Archives for category: lookalikes

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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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?

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?

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."

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?

Well, it’s a rough day for the ladies and NO MISTAKE.

Roughest day of all surely goes to Pamela

Pamela in a coma

Pam! Wake up, Pam!

… who has been raped and left for dead, and who ends the episode in a permanent vegetative state. Aaaaand, whose plight I am about to belittle for the rest of this entry, with petty comparisons to lesser problems. Sorry. BUT THAT’S JUST HOW I ROLL.

So, Sara has a rough day because she ends up bonding with Pamela just a little too much (NIASW). Basically, she has no other friends.

Sara Sidle sad

Just look at that sad Sidle face

Listen to yourself, woman! Even Grissom is worried

Grissom: You max out on overtime every month. You go home and listen to your police scanner, or read forensic textbooks.

and his only hobbies are riding rollercoasters, and pouting.

Pouting on a coaster

Sometimes he does both

Sara’s woes aren’t helped by that Olde 2001 Technologie.

Sara on a computer

If I was making that face it would be because I'd been playing Diner Dash for 4 hours, or something equally HIGH TECH AND EXCITING. Like Farmville. (I don't really play that... any more)

Old database

Apparently this is what the missing persons database looked like, in the days before anyone invented the search function. Personally, I'd like to know more about 'Big Bam Bam', who likes 'beating on elderly people' and wearing 'Channel No. 5'

Meanwhile, I’m sure we can all guess who is the source of Catherine’s problems.

Will Ferrell

WILL FERRELL, YOU BASTARD

Oops, I mean

Eddie

EDDIE, YOU BASTARD

What has he done now? Only taken out a second mortgage on their house! He doesn’t even live there any more!

Catherine Willows pissed off

I agree, that IS seriously shoddy behaviour

When Catherine confronts him, he promptly one-ups himself by producing the worst line of dialogue yet to grace CSI.

Eddie: The only thing I robbed you of was good sex.

Catherine Willows shocked

Say what you mean, why don't you

Essentially: Eddie is pretty much the root of everything crappy in Catherine’s life.

Catherine Willows bad shirt

Except this shirt. That one's all her

Warrick compromised

At least she can cheer herself up by taking compromising pictures of Warrick and this expensive artificial body

Meanwhile, guess who’s feeling perky?

Grissom

Grissom, the happiest mouse

It’s only our old mucker Gil Grissom, who makes a speciality this episode of looming helpfully between the ladies and their problems.

Grissom looms helpfully

Unhand her, sir!

Sara and Pamela

Unhand her, Sara!

It’s just a shame that Sara isn’t more appreciative.

Sara: I wish I was like you, Grissom. I wish I didn’t feel anything.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "I have feelings too! Feelings about ROLLERCOASTERS"

Tough gig, Gil. Tough gig.

So the main plot of this episode – the one that opens the show – is about a guy murdering women and keeping them in his refrigerated truck.

Catherine and Gil

Frozen corpse discoveryfaces

But that’s almost by the by in an episode primarily preoccupied with personal relationships. Warrick and Sara have a showdown as she accuses him of being a gambling addict and complains that Grissom hasn’t fired him, as she recommended.

Warrick angry

Showing down (but also, reminding me of...

Pleo

...this guy, Pleo the robotic baby dinosaur. Is that just me? Something about the eyes.)

In fact, Pleo isn’t the only person Warwick is looking like this ep.

Warrick Pout

Oh no, he di'n't

Grissom pout

Of course he did

Meanwhile elsewhere in Sara and Warrick’s case there’s a funny moment that reminds you of how old this first series actually is.

Sara: Hard to miss all that high-tech computer equipment. There’s got to be five, ten grand there. First thing I’d take.

Wow, five or ten grand’s worth of computers?

High tech?

'All that' equipment

Oh yeah I forgot, it’s 2001.

Other things which date this episode include Grissom’s office ‘burglar alarm’: Big Mouth Billy Bass

Big Mouth Billy Bass

Surely the only thing that Gil Grissom and David Brent have in common

and… well, I would say Greg’s shirt but I think that’s just how Greggo rolls.

Greg Sanders

Rollin' with my homies

In Nick news, he is getting all hot under the collar as Kristy the prostitute from episode 1 resurfaces.

Kristy: My nipples are all better. Wanna see?

Kristy

Don't even go there, lady

It looks for a while like Nickyboy might be getting lucky, but…

Nick and Kristy

STEAMY MOMENT (note the soft focus)

Billy Bass

"Think of your reputation, Nick! Think of the lab's reputation!"

 

Nick fed up

Oh man. Cockblocked by a rubber fish.

Looks like he’ll have to cope with the next best thing instead.

Greg shirt

... a grope of Greggo's manly moob.

Nick and Greg

Seriously though I can see how all those Nick/Greg slashfics got started

Good thing he would never do anything stupid like SLEEP with Kristy. Right, Nick? RIGHT???

This is a good, creepy, nasty episode: the first with just one crime at its centre. The scene is dripping in gore – allowing for a popular CSI trope, the vomiting cop, to make its own first appearance.

Vomiting cop

The 1st rule of CSI: cops can't hack a bloody mess

Also showing up for the first time? O’Reilly, about whose big craggy face I feel rather fondly.

O'Reilly

A mighty mountain of a man

Anyway, so the crime is a quadruple homicide. Mum, Dad and two sons have both been murdered, leaving only the daughters alive. The oldest one, Tina, soon finds herself under suspicion

Tina

Tina, under suspicion (or, auditioning for an Abba video)

along with her boyfriend, who looks a little bit like a less attractive Heath Ledger.

Heath Ledger-alike

Heath?

Heath Ledger

Heath!

Meanwhile, the youngest sister (second celebrity guest of the season…) is busy making friends with Sara, who Grissom assigns to look after her (and who is less than thrilled with the job).

Sara and kid

Now this is one buddy drama I'd like to see become a full series

It seems like in the end, Sara doesn’t mind spending time with Brenda (who calls their tiny daughter Brenda??) but she is able to MESS WITH GRISSOM’S mind in one of those scenes that makes me love her, just a bit.

Grissom: What are you doing now?
Sara: Going back to the girl.

Dakota Fanning

So small... so vulnerable

Sara: I left her in the car.

Grissom WTF

... whut

Sara: (Explanatory) The windows are cracked.

Catherine WTF

... no seriously, whut

Sara: Give me a little credit. She’s at the hospital.

Nick lolz

OH SARA YOU CRAZY JOKER!

Anyway. This ep is so good I actually don’t want to go into more detail about how things turn out (in case anybody ends up going back to watch it) but suffice to say that this time it’s Grissom who wants to know not just how, but why (something that Catherine was harassing Nick about back in Episode 5) but it’s Catherine whose excellent moment of realisation

Catherine's realisation face

Face of realisation

provides the forensic confirmation. Oh, and there’s time for just one Petersen Pout along the way.

Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "This is a grim and unexpected development"

The broader theme of this episode is to do with the CSIs’ respective priorities. There’s the first inkling of Sara’s extreme all or nothing attitude to the job, as she pops up at Grissom’s side almost as soon as the crime has happened:

Sara: Heard on the scanner, quadruple – figured you might need a hand.
Grissom: You don’t sleep, do you?

Catherine is struggling with related problems, as CSI-ing seems to be taking over her life at the expense of everything else. She misses picking Lindsey up from ballet, for instance. Eddie the Ex does it instead and pretends to be all nicey nicey by making pancakes and giving her a massage…

Eddie massages Cath

The supple hands of TREACHERY

… but he is secretly FULL OF NASTINESS, swiftly accusing Catherine of parental neglect and setting Ted the Social Worker on her case.

Ted

Ted, the sanctimonious face of social work

Outrageous behaviour. Meanwhile, an ongoing dispute is established as Grissom responds badly to pressure from the sheriff about this high-profile case, wanting to get on with his job.

Sheriff

Pressure! Pressure!

Sheriff: Here’s a thought: why don’t you try being more like Ecklie?

Conrad Ecklie

Yes, be like me, smooth, unprincipled and career-minded. Also, the evil twin of Alain de Botton.

Basically, this is about how Grissom might be a great scientist but he’s very bad at people-pleasing. This sets him at a disadvantage against day-shift supervisor Ecklie, who pops up to be very competitive and sanctimonious about how Grissom is committing career suicide by alienating the sheriff. I spy a long-running rivalry in the making!

Grissom crossword

Grissom's better at the old cryptics though AND THAT'S WHAT REALLY COUNTS