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NCIS Villain Ari Haswari Could Return in New Tony & Ziva Spinoff—But There’s a Twist

One of NCIS’s earliest and most memorable antagonists was Rudolf Martin’s Ari Haswari, a rogue Mossad agent leading an Al-Qaeda cell in Washington, D.C. Ari’s most infamous act was killing Sasha Alexander’s Caitlin Todd in the Season 2 finale. In the two-part Season 3 premiere, it was revealed that Ari was the half-brother of Cote de Pablo’s Ziva David, who ultimately killed him to save Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Despite Ari’s long absence from the show, de Pablo has a surprising idea for his return in the upcoming *Tony & Ziva* spinoff. On the latest episode of *Off Duty: An NCIS Rewatch*, the podcast she co-hosts with Michael Weatherly, Martin mentioned that he occasionally receives offers to audition for NCIS spinoffs but turns them down due to his significant role in the flagship series. This led de Pablo to suggest an intriguing possibility:

“Unless he’s a ghost. That’s what I’m thinking… I don’t know, I think something just opened up potentially. There’s a little something that could be explored there.”

The concept of ghostly appearances isn’t new to NCIS fans. In the “Kill Ari” episodes, team members saw visions of Kate that spoke to them, and after Muse Watson’s Mike Franks died in Season 8, he occasionally appeared to Gibbs through Season 15. Therefore, the idea of Ziva being haunted by a ghostly or nightmarish version of Ari could be a compelling plot element for *Tony & Ziva*. Since these apparitions aren’t real, there’s no need to explain any age differences.

Later in the podcast, de Pablo reaffirmed her interest in this idea during a follow-up conversation with Weatherly. She said:

“I know we talked about this too, but the idea of Rudolf Martin coming in possibly for the *Tony & Ziva* show in Europe, maybe possibly returning as a ghost/nightmare. I would like to explore that, you know, having to deal with the ghosts of the past. That would be a nice thing to tackle.”

Back in March, CBS Studios President David Stapf told Deadline that there are no current plans to include former NCIS cast members in *Tony & Ziva*, though he added, “never say never.” While Ghost Ari isn’t planned for the first season, de Pablo might persuade the writers to bring Martin back if the show is renewed for a second season. The series will follow Tony and Ziva on the run across Europe after Tony’s security company is attacked, though it’s unclear if their daughter Tali will be with them.

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