LOS ANGELES, April 21 (UPI) -- NCIS is gearing up for Michael Weatherly's final episode on the long-running CBS series.
Showrunner Gary Glasberg previewed the 47-year-old actor's final appearance as Tony DiNozzo in an interview with E! News, but refused to confirm if Cote de Pablo will return as Ziva David.
"Tony's relationship with Ziva absolutely will have an impact on his reason to depart," Glasberg did reveal. "There's no part of Tony DiNozzo that Ziva David isn't a part of."
"She's a huge aspect of who his character is, so it would be unfair and wrong to write this episode, to produce this episode and not have her character be a part of of it," he explained.
Weatherly and De Pablo played co-workers with a longtime romantic tension that was left unfulfilled with the actress' exit in Season 11. Weatherly announced his impending departure in January and will last appear on the Season 13 finale.
"Tony is at a crossroads," Glasberg said. "He really has to make some really significant decisions, big enough that would pull him away from his NCIS family. That was really the challenge of all this ... is how do we come up with something that's big enough that would have Tony no longer be a part of the group?"
"Hopefully the fans and the audience will find [the answer] satisfying," he added. "The one thing that I'll say is he's involved in the whole final episode. There are incredibly touching, emotional moments between Tony and the rest of our cast."
Weatherly told fans he "couldn't have had more fun" playing Tony when he announced his exit, and has already lined up a new CBS pilot. NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET and will broadcast its Season 13 finale May 17.