NCIS’ current season opened with a shocking plot twist: Cote de Pablo left the series that made her an international star. Adding to the departure’s surprise was the circumstances surrounding it. Some sources say de Pablo left concerning a rise of salary that was ultimately denied. de Pablo herself said her leaving was the result of personal issues, but would not elaborate. Me, I think this is a red herring. I think de Pablo’s departure was staged. Her leaving the show would build up the suspense of the plot, to make Ziva’s return later down the line to have even more emotional impact.

NCIS has done this before. Gibbs himself left the agency at the end of season 3, yet he returned at the next season’s premier. There’s nothing to suggest this ploy isn’t in effect right now. This is just a theory I have. Please tell me what you think in the comments.