Cote de Pablo as Ziva David
What to say? Her performance in Truth or Consequences alongside Michael is stunning. You can see 5 emotions playing in her eyes at a time, in each line; each word… every thought Ziva has. I always find it awing just listening to how she delivers her lines and watching her eyes, they tell you all you need to know about Ziva and what Cote was trying to get across. Such as Ziva and Tony’s greeting in Reunion. Her face shows vulnerability with an attempt at distance toward Tony. Her eyes say “I think I miss you… and I’m sorry. This is making me uncomfortable, but I want it to be back to what it was, whatever that was. You have no idea, Tony… no idea.”
In ToC, there was so much pain, shame, and even the more startling, exposure. There’s disbelief at seeing Tony. She never figured she’d see him of all people at a time when she was dealing with accepting death. She wanted to protect him, telling him he shouldn’t have come for her. To Tony, that thought was rather ludicrous. Even though Ziva figured he’d be the last person she’d see coming for her, there is so much comfort and thankfulness underneath the vulnerability and regretting of Tony’s appearance. There’s such a beautiful mixture of Ziva. And her face when Tony tells her he couldn’t live without her… the smallest smile of assurance and she softens. His appearance to rescue her was the first bit of certainty that Tony cared about her and the second bit was his confession under the ‘truth’ serum.
Really, I could go on for hours but when Cote is on screen, there is no seeing her as Cote… she does (with her theater background I find this fitting) make herself Ziva. She molds into her character’s existence and becomes the character she needs to be. She makes us forget that Ziva David is a written character. That’s what exceptional actors are able to do. xx