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.
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!
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
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!
"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.
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]
This is what 'wanting pants' looks like
Additional laughs are provided by Sara’s hideous sunglasses
They kind of make her look like an evil blind shrew
(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.
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.
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.
'Dirty little stink boy'? OK then...
Side-stepping Lady Heather’s offer of a joint session,
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.
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.
Obviously, it's the 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.
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.
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.
Not this guy! He is a baby!
THIS guy, on the other hand...
Earning multitudes of Speccy White Guy points for his status as henpecked house husband,
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…’]
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.
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:
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).
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?
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.)
PPP sez: "Jess you ignorant gitto. Gustav Stickley is totes fames."
4. Catherine’s standard ‘oh Greg’ face:
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!
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.
Looking for a date, huh, Greg? Looking with your eyes??
Greg (to Grissom): You know what a switch is?!
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.
Only cos YOU KNOW HE'D LOVE IT. (Sure you don't want to reconsider that 'never', Mr Stokes?!)