After a long wait and a lot of teasers, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) is confirmed to make her way to “NCIS” season 17. But as the former Israeli Mossad officer is believed to have met her demise in season 11, there are questions if she is really alive or just a ghost Gibbs (Mark Harmon) can see.

Gibbs saw Ziva at the time it was revealed he could see and hear dead people. He even saw his former and late wife, Diane (Melinda McGraw), before he saw the ex-NCIS agent. So, would it be possible that Ziva is just a figment of his imagination?

Ziva may still be really alive

It has been announced that Ziva would return to “NCIS” season 17 premiere episode. However, it is not yet revealed if she would be seen beyond that.

“This surprising moment is just the beginning,” CBS’s showrunners said in a statement, via TVLine. “We are thrilled to share that Cote de Pablo will guest star in the ‘NCIS’ season 17 premiere… as Ziva’s warning to Gibbs unfolds.”

But is she still alive? Let’s analyze.

When Diane left Gibbs alone in the previous season finale, there was no sound of any doors closing. As a ghost, she might probably just get through the wall. Hence, there was no noise.

But when Ziva arrived, there was a sound on his front door – both when it opened and it closed.

There was even a sound of her footsteps, which no one heard when Diane came.

Ziva also came to warn Gibbs that his life is in danger. As Pablo was only announced to appear in the premiere episode, she might only give Gibbs an intel about the illegal drug trade in Canada. After that, she might be gone again.

Possibilities Ziva is only a ghost

Cinema Blend noted the latter parts of the show put Gibbs through a wringer, showing the possibility that he was suffering mental issues. Episode 13, “She,” also showed Gibbs destroying his very important Rule No. 10, to never get personally involved in a case, which had a connection with Ziva’s return.

This episode also proved Ziva seemed to be still alive and had been keeping a small office inside the storage unit, where she was tracking a cold case. In another episode, the NCIS team discovered Gibb’s biggest secret about a murder that left him having a long conversation with his therapist.

The previous season ended with a hallucination that he was talking to his wife and then Ziva appeared. So, it might be possible he was only hallucinating when Ziva came to tell him the danger he is into.

It was also improbable that Ziva was in his basement, which was his comfort zone, waiting for Diane’s ghost to leave all the while. She even told him he looked like someone who had seen a “ghost.”

New season’s release

From the looks of it, only time can tell if Ziva is already dead or still alive when “NCIS” season 17 premiere episode hits the small screens this fall. It will still be seen on its usual timeslot, every Tuesday night at 9 PM ET on CBS.