Archives for category: Nick in danger

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!).

Advertisements

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?

Boom is right! The budget has gone crazy in this ep and we have a real super bona fide explosion… or several.

Nick Stokes topless

BOOM! Oh wait, you meant...

Boom!

Televisual DECADENCE

The episode kicks off with a bomb exploding in a big office block, killing a security guard and landing Warrick, Catherine and Sara with a massive great jigsaw puzzle as they try to work out what happened. Grissom, meanwhile, is spending time with suspect numero uno

Berkum

What a chubbly berkum

– another security guard with a suspiciously encyclopaedic knowledge of explosives. However, as time passes, Grissom begins to bond with this weird and kindly fellow, so that by the time the real culprit is discovered and Berko is left holding the bomb, it’s all become a little personal.

Berkum 2

Face of imminent fiery death

Grissom explosion

There he goes... Grissom's no.1 candidate for potential friendship

Grissom clocks

Now he has only his bajillion clocks for company

Bad times. (Times… geddit?)

Of course the real personal interest storyline comes from (let’s face it) everybody’s main person of interest, lovely Nicky Stokes. After a few drinks with an old uni pal, he turns down the chance of a night chasing these babes

Babes

The very embodiment of 'What happens in Vegas'

and is just heading home to write reports (what a geek) when he comes across our OLD FRIEND Kristy Hopkins, getting in a fight with a suspicious randomer. One rescue later (Nick loves to be a knight in shining armour) and she’s inviting him in for a drink…

Kristy

ALLURING

Kristy: Just ‘cos you’re a crime scene analyst, you don’t have to analyse everything.

Nick Stokes sexytimes

Analyse THAT

So far so good but suddenly DISASTER STRIKES as Nick’s cosy morning-after breakfast turns into a MURDER SCENE. And he’s prime suspect.

Nick shock

Face of regretting I ever let it out my pants

Even worse? Ecklie is investigating and on his most sanctimonious form.

Conrad Ecklie

Loving it more than JT loves a Big Mac

Ecklie: You think I wanna believe that a CSI could commit murder? Hell, I don’t even wanna believe that a CSI could sleep with a hooker.

WHATEVS CONRAD. WE’VE ALL DONE IT.

Anyway if a CSI gets arrested apparently it’s automatic dismissal – good thing for Nick that Catherine (lovely lady that she is) (the fact that she saves Nick’s ass isn’t even the main reason why I love her) is on the case. One moment of realisation later

Catherine Willows moment of realisation

Aha!

and she has a slam-dunk on Kristy’s dodgy pimp.

Jack

Booo! Hiss!

Yeehaw!

Nick and Catherine

Catherine, you're an absolute hero

Unfortunately before Pimpy gets put away he has time for a quick confrontation with Nick, just enough to disillusion him about Kristy’s avowed plans to reform and get an education. ALL LIES (apparently).

Jack: This isn’t Pretty Woman. She wasn’t Julia Roberts. You’re not Richard Gere.

Nick confrontation

And a good thing too, Richard Gere is one of the least sexy men ever, I think we all know that Nicky is SEX FACTOR 10

Nick Stokes topless

Let's examine the evidence one more time, shall we? Boom!!!

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???

A bit of a corker this episode: the inaugural CSI/PD showdown, some insight into Catherine’s past, and the first of many life-threatening situations for Nicky. Oh, and Grissom gets his lovin’ on.

So, to kick things off, Sara and Warrick are investigating an ‘officer involved shooting’. This is the officer involved

Dodgy cop?

Good cop? Bad cop?

and they manage to upset Brass (who seems to have a bit of a vendetta against Warrick in the early part of this season) by wanting to verify his account of what happened with EVIDENCE. Because that’s what CSIs are all about! Anyway in the process not only does Warrick strip down to his tighty whitey (vest, not pants, sorry kids)

Warrick in his vest

A musclebound hunk fo' sho' but I still prefer Nick's Clark Gable-style SHUNNING of the vest

but the cop gets a chance to berate the CSIs in what will become time-honoured fashion: they’re scientists who spend their time in the lab and don’t know what it’s like out on the street. Grissom has probably never even drawn his gun…

… which is super IRONIC of course because what has to happen later in the episode but a GUN SHOWDOWN? It all starts with a skeleton that an unfortunate plumber discovers in the house foundations (and which Nick and Grissom chisel out)

Grissom and Nick

I think they've found Narnia

and which turns out to be a missing person (whose face forensic artist Terri constructs in a glorious Ghost-esque clay scene with the Grisster).

Terri

The look of love

Grissom and Terri

Sing it with me now: "Ohhhh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch..."

Petersen Pout

Really, can you blame the woman? PPP sez, "no you can't"

Dead head

For the work of the country (and Canada)'s best forensic artist, she still looks like a Neanderthal woman from a museum diorama

She’s called Faye and it turns out her (ex-)boyfriend is still living (with his new wife) in the house they shared.

Killers

One of these people is not like the other...

Nick and Grissom

CRIME SOLVING IN PROCESS

Missing the obvious fact that the guy appears to have perfect eyesight and thus is unlikely to be a criminal, Grissom has him arrested, leaving Nicobobinus (who seems to have sorted out his shirt issues and is looking F-I-N-E in this episode with a kind of 50s hairstyle going on) alone with the real culprit and suddenly rather vulnerable…

Gunpoint

Uh oh

Nick in danger

But look at his beautiful face! Don't hurt his beautiful face!

Poor old Nick is basically on the point of despair when Grissom FINALLY puts two and two together and rushes back – drawing his gun, of course, in your face snidey policeman – to rescue the lovely Mr Stokes. Who can’t help falling apart a little bit with relief.

Nick cries

Yes, it's a tear glinting on his cheek. He's a delicate flower. And that's why I like him

Nick isn’t the only one going to bits in this episode: despite Grissom’s best advice

Petersen Pout (again)

PPP says: "I told you to hand this case over to Warrick"

Catherine ends up handling a case involving her ex-husband, Eddie.

Eddie

He looks a bit like a puffy-faced Will Ferrell. Could do better, Catherine

A dancer with a bad fringe (just like Catherine herself once was) accuses him of raping her.

Bad fringe!

Much too short. It's like a reverse Claudia Winkleman

Turns out he didn’t do it, but the whole thing leaves Catherine a little bit shaken. She’s not over Will Ferrell yet.

Catherine cries

He's not worth it, really he isn't

At least she has a bit of banter with Greg to cheer her up.

Greg: So, you used to work at the French Palace, huh? My friends and I used to go there… Maybe I saw you perform.
Catherine: Oh, I doubt it.
Greg: Why?
Catherine: You would have remembered.

Oh and speaking of? Greg shirtwatch says… ANOTHER CORKER! This is evidently the only outlet for the CSI wardrobe department’s frustrated creativity.

Greg's bad shirt

Greg Sanders' shirts: the American equivalent of Pat Butcher's earrings

Last point… Doc Robbins arrives in this episode! What a nice beardy old man he is.

Doc Robbins

Doctor Robbins, what's the worst that can happen? Well, he's a coroner, so, quite bad stuff actually