In the end, it may be Ziva David that forces NCIS special agent Tony DiNozzo to leave Gibbs and the rest of the team for good. Actor Michael Weatherly, who has been portraying the very special agent for 13 seasons, has admitted much in a recent interview.
The chemistry between characters Agent DiNozzo and former special agent and Mossad assassin David was really undeniable, even if the two only teased their relationship throughout most of the series. What couldn’t be denied was that Tony felt for Ziva. In fact, his feelings for her are so strong he decided to go all the way to Israel when he thought her life was in incredible danger.
Weatherly himself could not deny the significance of Ziva to his character. In fact, he said that actress Cote de Pablo leaving had gotten him thinking about making his own exit from the show, too.
Recently, he told USA Today that after the departure of de Pablo’s Ziva, he felt that Tony’s character “had come to a cul-de-sac development-wise, and I was searching to see if there was some other way to do it. While other characters grew and expanded, it became clear, not just to me, that DiNozzo had maybe (reached) the point where he needed to go on the next adventure.”
Meanwhile, just as de Pablo’s decision to leave impacted Weatherly’s decision to walk away from the show off-screen, NCIS showruner Gary Glasberg also teased that Ziva will have something to do with Tony’s decision to leave NCIS onscreen.
According to a report from E! News, Glasberg hinted, “Tony’s relationship with Ziva absolutely will have an impact on his reason to depart. There’s no part of Tony DiNozzo that Ziva David isn’t a part of.”