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NCIS finale recap: Family First

DiNozzo’s time on NCIS comes to a bittersweet end as he loses one great love but gains another

Posted on

Sonja Flemming/CBS


TV Show
Action, Crime
run date:
Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Pauley Perrette
Current Status:
In Season

Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo experienced a devastating loss and a miraculous gain tonight and, while it may not be the resolution that some fans were hoping for, it was a deeply emotional end to his 13 years on NCIS.

The action picks up where last week’s episode left off. DiNozzo stares in horror at ZNN’s footage of the conflagration that was Ziva’s farmhouse and clutches her Star of David necklace — the one he returned to her and then she returned to him in her last episode.

 “I can’t stay here,” DiNozzo whispers, mesmerized by the flames dancing on the screen.

But the team knows this; McGee’s already booked DiNozzo on a flight to Tel Aviv, so he leaves to pack.

And then a grim-faced Vance gets a phone call from Tel Aviv.

Cut to DiNozzo’s apartment, where Senior says he’s got a feeling it’s all going to be fine.

“Feeling what?” DiNozzo asks. “The feeling that she’s still alive? So do I. But I don’t know that she’s still alive. And nobody knows anything. So what’s the point of feeling anything at all?”

His doorbell rings, the door opening on a devastated-looking Abby and McGee.

And DiNozzo knows.

“Ziva,” he says. “Are we sure?”

He sinks to the bed, and Abby rests her head on his shoulder.

Back at NCIS, everyone’s processing the news of Ziva’s death and recommitting to their goal of finding Trent Kort, who ordered the attack on her farmhouse. But when DiNozzo arrives in the big orange room, he can’t focus, instead remembering Ziva smiling at him from her now-empty desk.

Gibbs asks why he’s there, and DiNozzo loses it, wanting to know where everybody else is.

 “We’ve lost agents before, and when we do, it’s all hands on deck,” he bellows, pounding the desk.

“She’s more than an agent to you,” Gibbs calmly replies.

“She was a daughter to you. She was a sister to McGee and Abby. She was no more to me than anybody,” he chokes out.

Then his father’s there, telling DiNozzo that’s not true and asking him to come back home, where he can breathe.

“No. I can’t.” DiNozzo’s in tears. “I’ll breathe when Trent Kort is dead.”

His father figure steps in next. “Go. Or go for good,” Gibbs says.

A broken DiNozzo complies.

Gibbs then stands in front of the wall of fallen agents, where we see rows of familiar faces. He flashes back to the day he gave Ziva her NCIS credentials. McGee joins him and says he’s never forgotten that when he was hired, Gibbs told him that when the best agents in the world want to accomplish something, they get it done.

“For Fornell. For Ziva. We’ll get it done,” McGee says. (The NCIS theme plays quietly under this conversation, in case we weren’t emotionally wrecked enough at this point.)

NEXT: Daddy DiNozzo??