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Romantic Moment of the Week: Tony and Ziva

Tony and Ziva
Tony (Michael Weatherly) and Ziva (Cote de Pablo) in NCIS.
Photo: CBS


THE PAIRING: Tony and Ziva

THE EPISODE: “Past, Present, and Future” –  (aired October 01, 2013)

THE WRITERS: Gary Glasberg, Gina Lucita Monreal, and Scott Williams

THE MOMENT: Tony and Ziva say goodbye on a runway.

Tony and Ziva

A plane, a goodbye kiss, the start of something new in the midst of an ending: these are what make up this week’s romantic moment.

Confession Time: I don’t often watch crime procedural shows because genre and Period shows are more my style (I do make exceptions for compelling writing, characters, and good chemistry like Stabler and Benson back in the day) and I get easily bored by the cases of the week. So, I have to admit that I have only seen a few episodes of NCIS over the past ten years it has been on the air. And most of the time, I either tuned in because nothing else was on or I wanted to check out Tony’s character mainly because I loved Michael Weatherly so much on Dark Angel (still not over that cancellation).

Now and then, I heard talk about the amazing chemistry between the characters Tony and Ziva, only still to not give it much notice to this ‘will they or won’t they couple.’ This week, however, these two demanded I sit up and pay attention. How could I ignore Ziva’s emotional goodbye to the show and the romantic kiss so many people have been waiting for, for years and years? And I mean…years.

Ziva’s character entered NCIS in the third season. We are now in season eleven. Now that is a slow burn even worse than Scully and Mulder (and at least with Scully and Mulder I didn’t have to endure several other romantic relationships throughout these long years in what must have been frustrating to watch). Reading about this relationship sounds quite tiring thanks to the writers’ endless teasing. Still, I at least appreciate the slow build up in comparison to most series today that hook characters up too quickly because of some need for instant gratification. But that to me is not what romance is about; romance is about the love that builds over time. There should be more restraint in TV relationships (the perfect example once again going back to the flawless chemistry and build up between Scully and Mulder) without too much of the tease that has no fruition in the end (Chloe and Clark I am thinking of you).

Unfortunately for the NCIS writers, it seems they teased too long because the actress decided to leave the show on her own terms. The writers’ hands were forced to give the Tiva fans (their shipping name) a satisfying ending that cannot end in happily ever after.

Did they succeed? As someone who doesn’t tune into the show, I can’t be the judge but what I can do is talk about their final scene and my selected romantic moment of the week because from my perspective, it was most definitely romantic, even echoing the unforgettable classic film Casablanca, another love story that ends with a powerful goodbye on a runway.

Throughout the episode and before we reach the specific moment, Tony searches for the missing Ziva in Israel. It is a romantic quest that begs for a happy ending, a reunion of two lovers separated by circumstance. And Tony does find her (unfortunately offscreen) in the house she was born, Ziva looking to her past rather than to her future. She cannot move on from the guilt of killing her brother. Tony begs her to come back home with him, not to NCIS but to be with him so they can change together (how any sane woman could turn this proposal down is beyond me). “I’m fighting for you Ziva,” he says.

Tony tries to convince Ziva to come home with him.
Photo: CBS

I love how their relationship becomes about their emotional connection, making it one I (as one who never watches) want to root for.

Romantic Moment

Then we arrive at the scene, the romantic moment (though the prior one is a close second). The episode cuts to the airport, the runway in which Tony tells Ziva there is still time for her to change her mind and return home with him.

Saying goodbye on a runway.
Photo: CBS

But she has to follow her heart, start fresh and do it alone, “let go of everything or I will be pulled back to where I started.” While I might not agree with her ridiculous decision (as she could start fresh with Tony), their ending at least feels genuine in the two characters’ emotions for one another.

After Ziva’s refusal to leave, she confesses to him:  “Tony, you are so…,” she begins to say. He steps closer to her saying: “Handsome…Funny…What?”

Tony inches closer.
Photo: CBS

“Loved,” she says and then they share their first ‘real’ kiss that is swimming with emotion.

The kiss.
Photo: CBS

Tony then walks away even though it is difficult as they stare at each other from a distance.

Photo: CBS

He boards the plane with one last look back at the woman he loves and is now about to lose for what seems to be forever. He waves goodbye and then they are parted.

Photo: CBS

Once on the plane, Tony realizes she slipped him her necklace.

Photo: CBS

It seems that even though Ziva must take a new path in life, the part of her past (the past with Tony) will stay with him for always. Sometimes unfulfilled love can truly become the most romantic kinds of love stories. And you never know, perhaps one day Ziva’s new path will find its way back to the man she loves.

Tony looks out at the plane.
Photo: CBS

What did you think of Ziva’s last episode and the conclusion to this romance? Did you find this moment romantic? Satisfying? Sound off below…



Check out our other Romantic MomentsWe put up a new one every Saturday.

Read the Romantic Moment of the Week about Scully and Mulder

Check out our Top 50 Classic Romances that will make you Swoon!

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By on October 5th, 2013

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely site and works as a YA Librarian.

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