By Sara Netzley
January 07, 2020 at 11:19 PM EST
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S17 E11
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  • CBS
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It’s the year 2020, and NCIS is airing in its third decade: the Aughts, the Teens, and now the Roaring Twenties. Isn’t that something?

So bad news: Phin is missing, having run away in the night after Gibbs broke the news about his mother’s death and dropped a “we’ll see” when Phin asked if he could stay with him. Phin, like all children, knows “we’ll see” is parent-talk for “LOL no.”

Gibbs takes Phin’s disappearance incredibly personally and with Sloane, who shows up unprompted to offer moral support, talks to a friend of Phin’s who says Phin showed up earlier that morning and tried to buy his bike. (Noteworthy: the friend’s mom distrusted Sarah for being moody and never coming to PTA meetings. Escandalo!)

At NCIS, Gibbs bellows at the team to find Phin’s dad in case that’s where he’s headed, then he kicks a trash can and leaves everybody shocked at his outburst.

“In The Wind” — Gibbs must face the reality of his actions after he assists Ziva (Cote de Pablo) with “the one thing” she said she would need to take care of before returning to her family, on NCIS, Tuesday, Jan. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance, Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Maria Bello as NCIS Special Agent Jaqueline “Jack” Sloane. Photo: Bill lnoshita/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Bill lnoshita/CBS

In the morgue, Palmer and Kasie promise to examine Sahar’s body for any clues about where Phin went, while Gibbs prepares to go all lone wolf to question club owner Victor one more time. Torres, who also takes missing children seriously, insists on either going along or getting fired, which is a bold stance to take in the face of an angry Gibbs.

Thankfully, Gibbs chooses the option that keeps Nick employed, and they’re roughing up Victor and his muscle when Bishop calls with a possible sighting of the bike. She hangs up with a muttered, “That sounded perfectly legal.” *uncomfortable laugh about police brutality*

Gibbs and Torres catch sight of the bike and give chase when out of nowhere, Ziva pops up to clothesline the rider. Yep, despite Gibbs’s encouragement that she head to Paris to reunite with Tony and Tali, she stuck around to help them find Phin and close the last of this case that’s kept her on the run for years.

The guy on the bike says he bought it from a kid at the bus station, so that’s where they head next. Because Phin is underage, he had to enlist a “hippie girl” to buy him a ticket to visit his aunt in Philadelphia. Everyone scrambles to intercept the bus at its next stop, but they get there too late; Phin’s been whisked away by a man in a van whom onlookers assumed was his father.

On the Elevator of Schemes and Secrets, Sloane asks how Gibbs is doing, and when he snaps at her out of guilt and fear, she stops the elevator and tells him he did the right thing not making promises to Phin that he couldn’t keep. She pulls him into a hug, but he just reaches behind her back to start the elevator up again. Slick, Jethro.

Elsewhere, Ziva visits Palmer and frets that Tony hasn’t been answering her texts, wondering if Tali even remembers her. But Palmer reminds her of how crushed Gibbs and the rest of them were by her “death,” then engages in a little goss about Torres being so focused on the case because he broke up a child trafficking ring years ago. Ziva’s delighted to find out that Palmer’s still the loyal secret keeper, and they hug and it’s great.

While Ziva’s grappling with the idea that she’s too damaged to rejoin her family, Tony sends her a video of Tali (so big now!) telling her that they love and they miss her. “You’re ready,” Gibbs tells her.

Good thing, then, that Vance has unraveled part of the Phin mystery by digging up an overseas American embassy worker, who explains that Phin — née Fahim — was fathered by a guard in Sahar’s prison. She killed him when she escaped, but the man’s brother, Hassan Sayegh, is a Libyan gangster who’s offered $1 million for Sahar’s head and the return of his nephew.

At this point, Kasie rolls up with security footage from the bus station showing that Victor’s the one who absconded with Phin in the van, presumably for the reward money. Victor booked them flights to Cairo, so now everyone’s off to the airport. Ah, but Phin learned from the master, and in accordance with Gibbs’s rule No. 9, he’s got a knife tucked into his sock. It pings the airport metal detector, and he innocently tells the TSA agent that Victor made him hold onto it. As TSA moves in, Gibbs shows up, and Phin runs into his embrace. Bishop stops Torres from clocking Victor because she wants to do the honors herself. Also perfectly legal. *nervous, nervous laugh*

Back at NCIS, Phin talks about how much he’d like to go back to live with his Aunt Micki and Uncle George — the foster parents who took him in after he was evacuated from an orphanage in Aleppo — but his mother said they didn’t want him anymore. But Sloane worked a miracle and tracked down Micki and George, who joyfully hug Phin and tell him they prayed every day for this reunion.

The case wrapped up, we now come to Ziva’s long goodbye.

First, Tali sent a video asking “Uncle Tim” to come visit, which … awww! Then Ziva thanks Sloane for taking care of Gibbs’s heart, to which Sloane replies, “We take care of each other’s,” which … hmmmm.

Ziva then speaks French to Kasie, urges Torres to be honest with Bishop about how he feels, and encourages Bishop to get in touch with Odette. She tells McGee, “I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow,” which shows McGee how much Tony’s rubbed off on her.

As she leaves with Palmer to head to the airport to join her family in Paris, Gibbs steps off the elevator so they can exchange a quiet, lovely goodbye, which he concludes by whispering, “We’re always here for you.”

Then she takes one last look around the big orange room and gives a wink as the elevator doors shut.

Goodbye again, Ziva.

Stray shots

  • What a relief that Ziva got a fitting goodbye, one that let her share a moment with everyone important to her, both old and new. It’s a lovely way to put a button on her resurrection storyline. But dang, not even a video from Michael Weatherly? Their shows film on the same lot!
  • My wild prediction: We will meet Phin’s Uncle Hassan someday. Why go to the trouble of naming him and having Ziva know him by reputation if he isn’t going to pop up later to make trouble?
  • Like Ziva, I would want Torres to search for my hypothetical missing child. He’s dogged.
  • Friends, I am super intrigued by how they’re dancing around this are they/aren’t they Slibbs relationship. At this point, I’m thinking they definitely are… but will we ever get confirmation one way or another?
  • How are you feeling about the Ziva’s exit? Is it the closure you were hoping for? Let me know in the comments!


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NCIS

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  • 16
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  • CBS
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