'NCIS' Season 16 Finale: Fornell Returns But Cote De Pablo Cameo Unlikely

NCIS: New Orleans
Mark Harmon stars as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in "NCIS" on CBS. (Photo: NCIS/Facebook)

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for NCIS season 16 that may influence your enjoyment in discovering the plotlines. Read at your own risk.

NCIS season 16 is all set to close with an emotional finale as Joe Spano reprises his role as Tobias Fornell in the episode titled "Daughters." Airing on Tuesday, May 21, at 8:00 p.m. on CBS, the episode will tackle vigilante justice that will sideline the storyline relating to Ziva (played by Cote De Pablo).

According to the episode synopsis, the NCIS season 16 finale will have Fornell reaching out to Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) in the case of his daughter who overdosed. Fornell wants the team to go after the drug dealers responsible for harming Emily (played by Juliette Angelo). 

TV Insider posted photos of the NCIS season 16 finale episode, where Gibbs and Jack (played by Maria Bello) are seen consoling Fornell at the hospital. Fornell resigned from the NCIS in season 15 to work as a private investigator, but he has worked with Gibbs for more than a decade.

But Gibbs will struggle with his decision to help out Fornell because this case will bring back personal issues from his past. Viewers may recall that Gibbs lost his family to drug dealers, but he doesn't want Fornell to suffer the same fate.

However, dealing with drug dealers differently could mean that Gibbs might have to break some rules, which he created. Thus, the NCIS season 16 finale will be a difficult undertaking for the show's lead character. 

With Gibbs as the center of the story in the NCIS season 16 finale, however, speculations of a potential De Pablo cameo is becoming less likely possible. The writers have been hinting her character Ziva's return all season long, but De Pablo hasn't even confirmed if she has stepped back into the series production, albeit for a guest appearance only.

At the very least, however, the NCIS season 16 finale episode may finally reveal that Ziva is still alive thus setting up her potential guest appearance in season 17. CBS announced last April that the show would be coming back for another year, as per TV Line.

Meanwhile, before the finale episode, NCIS season 16 will still air episode 23, titled "Lost Time," on May 14. Laura San Giacomo will guest star as Dr. Grace Confalone, who will try to help out Gibbs after he abandons his team during a crime scene investigation. 

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