NCIS, Michael Weatherly

CBS

Is there a Tony DiNozzo-Ziva David reunion in our future on NCIS? It would be appropriate, considering star Michael Weatherly is following his costar of eight years, Cote de Pablo and exiting the mega-popular series.

NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg would not confirm or deny that the two characters would reunite in the season 13 finale, Weatherly's last, when E! News spoke with him about the end of the season, but he would confirm that whether or not Ziva appears in person, she will play a huge role in DiNozzo's exit.

"Tony's relationship with Ziva absolutely will have an impact on his reason to depart," Glasberg tells us. "There's no part of Tony DiNozzo that Ziva David isn't a part of. She's a huge aspect of who his character is so it would be unfair and wrong to write this episode, to produce this episode and not have her character be a part of it."

As season 13 has gone on, "Tony is at a crossroads," Glasberg says of the events leading up to Weatherly's departure. "He really has to make some really significant decisions, big enough that would pull him away from his NCIS family. That was really the challenge of all this, and in thinking about it for the last six months, is how do we come up with something that's big enough that would have Tony no longer be a part of this group? And hopefully the fans and the audience will find that satisfying."

NCIS, Michael Weatherly

CBS

While Glasberg wouldn't confirm or deny whether DiNozzo, like several other major TV characters in the past few weeks, would be killed off or leave of his own volition, he did allow that the season 13 finale features major emotional moments. "The only thing that I'll say is he's involved in the whole final episode," he says. "There are incredibly touching, emotional moments between Tony and the rest of our cast. Glean from that what you may!"

The episode is in the middle of being filmed, and tears have already started flowing. "We did a fantastic moment between Abby and Tony a few days ago that literally had our crew with tears in our eyes," he says. "We did an amazing scene yesterday between Gibbs and Tony in Gibbs' basement that surprised us all and caught us off guard. Every day has been like that and the script is really structured to deliver moments for everybody on the show.  I'm hoping that people embrace what we're trying to do in sending him off properly and letting people really get emotionally involved."

Cote de Pablo, NCIS

CBS

It's been a difficult few months planning Weatherly's exit, especially since the actor is so beloved. "It's very hard to say goodbye to Michael. He's a huge part of this family, both behind the scenes and on camera. You want to do it justice, you want to do the best job that we can, and at the same time it's very emotional for us. We've spent years and years and years together and it's hard," Glasberg says.

He continues, "You wish nothing but the best to him as he moves on, but to say it's complicated and tricky is an understatement. And yet we have to move forward—we're already talking about storylines for next season and we have our two-year pickup and you just keep looking ahead and try to deliver the best show that we can and peel back layers on the characters that we do have."

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS. Weatherly's big goodbye episode airs May 17.

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