Archives for the month of: November, 2011

Brass: Small-time or not, these ladies are dangerous.
Grissom: Dangerous? Yes. Ladies? No.

So, the start of this episode seems innocuous enough. On the Strip, some guys dressed as ladies (and a lady dressed as Catherine)

Catherine Willows lookalike

Srsly tho that's a pretty good lookalike

Catherine Willows scandalised

*angry but forced to acknowledge the truth*

rob a casino, with a little help from the Phantom of the Opera.

Chandelier falls

Mind out below

Grissom what gorilla

Contributing a helpful story about a gorilla

Meanwhile out in Hicksville (population: 20), Catherine and Sara – working as a team for the second ep in a row – have to tackle a robbery (which turned into a shooting) at a convenience store. This is productive of some excellent buddy-comedy moments, as the local state trooper

State Trooper

Not Sean Astin

abandons them and they’re stuck for hours waiting for David the Coroner to show up.

First Catherine grosses EVERYBODY out (and by everybody I mean Sara, and me) by smelling some suspicious matter on the floor that looks as though it might be vomit;

Smell the vom

"It's not an expectorate"

Sara Sidle yuk face

I wouldn't INspectorate it that closely though... !! (no?)

then Sara is so bored that she has to use multicoloured fingerprint powders to make her life more interesting;

Fluorescent powder

Hi ho, hi ho, it's better with fluoro

and eventually Catherine, who’s made it quite clear that she doesn’t like being isolated out in the country, has a not-very-dignified temper tantrum.

Catherine Willows angry

"I have seniority, I deserve - no, I've EARNED the right to pick my cases!" *quiver*

Even Sara’s quick thinking (she gives Catherine a chocolate bar) doesn’t save her from the Willows’s bad-tempered tongue.

Sara: Do you have a mirror?
Grumpy Catherine: Since when do you care about your appearance?!

Sara Sidle dissed

You are a MEAN GIRL

At least David loves her (when he finally arrives).

Sara: Hey, David! I – I wasn’t touching him.
David: (beams) I know you better than that.

David CSI

Yes cos she has NEVER TOUCHED YOU

Anyway both cases are ticking along when a sudden revelation brings them together via a familiar face from season 1… THE ‘WARM A DAMN BARN’ LADY FROM THE PILOT!!!!!!!

Fingerprint lady

Here she is back then, all disappointed in Grissom's lack of sexual knowhow

Warm a damn barn

And here she is again - older, wiser, still amazing

Obviously I was over the moon to see her given as what I awarded her best line of the season in my prestigious C.S.I.Love You Awards, sadly in this episode she is not given full scope to exercise her golden wit but she does demonstrate her continued amazingness in one of the few lines the writers give her:

Warmadamnbarnlady (to Catherine): Tough. I like that.

OF COURSE you like that, because you too are a badass lady. I was so excited that I went to check her out on IMDB and learned that she (the character) actually has a name: Charlotte Meridian. But don’t get too excited, because she only appears in these two episodes: the pilot, and this one. That is weird, right? Why would they suddenly bring her back just for this one episode? Did she get excited that maybe she would get a permanent role and then they cruelly let her down again? Is that why she looks significantly more harrowed in this episode? WHO CAN SAY. These are the real mysteries of CSI.

Anyway there is actually another character returning from the previous series and IDENTIFIED by Warmadamnbarnlady/Charlotte who brings the two storylines together (yes yes you may well be astonished but such is my incredible knack for surprising and suspending you) (is that what it’s called when you subject your audience to suspense? I suspect not). It’s Tammy Felton, aka the Radioactive Gnome Murderer/’clinical psychopath’ (if you believe the dodgy psychologist), who got away from the CSIs after her estranged parents posted bail last season.

Tammy Felton


Unfortunately for Tammy, by the time they find her she’s not so nippy

Tammy Felton dead

Junk in the trunk

but at least Catherine and Grissom get to bust out their ‘finding a dead woman in a vehicle’ faces from the I-15 episode.

Catherine Grissom discovery faces

Two fine examples, we can all agree

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

Catherine even squeezes in a moment of maternal empathy for the parents

In fact, as they follow the trail back, nobody in the case seems to be doing too well: not even Darin Hansen, Tammy’s luxuriantly moustachioed loverboy.

Darin Hansen

And how appropriate for Movember

After a tense scene in which Grissom really flexes his acting muscles with an ‘approaching a dangerous toilet’ face

Grissom toiletface

I read somewhere that William Petersen was super method and into his character as well so we should really admire the effort that went into this

it turns out that Darin has copped it, too.

Bog murder

If it's good enough for Elvis... (this is obviously a flashback and not what happened when Grissom opened the door) (he's maverick but not that maverick) (also WHUT! Darin shaved his moustache! Now he looks like John Cusack!)



T'ain't this dude (seen here with his lookalikey lawyer)

Not Sean Astin

... OH SAMWISE! Did you wear the Ring too long?

Seems like he did. What a shocker. Gives an excellent last moment though (which could almost be 8 zillion times better, if the CSI writers weren’t afraid to think outside the box a little… I’ll show you what I mean).

Catherine: 250,000 turned a career cop bad.
Grissom: Yeah, well, he had his price.

Catherine Willows smile

You KNOW she could do it

What a disappointment. In other news, more excellent Nick/Greg banter as Nick takes the mickey out of Greg’s chosen reading material

Sand and Surf

At least there're no obvious grammatical errors on this one, unlike Sara's super-budget gorilla book

Nick: We’re 300 miles from the nearest beach.

Greg Sanders and Nick Stokes

Sand and Surf? Sand and STOKES

– and then, just as I was thinking that a) this series is definitely where all the Nick/Greg slash originated; and b) Nick and Warrick’s buddy-buddy relationship from the first series is pretty much jettisoned by now in favour of the Nick/Greg pairing, he had a little moment with Warrick as well.

Warrick Brown Nick Stokes

Warrick: *extends finger* Nick: "I'm not pulling it"

Nick Stokes eyebrows

... welllllll, maybe a little

Final quick-fire bulletins: an excellent visual pun;

Jim Brass bras


an appearance from nice Southern Adam the ballistics guy;

Adam CSI

Just giving him a shout-out

and an accidentally hilarious line from Grissom. Top stuff.

Grissom (to Catherine): The bullets confirm the story told by the potato.

Mr Potato Head

Who, me?


HURRAY it’s a fetish episode! The first of many such and they are always reliably good value. This one is particularly notable as it marks the introduction of one of CSI’s more entertaining recurring characters (and love interests for Grissom), Goth dominatrix Lady Heather.

Lady Heather

Too sexy for... most of her clothing

Before I go into Lady Heather in detail: yes, I know what you’re thinking, it is Julie Cooper (Marisa’s mum) from the OC! And in fact she’s only one of three famous faces who appear in this episode, another of whom is – weirdly enough – Julie’s next-door-neighbour Kirsten Cohen. SPOOKAY!

Kirsten OC

Don't mind me I am just innocently sipping from an inappropriately large teacup

What’re the odds? Do you think somebody watched this episode and thought ‘those two ladies, though they never appear on screen together, exude a parallel bad-ass chemistry that would make them excellent candidates for the lead adult women in the exciting drama of California’s rich and privileged that I am just now conceiving?’ IT COULD BE TRUE.

Unfortunately, the CSI casting directors missed a trick in that the third guest celebrity is not Adam Brody/Seth Cohen, beautiful and all-round-adorable though he is

Seth Cohen and Captain Oats


but someone from a film of equal significance to my teenage years – noted ageless wonder, Dionne from Clueless!

Dionne from Clueless in CSI

"Warrick! I have asked you repeatedly not to call me woman!"

Ironically (given the iconic freeway scene which I am sure we all remember), Dionne turns up here as CSI’s tyre track expert, helping Warrick and Sara out with their case – a hold-up in which a guy running a cheque-cashing store has been mugged of around $20,000. This is definitely the dud case of the episode (I’m a little surprised it was included at all) but it does throw up a couple of comedy moments, mostly through the use of egregious stereotyping/comedy Latinos.

Sara: Mrs Delgado, I know you’re upset –
Mrs Delgado: Upset? Upset is for white people, lady. I’m PISSED OFF.

Pissed off

This is what 'pissed off' looks like

Mr Delgado (in hospital): You have my pants? I wake up, I look around… I can’t find my damn pants! [I think he needs some advice from Pantsman]

Pantless man

This is what 'wanting pants' looks like

Additional laughs are provided by Sara’s hideous sunglasses

Awful sunglasses

They kind of make her look like an evil blind shrew

Catherine Willows sunglasses

(this, on the other hand, is how sunglasses SHOULD be worn. Catherine looks like both Thelma AND Louise.)

and there’s also an enjoyable chase scene in which Warrick issues some advice that the guilty of Las Vegas (as, indeed, Grissom) would be wise to heed.

Don't Run

Warrick: "You know it don't look good when you run, man."

So, that’s Warrick and Sara, over and out. Meanwhile, Nick, Catherine, Grissom and Brass are working on a much more interesting case, brought to their attention after an unfortunate young couple making out in a playground find a body in the sandbox.

Body in a sandpit

Nothing to kill a romantic moment like a dead body staring creepily up at you

A little bit of detective work via her expensive breast implants

Catherine: That is not a Tijuana boob job. Those puppies are top of the line.

and the CSIs have tracked the body down to Lady Heather’s Dominion: not quite a brothel, but an S&M dungeon in which kinky clients come to punish or be punished.


'Dirty little stink boy'? OK then...

Side-stepping Lady Heather’s offer of a joint session,

Catherine, Brass and Grissom

Neither Brass nor Grissom is even halfway to being man enough for Catherine

Catherine and Brass leave Grissom to deal with the dominant dominatrix. He and she get on, of course, like a flaming mansion,

Heather (looking significantly at Grissom): She wants the dominant male to choose her so she can stop being dominant.

Lady Heather

Eyelids batting like a flippin' albatross

although I’d suggest that Lady Heather’s insight into Grissom’s character is someone less penetrating than *modest cough* my own. Case in point: she thinks he likes afternoon tea because it allows him to pretend for a moment that society is truly civilized. We all know the real reason he likes it so much.

Afternoon tea

Obviously, it's the cake

Grissom hungry

Mmmmm.... cake

Catherine and Lady Heather also discover a natural affinity

Heather: Sex pays a lot better than death.
Catherine: Plus the outfits are cooler.

Heather: Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’ve got everything it takes to make a great dominatrix.

Catherine Willows

Well of COURSE that is true

although Nick (surprise surprise) (I love him but he’s such a square) (not just in the literal, facial sense) is not so sure about the fetish scene.

Nick: Catherine. Do you really think that those freaks out there, running around getting spanked with their little dog collars on, are the same as you and me?
Catherine: Just because you never did it doesn’t mean you never could.
Nick: No way. Never gonna happen.

Nick Stokes uncomfortable

You can take the boy out of the Bible belt... (does Texas count as Bible belt?!)


Anyway, reactions to Lady Heather’s occupation aside, the CSIs are soon on the case of an oh-so-predictable culprit.


Not this guy! He is a baby!

Speccy White Guy

THIS guy, on the other hand...

Earning multitudes of Speccy White Guy points for his status as henpecked house husband,

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez: "I despise you for your essential failure as a man"

Cameron Nelson is the kind of case that the resident dodgy CSI psychologist would have a field day with (I really don’t know why he’s not in this episode). Naturally, frustrated at his powerful corporate lawyer wife’s continual belittling (and the affair she’s having with her boss), he’s sought the obvious conduit for his feelings: violently beating a hired escort.

Catherine: Psychologically, she was a surrogate. [It’s never good when someone in CSI starts a sentence ‘Psychologically…’]

Lady Heather's dominion

"Corporate bitch!"

Kirsten Cohen

I literally can't imagine why anybody would call me that

So far, so good – but one tiny asphyxiation-related accident and suddenly he’s off to jail. Still, every cloud has a silver lining.

Eileen: Where are you going?
Cameron: Away from you. Other than that, I really don’t care.

CSI threesome

Grissom (thinking): Would this be an inappropriate time to bring up the threesome idea again?

Indeed the implication, from the episode’s credits line, is that this has been in Cameron’s mind all along.

Brass: A thousand square miles of desert in Vegas – and the killer dumps the body in a sandbox?
Grissom: He didn’t put it there to hide it. He put it there to be found.

Is that a bit far-fetched? NO! That’s what happens if your wife is a CORPORATE BITCH!

Aside from all this jollity, several points of order arising from this episode’s events:

1. The sequence where Grissom inspects Mona’s body for evidence is somewhat weirdly done. Viz:

Corpse butt


This poor girl (who appears to have worked mainly as a stunt double) (is that like when Joey was a butt double?) has to lie prone on the table for A LONG LONG TIME while William Petersen slowly shines a light up and down her naked body. AND THEN SHOWERS HER. All to the sound of Sigur Ros (at least that’s what Shazam tells me).


You have to admit it's a little bit weird

2. Even if he is a chemist, not a physicist, Greg’s evaluation of basically the most famous scientist of all time still seems a little bit skewed:

Nick: What up, Einstein?
Greg: Do you think Einstein had people hovering over his shoulder all the time? If he did, do you think we’d be walking around with e=mc2 t-shirts?

E=MC2 tshirt

Yes. This. This is Einstein's greatest legacy.

3. Unlikely as it sounds, ‘Gustav Stickley’, the designer of the furniture on which Grissom compliments Corporate Bitch Eileen, is a real guy! I have never heard such a made-up-sounding name in my life! (Except maybe Sid Goggle, I guess.)

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez: "Jess you ignorant gitto. Gustav Stickley is totes fames."

4. Catherine’s standard ‘oh Greg’ face:

Catherine Willows

It's somewhere between 'amused tolerance' and 'struggling to maintain a straight face'

5. Lady Heather seems to be under some false impressions about the nineteenth century:

Heather: What happens here isn’t about violence. It’s about challenging preconceived notions of Victorian normalcy – bringing people’s fantasies to life.

Heather you innocent! Victorians loved a bit of S&M!

Mysteries of London series 2

TRUE FACTS (this is an illustration from my PhD topic text, published 1846-48)

6. Finally: there is an excellent thread of Greg-the-S&M-lover running throughout this episode. Evidence as follows:

Greg: … liquid latex.
Nick: Never heard of it.
Greg: Really? It’s all the craze right now, man! Girls paint it on guys, guys paint it on girls… you can paint it on yourself, if you want. If that’s what you’re into. If you can’t get a date. Not like I would know.

Greg Sanders Nick Stokes

Looking for a date, huh, Greg? Looking with your eyes??

Greg (to Grissom): You know what a switch is?!

Greg Sanders smile

Errr... right back atcha, Sanders

And best of all…

Catherine: I just realised that we have a very healthy relationship.
Grissom: We do?
Catherine: Well, when we have a problem I don’t paint Greg Sanders in latex and stick a straw up his nose.

Greg Sanders pens in nose

Only cos YOU KNOW HE'D LOVE IT. (Sure you don't want to reconsider that 'never', Mr Stokes?!)

Boys versus girls in this episode, as Sara and Catherine take on one case – which, unusually, opens the episode but isn’t really the central focus for the storyline – and Grissom, Nick, O’Reilly and Greg tackle the other. And indeed, it’s the same story (BATTLE OF THE SEXES) within the cases themselves.

Sara Sidle Catherine Willows

Girl power!

First up, Catherine and Sara deal with the story of a girl whose car has been hit by a train.



I’ve been thinking that I ought to record the intro lines for each of the episodes (you know, the punny ones before the credits kick in; my little sister and I spent a good half hour in the sea on holiday trying to think of a suitable variant for our own case, should our bodies and bodyboards be washed up at Grissom’s feet (we failed)) so here’s what this episode had to offer:

Grissom: The question is, why did the SUV cross the tracks?
Catherine: To get to the other side.

Grissom disdain

Don't even make that face Gil Grissom you have made much worse jokes AND WELL YOU KNOW IT

In fact it turns out that the SUV crossed the tracks because it was being PUSHED BY A CRAZY DUDE who had fought with the lady driver, notably provoking her by saying an UNMENTIONABLE WORD of which both Sara and Catherine disapprove (seriously bad news).

Catherine Willows realisationface

*realisation face* I HAVE DISCOVERED OUR ENEMY

Speccy White Guy

Fat, unpleasant, caucasian, shortsighted... speccy white guy returns

Luckily, feminist retribution is swift. YEAHHHHHHH.

In the other storyline, Grissom is in his element (and both Nick and O’Reilly far out of theirs) as a death is discovered in what appears to be the Las Vegas Rare Books Room (it has got a proper title but I didn’t write it down). Run by Budget Kevin Spacey

Not Kevin Spacey

Up to 95% cheaper than the real thing (ironic given he has problems with forgeries)

and staffed by Aaron, who is autistic,


I probably chose an unfairly unflattering screencap (but that's just how I roll)

both books and autism appear to cause issues for Grissom’s team.

Grissom to O’Reilly: It’s a controlled environment. Notice how you’re not sweating?

O'Reilly sweating

Gosh are you suggesting that O'Reilly's comfortable bulk might translate into him being unusually sweaty at other times? Bit cheeky (especially given Grissom's secret, and possibly mythical, fatboy past)

Grissom: I think he’s autistic.
Nick: What, you mean like Rain Man?

O’Reilly: You know that weird guy?
Grissom: He’s not weird, O’Reilly, he’s autistic.
O’Reilly: Whatever.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "This is just embarrassing, guys"

Nick’s made even more uncomfortable in a hairy moment reminiscent of his anxiety over the radioactive gnome, as he finds out that library lady was killed by ricin poisoning:

Nick: Whoah whoah whoah, biotoxin as in ANTHRAX? SMALLPOX? I was at that crime scene for eight hours, man!
Greg: Relax, man, it takes like 2 hours for ricin symptoms to show, and like 48 more to kill you.

Nick Stokes fear face

Not so reassured

This time, he takes steps to deal with the situation.

Hazmat suits

Taking proper precautions

Once the team have composed themselves, there are lots of parallels drawn between Aaron’s stereotypical autistic traits (awkwardness, attention to detail) and Grissom’s own personality – Nick makes it explicit – which makes this little moment somehow even funnier:

Grissom: *takes photos of dead woman*
Aaron: Don’t do that

Grissom surprised


You know it’s bad when even a guy who is supposedly a complete social incompetent thinks you’re being inappropriate…! Still, before long Grissom and his new kindred spirit have resolved their difficulties and are merrily quoting Shakespeare at each other – Grissom’s favourite is Hamlet (don’t even get me started) but Aaron’s is Othello; both, I’d argue, fit the GENDER WARS theme that I’m faintly discerning in this episode.

Digression alert: it also means the inclusion of my favourite line from Othello: ‘put out the light, and then put out the light’. I mostly like it because it reminds me of a sheet we were given in the first year of our English degree full of rhetorical devices and examples – like this one, antanaclasis, where you repeat a phrase but it means something different each time (in this case, literal meaning/metaphorical meaning – lights out/DEATH). At the risk of sounding like Geeky Grissom,

Grissom: Botanically speaking, it’s a spurge, not a bean. [I just love the word spurge]

I LOVE A RHETORICAL TERM! There are so many and they just make you think about all the potential there is to do clever things with language. Anyway. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.

If the story outside the lab is of MAN VERSUS WOMAN, back at CSI headquarters the tech staff are feeling the love. Archie’s efficiency wins him Catherine’s (unspoken) admiration…

Sara: She definitely likes you.

Archie Kao

And with cheekbones like those, who wouldn't?!

… Greg is on excellently banterous form

Greg: I know what you’re all thinking – I’m just a bit of a pretty face… got to where I am by sleeping with Catherine… but seriously. Phi Beta Kappa – Stanford – can I help it if I’m hip?

Nick Stokes sceptical

Nick's is not the face of someone who was thinking that

(including some more Standers* banter)…

Nick: I always thought you kept your porn in there.
Greg: I, er, move it around.

Greg Sanders' porn cupboard

And when I say 'move' I mean 'follow', and when I say 'it' I mean 'you'

… and Doc Robbins conceives a weird but very powerful affection for Nick’s light-up evidence table.

Doc RObbins loves the table

"Great table - I could really use this"

Doc Robbins

"Nick... I love this table"

Oh well, whatever rubs your Buddha I suppose!

* how’s that for a portmanteau?