'NCIS': Cote de Pablo on Ziva's boyfriend and season-ending serial killer arc -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

The April 5 episode of CBS’ NCIS has been a long time coming for “Tiva” fans. We’ll finally meet Ziva’s CIA boyfriend Ray, played by Without a Trace‘s Enrique Murciano. “You never know if you’re gonna have chemistry, and since I had no say in the casting, I was sort of waiting to meet this famous Enrique Murciano,” Cote de Pablo says. “I had actually researched him. I looked him up on Google. I got as much information as I could. And then when I met him, it was kind of instant. We hit it off. He’s from Miami, I’m from Miami. He had me laughing immediately, and I’m a sucker for laughter, so that was it.” Wait. Back up. She really Googled him? “Ohmygod, I so Googled him,” she laughs.

The actress says we’ll see a new side to Ziva when Ray arrives in town. “There’s a lovely scene in which he basically brings his interpretation of ‘fancy’ candlelight dinner, which takes place by the vending machines at NCIS. It’s really funny. There’s kissing involved. We kept it light and we kept it fun, and we kept it like two people who are genuinely in to each other and wanting to move things along. It’s about what’s going on between the lines. These two people are touchy-feely, and that’s different for Ziva.” Does this dinner get interrupted by Tony (Michael Weatherly)? “Oh no. Tony has nothing to do with this dinner. He doesn’t come. He doesn’t surprise us. He doesn’t just walk in,” de Pablo says with mock exasperation. “It’s just between Ray and I, and it’s a scene in which I believe he’s going to say something to Ziva that he hasn’t said before.”

So Ray, who makes his appearance right as Tony’s shower buddy E.J. (Sarah Jane Morris) returns to lead the investigation of a port-to-port killer, is keeping something from Ziva? “Halfway through the show, and after that very tender, loving scene, she discovers that he has a little secret that he hasn’t told her that has to do with the port-to-port killer case. It throws everything up in the air, and it causes a lot of friction between them and a big blow out,” de Pablo says. “I think Ray is a good guy. I think he makes a mistake, and Ziva has a lot of issues, trust issues in particular. Somewhere along the line, they’re going to have to have a longer chat about what happens in this particular episode. Things don’t end very well, that’s all I can say about that.”

As for how Ziva and E.J. will be getting along, de Pablo says Ziva won’t trust her. “Aside from the fact that Tony and E.J. are having a full-blown little affair on the side, Ziva doesn’t quite know why she doesn’t like her. It’s not only professional. Things are confusing Ziva. But at the same time, she’s happy with Ray.” And how does Tony handle the presence of the man he likes to call CI-Ray? “I know that they have had a really interesting scene in the bathroom,” de Pablo teases. “I always laugh about it: The best scenes always happen in the most inappropriate places on NCIS. It’s when the characters can have some ‘alone time,’ and get into the nitty-gritty of whatever it is that’s going on emotionally with them. They have one of those scenes, and I’ve heard it’s really, really good.” So not well, in other words. De Pablo has warned Murciano that some fans may not take to Ray because they’re devoted to the idea of “Tiva,” but, she says, “The great thing about Enrique is he’s got this attitude like, ‘Just wait till they meet me.’ He’s a confident guy, and I love that.”

As TV’s No. 1 drama, which always shakes things up in its season finales, moves closer to the end of year eight, de Pablo says the cast has been kept in the dark about the final hour. “We know that it has something to do with the port-to-port killer. We know that something awful is gonna go down, like always. And we’re all deathly terrified,” she says. “It’s funny because if you were to ask any of us, ‘Do you feel stress’ or ‘Do you feel tensions are rising,’ everyone will say the same thing — no. But everyone is dealing with it differently. Some people are really tired, some people have body aches. Some people are just looking forward to a couple weeks of vacation. We may not be aware it’s a stressful situation, but we’re all going through it in our own way,” she says. And how was she coping when we caught up to her recently? “I’m just trying to enjoy every day because you never know what can happen. Today, before I left the show, I was making paper planes. Someone said I didn’t know how to make one. The first one I made, I have to say, kinda sucked. But then, the second one was absolutely fantastic and it blew all the other ones out of the water. Mine flew the farthest. That was a good day for me,” she laughs. “So that’s how I’m dealing with high levels of unconscious stress.”

Comments (132 total) Add your comment
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  • B

    First. Looks like a nerd….

    • Anna

      I agree.

  • jan

    CAN’T WAIT—————–

    • Sunny

      In order to make ‘Tiva,’ viable again, they’d have to supply another fabulous-looking, sexy guy, like Tony, that all women want and would seem crazy to leave. They’ve missed the boat big-time with Enrique. Maybe he’s nice, but he’s not good-looking… barely average.

      • Teresa

        Tony is so not fabulous looking and sexy. He looks old and nerdy. Now bring on a guy like Victor Webster and then yummy!

      • Sherlock Holmes

        Yes Sunny… I’m sure you are a Super model too.

    • Sunny

      Also, I know it’s TV, but doesn’t the government have a non-fraternization policy that would reassign them if they did get together?

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    *sigh* As an NCIS fan and a Tiva fan it’s pretty bad when this show simply isn’t interesting anymore.

    Ugh I just don’t care about Tiva anymore, too little too late.

    • Pat

      I thought Tiva had a lot of potential TPTB have spoiled it by delaying too long and making both characters look stupid.

      Give me Castle any time.

      • as

        actually since the Stern written, Weatherly directed OLS, Tony has come off much better. Fingers are crossed that clown Tony is gone

    • cattyfan

      I LOVE the idea of this pairing (and I’ve always hated the idea of Ziva being wasted on Tony.)

  • Jason

    I don’t care. Just give me more DiNozzo.

    • Erin

      We will when the origin/flashback ep airs hopefully in conjuction with the serial killer arc storyline!

      Can’t wait for that unlike this shipperish love triangle stuff. Don’t care about EJ, Ray, or Tiva. Now Cop!Tony meeting Gibbs and joining NCIS is a totally different story.

      • as

        agreed… & Chris wilman tweeted today that he was watching Gibbs meet Tony…..

    • millie blanchard

      i love everyone on ncis we think its a great show. we hope they keep the program going.

  • Jill

    I feel like the opportunity for Tiva may have been missed. But I’m kind of fond of the idea of both of them being happy with other people at the same time.

  • Bella

    I’m looking forward to Enrico Murciano being on the show. Loved him on Without a Trace. I hope I like his character better than EJ Barrett, because I didn’t like her at all. People butting into other people’s conversations uninvited is one of my pet peeves. If they want us to like her, hopefully they’ll give us a reason to.

    • Jena

      Check mark on all your points. Can’t wait to see Enrico do his magic. Like you I also totally dislike the fact that EJ was all up in their business w/o being asked. I just wanted to tell her to shut the heck up.

    • charlotte

      ITA. I loved Enrico in Without a Trace so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I didn’t like EJ’s character AT ALL. So annoying. I do think that the show has let this whole Tiva thing drag on for so long that people miss the chemistry they had. I’m hopeful that Enrico will be able to light the torch again.

    • Sue1

      I agree as well. Loved him in Without a Trace (still mourning that and Cold Case), and not at all impressed with EJ. Tiva may yet make an appearance, but I like the fact that they are both opening themselves up to other options, perhaps to find out what they are missing.

  • Michael

    see that the porblem unless its two lover in love woman don’t care

  • jules

    I could care less about TIVA. I like both characters, separately, but they missed the boat with the coupling and it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me anymore. I’m looking forward to the final few episodes of this season.

  • Ugh

    And yet another middle finger to the Tiva fans.

    • Sammie

      I agree, another hint, another step forward, thenn two steps back it’s always the same. *yawn* next please

    • as

      aaawwwwwww……poor tivas. Hopefully they’ll put a nail in the tiva coffin by end of season & kill the dinosaur forever. absolutely HATE Tiva

  • Jason

    Ziva’s character is suppose to be this brilliant, strong woman, but she’s not. She’s weak minded and naive. She knows Gibbs and Tony hate the CIA, yet she starts up a relationship with one? Really? And then there are the emails from Ray. They make no sense whatsoever now. The powers that be royaly screwed the pooch here.

    • Pat

      Why should Ziva care if Gibbs and Tony have a personal prejudice against a branch of their own government? Her personal life is her personal life and as long as it doesn’t conflict with her duties, Gibbs and Tony have no say in it.

      • Jason

        It’s just stupid and Ziva said, her biggest issue is trust. PLEASE. She has issue with trust after what she did in season six? UGH!

      • Pat

        @Jason: Ziva has an issue with trust because she was betrayed by Ari. Then she trusted Rivkin and Eli in season 6 and they both betrayed her. She also thought she was betrayed by Tony and Gibbs but reconsidered in Somalia.

        In season 6 she was still a Mossad officer so her first loyalty was to Mossad, not Gibbs or Tony.

      • Jason

        For her to not trust Tony is ridiculous. The man was willing to die for her, etc. I’m sorry, it’s BS.

  • Unhinged

    TPTB are too busy playing both sides of the street, not trying to make each side mad enough that they leave completely. It is smart, but it’s also extremely irritating. I’d rather they would kill off any inkling of romance between main characters. The show has a better flow without jealousy or anything like that getting in the way.

    • Jason

      You’re right, it was great in season 3 when Tony and Ziva actually flirted. Now, Ziva always snipes Tony and belittles him or assaults him or accuses him of murder. Should I go on?

      • unhappy fan

        She is starting to act more like Kate, that should make a certain group of fans happy. Personally I am not happy how Ziva and Tony are acting toward each other the last several shows.

    • Jill

      ITA. I hate that TPTB are alternately teasing Tiva and shutting it down.

      I with they would either do it or drop it completely. I don’t want NCIS for the romance but this stalling is spoiling my enjoyment of the show.

      • unhappy fan

        I agree they are showing more romance at this point than if they would just have moved along with TIVA when Ziva got back from Somalia.

  • sofia

    Tony and Ziva lost their moment. It should’ve happened in season 6 or 7. Now it’s too late, but I still have my hopes up for them. Ziva has a VERY BAD taste. Jesus Christ!!! What happened to that man? He was so different on WAT. GOD!!!

  • Cass

    LOVE this show, and enjoyed the interview. But MY stress about the finale is CONSCIOUS. And I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with it. I’m just so afraid they’re going to pull another “Kate” and that one of them won’t be around for Season 8. Which would be incredibly sad–squared.

    • China Rider

      Tim has been getting in shape, lost the McProbie baby fat. He’s either going west to LA or get’s killed. I think EJ is dirty and Ray is in with her. Finale: Tony, ( who’s been ‘playing’ EJ knowing she’s dirty ), rescues Ziva from Evil Ray and Gibbs nabbs EJ as she’s getting ready to whack Leon, saves Leon. Tony, Evil Ray’s corpse nearby, reliquishes his armour and comforst Ziva, long pause, close up Ziva, who says,”Finally, my Tony shows up”, Big Kiss.

      • Sam

        Hahaha I Love your story telling here. Some Imagination, but I can’t say I don’t agree

  • K-Man129

    I think the writers could have much more fun if TIVA actually *had* happened: the stress of keeping it professional at work–and a secret–would open up much more character opportuninty AND would be much more rewarding for long-time fans.
    Right now it’s just tedious.

    • Jo

      From your typewriter to Shane Brennan’s ears!

      Yes to trying to keep the relationship secret and away from Gibbs.

      Yes to how tedious this has got.

  • Javadude54

    Haven’t we seen this story arc before?

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