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How NCIS Fans Really Feel About Rivkin's Character Arc

When Mossad agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) joined the squad during Season 3 of "NCIS," it led to an intimate relationship between the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Israeli intelligence agency. One of the most heated storylines from this era of the long-running crime procedural involved Ziva's relationship with fellow Mossad agent Michael Rivkin (Merik Tadros). The two became close while working an undercover mission, a development that caused more than a few hiccups in her budding romance with Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly).

Rivkin's mysterious missions, handed down to him by Eli David (Michael Nouri), the head of Mossad who also happens to be Ziva's father, puts him on a collision course with the NCIS team. When Rivkin is suspected of murdering an ICE agent and screwing up an NCIS investigation by killing the terrorists they were after, he's confronted by DiNozzo (jealousy might have also played just a little factor, as well). The fight between the two agents ends with Rivkin dead and NCIS forced to answer to Mossad for the incident.

The character and his storyline have proved to be controversial among viewers. It even caused a Reddit user watching through the series to start a discussion thread. Speaking about Ziva and Rivkin's relationship, user u/shanlordal wrote, "Just the entire situation seemed fishy to me. I don't think he was being honest with her."

Here's what else they and other "NCIS" viewers had to say.

Fans think Rivkin was playing Ziva

One of the main tensions with Rivkin's storyline is the question of whether or not he actually had feelings for Ziva, or if he was merely manipulating her in service of Eli's agenda. In their introductory post, u/shanlordal expressed a highly suspicious view of Rivkin's intentions.

"I just keep thinking that Rivkin played her. I just think he was lying to her, he wasn't telling her everything," they wrote. "I don't think he loved her or he definitely didn't love her no where near as much as she loved him."

Rivkin's true motives remained opaque even after his death, but several fans interpreted his actions as purely calculating. His treatment of Ziva is one of the reasons that several commenters on the thread expressed a distaste for the character and his arc.

"I hated the Rivkin arc," wrote u/ptazdba, who went on to add, "I always had the impression that [Ziva's] Father sent him to maneuver her back to Israel. It nearly succeeded." User u/frogsandpuzzles expressed sadness for how Ziva was treated in the whole ordeal, writing, "Shes been taken advantage of so much her entire life. Rivken f—ed with her emotions and tried to manipulate her into going back to Israel, and took advantage of her trust."

User u/Forreal19 had an even more fundamental problem with the storyline. They agreed with others who expressed that Rivkin was likely playing Ziva, but added, "I never quite got her attraction to him, though — he was rather unappealing to me."

Although he produced some major drama for "NCIS," it appears that some viewers didn't enjoy Rivkin's tenure on the series.