Aliyah is the twenty-fifth and final episode in Season Six of NCIS and the 138th episode of the entire NCIS series.
In the aftermath of Rivkin and Tony's fight against each other which later ends with Rivkin dying from the wounds he sustained and Tony surviving with a broken left arm, the NCIS team immediately take jurisdiction and also control of the case and begin investigating the entire affair with things becoming increasingly complicated when Ziva's apartment which is also the main scene of the fight is later destroyed in a mysterious explosion. As everyone tries to come to terms with recent events, Gibbs, Tony, Ziva and Vance soon find themselves heading to Tel Aviv, Israel where they meet Ziva's father, Mossad Director Eli David who is demanding answers into Rivkin's death while back in Washington D.C., McGee and Abby continue searching for information. Eventually, various relationships and friendships are all pushed to breaking point as resentment and anger threatens to destroy Tony and Ziva's partnership with Gibbs later making a potentially life-changing decision, one that could have huge consequences for one member of the NCIS team...
As this happens, the person she's talking via speakerphone asks for the authentication code. Ziva gives hers as being "Gimel, Vav, Chet, Shin".
The voice then greets her with Ziva stating that they need a forced extraction now.
"Target?", the voice asks.
"Michael", Ziva replies.
"Rivkin?", comes the response. "Have you notified your father?".
Ziva then snaps that she's notifying the person on the speakerphone before wondering who do they have.
When the person asks, "How bad?", Ziva again wonders who do they have.
"I will handle it", the person vows.
Ziva remarks that Rivkin's at her apartment and that she'll make sure he stays here with the person stating that someone will be sent.
With that, Ziva heads off into the night.
She eventually arrives at her destination and parks opposite her apartment, stopping for a second when she spots an NCIS Dodge Stratus among the parked cars.
Suddenly, a noise gets her attention and she looks up to see two shadowy figures fighting.
ZIva rushes into the hallway.
Upon hearing some gunshots, she draws her gun and braces herself for a few seconds before bursting through the door, her gun raised.
This causes her partner, NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo who's lying on the ground, injured to raise his own gun at Ziva while beside DiNozzo lies Ziva's Mossad partner/boyfriend, Michael Rivkin who's unconscious.
Time passes by for a few seconds before Ziva lowers her gun, eventually holstering it.
As DiNozzo gets up, groaning, Ziva tends to Rivkin, pulling him onto his back before she begins performing CPR while also muttering "Oh my God" in disbelief.
As this happens, Tony gets to his feet, obviously in pain.
Ziva continues performing CPR while saying, "Come on, Michael".
This gets Rivkin's attention and he raises his head to look at her while muttering her name and telling her that he's sorry.
Ziva looks conflicted for a second but upon Rivkin coughing, she turns to Tony and yells at him to call an ambulance now.
Tony, on the other hand, just stares at her.
As she continues performing CPR, Ziva urges Rivkin to stay with her. She then glances over at the damaged photograph that was knocked over by either Tony or DiNozzo during their fight.
Ziva then says, "Come on".
It then cuts to Tony who's still in pain.
A while later, in an unnamed hospital, Tony emerges from a hospital room, his right arm in a sling while his left hand holds his tie.
He stops at a door and sees Ziva leaning against the wall.
On the opposite end of the door, Ziva glances down at the ground, dejected before closing her eyes while revealing that the right sleeve of her jacket is still stained with Rivkin's blood.
Ziva then looks up again, obviously distraught.
Back on the other side of the door, Tony silently watches her just as Dr. Sandra Holdren emerges to talk to Ziva.
As Tony stares on, his boss, NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs arrives.
Tony tells Gibbs that he's fine and that he only has a fractured radius and a couple of bruises.
As Gibbs looks on, Tony states that he had new itel and that he went to talk to Ziva, question her.
Gibbs calling his name has Tony rounding on Gibbs with Tony stating that when he got there, Rivkin attacked him and that Tony had no choice with Tony also insisting that it was justified.
Gibbs then tells Tony to go write it up and that there'll be a lot of people wanting answers.
With that, Gibbs heads through the door just as Ziva comes down to meet him. She then announces that Rivkin is dead, having succumbed to his wounds and that Tony killed him.
Outside, Tony moves away.
"You saw?", Gibbs asks.
"I saw enough", Ziva replies.
Gibbs then tells Ziva that she needs to tell him everything with Ziva stating that he'll have her I.A report on his desk before lunch and she moves away.
Gibbs calls her back and then informs her that he's sorry for her loss.
A while later, Gibbs and NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee have arrived outside Ziva's apartment and are busy getting to process it.
As they both get out, McGee remarks that he can't believe he's finally going to get to see Ziva's apartment but a single glance from Gibbs has McGee stating that it should obviously be under better circumstances.
As they grab their jackets and equipment from the boot of the car, McGee remarks that it is Ziva's place and that she's Ziva.
As Gibbs slips his jacket on, he says, "Rivkin, Tony, Ziva" before asking McGee what he knows.
"Nothing", McGee replies.
However, Gibbs isn't convinced.
McGee then admits that he saw Tony snooping around Ziva's desk.
As Gibbs reacts with disbelief, McGee remarks that it was the day before Ziva returned to Tel Aviv and that Tony answered Ziva's phone with McGee believing that Tony even talked to Rivkin.
"Can't believe I'm telling you this", McGee says, putting his jacket on. "Tony's gonna kill me".
"Not if Mossad gets to him first", Gibbs replies,
"You don't think the Director's just gonna hand him over?", McGee wonders.
Gibbs doesn't reply, instead choosing to head for the apartment.
McGee slams the boot shut and grabs the equipment before joining Gibbs.
As they cross the street, McGee states that Rivkin tried to kill Tony.
"Tony's word against a dead guy's", Gibbs states.
McGee agrees before stating that Ziva will back him and that Tony doesn't just murder people while stating that the shooting was obviously self-defense so all they've got to is...
His words stop as a single explosion rips through Ziva's apartment, sending everyone in the immediate area including Gibbs and McGee ducking for cover while debris and dust rains down on everything in sight including the cars parked outside.
It then cuts to Gibbs and McGee who both glance up at the apartment which is still in flames, both Agents obviously stunned at what's happened.
A while later, with the destroyed apartment now a crime scene, Gibbs and McGee are busy processing everything in sight while civilian firefighters pace in the background.
"Problem, McGee?", Gibbs wonders.
"You mean apart from Tony killing Ziva's friend and Ziva's apartment blowing up", McGee replies sarcastically. "No. No problem at all".
"Good", Gibbs replies. "Then, shoot".
With that, McGee resumes taking photographs of the crime scene with Gibbs joining in too.
During his own session, McGee then finds something in the wreckage and discovers that the object in question is a laptop which has been burnt beyond recognition.
As Gibbs arrives in to examine the scene, McGee remarks that the floor underneath has barely been touched.
Gibbs remarks that it must have been there when the fire started.
McGee's puzzled, stating that it's a strange place to keep a laptop.
"Not if you're hiding it", Gibbs states.
Getting to his feet while still holding the laptop, McGee remarks that it gives a whole new meaning to "fried hard drive".
Unsurprisingly, Gibbs doesn't get the joke.
McGee then explains that "fried hard drive" is a computer term.
"Yeah, I got it, McGee", Gibbs sarcastically replies.
As McGee leaves, Gibbs then heads in to examine the area more closely and remarks that there are three cuts in the gas line.
McGee states that the fire chief said that it must have been leaking for over an hour.
"But no-one smelled gas", Gibbs remarks.
"Which is odd considering most of the neighbors were at home", McGee replies.
Gibbs remarks that the cuts look clean and like a professional job.
McGee then spots something and as he takes a photograph of it before picking the item in question up, tells Gibbs that this could be the trigger.
McGee smells it.
Gibbs then tells McGee to bag it with McGee agreeing.
Gibbs then searches among the wreckage and then finds a destroyed frame. As he looks up, Gibbs looks on, lost in thought before he drops the frame back onto the ground once again.
In the morgue, Ziva is busy unzipping the body bag.
Inside is Rivkin's dead body, his arms crossed and held up to his chest.
Ziva places her right hand onto Rivkin's arms while saying something in Hebrew.
Ziva states that it's not necessary.
Ducky then heads over, remarking that while she's here, perhaps Ziva could shed some light on Officer Rivkin's own beliefs.
Ducky states that he's already contacted a rabbi friend of his and asked the rabbi to present while Ducky performs the autopsy.
Ziva repeats that that's also not necessary as Rivkin was Jewish by birth, not practice.
Ducky remarks that traditions can be a comfort and like the periods of aninut and avelut which were ancient rites and very appropriate today as the rites not only show respect for the dead but they can bring a sense of comfort to those who are left behind.
Ziva then coldly states that rituals only work for those who need them.
With that, she turns and leaves the morgue as Palmer and Ducky look at each other.
In the bullpen, Gibbs is busy scribbling something down on a small stick-up notepad while McGee is busy placing his weapon into his drawer.
As Gibbs heads over to McGee's desk, Gibbs tells McGee that he needs McGee to run a back-trace on a cell-phone.
McGee agrees, stating that he just needs the.. number.
Gibbs holds up the stick-it note with McGee taking it.
As McGee sits down, Gibbs heads back to his desk.
As they both sit down, McGee glances at the number and tells Gibbs that this is Ziva's cell.
Gibbs just looks at McGee.
McGee then realizes that Gibbs already knew that before McGee announces that he's back-tracing.
As McGee begins typing, Gibbs starts looking through the Internal Affairs report that DiNozzo has already completed.
Seconds later, Ziva returns and after exchanging a look with McGee, heads over to her desk.
She then returns and places a single file on Gibbs's desk.
As Ziva gets her backpack and turns to go, Gibbs then stands up, calling Ziva.
Ziva stops and tells Gibbs that she knows what Gibbs is going to say.
"No, I don't think you do", Gibbs replies. grabbing a chair from the corner of the bullpen.
As Gibbs sits back down, Ziva grabs the chair that Gibbs dragged from the corner and stands there, stating that she knows that Gibbs thinks that Ziva lied to him about Rivkin but she did not.
Ziva then reveals that Gibbs asked her if she knew Rivkin and if Rivkin worked for Mossad, not if Ziva was seeing him...
Gibbs interrupts by telling Ziva to sit down.
A few hours later, the flight which is a C-130 carrying Gibbs, DiNozzo, Ziva and Vance arrives in Tel Aviv, Israel.
As a group of six U.S. airmen emerge, carrying a coffin which presumably has the remains of Michael Rivkin inside, they then head outside to where a Mossad group is waiting.
As the coffin is placed on a trolley, Vance, Gibbs, Ziva and DiNozzo descend the ramp and watch as the coffin is placed on the trolley.
Once that's done, the six airmen retreat as it shows Ziva staring at the coffin while DiNozzo and Gibbs look on as well.
As the airmen walk off, six Mossad operatives emerge and as Vance, DiNozzo, Gibbs and Ziva silently look on, the six Mossad men begin draping the Israeli flag over the coffin.
Holding her Caf-Pow, Abby arrives into the bullpen, wondering if they're here yet.
As she arrives, McGee tells Abby that he told her that he'd call her as soon as they showed up, scout's honor.
Standing in front of his desk, Abby states that that's too late and that it's not an official welcome back. As she says that, it cuts to show Palmer who's sitting in Tony's chair, reading a GSM magazine.
Abby then states that if she's here and they walk in, she gets to say "Yay! Welcome back" but if they're already here and she arrives in like Miss Tardy to the Party, then technically they're welcoming her back.
McGee just sits there, looking at Abby, faintly amused.
Abby turns to Palmer and orders Palmer to turn McGee.
Palmer, not moving from the chair looks up and remarks that Abby makes a good point.
McGee just looks over at Palmer.
Palmer simply shakes his head, mouthing "I don't know".
As she sits down at Ziva's desk, Abby tells Palmer that she saw that.
Palmer just looks up and smiles.
As this happens, the elevator dings.
Sitting down on the chair, Abby types some keys on the keyboard and then stops, stating that their flight's arrived before wondering where they are.
"Behind you", Tony announces, arriving into the bullpen.
At his appearance, McGee gets to his feet while Abby instantly gives Tony a hug, remarking that she missed him with Tony telling Abby to watch the arm.
Abby then lets go, apologizing although Tony assures her that's alright and that he missed Abby too.
Almost instantly, Palmer gets up from the chair, stunned.
For once, Tony isn't in a teasing mood, simply calling Palmer by his first name.
As Tony sits down at his desk, McGee wonders if Ziva's getting her stuff or...
"No", Tony states.
Abby wonders if Ziva's parking her car.
Palmer looks around as Tony says "No".
McGee wonders what Ziva's doing.
Tony then states that considering the difference, Ziva's probably eating breakfast.
Palmer then picks up on the fact that Ziva's still in Tel Aviv with Tony agreeing but McGee wants to know when Ziva is coming back.
Tony then looks and states that Ziva isn't coming back.
Almost immediately, Abby is furious, stating that this can't happen and that Vance can't do this again.
Tony corrects her by saying that it wasn't Vance's call.
Abby and McGee look at each other, puzzled.
McGee then glances at Tony, remarking "Well, if it wasn't Vance, then who?".
Tony just glances at them, not saying anything else.
Meanwhile, Ducky has arrived into Gibbs's basement, telling Gibbs to forgive the intrusion and as he stands there, he realizes that the main floor of the basement is empty with Gibbs simply sweeping the floor.
Ducky's stunned, wondering how Gibbs could manage....
Gibbs, however cuts Ducky off by stating if Ducky is going to ask Gibbs that every time.
After a few seconds, Ducky recovers and heads down the steps, asking about the flight.
"One short", Gibbs replies.
As he reaches the bottom level, Ducky sighs heavily while Gibbs prepares to fill up a glass with some alcohol and as Ducky heads over, Ducky also remarks that this decision must not have come easily.
Gibbs remarks that it wasn't his decision.
Ducky is puzzled, stating that Tony said...
Gibbs interrupts Ducky by stating that it was Ziva's from the moment she asked Gibbs to choose.
As he heads over, Ducky realizes that this is not about loyalty but about an unreasonable demand while Gibbs sits down at his usual spot.
Gibbs tells Ducky that Ziva withheld information.
Ducky states that it was to protect Rivkin.
Gibbs hesitates for a second before taking a drink from his cup.
Ducky also remarks that Rivkin was someone Ziva obviously cared about and Ziva has always remained an officer of Mossad.
As Gibbs puts the mug back down, Ducky remarks that he doesn't envy the position that she just found herself and considering her less than conspicuous background, it's amazing she ever had Gibbs's trust.
Gibbs closes his eyes and shakes his head, telling Ducky that Ziva earned it.
Ducky remarks that Gibbs took to Ziva more quickly than other agent before her: McGee, Kate and even Tony. He's also always sensed a strong bond between Gibbs and Ziva, something shared perhaps.
As Ducky heads over to the center of the basement, Gibbs turns back and glances up to the basement entrance.
It then cuts to a flashback from Kill Ari Part 2 (episode) with Ziva lying in wait while down in the basement, Ari aims the sniper rifle at Gibbs, only for Ziva to aim her gun and shoot Ari in the head, killing Ari while it then shows Ari's body lying on the floor with Ziva herself sitting there, looking stunned.
As it cuts back to the present, Gibbs states that Ziva proved herself.
Ducky remarks that whatever Ziva did to prove her loyalty, it was not nearly momentous as Gibbs believed or was it? His words stop Gibbs for a second before Gibbs takes a drink.
Meanwhile, a lone cargo ship sails through the ocean.
In a small room, as various Mossad members discuss things in Hebrew while others are polishing their guns and smoking, Ziva places her leather holster on the table and then places something on the wall.
It's then shown that the item is the photograph of Tali, Ziva and Ari as young children which hangs on the wall, supported by two black stripes.
Ziva just stands there, glancing at the photo, lost in deep thought.
In his office, Eli sits at his desk, reading a book. He then glances at a frame holding the same photograph for a few seconds before he starts reading again.
Back at NCIS, Vance is in his office, working when Gibbs arrives in, holding the two files which Gibbs throws down onto the desk.
Gibbs tells Vance that he went over the personnel files like he asked and that there's a couple that stood out with Gibbs even stating that both would be a good fit.
Vance tells Gibbs to take his pick.
Gibbs simply states that he'll let Vance know in a few months.
As Gibbs turns to go, Vance remarks that he knew it couldn't be that easy.
Gibbs turns around and looks back as Vance wonders if Ziva might ask to come back?
Gibbs simply states that he's just giving her time, that's all.
Vance wonders time for what?
Gibbs states that it's so she can remember who to trust.
Vance then tells Gibbs that he'll make it for Gibbs and tells Gibbs that he made the right call.
Gibbs states that he wasn't asking for Vance's opinion.
Vance then storms over, demanding just who the Hell Gibbs thinks he's talking to.
Now pissed, Gibbs slams the door shut, remarking that it's a damn good question and that he's been wondering about that for a while.
As the two square up against each other, Vance remarks that Gibbs spends half his time second-guessing Vance, studying Vance, testing Vance.
Gibbs states that he's looking for answers.
Vance snaps that it would help if Gibbs could ask the damn question.
Gibbs just stares back at Vance, silent.
Vance then says that that's the rub and that Gibbs doesn't know what to ask before stating that Gibbs trusts Vance but Gibbs himself doesn't know why.
Gibbs then furiously states if Vance walks to talk about him before bringing up the fact that Vance tore apart Gibbs's team last year and that there was no warning, no discussion.
Vance wonders if that what's this about? If Gibbs wants to sit in the big chair?
Gibbs snaps that he doesn't and he wants to trust whoever sits there before stating that he wants to protect his team.
"Like Ziva", Vance says.
Gibbs looks at Vance.
Vance admits that's okay and fine before stating that Gibbs made a decision to leave Ziva in Tel Avi with Vance supporting Gibbs and now Gibbs wants to let Ziva back but why?
Gibbs remarks that because whatever Ziva might have done, he trusts her for what he knew she did.
The two then stand there, glancing at each other.
Unsurprisingly, Gibbs cracks, stating that four years ago....
Vance picks up by revealing that Ziva saved Gibbs's life by shooting and killing her half-brother, Ari. He then remarks to Gibbs that he said the chair was big.
As Gibbs stands there, silent, Vance reveals that Ari was out of control and that Ziva's father, Eli sent her to eliminate Ari and that Ziva kills Ari, earning Gibbs's trust.
Two birds, one bullet.
Vance remarks that Eli played Gibbs.
As Gibbs looks on in disbelief, Vance remarks that regardless, up until now, Ziva has always been loyal to NCIS before stating that he knows that Gibbs doesn't want to hear this but now Gibbs has to trust Vance and if Gibbs is right about Ziva's allegiance to Gibbs, she'll serve them well at Mossad.
Gibbs however disagrees, stating in a bitter tone that if Vance is right about Ziva's father, then they'll never see Ziva again.
In the bullpen, both Tony and McGee sit at their desks, pre-occupied.
Tony stares over at Ziva's desk which is now vacant and has been stripped of its usual items. He then flips open his cell phone and reaches Ziva's contact number but is debating as to whether or not he should call her.
As he sits there, staring at it, Gibbs walks in and quickly picks up on what Tony's doing.
Tony looks up at Gibbs and remarks that he guesses Ziva will call when she's ready.
McGee just silently looks on.
Gibbs simply moves on.
McGee turns away.
Gibbs, having sat down at his desk looks over at Ziva's empty desk before he turns away, deeply conflicted.
Tony continues staring at the empty desk and finally relents, closing his cell phone shut.
In an small alleyway in a building in Somalia, the Horn of Africa, terrorist Saleem Ulman, wearing a hip holster walks down to a big door while also smoking a cigarette.
He then sees another terrorist standing there, guarding the door with Saleem lighting the other terrorist's cigarette.
As the terrorist enjoys his cigarette, Saleem unlocks the big door which opens.
It then shows that behind the door is a long room with a single woman sitting in the center of the room.
Once the door slams shut, Saleem walks on before dropping his cigarette onto the floor and stamping it out with his boot while also showing that multiple cigarette butts lie on the floor, implying that this has happened before.
As he stands in front of the woman, Saleem removes something hanging around the woman's neck and glances at it.
It's a Star of David necklace.
Cupping the necklace in his right hand, Saleem uses his left hand to grab the woman's long hair, pulling her head back which causes the woman to cry out in pain, her cries echoing off the wall.
In a voice laced with pure menace, Saleem tells the woman to tell him everything she knows about NCIS.
It then cuts to show that the woman he is talking to is none other than Ziva who stares back at Saleem, her features unreadable, her left eye half-closed and also swollen with bruises across her face and dried blood under her lips.
- It's revealed that four years have passed since the events in the Season 3 episode, Kill Ari Part 2 (episode) and that a year has passed since the events in the Season 5 finale episode, Judgment Day Part 2 (episode).
- The song heard playing in the background as the C-4 carrying Gibbs, DiNozzo, Ziva and Vance arrives in Israel and as they later get off the plane is Stop Making Friends- Fear with the person singing being Pauley Perette (Abby Sciuto).
- The episode's title, "Aliyah" is a term used to describe the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael).
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||NCIS Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo||Michael Weatherly||Senior Special Agent and second-in-command of the NCIS Major Case Response Team. In the aftermath of his fight against Michael Rivkin, Tony is left with a broken left arm and bruises.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||Mossad/NCIS Liaison Officer and a member of the NCIS Major Case Response Team. After she is left behind in Israel, Ziva chooses to rejoin Mossad, embarking on a new mission.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||Junior Special Agent of the NCIS Major Case Response team.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perrette||Forensic Specialist associated with the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Leon Vance||Rocky Carroll||Director of NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||Chief Medical Examiner associated with the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Assistant Medical Examiner, NCIS.|
|Michael Rivkin||Merik Tadros||Former Mossad Officer who DiNozzo was forced to shoot in self-defense after Rivkin resisted arrest in regards to killing an ICE agent and also a terrorist. Despite Ziva's efforts to stop the bleeding by performing CPR, Rivkin later died in hospital and his body was brought back to Israel for burial.|
|Eli David||Michael Nouri||Director of Mossad and Ziva's father. Only other person besides Ziva who can issue a "kill" order. He authorized Rivkin's actions and also asked director Vance to send Ziva, Tony and Gibbs to Tel Aviv so that he could get some answers regarding Rivkin's death.|
|Ari Haswari||Rudolf Martin||A Mossad agent and mole as well as Ziva David's half brother. Archive footage.|
|Dr. Sandra Holdren||Inger Tudor||Emergency Room Physician who treated DiNozzo's injuries and who also informed Ziva of Rivkin's death.|
|Officer Amit Hadar||Arnold Vosloo||Mossad officer who greets the team as they arrive in Tel Aviv.|
|Saleem Ulman||Omid Abtahi||A terrorist who is seen torturing Ziva while asking her for information on NCIS in the last few seconds of the episode.|
|Firefighter||Nathan Barilka||A man who appears in the episode.|
|Mossad Officer||Mohammad Kavianpour||Uncredited role.|