NCIS the other night opened with a fishing boat inadvertently uncovering the mangled body of a Marine off the coast of Tanzania. It was wrapped in plastic and the only things discernable were a dog tag and, well, the skeleton of the dude. After some checking with state of the art machines and technology, it turns out that the body was aboard the Damacles, the same ship where Ziva was on prior to Somalia. Not only that, the death wasn't caused by drowning but gunshots. Plus, 18 more bodies were recovered in the cargo space of the sunken ship which means the entire crew was executed - and Ziva survived.
Oohhh, how the plot thickens right, and how convenient for this to surface now, when doubts are being cast on Ziva.
Early on the NCIS episode, things were still unsure whether or not Ziva would be reinstated. There was a moment of panic when her application appeared rejected because, according to Vance, of inconsistencies in her psych eval. During Vance's interrogation of her, we started to get flashbacks of what happened on that fateful ship. Turns out, Ziva wasn't only aboard the same ship with the Marine, she also had contact with him. She said he was a "private contractor" which Ziva saved, notably espying the dog tag that was found on the body.
While the episode featured Gibbs and Vance heavily, it was probably Ducky who did the most significant progress on Ziva. "First and foremost you are our friend," he said, taking her to the morgue, and proceeding to enumerate the names of the dead. He said Ziva had been carrying their weight in her shoulder, and she declined, except for the Marine's.
"The ones who get too close always end up dead," Ziva said, narrating that a firefight erupted in the ship, and Ziva and her gang's contingency plan, sadly, was to take everyone. Did Ziva kill the Marine, then?
That's where Gibbs came in. Early in the episode, Eli sent one of his people to get Ziva whom they insist was in captivity or something, Ben Guidon. Ziva and Guidon eventually face off because he claimed that Ziva killed the Marine. But thanks to Tony, Ziva's name was cleared. Yet more importantly, Ziva wants to know if Guidon was just following orders to burn her. Nevertheless, he leaves, and Ziva stays. Just when we thought Ziva was in the clear, Gibbs says they're not finished, yet he proceeds to sort of tap Ziva's hand.
"I had nothing but death in my heat," she finally says, but Gibbs tried to cushion it by saying that she was raised that way. The two make up, and he whispered something to her ear which made her smile. As to what that was, your guess is as good as mine.