As I was watching season 4 of NCIS today it got me thinking to how the Tony/Ziva relationship has changed over the last 7 years. We have talked countless times about how it went from sexual tension to love but I’m looking at the why of this. I definitely correlate this to the Executive Producers. This brings us to the 3 eras of Tiva.
The Era of Sexual Tension: Don Bellisario
The Bellesario era was seasons 3-4. He laid the groundwork for Tiva. We had the will they/won’t they, flirtatious vibes, sexual frustration. You remember it. If you don’t, just watch Boxed In and you’ll remember what I’m talking about. In season 4 Bellisario was moving the relationship along nicely. He does commentary for Angel of Death (season finale of season 4) and he basically tells you that this is the point Ziva realizes her feelings for Tony. Tiva could have been canon in season 5 except that was when Bellisario stepped down. Mark Harmon and him had drama and he passed the Gavel onto Shane Brennan.
The Era of Jealousy: Shane Brennan
Brennan knew sexual frustration too. If you watch NCIS: LA now you know he’s quite good with the tension #Densi. He stabbed it in a different way. He was basically starting over with Tiva and rebuilt them in season 5. They loathed eachother sometimes and were jealous at others. They had their moments of serious talk like Designated Target and moments of flirtation in Tribes but still nothing. Then season 6 Brennan decided to move things along a bit. Tony got jealous, Ziva got bugged and Michael Rivkin died. It was a rough patch only to be fixed by the best episode of NCIS (in my opinion) Truth and Consequences. I will give that to Brennan. He gave me the best episode during his reign. But there was another man on that team when Truth and Consequences was made, a co-executive producer. See Brennan had just started NCIS: LA and was busy enough so another man stepped up to the plate to help out. His name was Gary Glasberg
The Era of … Love?: Gary Glasberg
I don’t think that Gary Glasberg was on the Tiva ship when he joined the team. He was the man who kept it on the back-burner for a time. We lost a lot of sexual tension in his episodes. I know we did have Jetlag and putting Tony and Ziva in relationships did help them individually but I don’t think he was really on-board until Extreme Prejudice. That’s when he saw what we all see: two people who genuinely care for each other. Perhaps even love each other. So we’ve had all this movement this season but I want to know his endgame? Are we talking like this season or next season or season 20? I can’t take it much longer, ok well I can because I love them. Glasberg hasn’t been the man to make bring a sexual charge but he’s made them closer in his own way.
So there are the three eras of Tiva. I don’t know which one was my favorite. I want to say Don but that’s probably because I love JAG so much. I just hope we get an EP who sticks around long enough to follow through and make them canon eventually.
Keep Calm and Ship on