Archives for category: inappropriate CSI

Standard stuff this episode: Sara’s a loser with no social life, Grissom is inappropriate, Catherine is badass and yet loaded with maternal empathy. And Greg is desperate for the approval of his superiors. JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE CSI OFFICE.

To take the smaller story first, Nick and Catherine investigate the death of a guy who was apparently shot in a hunting accident. Apparently they are also engaged in some kind of fancy dress competition.

Catherine Willows Mime

Qui? Moi? (Catherine has obviously come as a French mime) (all mimes are French, right?)

Nick Stokes Action Man

Can you guess who Nick has come as?

Nick Stokes rifle

Here's another shot to give you a clue (note the jumper)

Action Man toy

Obviously, this is obvious. Nick's whole face (his whole body, heh heh) is an Action Man costume

Nick Stokes Action Man lookalike

YOU GUYZ I'M SERIOUS

ANYWAY enough of my obsession with Nick’s face. Hunting guy has left behind a grieving widow

Grieving widow

Grieving

who quickly discovers a surefire way to get Catherine onside.

Grieving widow: … with the baby and all…

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

Did you say BABY? Wouldn't that make you a MOTHER? I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEEEEEL!

Anyway this is quite a sad little story (except for a brief happy moment where Nick and Catherine model some attractive waders)

Nick Stokes Catherine Willows waders

People say I look like me da (ten points for anybody who gets that reference)

and therefore ill-suited to my CUTTING AND SARCASTIC WIT. So I will maybe leave it there.

Meanwhile on the main storyline, Grissom and Sara are probing the case of two, very different, sisters, both found dead in some pipes near a field. One of them is glamorous and has tattoos. The other one (much to Grissom’s surprise) doesn’t shave her legs.

Grissom baffled

What kind of sorry excuse for a woman does she think she is?!

Obviously, with that kind of weird sociopathic behaviour, one who just likes to stay at home and buy things on the internet. (Actually this might merit a new post category: Internet Weirdos. Anybody on CSI who participates in social media is usually suspect in some way.)

Grissom glamorous ID badge

Gosh Grissom, not everyone can be as UNFEASIBLY GLAMOROUS as you appear to look on your ID badge headshot

Anyway after a brief hiatus of suspecting glamour-girl’s boyfriend, Not Mark Wright

Mark Wright

Mark Wright

Not Mark Wright

Mark Wrong

Grissom is soon set on the right (Wright?) (I’ve overused that one) track, via an enterprising prison governor who has his inmates working shifts on a kind of boutique call centre.

Prison call centre

*Johnny Cash plays as hold music*

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "This is the kind of shizzle that went down at Shawshank. And that didn't end well for ANYBODY. Except Tim Robbins. And Morgan Freeman."

Seems like dowdy hairy lady ordered herself a MAN as well as some (dowdy, hairy) clothing.

Mail order boyfriend

Mail order boyfriend

Nothing wrong with that (though it’s always risky to purchase sight unseen) but a sudden (Greg-enabled) realisation later

Grissom realisation

BUT OF COURSE!

Greg Sanders pleased

"You've got that look." << It's called a realisationface, Sanders

and (with the help of an open-minded yokel) Grissom is collecting some evidence which doesn’t look good for Mr Mail-order.

Grissom: Mr Willoughby – would you mind if I fingerprint your spigot?
Mr W: No one’s ever asked me that before.

Mr Willoughby

Is this one of those fetish things you read about on the inter-ma-net?

Lesson of the day? The internet is BAD, mmmkay?!

That’s the lesson for the viewer, anyway: Sara receives with a more personal takeaway as HEAVY PARALLELS are drawn between her and hairy internet lady. She realises the similarity herself, as they look around Donna’s house –

Sara: We already know she cooks like I do – takeout on speed dial.

Sara Sidle apartment

Alert! This is Sara's house! Note the many takeout menus on the fridge. (I thought this was our first look in a CSI's home but actually I think we see chez Catherine a few times in the first season)

– but the point’s made more harshly when Nick (somewhat out of the blue) gets on Sara’s case about her obsession with work.

Nick: Sara – you gotta get out more.

Sara Sidle stressed

That was way harsh, Thai!

I feel like this exchange is a bit weird and gratuitous but maybe I am expressing unrealistic expectations about character integrity… Nick is a nice boy!

Sara Sidle answering machine

I mean, he is objectively right. The empty answering machine is an Ancient Symbol of Doom. (What's the 2010s equivalent? An empty email inbox?)

Greg Sanders claws

But Greg agrees, it was uncharacteristically catty. Booo!

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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.

Train

INCOMING

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,

Aaron

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
Griss:

Grissom surprised

*WOT*

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?

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!).

Oh dear! This is a sad episode about a dead baby!

Upset Mum

Babymamma. Pretty sad.

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

I weep for you! And for all womankind!!

As it’s one of this season’s better episodes plot-wise I won’t reveal what happens but suffice it to say that none of the family to whom the baby belongs comes off too well, as the investigation probes the HIDDEN SECRETS OF THEIR PAST.

Concerned Parents

Concerned parents

Concerned brothers

Concerned brothers

Grissom freaks everybody out by getting super-emotionally involved in the case.

Grissom levitates

Also by levitating

He Does. Not. Like. a dead baby

Non PPP

Thin lipped face of doom sez: "This situation is TOO SEVERE for a PPP"

Patented Petersen Pout

"Well... maybe"

and he starts shouting at all the CSIs when things get tricky, to varying effect.

Nick Stokes whut

Nick: shocked

Greg Sanders scared

Greg: afraid

Warrick running

Warrick: running slowly on purpose so as not to make Grissom look bad

There’s also an excellent Inappropriate Grissom moment when the baby’s body is discovered.

Baby foot

Grissom: Stand back.

Grissom graveside

Fatty McGlasses: Well we gotta have the pictures - the coroner will be all over us.

Grissom camera

Grissom: I'll get the pictures.

Inappropriate Grissom

Grissom doh

FAUX PAS

Ahem. Anyway Sara has a word with Grissom about his reaction to the case

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Maybe I am getting too emotionally involved"

and soon he is back to his old incisive self. Though that doesn’t stop him calling on the seriously dubious psychiatrist again, who has another winning insight to provide.

Psychiatrist

"in some cases women have been known to kill their children as a way to pay back a spouse."

In other news, Warrick has been investing in some bad sunglasses of his own

Warrick Brown sunglasses

Oh wait they're not as effortlessly cool as I hoped

Nick carries out an ‘unscientific whiff test’ (something about the phrase just tickles me) and the lab’s own Fatty McGlasses, who seems to be the go-to guy on handwriting and other documentation, is back. I wouldn’t mind him but he seems to be permanently grumpy.

Fatty McGlasses

What do you expect? EVEN GRISSOM CAN OUTRUN ME.