‘NCIS’: Was This Season 4 Episode the Most Brutal of the Series’ History?

NCIS, like every other police procedural ever made, follows a very simple formula: brave heroes vs. despicable villains. And, despite adversity (every good hero’s story requires a trial or two), the heroes triumph the vast majority of the time.

Clearly, procedurals do not have a monopoly on this format. It can be found in every genre of television and film. The distinction is in how it is presented.

Almost every Disney film, for example, follows the same basic plot, but it’s presented in a brightly colored, lighthearted manner. The hero may face a three-headed monster or be poisoned by an apple, but nothing too frightening happens before they’re back on top.

Despite following a similar loose outline, police procedurals such as NCIS aren’t as family-friendly. Of course, nothing made for television will ever be as gruesome as an R-rated horror film. However, procedurals can (and frequently do) become extremely dark.

They are, after all, a dramatization of the daily lives of detectives whose jobs frequently require them to deal with the worst that humanity has to offer.

As a result, the majority of episodes feature brutal murd3rs and other heinous cr1mes. When you watch NCIS, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, or any procedural drama, you’re bound to see a (fake) d3ad body or two.

However, every now and then, an episode is so grisly, so unsettling, that even the most desensitized procedural fans are taken aback. For NCIS fans, a Season 4 episode stands out as the most sh0cking of the series.
The Blo0diest ‘NCIS’ Episode of All Time

NCIS fans thought they had a good understanding of what the series had to offer after watching dozens of episodes. Agents Gibbs, DiNozzo, David, and McGee pursued some truly heinous cr1minals, but the show remained relatively lighthearted. That is, until the Season 4 episode “Skeletons.”

Unlike those that came before and after it, “Skeletons” delves deep into the macabre, keeping viewers transfixed by the sheer brutality of its scenes from beginning to end. And it doesn’t waste any time in letting viewers know what’s coming.

A decomposing corpse expl0des inside a mausoleum in the first moments of the episode, covering two cemetery workers in human remains. The NCIS team is then led down a disturbing rabbit hole in search of a serial k1ller who dissects their v1ctims after each k1lling.

The episode then becomes even more startling. The series reveals in the final moments that the perpetrator is actually two people. In fact, a couple. Following the murd3r of her v1ctim, the woman chops them up inside a van.

“Skeletons,” like most NCIS episodes, concludes with the cr1minals apprehended. The increasingly horrific twists and turns along the way make it the most bleak of the series.

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