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.
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.
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).
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
and staffed by Aaron, who is autistic,
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?
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.
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.
This time, he takes steps to deal with the situation.
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
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.
… 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?
(including some more Standers* banter)…
Nick: I always thought you kept your porn in there.
Greg: I, er, move it around.
… and Doc Robbins conceives a weird but very powerful affection for Nick’s light-up evidence table.
Oh well, whatever rubs your Buddha I suppose!
* how’s that for a portmanteau?