Archives for category: bad fashion

This episode sees the return of our Big Bad Friend from Season 1, Paul Millander! It’s a complicated one so HOLLLLD TIGHT.

Paul Millander

Back... FOR BAD! Mwahahahaha

You may remember Millander as the one that got away: also the one who left cryptic messages which Grissom and Catherine managed to interpret in near-psychic fashion (“a dove… he wants justice!“). This episode, he gets off to a rollicking start by murdering a kindly guy who picks him up on the freeway

Hitchhiker

At what point did this seem like a good idea?

and leaving a CRYPTIC MESSAGE (remember the dove) on the guy’s face.

Twoface

Notice that the dude has gunpowder on one side of his face

Grissom: He’s telling me he’s going to show me both sides.

1. I call bullshit!

2. What does that even mean?!

Anyway in much more interesting news, turns out that not only does Millander like to murder guys whose birthdays correspond with the date of his father’s death (really? do people really do this stuff?) but the dates are counting down in DESCENDING ORDER (17th August 1959, 58, 57) – and guess whose birthday’s August 17th 1956? (Making him a grand one week younger than my own parents?)

Sara (to Grissom): Catherine briefed us about your birthday.

Birthday Grissom

Yeah and YOU BETTA BE BAKIN', beeeyatch

So that’s pretty weird and it all gets weirder as the janitor from Scrubs appears, pretending to be a traffic cop,

Kevin Yarnell

I'm sad they didn't incorporate a JD-style fantasy sequence for Grissom at this point

and refers Grissom and Catherine to a court room where Millander is apparently working as a judge. OR IS IT JUST A DOPPELGANGER?

Millander judge

The annoying thing about doppelgangers is that MINE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME

Grissom shocked

... wot

Despite the fact that Griss gets banged up in the cells for causing a fuss in traffic court (so not cool, Gilberry), the kindly twinkly-eyed banterful judge extends a dinner invitation to his ugly house

Floral house

Grissom (lying through his teeth): "You have a lovely home."

where Grissom gets to meet the judge’s weird adopted son, Cregg. (N.B. he might in fact be called ‘Craig’… but I like to think that he’s named after CJ from the West Wing.)

CJ Cregg

A hero to us all

Mrs Mason and Cregg

ESPECIALLY TO THIS LITTLE DUDE (or his mum, I guess)

The best thing about Cregg (apart from his name) is his preternatural aptitude for capturing the Patented Petersen Pout.

Cregg Creevey

He Colin Creeveys Grissom at dinner

Patented Petersen Pout

... YOUUUUUU BEAUTAAAAY

Anyway so after that weird little interlude things ONLY GET WEIRDER, as a quick trip to Mommy Millander’s

Mummy Millander

Hi fans

turns up some unexpected background on Paul.

Catherine Willows pink bedroom

*my maternal senses are tingling* Boys... don't... have... pink... bedrooms...

Pauline Millander

ALERT, GUYS! WE GOT A GLEN OR GLENDA SITUATION HERE!

Oh yes. Turns out Millander was born intersex – to the world’s most inconsiderate parents.

Millander: The doctors told my parents to raise me as they saw fit. Unfortunately, they disagreed.
Grissom: So, you were a girl when you were inside the house, and a boy when you were out in the world?

I’m not a qualified psychologist or anything but even I can tell you that’s probably gonna result in some serious issues.

Pauline Paul Millander birth certificate

Who seriously calls their child 'Pauline Paul'?!! (Also: I think this is a major continuity glitch: I'm sure Sara or Catherine says "there's no evidence of Pauline's existence" - and specifically says about birth/death certificates - so what is this???!)

Lucky for Paul that if he had the world’s worst parents, he apparently also had the world’s best surgeon.

Pauline Millander

Going in...

Paul Millander young

... coming out

Errr now don’t get me wrong because the absolute last thing I want to do is take the piss out of transgender people, who have a difficult enough time of it, but I watched My Transsexual Summer and it was a much less efficient process than this. Anyway this seems a good point to note that on one level, this episode is just another instance of CSI’s total inability to handle LGBT issues  without making the people into outrageous stereotypes/total criminals. Bad. Bad bad bad.

And what happens in the case? Welllllll I don’t want to give too much away so let’s just say that Grissom has a birthday twin! yeah-eah.

Additional notices (sorry this is such a badly-structured entry but if I spent any more time trying to tidy it up, it would never ever get published and we’d all be that much further away from Season 2 Episode 19 which frankly is what I’ve been building up to for some time):

1. There is a new title sequence! Incorporating a sexy picture of Action Man Nick with binoculars to replace the HORRIBLE picture of him with weird buggy eyes shining a light into the troll tourist’s eyes from the pilot episode.

New credits Nick Stokes

Thank YOU ... credits designers (whose job even is that?)

2. Catherine’s empathyface is tested as never before when Mommy Millander walks in on her poking around in her daughter’s bedroom without permission – and then lets on that Pauline is ‘dead’.

Catherine Willows guilty empathetic

*feeling guilty but also reaaaaaally wanting to show that I'm feeling your pain*

3. If season 1 was the season of Greg’s Bad Shirts, I think season 2 is the season of Nick’s Ugly Jumpers.

Nick Stokes bad jumper

Exhibit A

4. This hat.

Catherine Willows hat

Oh Catherine. Oh no.

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

Nice one, CSI writers - YOU MADE CAPTAIN OATS CRY

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.

Dominatrix

'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?!)

WHERE’S YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE, STOKES?

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

Dylan

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

Peachy

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).

Shower

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?!)

Unfortunately after last week’s enjoyable smellfest this week’s episode is pretty mediocre. It feels like the writers (let’s name and shame: Elizabeth Devine and Andrew Lipsitz – both regular contributors) were more interested in the setup than in the payoff; unlike the tight theming of the previous episode, this time neither story feels cohesive.

That said, there are still some things to be enjoyed. This is CSI after all!

So, the main plotline begins with this guy, Cliff, aka ‘nose man’ (Sara), aka ‘the Schnoz’ (Grissom), ‘expirating blood from his nose all over his apartment walls to get back at his manager’.

Bloody wall

Exhibit A

Jim Brass grossed out

Yes you're right Jim, that IS disgusting

Cliff

Cliff is unrepentant (also, looks like a fat Charlie from Busted)

Charlie Simpson

(sorry Charlie)

Confusingly (disappointingly?), Cliff turns out to have done nothing wrong, beyond being kind of gross; but JUST BY CHANCE a crime HAS been committed in the neighbouring apartment.

Grissom realisation face

My spidey-sense is tingling! (aka, realisationface)

Room 101

The number on the door should probably be a clue this guy is up to no good

Thank goodness Grissom is able to save face by stumbling fortuitously upon an unrelated criminal proceeding!

Dead woman

Also, this gnarly-looking corpse (to borrow a phrase from last ep's emergency dude)

Maybe you can see why I wasn’t that overwhelmed with admiration.

Nick’s storyline feels similarly halfhearted. He and Catherine are, briefly, excited to be confronted with a scuba diver unexpectedly roosting in a tree. He’s the ‘rocket man’ to Sara’s ‘nose man’.

Scuba diver in a tree

The stuff of (urban) legend

However, all too soon it becomes clear that the guy wasn’t scooped out of Lake Mead by firecopters (as Nick spends a few minutes energetically hoping):

Nick Stokes disappointed

Nicky: he can't handle the truth

rather, this is a much more straightforward story of Friendship Gone Bad.

Jolly lawyer

Also of Matt Damon and Kiefer Sutherland's evil lovechild, and his lawyer, friendly George Bush

Zzzzz! It’s like a less exciting version of the spontaneous combustion story from the previous season. With that in mind, all the excitement this ep does have to offer comes from the CSIs’ romantic relationships… and most of all, from Greg.

So: GSR alert as Sara ‘wipes some chalk’ off Grissom’s face, in a lingering moment of desire.

Grissom and Sara romance

Ohhhhhhhh myyyyyyy love... my darling... I HUN-ger for... your touch

Grissom intrigued aroused

"I'm intrigued... AND AROUSED"

Unfortunately for Sara, she has to compete with this guy:

Griss: Either Paul or John.
Sara: A Very Important Beetle?

Grissom beetle

A true look of longing

By the end of the episode, Grissom is turning down breakfast with Sara (AND NICK! crazy fool) to spend more time with his new friend.

Grissom beetle friend

Gotta take your friends where you can get them, especially when you're Gruesome Grissom I guess

Catherine meanwhile is pumping our old pal the district engineer for information (hahaha pumping BET THEY’VE DONE THEIR SHARE OF THAT [too far?])

Catherine Willows kiss

Willowz meanz bizniss

and letting Greg off lightly when (in a moment of giddy madness) he refers to her as ‘Cat’.

Catherine: I’m going to forget that you called me that.

Greg Sanders sorry

Sheepish (a little bit)

Greg Sanders coffee

On the other hand, it's apparently fine for her to call him 'coffee boy' (alongside Nose Man and Rocket Man, part of the world's weirdest superhero supergroup)

I love it when they flirt. But the best romance of the episode? One I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved in… come on people, SOMETIMES THIS STUFF JUST WRITES ITSELF.

Cath: I just talked with your partner – you’ve been working this case without me, huh?
Nick: ?
Cath: Greg SANDERS?
Nick: Let go of my Greggo! He’s a CSI wannabe.

Let go of my Greggo? I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Greg Sanders bad shirt

Almost as much as I love this ridiculous shirt...

Nick Stokes Greg Sanders romance

... but not even as much as I love this moment! (it's a gif, click it)

So. Good. (Anybody know the appropriate portmanteau for the Nick/Greg ‘ship??!)

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!).

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.

This is the final episode of season one! DRAMA! Never fear, C.S.I. Love you will provide a Special End of Season Celebration Post to mark this momentous time – but first, a full discussion of this first season finale. I’d say it’s a bit of a cracker, particularly for the way in which it incorporates many of the top aspects of the season as a whole.

Just to give a quick outline, the thread of the episode is Grissom’s mission (and it is, really, Grissom who’s the main character, as he is throughout the season) (Nick is only the main character in my head)

Nick Stokes cute

SORRY NICK! I mean, in my head... AND IN THIS BLOG. Of course.

to track down a ‘signature killer’, nicknamed the ‘Strip Strangler’ by an FBI agent more media-savvy than our bumbling hero. He’s been brutally attacking women all across town and there’s a time pressure on the team to identify and locate him before he strikes again; as well as pressure from the sheriff, who brings in the FBI agents to ‘assist’ (read: take over from) Grissom.

Sheriff CSI

The luminous ear of indignation

Agent Culpepper CSI

Special Agent Culpepper: not even the best-named man in the episode

Sid Goggle CSI

Sid Goggle: the best-named man in the episode

So: what does this episode include that we C.S.I. LOVE to see?

First off: GSR (Grissom Sara Romance for them as is not down with the acronymz). Culpepper’s cunning plan boils down to ‘baiting’ the killer by having Sara visit a ‘specialty grocery store’ frequented by two of the victims: this actually translates into her hanging awkwardly around a kind of budget corner shop while Dwight from the US Office tries to chat her up.

Dwight from the Office in CSI

Face of awkward Sidle love

Sara Sidle creeped out

Face of 'Are you a murderer or just a bit creepy'

The idea of Sara being used like this? It makes Grissom MAD. (That’s the GSR bit I was talking about.)

Grissom angry

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRissom

Second off: Catherine being more politic than Grissom, and deliberately not taking advantage of it. The sheriff pretty much offers her his job, and she turns it down.

Catherine Willows surprised

I don't know why she's so surprised when it happens all the time

The other old favourites permit a more quickfire approach.

BLAM! Sidle rage at a violent crime against women (see: ep 10, ep 16) .

Sara Sidle damn that guy

"Damn that guy"

BLAM! Olde technologie (see: ep 11); the guy hoovers the crime scene for stray hairs and then takes the hoover bag away with him.

Sara Sidle sad vacuum

If only it had been a Dyson! No bag!

BLAM! Bad Greggo shirt.

Greg Sanders shirt

You may have noticed that this happens in almost every episode

BLAM! Catherine and Greg excellent flirtatious banter (see: ep 6):

Catherine (to Greg): Freakiest semen I’ve seen in a while. Call me.

BLAM! Nicky getting freaked out (this time, by someone hiding in a cupboard).

Nick Stokes surprised

AAAARGH!

Nick Stokes surprised

WAAAARGH!

Nick Stokes angry upset

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??

Bonus BLAM:

Nick: Get outta there… get out of the closet. What are you doing?!

Trapped in the Closet

Ye-eah!

Speaking of which… BLAM! Dubious stereotyping of the LGBT population (see: ep 22).

Hunter S Baumgartner

Hunter S Baumgartner, competitor for Sid Goggle's 'best name' title, noted homosexual, wearer of a net T-shirt and perpetrator of jazz hands

BLAM! A poorly-executed copycat crime.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "This is a poorly executed copycat crime"

Bonus BLAM: Grissom’s Born This Way t-shirt

Mr Schue Butt Chin shirt

YOU SAID IT, MR SCHUE

Double-bonus BLAM! Comic insight into Grissom’s psyche:

Grissom: It’s like with cake… you’re just going to have a little bit of the frosting and you end up eating the entire plate.

Bruce Bogtrotter

Flashback to Grissom's youth

BLAM! Catherine being badass and saving the day (see: ep 13 but also, the whole season).

Catherine WIllows gunshot

Not actually gunfire but THE BLAZING LIGHT OF FEMINIST SUPERIORITY

Catherine WIllows badass

You said it, sister

Relevant-to-last-week’s-episode BLAM! Peanut reference.

Nick to imaginary girlfriend: I gotta run, peanut. Love you too – byebye.

Nick Stokes caught in the act

What's that? Your imaginary girlfriend is in fact an English blogger from 2011? SOUNDS PLAUSIBLE

And finally… not really a BLAM! Lady in a wizard hat. Yeah, you heard me.

Wizard hat lady

HERMIONE? IS THAT YOU?

This is the first of what I like familiarly to call the BATSHIT CRAZY episodes, which the CSI writers occasionally like to spring on their unsuspecting audience. (I’m thinking ‘King Baby’ here, people… but more of that in the appropriate time and place.)

In this instance the craziness centres around an evil nutritionist

Gillian McKeith

Ha! I wish!

Creepy Nutritionist

Actually this much more nubile (AND SINISTER) sista, who appears to have stepped out of an 80s music video

who (MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT) is Eating People’s Insides.

Grossed out Grissom

So. Grossed. Out.

Nick Stokes sick

THEY DON'T CALL IT A BATSHIT CRAZY EPISODE FOR NOTHING

Instance #2 of the vomiting cops trope (Nick: ‘Guess he won’t be eating dinner tonight’), the episode prompts a lot of enjoyable double entendre; as when the evil doctor comments on Grissom’s choice of career:

Creepy Nutritionist Lady: Guess one man’s corpse is another man’s candy…

It is all good sensational (and completely unscientific) fun, much of which is generated by the excellent camaraderie always emanating from a case where Nick and Warrick are both involved

Nick and Warrick

EXTREME FACE TWINS

and particularly one where they spend much of their time analysing dog poo. Yup. It’s a glamorous life.

Nick Stokes scat analysis

Ming...

Nick wipe eye

SO MUCH MINGINGER! Nick! Did your mother never tell you that the germs from dog muck can make you go blind??! That's why you wear gloves - SO YOU CAN TAKE THEM OFF

This delightful development also prompts a suggestive allusion to the CSI training regime:

Nick: Don’t even waste your time, that’s cougar.
Warrick: How’d you figure that?
Nick: See the rabbit hair in the faeces? Don’t you remember the seminar?
Warrick: Seminar?

Gillian McKeith

I KNEW she had something to do with it

Meanwhile, Catherine’s much-exercised maternal empathy is called on once more, as a little girl dies on a fairground ride.

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

I weep for you! And for all womankind!

Catherine is quick to lay blame on the dodgy-looking carnie folk

Scary carnie man

Graaaaaaaaargh!

Cheeky carnie

Yeehaaaaaargh!

Catherine Willows angry

Don't mess with a mamaaaaa!

– the fatter of whom has what I think is a contender for best line of the series:

Redneck (arrested): You pullin’ my pud?

All the graaarrring and powerful ladyness seems to get Catherine in the mood – as by the end of the episode she is paying a visit to Mr City Engineer man, primed by their previous flirtation for some Hot Willows Lovin’.

Booty Call

This is what we at CSI denominate a 'booty call'

Catherine Willows kiss

... consider it called.

Finally, in CSI fashion news, O’Reilly has apparently been visiting the Greg Sanders Shirt Emporium

Greg Sanders

This, we know

O'Brian

This, A WHOLE NEW HORROR

and Sara is modelling what I would call her Sci Fi Alien Princess look. I LOVE IT.

Sara Sidle Sci Fi Princess

Natalie Portman eat your heart out (err... perhaps a bad choice of phrase in view of earlier developments)

Unfortunately this episode is the start of a plot thread which I find UNUTTERABLY TEDIOUS, which is to say, Grissom’s deafness. However it gives only the faintest glimmer of what will become, over the next season, a seriously hackneyed subject. The hint at hand comes through the unfortunate death of this deaf kid, squashed ‘neath the uncaring wheels of a ‘large truck or SUV’.

Run over

BRUTAL

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... 'hate breaking bad news to the family'

The CSIs’ investigation leads them to an unlikely pair of criminals, one of whom appears to be around 10 years old (and who is the first yoof on the show possessed of that fabled plot device/motivation to conceal a crime, ‘a scholarship to Duke’) [edit: apparently he’s also familiar to viewers of One Tree Hill. I’m not one, so can’t comment…]

Mean kid

He has a kind of Gareth Gates look going on

and the other of whom is not only Kenny the houseboy from Edwardian Country House

Evil Kenny

Kenny?

Ken Skelton

Kenny!

Mr Edgar betrayed

but who possesses a set of headlice to rival even my six and a half year old self.

Headlice

Ming

Diary

'I had 37 headlice. It was the most!'

Grissom lice comb

Truly, a fine achievement

It also introduces them to this absolutely terrifying lady

Angry deaf lady

Righteous indignation - the same in any language

whose fear-inducing eyebrows and hip-hop dance moves

Hip hoppery

"Wicky waa" - as I believe all the kids are saying these days

have even Sara snapping into line.

Sara Sidle salute

Don't MESS with the PROFESS(or lady)

And finally, of course, it has Grissom whapping out his own sign language supermoves.

Grissom signing

This one means 'your eyebrows look like tiny beards on your forehead'

In a speedy rundown of other important news, Catherine demonstrates some of her most fabulous faces as she becomes frustrated by Grissom’s absent-mindedness…

Catherine Willows shocked

"I don't always want to be second banana...

Catherine Willows outraged

... I could probably do your job...

Catherine Willows smug

... I KNOW that I could do Ecklie's."

… and Greg is modelling possibly his worst outfit yet.

Greg Sanders fashion disaster

White trainers, black trousers, orange shirt? Survey says, UH-UH!!

Greg Sanders bad shirt

It's not even all one shade of orange!

It makes this exchange with Warrick and Grissom particularly intriguing:

Greg: I’m the man!
Warrick: Why? What’d you do? Let me guess… You ran a DNA profile from the blood on the dead guy’s knuckles and you got a match?
Greg: No.
Grissom: You ran a DNA profile and something very distinctive popped up?
Greg: Not quite.
Warrick: You made it out of bed and you dressed yourself?
Greg: No.

NO? Does he employ a STYLIST? Does his MUM (Mom) still dress him? The people need an answer!!

Finally, there’s another Olde Technologie moment as Nick listens in on the heavy metal music a gunshot victim was pumping…

Nick Stokes headphones

It's got a ROCK SOLID BEAT

… on his handy Discman.

Discman

Hahaha what now

Nick Stokes

No seriously, wot?