These last two NCIS episodes could have easily been a two-parter. Whereas the series often prides itself in its ability to produce stand-alone episodes peppered with character-building stories and tidbits, much of the past two weeks have been all about Tiva.
As you recall, last week saw the return of EJ, who had left Tony for dead last season. At the end of the episode, which saw EJ taking off (presumably for good), Tony and Ziva shared a much-buzzed about encounter, only to be interrupted by a phone call from Ziva’s beau, Ray. (Read my post-episode chat with EP Gary Glasberg here.)
This week’s episode could have easily transitioned into a Ziva/Ray hour and left the Tiva moment like many of their past moments have been: unresolved. But this time, I felt like there was more resolution that ever. And not in the way I expected.
Ziva revealed to Tony that she had agreed to meet with Ray — who had been phone-stalking Ziva and the rest of the crew — only to be stood up. Game over, Ray? Not so fast. She eventually met up with him (to inquire about the week’s case), he proposed, and she found herself conflicted. Just as she was about to accept and jet off with him to Miami, a twist: It turned out that he was the killer the team was looking for this week. Holy cow.
So it’s safe to say he’s gone — forever. But still ever-present is the bond shared between Tony and Ziva, which, really, was the highlight of the episode. From Tony being the first to know about Ray’s proposal plans to Ziva and Tony’s conversation about marriage (“Getting married is a leap of faith, right?” he told her. “Is Ray the right guy for you? Maybe. Maybe not. But if you love him, you’ve got to jump in feet first.”)
Now, we all know (and, if you don’t, BULLETIN:) the show’s producers are well aware of the Tiva fandom — and of the anti-Tiva fandom, for that matter. And while they certainly have fun bringing this arc up every now and then as a tease, I felt like last night’s episode sent a message that was clearer than ever: These two love each other deeply — but might never end up together. Usually, as a general supporter of the coupling, this would tick me off. But as a viewer, especially after this episode, I’m sort of at peace with it.
You see, the victim’s husband, who at one point had been suspect No. 1, came into the office at the end of the episode, still stricken with grief after the death of his wife. And while there, he left the two with a pearl of advice.
Burris (victim’s husband): How long have you two been together?
Ziva: [Laughs] We’re not a couple. We’re friends.
Tony: Yes, very good friends.
Burris: That’s good. That’s real good. You never know when you’re going to need someone to be there. Cherish each other, that’s all I’m saying.
Was I the only one who felt like that was a message to us all readers? Or do you still feel like there will be romantic happenings between these two one day? (His reaction to Ziva’s “I don’t want to live with regrets” statement is the only thing that makes me hang on to the latter theory.) I invite your thoughts!