills them in on Phineas' father (after they assure him Sahar's really dead). Long story short, she killed his father, so he can't be the one with him. Phineas ended up in the U.S. foster system, and the aunt and uncle he lived with and whom his mother told him didn't want him anymore must be his foster parents. But he does have a biological uncle, one who put a bounty out years ago for the return of his nephew. Ziva recognizes him as a Libyan gangster just before Kasie shows them a clear image of the guy who took Phineas in the van: Victor.
As they learn from one of his workers at his club, Victor gave Sahar gifts to get close to her and Phineas. He was checking an app on his phone earlier and made calls about how he was about to get rich. He's planning to deliver Phineas to his uncle to collect the bounty.
At the airport, Victor makes Phineas pose as his son at the TSA checkpoint, threatening to kill him if he does something stupid. But the knife tucked into Phineas' sock sets off the metal detector, and he claims Victor told him to hold it for him. That's when Gibbs, Ziva, and Torres arrive on scene, and Phineas runs to Gibbs. He stopped Victor, he informs Jethro, using rule 9: always carry a knife.
Torres wants nothing more than to punch Victor, but Bishop stops him and does it herself.
After, Phineas tells Gibbs he'd hoped that his aunt still lived in Philadelphia. He was with her and his uncle since before he can remember, until they didn't want him anymore, as his mother told him. But that doesn't turn out to be the truth. Jack tracked them down, and they're overjoyed to have him back.
So, there's a happy ending for Phineas, but those hoping to see Tony and Ziva together again on-screen are going to have to keep waiting.
NCIS, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS