There are few moments during the CBS series' 16-season run that can rival what happened on "NCIS" Tuesday night.
Ziva David, who is played by Cote de Pablo, returned after leaving the show nearly six years ago. In the final scene of the "NCIS" season 16 finale, she walks into Gibbs' basement and notifies him that he's in danger.
Gibbs, like the viewers at home, didn't focus on that part. Ziva is back! She asked him if he was going to say anything.
All he could muster: "Ziva."
"NCIS" dropped a hint mid-season that Ziva was still alive. There was a thread linking that moment to the final scene in the season 16 finale: Ziva's jacket. It's the same jacket that was seen in her safe house earlier in the season.
But even with that hint, there was some skepticism that Cote de Pablo and the Ziva character would return. And even if she returned, how soon would it happen?
We found out Tuesday night. Reports indicate that the "NCIS" showrunners filmed the scene with a small crew and very few people knew about it.
The question now is where do you go from here? What role will Ziva play going forward?
She will appear in the "NCIS" season 17 premiere in September. There's clearly going to be some story involving Gibbs being in danger, but the source of the danger is unclear.
Even if she doesn't have a full-time role, it's good to have Ziva back. Hopefully the "NCIS" team can come up with ways to keep her involved. The show has survived without her, but it's much better with her.