"NCIS" fans were shocked by the Season 16 finale, but it wasn't because of the dramatic storyline that wrapped up the episode.
The crime drama series was predominantly about a case involving Tobias Fornell and his daughter's opioid addiction. Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, undertook the case.
But Gibbs himself encountered many difficulties as he battled the ghost of ex-wife Diane throughout the episode. In like fashion, he may have thought it was a ghost when Ziva David showed up in his basement at the end.
David, played by Cote de Pablo, has been gone from the "NCIS" series since leaving in 2013, and her return was as dramatic as fans hoped.
"Hello, Gibbs. No time for pleasantries. You're in danger," she said to a shocked Gibbs who couldn't move upon seeing the former officer. "Well, aren't you going to say something?" David asked.
All Gibbs could manage was to say the name Ziva, and with that, the episode ended — and the fan reactions began. "I'm having an aneurysm," was one person's response on Twitter.
"That ending was awesome. Just when I thoughtit was going to be an uneventful season ending, I’m hanging off Mt Everest #NCIS"
"Wtf, it's ZIVA!!" user Mrs. Cally erupted. While Vanessa Snow called it "the best day in tv history." Twitter user K J described her reaction:
"I seriously gasped out loud and then teared up! Here’s hoping she isn’t just like Diane and is alive!"
The possibility of David's return was first strongly suspected by the episode "She" when Eleanor Bishop, played by Emily Wickersham, learned of David's investigation into a cold case.
Bishop was led to a secret house that David stayed in. There, she found various documents and later, a note that read, "Eleanor Bishop, for the safety of my family, please keep my secret."
The vague hint gave fans hope. They were ecstatic that David seemed to be alive after her supposed death years ago and her abrupt departure.
David's death was assumed after season 13. Yet the door was left open since she had an off-screen death after chasing a terrorist group in Israel. The actress reportedly quit because of a lack of respect for her character's storyline.
It's unclear how long de Pablo's return will last. Fans will just have to tune in for the show's 17th season this fall when it returns to CBS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.