The ill-timed phone call that interrupted the Tony-Ziva moment that had everyone talking about NCIS last week will result in some big consequences on tonight’s new episode. (Update: Read what happened here.)
As fans saw last week, just as Tony and Ziva were exchanging flirty glances, Ziva’s phone rang — and it was none other than her MIA beau, Ray. (Egad!) But as executive producer Gary Glasberg teases, there’s even more dramatic tension to come. “Ziva has been going through some decisions and choices, just as Tony has. With this week’s episode, Ray is going to return, and she’s going to have to face some decisions of her own and figure out exactly what’s going on with that relationship. This was an opportunity to tease that and bring it all up to the surface,” he said.
That “decision” likely has something to do with what fans saw in the preview for this week’s episode, in which Ray got down on one knee and proposed to Ziva. “[Ray] is coming off of a long assignment, and there are professional things going on with him, and personal things going on with him, and it’s all going to get dealt with and come to a head in this episode,” Glasberg says.
And Tony, too, for that matter. But fans of the pairing lovingly referred to as “Tiva” might be surprised at how Ziva’s longtime crimefighting partner reacts to the return of Ray — especially when you consider his somewhat despondent expression after their conversation was interrupted last week. “Tony wants Ziva to be happy,” says Glasberg. “He’s protective of her and cares about her and has feelings for her, and, at the end of the day, wants to make sure that she’s safe and happy with the direction of her life. There’s some protective nature that goes along with that, and I think some of that is what you were picking up on [at the end of the last episode].”
And while Glasberg’s fully aware of the fandom that champions the pairing (though, he says he doesn’t “necessarily call it ‘Tiva’ as much as the fans do) the showrunner saw last week’s exchange as a way to touch on the pair’s relationship because “it’s important to keep things alive and periodically bring it to the forefront. As much as the mysteries of this show are important to us, the character stories are equally as important. All of these fantastic characters have things going on in their lives, and we don’t want to forget about that.”
Still, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t feel the fan pressure to finally get the two together romantically. “Doesn’t that just comes with the title?” he jokes.
For now, there are bigger fish to fry — like the show’s milestone 200th episode, which they wrapped last week. The “unique episode of television” will satisfy both diehard NCIS fans and newer fans, says Glasberg. “There’s a little bit of everything in this episode, and all of this decision-making and all of the choices our characters have made over the years come into play. It allows people to look back and to look ahead at where the show is going.”