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Cote de Pablo Departs 'NCIS': Fans Go Through 5 Stages of Post-Ziva Grief

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As most fans know, Cote de Pablo's eight-year run on "NCIS" concludes in the second episode of the show's eleventh season, so it was particularly cruel of the producers to not even show her in last week's season premiere.

But the show made up for it with Episode 2 Tuesday night. It was everything fans of Tiva (the couple name of Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David) could hope for. Mostly. Tony spends months tracking down Ziva (while Gibbs and the rest of NCIS are looking for a... oh, who cares — we only want to know about Tiva!), learning about her history (as a child, she wanted to be a ballerina not, as we all assumed, a ninja), and the guilt she's carrying, not for the people she's killed, but for the loved ones those people left behind.

And though Ziva herself didn't put in an appearance until the 32-minute mark, in the words of a wise woman, it's in his kiss (that's where it is). 

The good news is Ziva didn't die; she's on a personal journey "honoring Gibbs," as she said. But the door is still open for her to guest star down the road. Of course, fans of the popular character and her never-quite relationship with Tony were still heartbroken. The "T" half of Tiva (actor Michael Weatherly) did what he could to make it easier, posting photos live during the East Coast airing.

And aside from one possible fatality...

... fans took de Pablo's departure well, exhibiting all the classic signs of grief.

Denial:

Anger:

Bargaining:

Depression:

And finally, acceptance:

For a very small minority, this is a good thing. For those wanting a little more "CI" (criminal investigating) and a little less "S" (smooching) in their "NCIS," this may work out. For now. Emily Wickersham ("Sopranos") will be introduced as Bishop, a possible recurring character, in November. Producers are, no doubt, hoping you'll love Bishny (Toshop? Bishozzo? Jethop?!). In the meantime, if you're still grieving, start petitioning for CBS to release this footage:

 

"NCIS" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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