I can’t help comparing these two scenes because the more I think about these moments, the more I notice the similarities between them. They’re two of my favorite Tony/Ziva moments of this season and they both represent a moment of (not so) rare intimacy shared by our loved ones; but I see a certain resemblance also in the little details, in the expressions on their faces, even though the roles are inverted.
In both of these scenes we see them talking and their conversation suddenly takes a different turn when one of them asks a question. Though, neither of them is a real question. Tony’s “Do you really consider me to be in your life?” is not a real question – hence it doesn’t need an answer – because it mostly wants to underline what Ziva just implied by saying “[…] to have someone in my life”: Tony asks this question because he wants to point out that, yes, they’re part of each other’s life (and an important part also, let me say this). Ziva’s “Elope?”, instead, is more like a proposal, a dreamy one maybe, but certainly romantic.
Their words carry a lot of meaning and the reaction is basically immediate on the other’s face. How Ziva keeps her lips half-opened because he totally left her speechless, he suffocated what she was meaning to say by pronouncing those words. And also Tony, in the “Elope” scene… we can see the surprise on his face, even if for just an instant maybe, but it’s there. It’s the surprise in front of another step taken toward each other, and maybe there’s also some fear in front of that step. I look at Ziva in the Housekeeping scene, how she stares at him with this frozen expression on her face…. She doesn’t know what to do, she doesn’t know what her next move must be. What the other just said is so important they can’t help but feeling immediately touched and maybe a little shocked by it, because here they have their partner shaking their balance a little, changing something, trying to move things forward.
But the most beautiful thing, in my opinion, is the reassuring smile that comes after this reaction. Tony’s smile in Housekeeping shows how deeply he believes in what he just said – that they’re part of each other’s lives – and how much he doesn’t want them to hide from this realization. He reassures her with this smile, tells her to relax, because it’s okay, because he meant it. And after looking at his smile, she totally melts and smiles, very timidly, but she smiles.
And also Ziva smiles to give credit to what she just said, in the scene of Till Death Do Us Part. He’s surprised, he stares at her, and she smiles, and it’s a small smile, but once again it says she means it, she wanted to take that step and she took it, she wanted to dare to say that, and she did, and she doesn’t regret it.
These two smiles at the end tell me of how aware they are of the steps they take, of how hard they’re trying, and they’re heading somewhere, somewhere they can’t probably see distinctly yet, but definitely somewhere. They walk slowly, but they’re conscious of these steps, and this is so important for them, because it makes them look aware of the importance of this relationship, determined to cherish each other and what the two of them have.