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Season 2 Episode 13

The Meat Puzzle

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 08, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
345 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A "meat puzzle" stars when Ducky identifies the pieces of three bodies that were stuffed inside a barrel few months ago. They turn out to be bodies of a sheriff and a prosecutor that worked with Ducky on a rape case 10 years ago. Gibbs believes that Ducky might be the next victim, so he orders to keep him and his mother safe.moreless

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  • Ducky Investigates The Remains Of Three Bodies But He Soon Realizes That He Knows Them All After Jimmy Makes A Shocking Disovery.

    This episode is Fantastic! It is a great example why I have loved this show from the very beginning. It was very well written and acted. The case was extremely interesting and it had turns and twists that I did not see coming. Plausible throughout and plain entertaining. The opening scene is just epic. David McCallum gives his best performance to date. The best scene was when Kate realized that something was wrong and she ran to the Mallard's backyard. This is the second best episode of this season. Do not skip this awesome ducky-centered episode!moreless
  • Solving the puzzle

    The case hanging over Ducky's is finally getting somewhere. Thanks to that assistance, Ducky realize who one of the victims is and then.. it is puzzle to put together and soon they find that Ducky is in the victim list. So.. it is a case of solving the murder where the main suspect is (not) certainly dead and in the same time, protect Ducky.. what Kate fails. That moment there.. oh.. she just seems to be making too much mistakes considering she was protecting president.

    But they get happy ending.. they race with time and the win. And loved the ending.moreless
  • Very enjoyable Ducky episode. One of my absolute favourites.

    Probably the biggest risk of being in law enforcement – criminals coming back for revenge. This isn't just one though – this is an entire family of nutjobs.

    Mrs Mallard's corgis are beautiful. Tony makes a great babysitter and Mrs Mallard keeps forgetting who he is and threatening him. Loved the whole thing, very funny and sweet. Mrs Mallard is awesome. Mrs Mallard actually spat at Kate!

    What a family! Bunch of psychos with a death obsession. From what the brother implicated about the 'terrible secrets' between his mother and Vincent, possibly even incest.

    It really is like a high school locker room sometimes – Gibbs must find it so wearing sometimes.

    Ducky was unfair to Jimmy and Ducky really should have apologized.

    An excellent episode. It's a lovely look into Ducky's private life and to see how the team reacts to a threat to their own.moreless
  • The ultimate of episodes!

    This episode was another great addition to the series, and rates in my Top Five of Season Two Episodes.

    The episode is extremely interesting and Ducky is put in danger, but we also get to see Ducky's mother for the first time.

    The episode also contained a lot of great humour, especially when Vanessa Mallard thought that Agent DiNozzo was a furniture mover! That was hilarious!

    The end of the episode was really suspenseful and intriguing, and it was a really great ending to a great episode.

    I recommend this episode exceptionally highly, because it is intriguing, comical, entertaining, nerve-wracking and the life of a loved character is put on the line.

    Great work by NCIS, once again!moreless
  • Ducky gets kidnapped.....

    This episode of NCIS opens with Ducky put back together a dismembered body. When he discovers that one of the victims finger has been replaced with his big toe, Ducky discovers that one of his John Doe's is actually an ADA. When further tests are run, they confirm his discovery. When tests are run on one o the other bodies, they discover that he was a judge. It is then that the team discover that an all of the people of a case which Ducky helped with, are being killed off. So Ducky is put under protection. The defendant who was sent to prison for rape and murder, has since died and so the team believe that his family is after revenge. As tony is the first on site looking after Ducky's elderly mother, she gets a delivery of what turns out to be a 4th victim(in a barrel). As Kate takes over night duty, she hears a noise outside at night and goes to investigate. As she gets outside she finds Ducky's mother looking at a dog, and when she tells Kate that it isn't her dog, Kate realises that something is up. As she races back inside she sees that Ducky has bee taken and as she runs outside she sees a car driving of, with Ducky inside. When the body of the murderer is dug up, Abby runs some tests on his teeth. Abby discovers that the teeth belonged to the murderer and that the body is not his. Therefore someone pulled out all of his teeth and stuck them into a different skull. The brother cracks and tells Gibbs everything. Gibbs learns that Ducky is actually in the funeral parlour run by the parents of the murderer and that they go going to embalm Ducky. The team manage to find Ducky just in time.moreless
Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Special Agent Kate Todd

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Forensics Specialist Abby Sciuto

Sean Murray (I)

Sean Murray (I)

Special Agent Tim McGee

David McCallum

David McCallum

Chief M.E. Ducky Mallard

Nina Foch

Nina Foch

Mrs. Victoria Mallard

Guest Star

Morgan Weisser

Morgan Weisser

Vincent Hanlan

Guest Star

Pat Healy

Pat Healy

Jonathan Hanlan

Guest Star

Brian Dietzen

Brian Dietzen

Asst. M.E. Jimmy Palmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • GOOF: At the end when Vincent Hanlan commits suicide, he leans his head back in order to cut his throat, and appears dead very shortly afterwards. A cut ministered like that would in fact leave him alive for quite a few minutes as when the head is leaned back the main artery is pushed to the back of the neck. And with the cut as shallow as it was, he should have bled out a lot more than he did and survived longer, not much but longer none the less.

    • TRIVIA: When Ducky is placed on the embalming table, and the killers are going to drain his blood, they insert a very large needle tube into his throat, i.e. into his jugular in order for the blood to drain. His blood starts to flow into the drain, yet once he is rescued, he just holds a tissue up to his neck and is fully able to speak. There's no evidence that he's still bleeding. With that big a needle tube and given where it was inserted, there's no way he could have just got up afterwards. He would have needed some kind of emergency surgery to stop the blood flow.

    • GOOF: At the end when one of the killers takes a scalpel and cuts his throat, there is initially no blood whatsoever, yet within a couple of seconds as he hits the floor, there is blood all the way down his shirt and all over the floor. A cut throat will normally bleed immediately and depending on the cut might spurt as opposing to drip.

    • TRIVIA: At the shot right after Mrs. Mallard spits at Kate, you can see Michael Weatherly is about to crack a smile, but manages to keep his smile within acceptable limits, as they included the shot.

    • TRIVIA: Ducky is able to identify one of the meat puzzle victims, when his assistant identifies that the victim had surgery installing a big toe in place of his thumb; though this can be done, the big toe is too large and lacks the dexterity, typically the next toe over would be used, it is closer in size and has better joint compatibility, and leaves your foot more stable.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Abby: Well, obviously, Gibbs doesn't think that Hanlan is dead.
      Palmer: He is dead. Dental x-rays don't lie.
      Abby: Well, either Gibbs is wrong or Hanlan is one of the dead that still walks at night.
      Palmer: Okay, well, then Gibbs is wrong. Isn't he?

    • Ducky: There's only one thing better than looking into the eyes of a beautiful woman and have her say that everything's going to be all right.
      Kate: And what's that, Ducky?
      Ducky: My saying it to her.

    • Gibbs: You stick to him like...
      Kate: Glue...
      Gibbs: An ex-wife after an alimony check.

    • Jimmy: Are you scared, Dr. Mallard?
      Ducky: Madame Curie, one of the world's most brilliant thinkers once said that, 'There is nothing in life to be feared, it is only to be understood.' I think it's safe to say that Madame Curie never set her eyes on a meat puzzle.

    • Tony: (To Kate) Psst... It's looks like we're going to be working late tonight so do you want me to call Steve and cancel your dinner date?
      Kate: (muttering under her breath) This is a nightmare!

    • Tony: So, you seeing my frat brother tonight?
      Kate: As a matter of fact, I am. Steven feels bad, said he'd like to make it up to me.
      Tony: (grins) How's he going to do that?
      Kate: By telling me things about you.
      Tony: Never gonna happen. The fraternal oath is sacred.
      Kate: Some things are even more sacred, Tony.
      (Tony stops grinning and Kate leaves)

    • Tony: I'd show you the secret handshake, but then I would have to kill you.

    • Tony: (introducing Kate to one of Mrs Mallard's dogs) This is Contessa. She likes it rough.

    • Ducky: Put them away Jimmy. They're tired of talking.

    • Jimmy: I'm thinking something crazy Abby.
      Abby: Crazy is good.

    • Gibbs: You dig up that body.
      Abby: Love to.

    • (Gibbs sneaks up begind Abby)
      Abby: Gibbs! You scared me!
      Gibbs: Come on Abbs. You sleep in a casket dressed in a funeral gown.
      Abby: I don't always wear the gown...
      Gibbs: Too much information.

    • Tony: (to Ducky's mom) Tony DiNozzo. Italian, gigolo, furniture mover.

    • Mrs. Mallard: Your underwear. You can always tell the character of a woman by the quality of her panties.
      Tony: That's always been my philosophy.

    • Mrs. Mallard: Who are you?
      Tony: Anthony DiNozzo. Everyone calls me Tony.
      Mrs. Mallard: That's an Italian name.
      Tony: Yes, it is. So if you'll just show me...
      Mrs. Mallard: You're a gigolo! If you look down my blouse, I shall disembowel you!
      Tony: (laughing in disbelief) That's funny.
      Mrs. Mallard: I've got a knife in my brassiere.
      Tony: ...I'll keep that in mind.
      Mrs. Mallard: Good! (pause) Who are you again?

    • Mrs. Mallard: (to Kate) Show me your knickers.

    • Tony: The sweet smell of freedom.
      Gibbs: Mrs. Mallard?
      Tony: Sleeping. Her usual afternoon fistful of wild turkey and her last words to me were either "I'm gonna slit your throat" or "kiss your mode." I couldn't tell cause she was slurring.
      Gibbs: That's good work, Tony.
      Tony: Thank you boss, so who's taking over for me now?
      Gibbs: Kate's on protection detail with Ducky.
      Tony: Yeah?
      Gibbs: McGee's going with me to interview the guy who delivered the barrel.
      Tony: Yeah?
      Gibbs: I guess that leaves you.
      Tony: Me? Boss I just spent all day playin' furniture mover for this slightly demented old lady and her pack of yappin' hounds!
      Gibbs: They're not hounds, DiNozzo. They're Corgis.
      Tony: No boss! No, boss, I'm on the verge, man! McGee? Boss?!
      (Gibbs and McGee drive away)
      Tony: I'm gonna go postal! I'm not kidding I'm this close!
      (Corgi's bark from the door, Tony turns toward them)
      Tony: Here's Tony.

    • Kate: You've been following me?
      Tony: Me, follow you on a Saturday night? Not that desperate Kate.
      Kate: I don't believe you
      Tony On my mother's life, I did not follow you.
      Gibbs: Your mother's dead DiNozzo.
      Tony: I didn't follow her, boss!

    • Kate: Gibbs, what did Ducky look like when he was younger?
      Gibbs: Illya Kuryakin.

  • NOTES (2)


    • One of the Corgis is named 'Tyson'. Kate suggests it's because he thinks he's a boxer, but Ducky says no 'it's because he bites'. This is an allusion to the famous or infamous fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, where Tyson was disqualified for biting off a part of Holyfield's ear.

    • Tony: Here's Tony!

      This line is a reference to Jack Nicholson's famous line "Here's Johnny!" in the 1980 horror film The Shining. In the movie, Nicholson's character goes mad, as Tony was indicating that he would.

    • When Kate asks Gibbs what Ducky looked like when he was younger, Gibbs replies "Illya Kuryakin." Illya Kuryakin is the character that David McCallum (who plays Ducky) played on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in the 1960s.