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The Most Dangerous Villain In NCIS Season 2

Popular procedural "NCIS" has retained a loyal fan base in its 19-season run. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and its committed agents spend their time solving the most notorious crimes engulfing the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The dramatic twists and turns of each episode along with a talented cast keep its fans hooked on the show.

Though Season 19 recently saw the departure of fan-favorite NCIS team leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), the earlier seasons with Gibbs at the helm hold a special place in fans' hearts.

Season 2, with Gibbs, Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander), Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), established a great team central to the show's success. However, it wasn't just the team that contributed to the show's acceptance among the audience but its formidable enemies as well.

From the ex-Israeli intelligence agent Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin) to the skillful businessman and terrorist Harper Dearing (Richard Schiff), there are several terrifying criminals in the show. Yet the most dangerous villain of Season 2 left a chilling impact in just a single episode.

A murderous family poses a huge threat in the episode The Meat Puzzle

Season 2, Episode 13, "The Meat Puzzle," saw a serial killer come back from the past to target a member of the NCIS team. The episode begins with Ducky examining three bodies that are quite literally meat puzzles, having been cut into small pieces that had to be rearranged for examination. From looking at the brutally murdered bodies and the terrified look on Ducky's face when he identifies the first one, we know that this isn't just another case.

As the other two bodies are identified, Ducky realizes that all the victims are connected to the trial of Vincent Hanlan (Morgan Weisser), who was convicted of sexual assault and murder in 1994. Eight years in prison left Vincent depressed and unable to begin afresh after being released, and his grudge against the law was only nursed by his mother's belief in his innocence.

But this is where the plot thickens. Vincent's parents are both morticians, and his brother is a taxidermist. In Todd's words, they were a family "obsessed with death." Instead of helping Vincent move on and make amends, his mother, Mary (Lee Garlington), comes up with an insidious plan in which Vincent's father and brother became hesitant participants. First, they fake Vincent's death. Then, they begin killing people whom they think wronged him.

Things get worse when Ducky is abducted

The tension in the episode goes up a notch when a fourth dismembered body belonging to the lead detective on Vincent's case is delivered to Ducky's house in a barrel. Ducky realizes that he will be Vincent's final target since he himself testified against him back in 1994. Worried for Ducky, Gibbs assigns him around-the-clock security, but that doesn't prevent his abduction.

As the team races to find him, Ducky is shown tied to the mortician's table as Mary and Vincent begin draining his blood. Ducky is saved in time, but the team isn't able to stop Vincent, who refuses to return to prison, from killing himself.

"The Meat Puzzle" centers around a remorseless mother-son duo whose twisted use of their skills and sadistic treatment of their victim's bodies makes them stand apart from any other criminals in the season. The gruesome nature of their crimes is even more terrifying because they believe what they are doing is right. Add to that the danger they pose to the life of a beloved NCIS team member, and it makes the Hanlans a mighty villain of Season 2 despite their single-episode arc.