Archives for the month of: September, 2011

Whilst the main storyline in this episode is fairly standard in several ways, the B-storyline (the NICK storyline) is almost up there with the cannibal nutritionist episode in the batshit crazy stakes. It also features a truly cringeworthy moment, quite a rarity in CSI and almost a neverity (?!!) for me where Nicko McStokes is involved. SAD (BUT, AWESOME) TIMES INDEED.

Before I get into the plot of the episode, however, let me reassure you all that the deeply unsettling wardrobe shenanigans that Greg put us through in the previous episode (viz, wearing a T-shirt) are a thing of the past. PHEW.

Greg Sanders

Every inch the ladies' man

Greg Sanders bad shirt

The shirt exposed in its full, lab coat-less glory

Once you have finished appreciating Greggo’s unique sartorial choices, you may notice in that second picture that Sara’s hair is doing what I like to call ‘a Hermione’.

Hermione Granger

Ms Granger?

Sara Sidle bad hair day

Ms Granger!

In fact, Sara and Hermione have lots in common: i.e. their concern for less powerful creatures (gorillas/house elves), their total swottiness and occasional (related) annoyingness, and best of all their fundamental badassity.

Patented Petersen Pout

Grissom, sadly, bears absolutely no resemblance to Ron

Pinkface Sheriff

The Sheriff is ginger, at least, but that's all he got

As per usual, the sheriff’s appearance bodes ill for Grissom (he just doesn’t deal well with authority, does he? maybe not totally dissimilar to Ron after all). There’s been a murder on a building site

Grissom hard hat

Hard hats all round!

but not only is the project a new ‘jailhouse’ (in Brass’s terminology, though it just makes me think of Elvis), which the sheriff is itching to get finished; the guy in charge of operations (and Grissom’s initial suspect) is one of the sheriff’s closest friends. In fact, he was best man at his wedding.

Grissom and Brass

Gee thanks Brass for your timely warning/WORDS OF UNHELPFUL DOOM

Grissom and Warwick contemplate space travel as a means of dealing with the situation

Weird space chapel of rest

I'm joking of course this is just an insanely futuristic looking funeral home

but luckily, just as it’s looking like Grissom will get fired (which hasn’t happened for, ooh, at least 2 episodes), this handy Muppet-face man interposes himself

Muppet Guy

Just me that thinks he's muppety? I suspect not

and turns out to be GUILTY LIKE A MASSIVE GREAT LADLE so Grissom doesn’t have to arrest the boss’s friend after all.

Grissom does his nails

Lucky for some!

In fact, he not only has time to do his nails during the interrogation session (above) but also to indulge his baser urges:

Grissom (to Doc Robbins): Tell me about his testicles.

Grissom (to Sara): Can I have your pickle?…

Grissom pickle

... Ahhh, that's a nice one"

The pickle thing is not only part of a bonanza of CSI-eating moments (you know I love them so forgive this quick tour:)

Sara Sidle sandwich

Egg salad sandwich for Sara...

Nick Stokes hot dog

... hot dogs for Catherine and Nick...

Doc Robbins pie

... and what looks like some kind of reheated crumble for Doc Robbins (it's the remains of his anniversary dinner, dontcha know).

Grissom looking in the fridge

NOTHING FOR GRISSOM, THOUGH! (flashbacks to his binge-eating childhood, again?!)

… it’s also the sequel to a weird and (frankly) unconvincing experiment, whereby Grissom demonstrates that a guy’s blood is electrically conductive because of its unusually high levels of iron.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Love a haemoglobin based power source"

Wot. EVEN I who am far from being a scientist and haven’t studied biology for almost 10 years know that blood is always electrically conductive! it is basically made of water AND WE ALL KNOW YOU SHOULDN’T DROP A TOASTER IN YOUR BATH! Bad science, Grissom… verrrry bad indeed.

Nick also has a bad science/Southern doofus moment during the identification of an angora blanket:

Greg: Cheese, milk, sweaters. What do these things have in common?
Catherine: Goat cheese… goat milk…
Nick: Goat… sweaters?

Goat in a sweater

Cut to what's happening inside Nick's brain

Nick Stokes thinking

All this confusion would be avoided if Americans would just use a possessive construction like everybody else

However, the far and away the worst science this episode (if you can even call it science) is practised by this lady, not an evil nutritionist but an evil THERAPIST (and also, Mary Alice from Desperate Housewives! which is weird because the guy who played her husband on DH was in a previous episode).

Creepy Doctor

In CSI, nothing is more evil than alternative medicine

Sinister therapist

Notwithstanding her existing advantage, this lady likes to up her sinister quotient by dressing all in white

Essentially, some weird business with an ‘angora birth canal’

Nick Stokes 'bitch please'perpetrated by therapist lady and this (subsequently regretful) mother

Dead boy's mum

That's either guilt, grief, or SHEER UNBRIDLED LUST in her eyes. And given that it's Nicky Stokes who she's looking at, I think we all know where to place our bets.

lead to the rather unfortunate death of a 14 year old boy. Catherine is empathetic…

Catherine Willows empathetic tears

I weep for you! and for all womankind!

… Nick isn’t.

Nick Stokes angry

YOU BASTARD

In fact he goes a bit psycho with rage (especially when he thinks that the therapist is in fact a rapist) and it’s when Catherine gives him a talking-to about this that the moment I find so uncomfortable occurs. Nick randomly reveals that a babysitter subjected him to an unspecified sexual assault when he was nine.

Catherine Willows guilty

NOW you feel pretty awful, huh Catherine?

HORRENDOUS. I have been trying to work out why this bothers me so much, when I’m fine with Nick getting stalked, kidnapped, held up at gunpoint etc, and even with Sara’s much more lurid story about her own background. It’s not the acting: Marg Helgenberger and George Eads do it really beautifully (so well that it made me reconsider the way in which I sometimes dismiss the level of acting ability necessary for CSI)

Nick Stokes crying

Of course, George Eads does everything beautifully

… but the quality of the acting actually makes it worse, as you find yourself moved by what I think is actually a fairly cheap and ill-thought-through inclusion in the service of introducing some random emotion. It feels SO gratuitous. Unlike Sara’s horrible history, which you do feel influencing her in a lot of her actions and decisions, I don’t feel like this incident has much to do with Nick’s behaviour. OK so he gets super involved in cases involving child abuse, but most of the CSIs do; most people would. And this babysitter thing is Never Mentioned Again. It’s just a kind of plot device hauled in to add additional drama to an already decent episode; which feels to me like a bit of an insult to those people who did have to deal with this kind of thing in their childhood and who are genuinely dealing with the consequences every day. BAD WORK CSI WRITERS (and that’s not something I am often called upon to say!).

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So let’s get the storyline stuff out of the way before we focus on the CSI-related nitty gritty that I know we’re all really here for. In this week’s episode, Not Reese Witherspoon

Not Reese Witherspoon

Budget? Moi?

goes missing from her college dorm room right as she is about to move out; much to the anxiety of her parents, who are soon bothering Grissom all up in his grill.

Importunate Parents

Botherbotherbotherbother

As usual, he doesn’t do much to help himself.

Dad: Dr Grissom, what are you doing to find my daughter?
Griss: I’m thinking.

Patented Petersen Pout

It's what he does best!

Luckily there are an array of suspects for him to ponder, all of them types we have already come to know and instinctively distrust. There’s the smug frat boy

Frat boy

Albeit, this one is kind of cute I think

the arrogant sports player

Listen Kevin

Kevin, presenting his crotch

my personal favourite, and one we haven’t seen for a while round these parts, the Speccy White Guy

Speccy White Guy

Bonus SWG points for being a philosophy professor

and finally, a type whom we encountered only last week, the betrayed and angry wife.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP: adultery disapprovalface (n.b. Grissom is not the angry wife, his childbearing hips notwithstanding)

Angry wife

This lady is, however. She also reminds me of someone, but I can't think who - answers on a postcard pls

Whodunnit? I CANNOT SAY but have a little wee think about the episode title and see where that gets you.

Meanwhile in CSI personal business, the team are modelling a variety of vintage looks which span the decades from 50s

Nick Stokes retro hair

I love this hairstyle it is so all-American hero

to 70s

Catherine Willows crime fighter

Did someone say 'Charlie's Angels', Catherine?

to 80s

Nick Stokes bad t shirt

Nick has come as a 1980s Italian footballer

Sara Sidle orange mask

Meanwhile Sara is starring in an 80s music video (the backing music to this sequence is what makes it, sadly I am yet to master the art of video capture)

to 90s

Grissom Brass hands

TALK TO THE HAND

to noughties

Grissom old mobile phone

Look at the aerial on that

to A SPACE AGE FUTURE.

Catherine Willows garbage chute

One where everybody lives in toilet roll tubes...

Catherine Willows hard hat

... and we all wear high tech (??!) crash helmets AT ALL TIMES,

Ahem. Meanwhile in hottie lust news, ARCHIE IS HERE!!! yeaaaaaah

Archie CSI

Archie had the 'hot Asian minor character' market wrapped up while Mike Chang was BUT A TWINKLE IN HIS MOTHER'S (/Ryan Murphy's) EYE

and Nick is displaying arms of such well-toned beauty that they demand some popular appreciation.

Nick Stokes arms

Is it just me that loves this?

Grissom happy

No! Grissom understands how I feel (he's probably thinking about rollercoasters tho)

Finally, in a devastating turn of events that I think is what fundamentally realises the theme of the episode’s title…

Greg Sanders T-shirt

GREGGO IS WEARING A T-SHIRT!!!!!!

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Let's never speak of this again."

Well I’m pretty thrilled because the title of this episode is a reference to a 19th century body-snatching scandal. As a student of Victorian literature I am ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT for ways in which I can work CSI into my academic life so this is just MORE WEAPONRY in my METAPHORICAL ARSENAL. Yeahhhhh.

Grissom: Remember Burke and Hare? The two nineteenth century Scottish bodysnatchers, who made a living intoxicating innocent victims and suffocating them? Made a living selling their cadavers to teaching hospitals? Got away with it, too, until a medical student discovered his fiancee on a slab.

Grissom perky

Fiancee-on-a-slabface

However: Grissom’s version of the story is (surprise surprise) not quite accurate; the stuff about the fiancee on a slab is totally made up (but extremely reminiscent of my PhD topic text, The Mysteries of London) and he leaves out the fact that Burke and Hare weren’t just selling the bodies to teaching hospitals, they were working directly for a particular doctor with an interest in anatomy. I would say CSI missed a trick with this one in fact as there’s room for some interesting debate about the relationship between crime and science and about the scientific detachment associated with this kind of anatomy and that often attributed to Grissom… but I can feel this getting incredibly long-winded so I’m going to leave that there. FOR NOW.

Nick Stokes puppet face

Here's Nick doing a freaky face. If that hasn't reclaimed your attention then I don't know what will

SO. Outside my happy world of nineteenth century hangups, what’s going down in Las Vegas?

Tony Braun

Tony Braun, that's what

Yes, it’s Tony Braun, well-known heroin addict and financial JEANIUS, son of casino mogul (prick up your ears, folks, this one’s a keeper) Sam Braun, one-time lover of Momma Willows and avuncular buddy to Catherine.

Sam Braun

A face that only a mother (specifically, Catherine's mother) could love

Tony’s dead alright, but whodunnit? The glamorous (money-hungry) girlfriend?

Sexy swab

Sexy swabbing: this is definitely a CSI trope. Remember how Nick first met Kristy right back in the pilot...??!

The neglected little brother? (he has the probable best line of the episode, during this exchange with Grissom:

Grissom: Would you mind if I took a photograph for my bite collection?
Walt Braun: Whatever rubs your Buddha…)

Walt Braun

LANGUAGE IS MY TOOL

The slightly dodgy ‘old friend’ who leads the CSIs to a bunker full of silver in the middle of the desert?

Desert bunker

Smells guilty in here alright

Dodgy pal

Gosh I don't even know what you mean I AM SO LEGIT IT HURTS

Ritton angry wife

... although maybe I did a little swabbing of my own (hence the angry wife)

Well obviously it all gets BLOWN OPEN by the CSIs during the course of the episode… but that’s not what I’m here to talk about! No way! I’m more interested in Coffeegate, Nick being every animal’s best friend, and Warrick pissing off lovely Mandy the fingerprint technician.

So, in the order that I gave them to you then: Coffeegate, as it unfolds.

Grissom grimace

This coffee tastes like sweaty balls (I'm paraphrasing here)

Greg Sanders running

*Chariots of Fire*

Greg Sanders coffee

DO NOT DRINK MY LUXURY COFFEE, MADE FROM THE EYELASHES OF A THOUSAND VIRGINS

Grissom coffee

Great coffee, Greggo, thanks so much

A shocking abuse of power, as I think we’ll all agree. (Meanwhile, let’s have a moment of appreciation not only for Greg’s shirt, but for his chavtastic hairstyle.)

Greg Sanders ghetto hair

Why yes I do have wavy lines shaved across the side of my head

MEANWHILE in hotass Stokes news, Nick has made friends with Tony Braun’s doggies.

Nick Stokes dogs

Yes, eagle-eyed viewers, those ARE new glasses but for some crazy reason the director of this episode decided not to use any close up shots of them. I know, WTF, we get anatomical detail of a dead guy's nose but NOTHING of Nick's hot new frames. Rubbish.

Following on from his cuddle with a cat in $35K O.B.O., I would take this as CONCLUSIVE PROOF that he is loved by all who encounter him, whatever their species, gender or sexual orientation.

Nick Stokes cute

And with those PUPPY DOG eyes (arf arf) I can well understand it

Warrick, on the other hand, is doing his level best not to be loved by Mandy the fingerprinter, who I slightly love.

Warrick: Well, that’s easy for you to say. All you do is scan prints all day and hit ‘enter’.

Mandy fingerprints

I agree, he definitely needs a smackdown

Come on Warrick, have some respect why dontcha!

Final bit of news (apart from this random picture of the CSIs eating)

CSI meal

I don't know why I always feel compelled to screencap this kind of activity, it exerts a weird fascination

is a line from Brass, with accompanying explanatory hand gestures which only serve to alert the viewer (i.e., me) to the fact that he’s straining to avoid the obvious (hilarious) mishearing.

Brass: Based on your pupes I could take you in right now.

Jim Brass

Based on your WHAT NOW?

Patented Petersen Pout

First PPP of the season sez... "I didn't know we were running that kind of a joint"

Hello fans, after a summer break (if it works for CSI, it works for me) I am back on board and planning more regular updates: every Tuesday, to be precise. Let’s see how it goes.

In other news, let’s run through the First Seasonal C.S.I. Love You AWARDORAMA.

Best Episode
Episode 7: Blood Drops. Nick’s hunky torso almost swung it for Boom, but I restrained myself like the noble and impartial judge I am.

Dakota Fanning (tiny)

Well done tiny Dakota Fanning... your emotive acting and elfin face have triumphed again

Craziest Episode (with the smallest basis in scientific fact)
Obviously, Justice is Served.

Gillian McKeith

Did someone say 'smallest basis in scientific fact'?

Best Line
Props to the ‘warm a damn barn’ lady all the way from the pilot! Her moment in the sun was brief, but beautiful.

Fingerprint lady

I love this line SO HARD

Best ‘Nick in Danger’ moment
The tears make this ALL TOO EASY.

Nick cries

Thanks, gun-brandishing psycho lady!

Best Scientist
Has to be Terri (Grissom would never turn away a scientist of her talent).

Terri

She knows it

Worst Scientist
I wanted to give it to Grissom for the ‘cows don’t drink milk’ thing… but in fact the resident psychologist dude is about 5 billion times worse. Congratulations!

Psychiatrist

Truly sir, but you know nothing

Best Outfit
Sara’s alien princess extravaganza from Justice is Served.

Sara Sidle Sci Fi Princess

GETTING SO REGAL ON YO ASS

Worst Outfit (Greg)
This is a toughie, for obvious reasons, but I’ve gone for the mottled orange shirt. It’s unforgivable.

Greg Sanders bad shirt

U.G.L.Y... shirt ain't got no alibi

Worst Outfit (anybody else)
Nick’s Chandler look is pretty bad but Catherine’s hideous brown shirt is worserer.

Catherine Willows bad shirt

Never let me see you like this again, Catherine

Most egregious case of stereotyping
It’s a toss-up (er) between these two

Bad ear piercings

Horrendous ear piercings?

Hunter S Baumgartner

or horrendous T-shirt?

All-round most bodacious feminist icon
Sara has her moments but I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s Catherine ‘never knowingly second banana’ Willows.

Catherine Willows badass

Catherine, I actually love you

… and finally…

Total Petersen Pouts recorded
38

PPP compilation

A moving treat for my loyal readers

Well that’s a wrap for season 1! See you next Tuesday (oh dear) for Season 2, Episode 1: Burked. BETCHA CAN’T WAIT.