‘NCIS’ Season 11: Cote De Pablo Opens Up About Exit On Eve Of Premiere

NCIS will have more drama than usual when it premieres Season 11. The show is preparing see Cote de Pablo exit the long running espionage series.

The emotional events start on Tuesday night, as we see the cast give Ziva David a farewell that will live in television annals as one of the most gut-wrenching moments ever.

Ziva is a beloved character who has been part of the series since 2005, her platonic banter with co-worker Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), has been a staple of the show for years.

Now, producers have to put closure to her character and have promised it won’t disappoint.

De Pablo recently spoke with TV Guide Magazine about the shocking decision to leave the popular show.

“As far as my decision to leave, that’s a personal thing, and I’d rather leave it at that,” she says. “The idea of leaving was not something I toyed around with for a long time. It was an overwhelmingly hard thing—at times terrifying.”

Cote de Pablo joined NCIS as Ziva, after her predecessor, Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander) was killed by her brother. The character is a Mossad agent, the Israeli intelligence agency and she is the daughter of the organization’s director Eli David.

The 33-year-old Chilean born actress says emphatically, “I left under my terms, and that was wonderful.”

Her “own terms” include a very important stipulation, that her character not be killed, hence leaving the doors open for a possible future return to the series.

“The greatest thing about this last episode is that Ziva doesn’t die,” de Pablo said. “As long as a character doesn’t die, the character can always come back. Not that it would actually matter, because we bring back characters from the dead all the time on NCIS!”

Cote de Pablo, Micheal Weatherly, Mark HarmonMichael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, and Mark Harmon.

Fans who are worried about “closure” when it comes to Ziva and DiNozzo’s relationship don’t worry. De Pablo reassures the fandom a satisfying conclusion to the flirtations.

“They’ll get a resolution they’ve awaited for years,” she promised. “There is a level of confession. And if it takes a big change like this to stir things up, it’s all for the better. I’m a fan of the show! My first scene ever in the bullpen was with Michael, and my goodbye scene was with Michael. I feel like that was a beautiful way of ending—or now, certainly—a beautiful chapter between these two.”

De Pablo is very touched by the support she has received from fans after the announcement of her departure was made public.

“I was incredibly moved by the blind support people had without ever getting reasons as to why I left,” she said. “People trusted that what I was doing was what I needed to do, and that’s unconditional love from people who don’t even know me. That’s been the most beautiful thing out of this process.”

Even though de Pablo has not said, why specifically, she decided to leave the show, she has made a lasting impression and will be sorely missed, not only by the audience, but by cast members and crew.

NCIS Season 11 premieres tonight on CBS. Cote de Pablo’s last episode will air October 1. Get the tissues out.