Accused of being a double agent, she becomes a fugitive and is forced to ask for help from Gibbs, who had retired from NCIS at the end of season 3 and is living in Mexico.
They ultimately prove her innocence, and this event prompts Gibbs to return to NCIS.
She replaced Caitlin "Kate" Todd (Sasha Alexander), who was killed at the hands of Ziva's half-brother, Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin), in the season 2 finale.
Following the onscreen death of the character's father in season 10, Gabi Coccio recurrently portrayed a young Ziva in flashbacks.
They really seemed to get that immediately, and that doesn't always happen." De Pablo later added, "I was one of the last to audition, and I don't think they had a clear idea of what they wanted.
So I interpreted Ziva as a cool, competent woman, not the usual Hollywood sex symbol with big boobs, but [someone] who was comfortable in her own sexuality and used to working with men on an equal footing.
Officer Ziva David first appears in the third season, having been sent to NCIS following the murder of Special Agent Todd by Ari Haswari.
My primary thought was, 'Don't let this guy get physically close to you.' And, at that moment, everybody in the room started laughing and thought it was the funniest thing in the world because the chemistry between the two characters was perfect." Co-executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson remarked that de Pablo won the role of Ziva for her reaction to Weatherly's departure from the script, saying, "When you get actors who really listen and respond organically in the moment to what they're hearing, sometimes magic happens.After being captured by terrorists in Somalia while on assignment for Mossad and presumed dead, she was eventually saved by Gibbs, Tony, and Mc Gee, who brought her back to America.In the season 13 finale, "Family First", in 2016, it is discovered that she has a daughter, Tali, with Anthony Di Nozzo.This in turn causes the team to develop a new-found respect for her and sets the foundation for Ziva's strong friendship with Ducky.In "Shalom", the fourth season premiere, she is framed by Iranian agents for the murder of two FBI officers and a suspect in their custody who was wanted for crimes against Israel.