NCIS wrapped up its 12th season Tuesday night with a farewell to Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly.

‘NCIS’ Series Finale

Weatherly has been on NCIS since the show kicked off in 2003, but had announced earlier this year that his 12th season on the show would be his last. With Weatherly moving on to other projects, NCIS had find a way to say goodbye to the beloved DiNozzo.

In the finale, titled “Family First,” it’s learned early on that Ziva (Cote de Pablo) has been killed. Though Ziva hasn’t worked at NCIS in years – since de Pablo left the show in 2014 – the news of her possible death affects them all – none more than DiNozzo. It’s not long before the agents confirm that Ziva died when a farmhouse in Israel was attacked.

“She’s more than an agent to you,” Gibbs tells DiNozzo, who replies. “She was a daughter to you. She was a sister to McGee and Abby. She was no more to me than anybody.”

That becomes even more apparent when Mossad Director Orli Elbaz arrives with a little girl named Tali, the only survivor of the fire – and DiNozzo and Ziva’s child. DiNozzo hadn’t known that he was a father, but quickly embraces fatherhood and understands why Ziva, the love of his life, kept this from him. And, after finding a picture of himself of him and Ziva in Paris, he realizes that Ziva had told Tali who he was. He then pulls out Ziva’s Star of DAvid necklace and puts it around Tali’s neck.

In the end, DiNozzo decides it will be best for him to walk away from NCIS to raise his daughter. He tells Gibbs, “I’ve never been anybody’s everything before.”

While Weatherly is officially off the show, there’s still hope that he’ll return in future episodes. “I believe in the franchise of NCIS very much,” Weatherly told Deadline. “I would absolutely be open to anything and everything, including things that no one’s even thought of yet. So the long answer is yes.”

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