Ncis: Tony & Ziva Just Teased The Return Of A Franchise Villain, But It Would Only Work With A Twist


It would require a haunting twist, but villain Ari Haswari could return to NCIS, and the NCIS: Tony & Ziva actors confirmed it could happen. The villain was initially introduced in NCIS season 1, episode 16, “Bête Noire.” The episode was one of the most popular NCIS episodes in the show’s 21 seasons, and for good reason. In the episode, Rudolf Martin introduces the franchise’s key villain: the rogue Mossad agent, Ari. It begins a story arc that endangered the original NCIS Major Case Response Team (MCRT) and eventually introduced Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David at the apex of its events.

Ari Haswari terrorized characters like Sasha Alexander’s Kate Todd across multiple episodes of NCIS seasons 1 and 2. Ultimately, Ari took Kate’s life at the end of season 2, opening the door for Cote de Pablo’s character to join the series. It was a crucial transition in NCIS history. While he provoked terror, causing physical and emotional pain for the characters, Rudolf Martin’s character was remembered fondly on the Off Duty: An NCIS Rewatch podcast hosted by Tony & Ziva stars de Pablo and Tony DiNozzo actor Michael Weatherly. The actors hope to return the central villain to the franchise.

Cote de Pablo & Michael Weatherly Want To Bring Back Rudolf Martin For NCIS: Tony & Ziva

The Ziva David Star Wants Ari To Appear As A Ghost

In episode 3 of Off Duty (where de Pablo and Weatherly discuss essential Tony and Ziva NCIS episodes), Ari Haswari actor Rudolf Martin was a guest star. The hosts invited Martin to discuss “Kill Ari Part II.” For multiple reasons, the “Kill Ari” double episode is one of the most pivotal episodes in the entire series. The most noteworthy reason is the episode facilitates the transition between agents Caitlin Todd and Ziva David. Weatherly and de Pablo expressed their desire for Martin to return to the series on the podcast.

de Pablo suggested that Ari return as a ghost.

After they discussed Martin’s NCIS background, de Pablo suggested that Ari return as a ghost. Cote de Pablo said: “I don’t know, I think something just opened up.” She implied that there may be a path for Martin’s character to return. Michael Weatherly responded by mentioning more “real world” possibilities, suggesting that there might be a way to incorporate Rudolf Martin into the living characters of NCIS: Tony and Ziva. Cote ended the interview with the sentiment, “There’s a little something that could be explored there.”

Why It’s Virtually Impossible To Bring Back Rudolf Martin’s Ari To The NCIS Spinoff

Ari Haswari’s NCIS Death Was Portrayed On-Screen

It’s virtually impossible to bring Rudolf Martin’s character back to NCIS because he was killed by his half-sister, Ziva David, at the beginning of season 3. While characters often come back to NCIS after departing the series or dying, it’s more complicated to incorporate them once their death has been portrayed on-screen. That’s the case for Rudolf Martin’s character, whose gunshot wound to the head was on full display at the end of “Kill Ari.” However, the franchise has a workable model for returning dead NCIS characters so that living characters can reckon with their trauma.

What Roles Rudolf Martin Could Have On NCIS: Tony & Ziva

Martin Could Appear As Ari Haswari’s Ghost Or A New NCIS Character

There is already a precedent for returning Rudolf Martin’s character to NCIS.Ari Haswari returned to NCIS after his death in season 9, episode 14, “Life Before His Eyes.” Ari appeared as a visualization of his former self to Gibbs in the diner as he experienced a near-death experience that caused him to reexamine the milestones of his life. Ari appeared in the diner and was seen playing chess with NCIS Director Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll). While featured in the episode, he lurked around the diner rather than conversing with Gibbs, evocative of his elusive nature in the series.

The franchise could deploy Rudolf Martin similarly in the Tony & Ziva series. Ari could appear to Ziva as a ghost or hallucination, allowing her to reckon with the decision she made to fatally shoot her brother. Ziva was an experienced Mossad agent, and she could have opted to wound him, but instead, she decided to shoot him in the head. Ari could return and open the door for Ziva to make peace with her brother and that experience from her past. The actors also implied that Martin could be featured as a living character in NCIS: Tony & Ziva.
Returning Rudolf Martin to NCIS is an exciting prospect. He had a charming composure while terrorizing the team, making him the series’ most memorable villain. And since Ari played such a significant role in Ziva’s introduction to NCIS, it feels natural that he would accompany her NCIS return. Featuring Ari would add to Ziva’s character development in the Tony & Ziva spinoff. It would also honor Rudolf Martin if he returned as a new character, especially since fans would have more time to enjoy the Ari actor if his character was living.