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

OH NO YOU DI'NT

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!)

SO WHO COULDA DUNNIT?

Lawyeralike

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: We all do. [… PICKS UP A GUN, SHOOTS GRISSOM AND RUNS OFF WITH THE MONEY, ESCAPING INTO THE SUNSET IN HER THELMA AND LOUISE STYLEE GLASSES] [or NOT because so far nobody has paid me to write CSI]

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

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?

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