It’s called character development.
Maybe Tony has just grown into someone who is over the probie pranks? Maybe he wants to be supportive and welcoming for once? Maybe he’s following Ziva’s advice to be more respectful of people? Maybe he no longer wants to be seen as the guy you can’t rely on?
Why is everyone talking about this like it’s a bad thing? If anything, it shows that he’s more mature than he was 8 years ago and it shows how much the events of the past few months have affected him. He’s changing, just like he told Ziva he would. People have been asking to see a more mature, less of a condescendent class-clown Tony and now that they have it, they still complain?
Then, I wish people would stop comparing the Ziva replacing Kate situation and the Ellie replacing Ziva situation:
First, Ziva left, Kate died. At the hand of Ziva’s half-brother. That alone must have been pretty hard for the team to accept, even if they never really mentioned it. Also, replacing someone who has died so brutally is always more difficult and conflicting than replacing someone who has made a conscious and personal decision to leave.
Then, Ziva was sitting at Kate’s desk only a few days after she died. It’s been months since Ziva has left. Besides, Ziva’s desk is completely empty when Bishop arrives (even her computer has been wiped clean) whereas Kate’s possessions were still on it when Ziva arrived which of course reinforced the feeling that Kate wasn’t really completely gone yet.
And finally, I’m pretty sure they never expected Ziva to be a good fit and stick around for so long. They were having fun with driving her crazy because she was an easy target and she represented a challenge for Tony. How far could he push her limits before she snapped and either left or you know, killed him? Everyone was testing her when she arrived, it was unfair and uncalled for, but you know, Ziva kind of responded to it with that determination and that sass that she had right from the start so of course they would tease her and push her buttons, especially Tony. That’s exactly why we love their relationship so much. They never gave each other a break but it was always fun to see because he knew Ziva would be more annoyed than intimidated. And Ziva always found a way to get back at him anyway. For some reason I can’t see Bishop reacting the same way had Tony probie-pranked her the same way. She wants their approval, I don’t think she’s got as much self-confidence as Ziva had when she first arrived. Not about joining a team that has been tight-knit close for 10 years anyway.
Let’s try to be objective for a second here. Ziva decided to leave, leaving her friends heartbroken of course but also probably kind of disappointed and confused. They have made no real effort to replace her for the most of 3 months after she left. But it comes a time when they don’t have a choice anymore, it’s a federal agency, they have to put people’s feelings aside and find a replacement to the one who left. That’s exactly what happened. And the fact that they’re not going down the let’s-prank-the-new-probie-and-make-her-feel-unwelcome-or-like-she’s-been-tested is actually quite a relief for me. They needed to break the patterns a bit. And there’s nothing wrong with them being supportive and helping. Their family was entirely shaken up and Ziva could never come back for all they know, so maybe they just want to find balance again and that starts by giving Bishop a chance to fit in.