Will Michael Weatherly Return to 'NCIS'? 5 Reasons Why It's Likely (PHOTOS)

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Dead Letter
Jace Downs/CBS
Pillar of Salt
Phil Caruso/CBS

Bull has set up a bit of a break for Jason

Weatherly is currently starring on his own show on CBS, but Bull actually ended its third season in such a way that there could be a Jason-lite episode to kick off the new season. Remember that ill-advised encounter with his ex-wife, Izzy (Yara Martinez), earlier in the season? The timing could’ve been better, as she was grieving after losing her father.

Well, it played a big role in the finale, possibly ruining Jason and Benny’s (Freddy Rodriguez) friendship for good, since the lawyer didn’t appreciate his friend taking advantage of his sister when she was “vulnerable.” Benny declared he was “done” with Jason, but that can’t be true, right? Plus, Izzy revealed that she’s pregnant with Jason’s child.

Why not kick off the new season with an episode that sees Jason dealing with the fallout, but away from TAC, and in a way that doesn’t require him to be as present as usual?

Dead Letter
Jace Downs/CBS

It’s time

Simply put, it’s been three seasons since we’ve seen Tony, and considering he’s one of the original stars — going back to the JAG episodes — it’s time we see him once again, even if it’s only via video in MTAC. (However, it’s hard to imagine NCIS bringing him back just for that.)

Double Blind
Robert Voets/CBS

The new team (and viewers) could use a reminder of the old guard

They may not be the original team on NCIS (RIP Kate), but longtime fans watched Gibbs, Tony, McGee, and Ziva solve crime together for eight seasons. Since then, the team has changed quite a bit. If we’re ever going to see those four working together again, this might be it, since de Pablo is going to be in the Season 17 premiere.

And considering the changes over the years — even Ducky is in a new position at NCIS — this is the right time for the show to remember where it came from.

Family First
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Gibbs is in trouble

If we take everything at face value up to this point and act under the assumption that Ziva is truly alive, she’s keeping that secret from the world to protect her family. The letter Bishop (Emily Wickersham) found earlier in the season said as much. That means whatever brought her out of hiding and to Gibbs’ basement has to be quite serious, possibly life-threatening.

If that is the case, wouldn’t Tony want to help in any way that he could? His father could easily watch over Tali.

Past, Present & Future
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Ziva’s back

Ziva’s return opened the door to so many questions, especially regarding what Tony knows and whether or not the two have been together at all over the past few years. What better way to answer everything than to bring Tony back to do so?

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NCIS fans just received a return from one fan favorite in the Season 16 finale, but is it possible that they'll see another familiar face soon?

In the last scene of Season 16, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and viewers were shocked when Ziva (Cote de Pablo) walked into his basement and warned him he was in danger. After all, the official word was that she was dead. Sure, there were hints that she was, in fact, alive, but nothing had been confirmed.

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Now that she's back (and assuming that she isn't just another one of Gibbs's ghosts), could the father of her child, Tony (Michael Weatherly), also pay a visit to at least one of his former teammates? He was last seen on NCIS when he left to take care of their daughter, and he called McGee (Sean Murray) when Abby (Pauley Perrette) was in the hospital. But isn't it time for him to appear onscreen again?

Considering Weatherly hasn't ruled out a return, the timing would definitely be right, and he might be able to fit in a guest spot even though he'll be filming Bull. Click through the gallery above to see why.

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After Ziva's return, there are other 'NCIS,' 'NCIS: LA,' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' characters we'd like to revisit.

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