This episode sees the return of our Big Bad Friend from Season 1, Paul Millander! It’s a complicated one so HOLLLLD TIGHT.
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
and leaving a CRYPTIC MESSAGE (remember the dove) on the guy’s 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.
So that’s pretty weird and it all gets weirder as the janitor from Scrubs appears, pretending to be a traffic cop,
and refers Grissom and Catherine to a court room where Millander is apparently working as a judge. OR IS IT JUST A DOPPELGANGER?
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
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.)
The best thing about Cregg (apart from his name) is his preternatural aptitude for capturing the Patented Petersen Pout.
Anyway so after that weird little interlude things ONLY GET WEIRDER, as a quick trip to Mommy Millander’s
turns up some unexpected background on Paul.
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.
Lucky for Paul that if he had the world’s worst parents, he apparently also had the world’s best surgeon.
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.
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’.
3. If season 1 was the season of Greg’s Bad Shirts, I think season 2 is the season of Nick’s Ugly Jumpers.
4. This hat.