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Ziva's Biggest Mistake Ever On NCIS

The long-running military crime drama "NCIS" has captivated audiences for almost two decades through the telling of high-intensity storylines regarding threats to national security, homicidal crime sprees, searching for missing persons, resolving lingering cold cases, and beyond. However, none of these tricky scenarios have proven themselves able to get the best of the specially trained, elite agents on the NCIS team.

Over the years, cast members have come and gone, leading to several main character swaps and a variety of new arcs throughout each season. One of these swaps happened early on in the series when actor Sasha Alexander left the show in Season 2 after her character, agent Caitlin Todd, was killed off in a shocking plot twist. Todd's exit from the world of "NCIS" made way for a new member of the team, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), to enter the ranks.

Ziva's learned many of the skills she shows off in the field from her time spent training in the Israeli Defense Forces. She was part of that organization before her time with the NCIS. Her character is known for being a bit more hot-headed than the rest, and she's ready to beat up anyone necessary to get the job done. Her cunning and past training make her one of the top agents on the team. Even the best of the best aren't immune to being human, though, and Ziva's made her fair share of mistakes.

Ziva lies to her fellow agents to protect Michael Rivkin

Ziva David is, without a doubt, a well-trained agent and a force to be reckoned with on "NCIS." But, in Season 6, Ziva lets her emotions get the best of her and ultimately pays for it at the end of the season. She is reintroduced to someone from her past, Michael Rivkin (Merik Tadros), and as it turns out, she has romantic feelings for him even though he is a threat to national security. The pair resume their romance throughout the season, but it takes a tragic turn in the Season 6 episode "Semper Fidelis." Ziva lies to her fellow agent Antony "Tony" DiNozzo (Michael Weatherley) about Rivkin's whereabouts in order to protect him, but DiNozzo finds him anyway. Ziva's deceit leads to DiNozzo's life being put in danger and the inevitable death of Rivkin in the season finale, "Aliyah," which devastates her. 

Fans still speculate on the whole Ziva-Rivkin relationship and how it affected her performance on the team. "I have often wondered what Ziva saw in Rivkin, other than that he was familiar," u/Forreal19 wrote in an October 2021 Reddit post. The display of blatant deceit and putting her romantic feelings first has other fans upset. Redditor u/HugeRaspberry wrote, "This kind of proves the point that Ziva always was loyal to her homeland and not so much to the team."

The man Ziva chooses to protect had killed two federal agents and remained a threat to national security, yet she chose him over the safety of her own team. As the series progresses, Ziva and the rest of the "NCIS" crew develop a much closer bond, and Ziva would never have made this mistake twice.