Wednesday, October 2

Goodbyes and Hellos and Moving Ons

Ziva & Tony say goodbye on NCIS

It's been a week for television. Seriously. A week!

Most of the Twittersphere is alive with the ending of Breaking Bad. I never watched that show; no particular reason, it just never appealed to me. So, the finale of BB didn't really make my radar until my social media stream erupted with Tweets and Status Updates and whatnot the other night.

What did make my radar was the second episode in Season 13 of NCIS, a show I came to late (like, the year Kate died) but have since grown to love. I think of the characters at the weirdest times, wondering what they're doing as I sit down to lunch.

I know, stalkerish, right?

But this season is different for me because one of my favorite characters is leaving. For good? For now? We don't really know. Ziva David hasn't been killed off, but the character made it clear that she needs to make changes to her life...and she has said her goodbyes.

Yes, I shed a couple of sniffles as she (finally) told Tony he was loved...not because Tony didn't know that but because Ninja-Ziva doesn't show weakness or connection. And that was as close to an 'I love you' as she has (to date) been ready to make. And then, came the final moment. When Gibbs (aka Mark Harmon who was aged incredibly well over the years. Hi, yeah, I just said that) saw an incoming call. Took a swig of beer and finally answered, saying, "Hello, Ziver," in a gruff, quiet voice.

As goodbyes go, it was one of the classiest I've seen on PrimeTime in a long time. What I loved most is that the writers brought all the characters full circle - we've seen the team grow from mistrust of Ziva, a former Mossad operative, to friendship, deep affection and love. We've seen Ziva grown from cold assassin to investigator to loyal friend and staunch defender. And they did it well. Ziva didn't go down in a blaze of gunfire, as we might have expected because of her assassin past. Instead, she was brought to her knees by her conscience. Probably the best enemy, for all of us.

So, while I was saying goodbye to my favorite former-Mossad-present-NCIS agent, I was also saying hello. Because Ziva has a new story, one I can tell myself, for as long as I want. And one that the writers just might pick up, one day. A story of redemption and forgiveness, acceptance and moving on.

I hope they tell it. And until they do, my mind will create stories for Ziva. Places she might visit on her path to redemption, people she might meet...and I'll remember how deeply her story affected me, and I'll try to to the same justice to my own characters.


  1. I love this post. And Mark Harmon. I've never watched the show (dh doesn't like it) but intend to "glom" it one day, just to watch Mr. Harmon and Abby--I think she's so cool!

  2. I love Abby! Ziva was my kick-a$$ girl but Abby is totally the Geek of my Heart. And Mark...*sigh* He's just yummy, no matter what age he is. lol

  3. I don't watch much TV but I couldn't help but follow the tweets about Breaking Bad and NCIS. The way you explained the ending makes me want to go back and watch them all. I totally agree with you that the best enemy of us all is our own conscience. In a way, that's what tortured heroes (and heroines) are all about.

  4. I'm a romantic. I want the HEA! I hope a season down the road Ziva shows up on his doorstep, or that Tony leaves NCIS to be with her in the ether of the unwritten story. *grumbles* lol I've been watching NCIS since episode one. *smiles*

  5. I've never watched BB, although I think I would like it. I've only watched NCIS a few times, enough to like Ziva. I was sad to hear she was leaving.

  6. Great post. I didn't start watching the show until it was late in the season. I'm a fan of the LA version of NCIS and couldn't imagine liking the regular NCIS. But I watched it and was hooked. I loved all the characters. I want the HEA too and I hope that they work that out in the future.

  7. I never watched NCIS, but I know about goodbyes. I remember in the days before mass-media internet and when someone left, what a shock it was--especially if they died. Like on MASH. when Henry Blake's helicopter went down.

    Although Sybil's death last season on Downton Abby just about did me in that night.

    Good post!

  8. Okay I'm stepping on a limb here. But, I've watched NCIS from the get go and handled all the changes from the absence of Abby's spider web neck tattoos, cast changes,. and creative plot lines.

    Are any of you aware that the women on this show have complained of wage differences by sex? Which I think explains why our actress made the decision to leave at the end of her contract. The producers/powers that be thought offering her lots more money and then even more would keep her. I suspect Abby's actress benefited in a higher salary because of this flight of her popular co-worker. I'm just saying sometimes respect trumps a scrabble to change inequality when the actor can walk away at a contract's end. We the viewers will find the show different without Ziva.

    I do love Mark and the role he plays. Last night's phone call scene was a classic.

  9. I really don't follow Hollywood closely enough to know about salaries, Jean...but you could be right.

    Margie, the actual MASH finale *still* gets me, to this day. Gah!!

    Sonya and Brynna, I think we'll get the HEA...eventually. :)

    D'Ann, Ziva made the show for me. Her relationship with her father, with Gibbs, the chemistry with Tony. *sigh*

    Sharon, I agree. Our conscience (real life or character-version) is a killer...because our conscience doesn't sugar-coat, it doesn't look back with rose-colored glasses. I think that is why I love character-driven stories so much, because the conscience is a wonderful, terrible thing...