FinaleWatch: Ziva leaves 'NCIS', but for how long?

Cast_ncis_240 Season six of "NCIS" began with Leroy Jethro Gibbs successfully getting the gang back together... now the love triangle of death threatens to once again tear it apart. Can anyone or anything save Team Gibbs from another bout of separation anxiety?

With this recap, the Spoilers are officially done with the 2008-2009 television season.

We pick up the action with Ziva rushing to her apartment, only to hear DiNozzo shooting Rivkin. Once the doc at the hospital declares her Mossad lover dead, to say her next encounter with DiNozzo was tense... well, that would be putting it mildly. DiNozzo gets no love, even though he got a fractured radius for his efforts. Gibbs and McGee take up the investigation of Ziva's apartment, but it explodes in a spectacular manner before they can enter. It seems a professional went and cut the gas line in a most stylish way. They do, however, find a badly damaged laptop.

Ziva says a little prayer for Rivkin when Ducky and Jimmy enter. They try to be helpful, but Ziva's closed off any entry for sympathy. That's not the only thing she's withholding, as she's less than straightforward when Gibbs begins an impromptu interrogation at his desk. It doesn't get any easier for her when Ducky reveals that DiNozzo's account of the fight is the truth... except for the part that says Rivkin was legally drunk at the time. Vance hopes DiNozzo's scrappiness against a highly-trained Mossad agent was truly justified, because Eli David has called in a favor to the director. The gang's next stop: Tel Aviv!

The C-130 lands in Israel, where Rivkin's flag-draped coffin is taken away. Mossad agent Hadar greets them, and then transports the gang to headquarters where the father/daughter reunion is less than joyous. The task (or favor) at hand is to grill DiNozzo on everything he knows. Since Tony has done many of these over the years, he doesn't budge from his position, yet is able to confirm Eli sent his son to ultimately die at the hands of Ziva. Meanwhile, the crack team of Abby and McGee determine Ziva made a highly encrypted call to Hadar. She seems upset that not only did he not protect Rivkin; he also set her apartment to explode. Betrayal's a bitch, ain't it?

The real meat and potatoes of the story comes from Rivkin's true reason for being in America: following leads to tie individuals to a north African terrorist training camp. Forget the fact he was spying on Americans or doing an end-run in the city of angels... this was to take the terrorists down. Hearing these revelations must have sent Vance's blood pressure through the roof. You think that's it? Abby determines the laptop was instead Abin Tabal's, complete with information on the Africa threat. Also, Rivkin was emailing Ziva all along. That alone infuriates Gibbs.

I'm guessing Ziva's feeling out of the loop, as she busts into her father's office demanding to know why she's been excluded. The answer is simple, he says: which team is she playing for? If only she would re-join Mossad full-time...

Rockycarroll_cbspresstour08_240 ...which leads us to our gang departing the Middle East. Vance repays Eli's hospitality with a flash drive containing the reconstituted contents of Abin Tabal's laptop. DiNozzo boards the plane with no resistance (or backtalk) while Ziva decides to speak from the heart to Gibbs. Since she doesn't believe Tony is telling the whole truth, she believes a transfer is in order. Somewhat to my surprise, Gibbs doesn't put up a fight; he simply kisses her on the cheek and boards the plane as well. Abby is excited for the return of her gang, but is understandably bummed when one doesn't come home.

Ziva settles into her new life as a full-time Mossad agent while it's up to Gibbs to find her replacement... though it seems he's merely waiting for her to change her mind. He uses Vance as an outlet for his anger, blaming him for this mess, along with breaking up the band at the end of last season. We end with the remaining NCIS agents acting all melancholy at their desks.

But wait! We actually end with two terrorists guarding a large room in Somalia. Why? Because they're hold Ziva captive, bloodied and bruised, demanding she tell them everything!

That's it for this season... see you in the fall for season seven AND the new NCIS spin-off!