NCIS s02e13 Episode Script

The Meat Puzzle

Mr.
Palmer.
Mr.
Palmer.
Yes, Doctor.
As a serious and dedicated student of anatomy you are a serious and dedicated student of anatomy, are you not? Well, then, Mr.
Palmer, are you up to the task of identifying the reconstructive blunder that has been foisted upon our deceased? Would you call that a thumb? I would call that a toe.
Why then, perchance, did you place it with the other digits from his right hand? Because that's where it belongs.
If you look at the scar line, it matches perfectly.
Plus, his right foot had a cleanly-amputated big toe.
This guy lost his thumb in an accident or something and had a surgery to replace it with the big toe.
My God.
I think I know who this is.
Mm, I love Filomena's ice cream.
Filomena's in Georgetown? My standard first date place.
I went there on a first date Saturday night.
Yeah? After dinner, I like to stroll the lucky lady down Wisconsin to this pretentious art gallery called Impressions.
Boy, they really eat it up.
That's where we went after dinner.
Really? You've been following me.
Me follow you on a Saturday night? Not that desperate, Kate.
I don't believe you.
Well, on my mother's life I was not following you.
Your mother's dead.
I didn't follow her, boss.
I do know her boyfriend, Steve Adler.
He's not my boyfriend! I don't believe this.
You tell her about your fraternity brother yet? I was just getting to the good part there, McGee.
Steve Adler is your fraternity brother?! I'd show you the secret handshake, but then I'd have to kill you.
He told you about our date?! Well, not the intimate details.
Until I asked him.
Then he had to.
Goes with the oath.
Gibbs! DiNozzo! Jethro, I need you in Autopsy.
What he had was a great toe transplantation, an incredibly arduous surgical procedure.
Nerves smaller than a human hair are connected using microscopic sutures.
They sewed his toe to his hand.
Exactly.
In a catastrophic injury when the thumb is lost, the patient's hallux, or big toe, is removed and attached to the hand.
The opposable thumb is one of the most important milestones in human evolution.
It's what makes us us.
Our ability to make tools, a defining element which separates us from animals, comes directly from this dexterity.
Drawn-out digressions is a privilege earned, Mr.
Palmer.
Sorry, Doctor.
If I'm right, the victim's name is Michael Grant.
He was a Baltimore District Attorney.
Ten years ago I testified at several cases he was prosecuting.
What about the other bodies, Duck? Well, at this point I still have no idea who they are.
We need positive IDs, Duck.
The flesh was peeled off the pads of the fingers.
That rules out fingerprints.
The flesh and skin of the face have also been removed.
So photographic identification won't be possible, either.
Dental? Unless we can find a piece of Michael Grant's DNA, the dental records will have to do.
Do it.
Jethro.
A barrel is left at Bethesda in my jurisdiction containing three dissected bodies, one of whom I knew.
This isn't a coincidence.
Is it? No, I didn't think it was.
Possible ID on one of the Meat Puzzle bodies.
DA named Michael Grant.
Hey, cool, after six months, we finally got a lead, huh? Find out if he's been reported missing.
Kate, pull the cases that Ducky testified where Michael Grant was the lead attorney.
On it.
Hey, it looks like we're going to work late.
So do you want me to call Steven and cancel your dinner reservation? This is a nightmare.
If you have a thought about continuing your genetic line, I would suggest a change of position.
Jaws expand and contract, Mr.
Palmer.
Teeth wear, but fillings, crowns, and bridges remain.
Now let's see.
Four fillings on the lower left bicuspids crowns on the upper left molars.
It's him.
Yes, it's he.
Dr.
Mallard, on a more personal note It's not the best time, Mr.
Palmer.
I just want you to know that I am determined to learn from you.
Your point, quickly.
It's important for me to know that you know that even though there are nearly 2,000 pieces of tissue on these tables, that I I Please come to the point, Jimmy! I know the differee between a thumb and a toe.
He called me Jimmy.
Michael Grant disappeared eight months ago hiking the Appalachian Trail.
His body was never found.
Local LEOs could never determine if he got lost or killed.
Definitely killed.
The poor fellow was then dissected into small pieces, put in a barrel of alcohol along with two other bodies and deposited in a dumpster behind Bethesda Naval Hospital.
The dental records matched? I'm afraid so, Jethro.
Ducky? Remember a Judge Roland Davis? Of course.
A man of small stature and enormous ego.
A highly competent jurist, nonetheless.
He was the judge on one of two cases you testified, where Michael Grant was the lead attorney.
The significance of that, Caitlin? He was reported missing seven months ago.
I'll run a dental comparison, the judge with the two other bodies.
Pull up the case, Kate.
Ah, yes, of course.
Who could forget him? Vincent Hanlan.
A medical school washout.
He was studying to become a medical examiner.
He was accused of raping and murdering a Navy Lieutenant who worked at Bethesda Hospital's pathology lab.
I performed the autopsy.
She was a beautiful girl.
I believe her name was Lieutenant Sylvia Sylvia Waksal.
Yes, that's right.
She was working late one night.
Vincent Hanlan stalked her with the intention of raping her.
The speculation was that he was unable to perform the rape.
His impotence so enraged him that he proceeded to beat the poor girl to death.
When it went to trial, Michael Grant was the prosecuting attorney.
Judge Davis presided.
And I testified.
The evidence was all circumstantial.
So when the judge offered the jury second degree murder, they accepted it.
Vincent Hanlan served eight years in the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center.
Kate, start building a profile on Vincent Hanlan.
Tony.
Find the whereabouts of everybody else associated with prosecuting Vincent Hanlan, fast? McGee, I need the last address for Vincent Hanlan.
I want to bring him in.
McGee! Sorry, boss, I already found him Give me the address.
It's 22 Victor Road, Mount Ephraim Cemetery.
He's been dead over a year.
Crown, crown, match, match, filling, filling match.
As we feared The second corpse is Judge Roland Davis.
Any guesses on number three here? Carl Foss.
The jury foreman.
Of course.
Missing since last summer.
His X-rays are on their way over from his family dentist.
Are you okay, Duck? I assume this macabre play is being put on for my benefit.
My testimony was key in putti Vincent Hanlan in prison.
I was able to lift a partial print of Vincent's off a body.
Thinking back, I think I was slightly unnerved by Hanlan during the trial.
How so? He just seemed particularly agitated when I was on the stand.
You were the medical examiner he was never going to be.
I was using his failure against him.
You'll stay at NCIS as much as possible.
Other than that, one of us will be with you at all times.
Jethro, my mother is 96 years old.
She suffers from dementia.
She gets very nervous when I'm not home in the evenings.
Tony, you'll take the first shift.
With his mother.
Uh, doing what, boss? Whatever she wants.
Yes, it would be helpful if you could assist with the dogs.
Oh, gosh, I'm not really an animal person, Ducky.
I just haven't spent a lot of time with them lately.
The yappy creatures are all she has in this life except me, of course.
If Vincent Hanlan's dead, who is getting revenge? His family? Find 'em, Kate.
According to their tax returns, Vincent Hanlan's parents are both morticians.
They've run a funeral home for the last 13 years.
Siblings.
One brother who's a taxidermist.
Mortician, taxidermist, wannabe medical examiner.
Yeah, the death obsession pretty much runs in the family.
Vincent's conviction tore the family apart.
His death pretty much put us under.
Through here.
Mary Get these people out of here.
They're Federal Agents.
I don't care.
They're here about Vincent.
They're not authorized.
Get out! Individuals connected with Vincent's prosecution have been found murdered.
Good.
Good? Vincent was innocent.
He was a good boy.
He was in medical school.
Jack the Ripper went to medical school.
When my son got out of prison, he had nothing left.
No hope.
No promise.
They labeled him a sex-murderer.
What was he doing when he got out of prison? He was drinking.
A lot.
Oh, that's all you have to say about your dead son? That's isn't what I meant.
I was just trying to explain how difficult his life was.
What happened on the night he died? He was driving with his brother and they hit a tree.
Can you think of anyone who would want to get revenge on the men who put your son in jail? Me.
But I don't know anything about it.
So why don't you just get the hell out of here before I call the authorities and have you arrested and maybe you'll go to prison.
Bastards.
Two bridges, ten crowns, seven fillings Not exactly a paragon of oral hygiene, my dear fellow.
Is it Carl Foss? Was there ever any doubt? Well, that's all three: prosecutor, judge and now foreman of the jury.
Are you scared, Dr.
Mallard? Madame Curie, one of the world's most brilliant thinkers, once said, "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.
Yes, I'm scared.
Scared as hell.
Put them away, Jimmy.
They're tired of talking.
They need to rest.
Yes, Doctor.
Yes? I'm Anthony DiNozzo, Mrs.
Mallard.
I work with your son.
He called, said I'd be coming over? You're Italian.
Yes, I am.
You're a gigolo.
Uh, well, I wouldn't exactly You move furniture.
I could.
I have a commode that has no business being here.
It belongs in the lounge.
I've told Donald this.
He never listens.
I understand.
Okay.
If you'll just show me where you want Who are you? Anthony DiNozzo.
Everyone calls me Tony.
That's an Italian name.
Yes, it is.
So if you just show me where You're a gigolo.
If you look down my blouse, I shall disembowel you.
That's funny.
I have a knife in my brassiere.
I'll keep that in mind.
Good.
Who are you again? Couldn't there be another case where these men worked together? I haven't found one.
u're brother's case is the common link.
I would love to have stuffed Vincent.
He would've liked that.
Had a good sense of humor, Vincent did.
But it's against state law.
"Best Mammal" at the regionals last year.
Like anything else, you get obsessed.
Becomes a way of life.
I thought pandas were endangered? Oh, they are.
"Re-creation Category.
" I took two black bears and I bleached one, and then I sewed them together in a panda pattern.
You miss your brother? He's my brother.
You two get along? When he got out of prison, he was depressed.
He couldn't go back to school.
He couldn't get a job.
He started drinking heavily.
You didn't answer my question.
We were close.
And I have no idea who killed the men that put him in jail.
What happened the night he died? Vincent was driving.
He lost control.
We went off the road into the woods.
My head hit the dash, hard.
I stumbled out of the car fell to my knees.
When I got my bearings, I saw the car was on fire.
You feel guilty you didn't pull him out? I was told he died instantly from the impact.
That he never felt the flames.
I think he felt the flames.
Second place, nationals, small animal division.
African civet.
Yeah, Gibbs.
Boss, I've been running down other people involved in the Vincent Hanlan case.
Got something good.
Spit it out, McGee.
The lead detective in the Hanlan case was a Baltimore officer named Marco Cesaretti.
Retired in '96 missed his last rent payment, nobody's seen him in three weeks.
Where do you need this? Mrs.
Mallard? Mrs.
Mallard! Who are you?! And where are you going with my commode? I'm your son's coworker, remember? Tony DiNozzo? The Italian gigolo furniture mover? No! I'm a Federal Agent, ma'am.
That's what they all say.
Will you please go stand over there? Now.
And keep the girls and boys in the other room.
Stay.
Quiet down.
What is it? Delivery.
What kind of delivery? Don't know, sir.
It just says "perishable.
" Hi.
Step back, please.
Step back.
Thank you.
Victim number four, Jethro.
The size of the pieces, the cuts, are all consistent with the bodies of the DA, the judge and the foreman.
The homicide detective completes the team.
You forgetting the Medical Examiner, Jethro, whose testimony put Vincent Hanlan behind bars.
That's you.
Very good, Mr.
Palmer.
He's saving the best for last.
It's not going to happen, Ducky.
Boss You may load it, Mr.
Palmer.
Right, uh, should I, uh, roll it? Well, one could do that, but I think it might be easier if you used the hand trolley.
Oh, oh, of course.
I was so distracted by its contents, I didn't notice it.
Here, let me help you with this.
The guy works for an independent delivery service downtown.
Picked up the barrel from a new client on 27th Street.
That's the order.
"Universal Scrap Metal.
" The owner called it in.
Yeah, the, uh, print's kind of small.
Even I had trouble reading Print's fine, McGee.
Jeffrey Jeffrey Winston.
Uh, actually, it's Jeffrey Wilson.
But you're very close, boss.
You sure it's Wilson? Gibbs is right.
Whoever he is, he's not going to get you.
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.
And what's that, Ducky? My saying it to her.
All loaded, Doctor.
You stick to him like Glue.
an ex-wife after an alimony check.
Gibbs, what did Ducky look like when he was younger? Ilya Kuryakin.
The sweet smell of freedom.
Mrs.
Mallard? Sleeping.
Her usual afternoon fistful of Wild Turkey.
Her last words to me were either, "I'm going to slit your throat" or "kiss your moat.
" I couldn't tell 'cause she was slurring.
That's good work, Tony.
Thank you, boss.
So who's taking over for me now? Kate's on protection detail with Ducky.
Yeah? McGee's going with me to interview the guy who delivered the barrel.
Yeah.
I guess that leaves you.
Me?! Boss, I just spent all day playing furniture mover for this slightly demented old lady and her pack of yapping hounds! They're not hounds, DiNozzo.
They're Corgis.
No, boss! No, boss! I'm on the verge, man! McGee? Boss? I'm going to go postal! I'm not kidding! I'm this close! God! Here's Tony.
Come on.
Here you go, guys.
Whoa Come on.
Who's got treats? In the house.
In the house.
I got treats.
Good boy, Tyson.
You going to badge me? That's what they say on TV.
NCIS.
Naval Criminal Investigative I know what it stands for.
Wasn't always in the junk business.
USS Forestal.
Machinist's Mate First Class.
Are you Jeffrey Wilson? It's about that barrel, ain't? I knew that deal was too good.
Tell us about that.
While ago, this dude comes in.
He buys a few of those.
Where do you get 'em? Back of plants, factories.
They don't want 'em.
I clean 'em up, resell 'em.
Okay.
Go on.
Well, the dude brings one of 'em back, and it's got some kind of liquid in it, 'cause I can hear it sloshing around, so at first, I thought it might be some stuff to make meth.
He offers me 200 bucks to messenger it someplace in Reston.
Probably didn't give his real name.
No name, no address.
Didn't tell me what was in it, and I didn't ask.
Need you to come to the Navy Yard, sit down and describe him to a sketch artist.
Won't do no good.
Dude always wore a hooded sweatshirt and shades.
He could've been Elvis.
What was in that barrel anywhere? A meat puzzle.
Gibbs! You scared me.
Come on, Abs, you sleep in a casket dressed in a funeral gown.
I don't always wear the gown.
Too much information.
What do we got here? Straight to the point.
That's our Gibbs.
Okay, bottom line: the sicko that's killing everyone that sent Vincent Hanlan to jail is definitely not Vincent Hanlan.
Before Ducky went to see his mum, he checked the dental x-rays with those from the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center.
Vincent Hanlan is in the casket.
Every last inch of what is probably very rotting flesh at this point.
What about a DNA test? Maryland incinerates all biological evidence three years after sentencing.
Okay, find an earlier X-ray before he went to prison.
Before? Before.
Mother, I'm home! Your dogs Oh, not just dogs, Kate Welsh Corgis.
Yeah.
In Wales, the Corgi was the protector of the farmer.
Now they protect my mother.
That's Tyson.
Because he thinks he's a boxer? No, because he bites.
The bedrooms are upstairs.
of course.
Mine's there.
Uh, uh, you could use the guest room.
I won't be sleeping, Ducky.
Ah, of course.
Where's your mother's room? Oh, she sleeps down here now.
Must be difficult for her to get up the stairs at her age.
Has nothing to do with stairs, Caitlin.
Her snoring is deafening.
She kept me awake all night.
She'll keep you awake, too.
Hello.
There you are, Contessa.
When you're clean, you're beautiful.
Oh, Tony, you've finally found your true calling.
Mother, may I present Caitlin.
She works with Tony and me.
Mother! We talked about this.
Caitlin is here protect us.
Show me your knickers.
Um ma'am? Your underwear, missy.
One can always tell a woman's intention from her panties.
That's always been my philosophy.
I do apologize.
Come along, Mother.
Time to get dinner ready.
Haven't I had dinner? No, you haven't.
Well, use butter tonight.
You always use ban fat.
I use canola oil.
I can tell that, too.
Sometimes, older people can make so much sense.
You're relieved, Tony.
Oh, God! Okay.
This is Contessa.
She likes it rough.
Good night, Tony.
Yeah, look at the time.
I got to meet Steven for a beer.
Hate to be late.
So much to catch up on.
Vincent Hanlan's dental x-rays just arrived from medical school.
McGee, you're with me.
Come on.
These x-rays were taken at Vincent Hanlan's autopsy, and these were 11 years ago when in medical school.
Now, if you look closely, you can see a perceptible difference due to molar wear, which is highly unusual given the short span of years, at least in modern man.
Neolithic man, who used to gnaw a lot of bones, you know, could incur this kind of Are you telling me these X-rays match? I'm-I'm afraid so.
The fillings in the upper third molar and second bicuspid are identical, as are the shape of the teeth.
He gnaws on bones like a caveman? I can't explain that.
Well, he grinds his teeth, boss.
Why, I did it as a kid in my sleep.
I had to wear a special retainer at night.
You still should.
I want Vincent Hanlan's body exhumed.
Why? We I'm sorry.
I - I didn't mean to say that, sir.
It just it just spewed out.
Abby, call Mount Ephraim Cemetery.
McGee, you're with me.
You dig up that body! Love to! He's supposed to get a judge's authorization.
He didn't even give us a reason why.
Well, obviously, Gibbs doesn't think that Hanlan is dead.
He is dead.
Dental x-rays don't lie.
Well, either Gibbs is wrong, or Hanlan is one of the dead that still walks at night.
Okay, well, then Gibbs is wrong.
Isn't he? Mrs.
Mallard? Mrs.
Mallard.
Sneaking off after having your fun just as I knew you would.
No, it's not like that, Mrs.
Mallard.
Now, please, I need you to take your dog and go back inside.
Well, that's not my dog.
Of course it's yours.
Now, please, Mrs.
Mallard I've never seen that dog before in my life.
I only have Corgis.
Back inside, now! Ducky?! Ducky! Ducky! Gibbs, I'm sorry.
It's my fault.
Two agents.
Excuse me? Two protectees.
I should've had two agents.
You were as responsible for the mother as you were for Ducky.
Boss, Abby says the tire tracks from the van were made from Uniroyal Laredos.
They're standard on Chevy Express cargo vans.
Both the funeral home and the taxidermy business own Chevrolet Express cargo vans.
That's good enough for a search authorizations.
On it.
Tony, you and Kate take the turkey-stuffing brother.
McGee, come on.
You're with me.
You have no right to invade my home and my business.
Actually, that search warrant says we do, ma'am.
Don't "ma'am" me, you simpering wimp.
No, ma'am.
Unlock this door.
Ma'am, if you impede our search in any way, you will be charged with obstruction.
That's not the way to do this.
I have the right to break down that door and anything in my way.
Are you satisfied? Nope.
McGee, take a scraping from inside.
One son beats a young woman to death, the other one plays with dead animals.
I wonder where they get that? From their mother.
Same teeth.
Vincent Hanlan's corpse matches his autopsy X-rays.
Teeth don't lie, Jimmy.
What? Do you think you could get a blood type from the nerve tissue in this tooth? If I can rehydrate it.
What are you thinking? I am thinking something crazy, Abby.
Crazy is good.
It's heavier.
Definitely something in this one.
Mr.
Goldberg.
He's being buried in the morning.
Check underneath Mr.
Goldberg.
There's nothing.
I'll inform the Goldbergs their grandfather was frisked by NCIS in his coffin.
They're litigators.
Boss, van is on the way to the garage for forensics.
What next? Why don't you just admit that you made a mistake and get the hell out of here? Gibbs.
No joy, boss.
We looked under every furry creature and inside a couple.
Ducky's not here.
I knew you'd find something, DiNozzo.
That's good work, Tony.
You bring him in for interrogation.
Did you hear what I said, boss? Yeah.
Yeah, I heard you.
Let's go, McGee.
What'd they find? Jonathan called.
They're searching his shop, too.
What do they think? He stuffed their precious doctor? Mary, we should do something to prevent Fred, Fred, shh, shh, shh.
Don't start thinking now.
You're far too old for that.
I already told you.
Tell me again.
We crashed into a tree.
Vincent was driving? Yes.
You jumped out of the car.
That's right.
You didn't even attempt to help your brother? Car was on fire.
I was in a daze.
But you didn't even try.
It was too hot! There was no way I could get to him.
What did your mother think about that? I wouldn't know.
We don't talk.
We haven't spoken since that night.
Yeah? Why is that? He was her favorite.
She blames you for his death.
If my friend dies, I'll blame you, too.
Gibbs, uh, Jimmy Palmer and Abby need to see you.
I pulled one of Vincent Hanlan's teeth and gave it to Abby.
We did a blood analysis of the nerve tissue and compared it to the blood type of the tissue from the corpse.
They didn't match.
These are Vincent Hanlan's teeth, but they were put into this jaw.
This body is not Vincent Hanlan's.
I did a gas chromatograph and I found traces of cyanoacrylate on the bottom of the In a language I speak, Abby.
There is Super Glue on the root of the tooth.
Just a drop.
It would never show up on an X-ray.
So the teeth were pulled from Vincent's mouth? One by one.
And then they were glued back into this jaw.
Homo Sapien.
Reconstruction Category.
Someone took your brother's teeth and put them in that skull.
It wasn't me.
It was them.
It was always them.
Your mother and Vincent? Vincent was drunk the night he slammed into that tree.
We got out just before it burst into flames.
When we got home, Mother had a car-crash body laid out on the embalming table.
Closed-casket job.
She came up with the idea of giving Vincent a new life.
He's got to be telling the truth.
Why? Who would make that up? After she extracted Vincent's teeth and put them in the car-crash body, she burnt the corpse beyond recognition.
Where's Vincent? With Mother.
He's always with Mother.
We already searched the funeral home.
Look harder.
Is Dr.
Mallard there? Probably.
They don't keep you informed? They have lots of secrets.
Terrible secrets with each other.
You call your mother, Jonathan.
You tell her we've released you.
You tell her that everything is okay now.
That we have run into a dead end.
You convince her, Jonathan.
If you don't, I will tear every tooth out of your skull.
I got a light.
Let's go.
Wait.
For what? Let them get Ducky out of wherever they've been hiding him.
Now? Not yet.
Okay, get into positions.
It'll only take four minutes to drain your blood.
Versus eight years in the same cell He's getting off easy, angel.
Where are they?! Turn around.
Hands out.
He's clean.
Get back! Move back.
Or you're dead.
Tony.
My hands.
Release my hands! Get me something to stop the bleeding! Hands in the air! I can't go back there.
Just do what they say, Vincent.
Turn around, face the wall.
Just do it.
I love you, Mother, but I can't do this again.
No! No! My God, no! They killed my son! Come on.
Let's go.
They killed You're the one that got off easy, my boy.
What kept you? The mother finally gave a statement? Yeah.
Short one two words.
So, you seeing my frat bro tonight? As a matter of fact, I am.
Steven feels bad.
Said he'd like to make it up to me.
How's he gonna do that? By telling me things about you.
Never gonna happen.
The Fraternal Oath is sacred.
Some things are even more sacred, Tony.