Ravenous is the seventeenth episode in NCIS Season 3 as well as the sixty-third episode of the entire NCIS series.
NCIS is called in after a group of teenagers discover the half-eaten body of a Navy Petty Officer in a park but things take a turn when Ducky reveals that the victim died after being stabbed and that he was already before the bear started eating him. The team soon discover that the victim was with a woman who has also disappeared but the case soon descends into a nightmare when further investigation reveals that numerous deaths in the park which were all ruled accidental or natural might not be those after all which has Gibbs fearing the worst: a serial killer is on the loose in the park and they're using the deaths to cover up a much worse crime: murder.
In Shenandoah National Park, Park Ranger Bobbi Hendricks is leading a group of young male teenagers through a forest.
One teenager, Jerry (Ravenous) voices his hope that they'll be at their destination within the next five minutes but Hendricks remarks that they've still got five miles to go much to the group's dismay.
Hendricks then calls the group over when she discovers a pile of fresh bear crap in the grass and Jerry volunteers to do the poking.
Hendricks soon gives him a stick and then tells the others what the bears have been eating as Jerry begins using the stick to dig into the bear scat.
Hendricks asks Jerry what the bear's been eating with Jerry telling her that it may have been people.
Sure enough, dangling from the stick is a pair of dog tags.
It then cuts to Hendricks who looks stunned at the discovery as the dog tags dangle in front of her.
- When Ziva gives Abby black roses, she says, "Yom Huledet Same'ach" which means "Happy Birthday" in Hebrew.
- Just before Abby opens Gibbs's birthday present when they are looking at evidence, Abby is holding a bag with gloves on. Then when Gibbs turns to leave, we see her hands without glove. When they are back to talking, we briefly see Abby's hand and she has the gloves back on in seconds. Then she puts her hands together with no gloves. Then suddenly, she puts finger up with gloves on and they stay on. There is no way she could change them in that amount of time.
- Todd Allen who plays Park Ranger/serial killer James Landis played the brother of Mark Harmon's character on the medical drama, "Chicago Hope."
- The song playing the first time Ziva, Tony, and McGee enter JackRabbit Slims is "Your Man" by Josh Turner while the song playing in Abby's lab after she calls Gibbs to her lab and ends up getting her present is "Evil Night Together" by Jill Tracy.
- When the team studies the list of people deceased in the Park, they state that only eight people died over the last seven years in Shenandoah Park, only from natural or accidental causes. This contradicts Season 2's fifteenth episode Caught on Tape in which a Marine Sergeant, William Moore, is assassinated in the Park.
- The episode appears to be based on the case of serial killer Gary Michael Hilton, as well as possibly Todd Alan Reed.
- Season Three Cast
|Leroy Jethro Gibbs||Mark Harmon||An NCIS Special Agent in charge of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Anthony DiNozzo Junior||Michael Weatherly||The Senior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team and also the second-in-command.|
|Abigail Sciuto||Pauley Perette||A Goth who is also the Chief Forensic Scientist and who also works for the NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Timothy McGee||Sean Murray (actor)||An NCIS Special Agent previously assigned to the Norfolk Naval Base who is now the Junior Agent of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.|
|Jennifer Shepard||Lauren Holly||The Director of NCIS who was also Gibbs's former girlfriend and partner. Despite being credited, Holly does not appear in this episode.|
|Ziva David||Cote de Pablo||The Mossad Liaison Officer to NCIS.|
|Donald Mallard||David McCallum||NCIS's Chief Medical Examiner.|
|James Palmer||Brian Dietzen||Ducky's assistant.|
|James Landis||Todd Allen||A Park Ranger and also the serial killer.|
|Bobbi Hendricks||Michelle Harrison||A Park Ranger.|
|Wesley Rowan||Chris Payne Gilbert||General manager and owner of Jackrabbit Slims, a national store in Shenandoah National Park.|
|Jason Edom||Scott Anthony Leet||A man originally thought to be the killer but who is later found innocent.|
|Jerry (Ravenous)||Alex Frost||A teenager who finds Reilly's dog tags in some bear poo.|
|Benjamin Reilly||Tony Besson||The main murder victim. Uncredited role.|
|Park Ranger (Ravenous)||Phillip Whiteman||A man who appears in the episode. Uncredited role.|