Wednesday, September 25, 2019

NCIS - Out of the Darkness

Picking up the thread of last season's cliffhanger ending, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) returns from the dead in "Out of the Darkness" with a warning for Gibbs (Mark Harmon). Without going into detail about where Ziva has been, the season premiere at least explains the reason for her fake death by rewriting a bit of NCIS history and having the bomb that supposedly killed Ziva be the actions of a mysterious terrorist. Together the pair go on the run in search of the mysterious woman Sahar (Mouzam Makkar) while first Bishop, and then later other members of NCIS begin to understand just what his going on. Ziva is less than forthcoming about her time away, other than her single mindedness about killing Sahar and making it back to her daughter.

The reworking of the Season 13 finale "Family First" feels a bit awkward, especially with the writers playing the truth about Ziva's actions over the past few years so close to the vest. Tying everything back to Ziva's brother Ari is a familiar theme the show has used before, and Ziva's return allows the writers to dip into that well once more, although we've yet to learn the connection between Ari and Sahar. The slow discovery of Ziva being alive being passed through the team offers a nice mix of humor and tension, particularly in Palmer's (Brian Dietzen) reaction to the news. This Ziva is different from the one last seen at the beginning of Season 11, but still more than enough Ziva for Gibbs to refuse to let her fend for herself (though the pair do manage to convince the rest of the team to stand down). Based on the final scene and the preview for next week's episode things are going to get more complicated for Ziva and friends before any resolution is reached.

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