"The stars aligned and here I am," the actress said of her return to the series

Cote de Pablo is excited for her return to NCIS!

On Tuesday, de Pablo made her NCIS comeback, reprising her iconic role of Special Agent Ziva David on the beloved CBS series, after departing over five years ago. In a recent interview Entertainment Tonight, the Chilean-American actress opened up to about her decision to return to the show.

“I hoped that at some point something like this could happen and it’s just so the stars aligned and here I am with this guy,” de Pablo, 40, told ET in an onset interview with co-star Mark Harmon, whom she greeted with a warm hug. “I said give me a really good reason to come back.”

And it seems they did. The actress will appear on the show for a two-episode arch, which began with her appearance on Tuesday night’s episode.

Cote De Pablo
Credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The star rejoined Harmon and the current NCIS cast members for the midseason finale, and left fans speculating about a highly anticipated reunion between Ziva and her former love interest, Special Agent Anthony (Tony), played by Michael Weatherly.

Harmon, 68, who famously plays show lead Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, raved about having de Pablo back on the series.

“You forget the energy she brought and how special this character is in many ways and how, in so many ways, it completes the show,” he told ET.

Cote de Pablo; Mark Harmon
Cote de Pablo; Mark Harmon
| Credit: Erik Voake/CBS via Getty Images

And while de Pablo said she was thrilled to be back on set, she revealed that leaving the show this time around wouldn’t be as difficult.

“It’s a different walk away and I’ll leave it at that,” she told the outlet. “It’s a beautiful walk away.”

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Prior to her return, executive producer Steven D. Binder told ET that they dived deep into Ziva’s character story to find something that would merit her reprisal and wouldn’t be “just a cheap publicity shot.”

“We, as a staff, spent quite a bit of time trying to find a story that fit. We wanted it to be full,” Binder explained. “We wanted to use the show’s DNA, something that touched on Cote’s entire run on the show — from the circumstances of her first arriving to things that happened with the character.”

“We wanted to use that as the raw material,” he added. “We had one final meeting with Cote where we discussed these things and whether it was something that she was interested in, and you know the answer to that.”

The next episode of NCIS airs on Jan. 7, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.