This episode STINKS! No don’t worry I am not being uncharacteristically harsh and judgemental, just typically witty and insightful. This episode is brought to you by the sense of smell. That is, odour provides the unifying thread which runs through the two plots and through this week’s CSI banter as well. It’s subtle like a gentle whiff of blossom (i.e., it isn’t made explicit in the episode’s title – maybe they couldn’t think of an appropriate pun); but it’s definitely there.

Poor old Sara gets a particularly harsh deal. She and Nick are on B-plot duty, kicking off their assignment with a dramatic helicopter mission to pick up ‘one gnarly-looking head’

Sara Sidle Nick Stokes helicopter

Badaba-ba... bada-bababa... badaba-ba... bada-babababa-ba-bababa-bababaaaaaaaa...

and (on Sara’s part) some banter with a hunky emergency services guy.

Hunky dude

Windswept

 Sara: Down boy!

Nick loves it

Nick loves it

Nick: Nothing like flirting over a DB…

Nick Stokes eyebrows

... unless it's Nick's eyebrow ear-lift of course (this should move! click on it if it doesn't!)

Unfortunately the gnarly-looking head proves to be gnarlier than anybody would like to hope, belonging to a chappie who quickly gains the nickname ‘Liquid Man’.

Human soup

Human soup

Liquid Man is not only a pungent presence

Bad smell

Ewwww

Bad smell

Euuuurgh

Bad smell

Pewwwww

Sara Sidle vom

Bleuuurgh

but also an unfortunately pervasive one.

Bad smell

*struggling to control nausea* *not very sexy*

To be explicit…

You smell like death

Greg: "You smell like death"

Best get changed, eh? Oh wait:

Still smell like death

Nick: "...you still smell like death."

There’s only one solution.

Shower lemons

Lemons!

Sara Sidle shampoo

Gonna wash that (liquid) man right outta my hair...

Nick Stokes SUPERHOT

That's better! (just an excuse to use this hot picture, I hear you cry? WELL DUH)

It will not surprise you to learn that the culprit in this whiffy wrongdoing is, in fact, an evil egg.

Evil egg man

He is the eggman

Elsewhere in the land of scents (??!), Warrick is trialling a $10,000 electronic nose…

Catherine and Warrick flirt

Also, flirting with Catherine

Warrick: I bet you were like that in high school [mean].
Catherine: Worse.
Warrick: You’d be the girl I ran away from.
Catherine: Until you caught me…

Nick Stokes aw shucks

(so is Nick) (Catherine is the only person for whom I'd 'llow it)

[Cath admits she was a bully in high school -] ‘but not the kind that people wanna take a gun out and shoot.’
Nick: No, you were the kind that guys fall all over themselves trying to impress.
Cath: Like you, Nick, huh?

… and a bottle of women’s perfume

Chanteuse

Chanteuse - or, as Grissom calls it, 'shan-toose'

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... 'French is for LOSERS'

proves key to solving the A-case, a murder in a local high school.

Beautiful sister

Would it surprise you to learn that this beautiful lady...

School counsellorface

... smells the same as this, erm, other lady?

Catherine Willows classy

She's like a less classy version of Catherine

Finally, Grissom comes out with (emits?) a smelly non-sequiteur.

Grissom fart face

Grissom: "Did you ever smell a fart and end up blaming the wrong guy?"

Catherine Willows and Jim Brass

Was that some kind of elaborate double-bluff?

Other items necessary for discussion:

Dennis

This is Dennis

Dennis’s dad: I know I must sound like a typical parent, but my son had nothing to do with the death of the Schickel boy.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez: 'OH YEAH DATZ WHAT ALL DEM PARENTS SAY'

and apparently, working to pay the rent is equivalent to putting your children through the trauma of a familial break-up:

Guidance Counsellor

Guidance Counsellor: You have no idea what these kids go through. I listen to them every day. Divorce - working parents - cliques...

However, there was one further SERIOUS REVELATION that rocked my world this episode. (You’ll want this playing for the full effect.)

McKinley High poster

WHAT'S THAT????????

MCKINLEY HIGH

IT NEVER IS

Guidance Counsellor: Look. He was a popular kid, but he was a bully. So there were probably a dozen kids who wanted to see him dead.

Yeah, but not all of them are 5’4 and wear women’s perfume.

Kurt Hummel guilty

Care to provide an alibi, Mr Hummel?

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."

Well I’m pretty thrilled because the title of this episode is a reference to a 19th century body-snatching scandal. As a student of Victorian literature I am ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT for ways in which I can work CSI into my academic life so this is just MORE WEAPONRY in my METAPHORICAL ARSENAL. Yeahhhhh.

Grissom: Remember Burke and Hare? The two nineteenth century Scottish bodysnatchers, who made a living intoxicating innocent victims and suffocating them? Made a living selling their cadavers to teaching hospitals? Got away with it, too, until a medical student discovered his fiancee on a slab.

Grissom perky

Fiancee-on-a-slabface

However: Grissom’s version of the story is (surprise surprise) not quite accurate; the stuff about the fiancee on a slab is totally made up (but extremely reminiscent of my PhD topic text, The Mysteries of London) and he leaves out the fact that Burke and Hare weren’t just selling the bodies to teaching hospitals, they were working directly for a particular doctor with an interest in anatomy. I would say CSI missed a trick with this one in fact as there’s room for some interesting debate about the relationship between crime and science and about the scientific detachment associated with this kind of anatomy and that often attributed to Grissom… but I can feel this getting incredibly long-winded so I’m going to leave that there. FOR NOW.

Nick Stokes puppet face

Here's Nick doing a freaky face. If that hasn't reclaimed your attention then I don't know what will

SO. Outside my happy world of nineteenth century hangups, what’s going down in Las Vegas?

Tony Braun

Tony Braun, that's what

Yes, it’s Tony Braun, well-known heroin addict and financial JEANIUS, son of casino mogul (prick up your ears, folks, this one’s a keeper) Sam Braun, one-time lover of Momma Willows and avuncular buddy to Catherine.

Sam Braun

A face that only a mother (specifically, Catherine's mother) could love

Tony’s dead alright, but whodunnit? The glamorous (money-hungry) girlfriend?

Sexy swab

Sexy swabbing: this is definitely a CSI trope. Remember how Nick first met Kristy right back in the pilot...??!

The neglected little brother? (he has the probable best line of the episode, during this exchange with Grissom:

Grissom: Would you mind if I took a photograph for my bite collection?
Walt Braun: Whatever rubs your Buddha…)

Walt Braun

LANGUAGE IS MY TOOL

The slightly dodgy ‘old friend’ who leads the CSIs to a bunker full of silver in the middle of the desert?

Desert bunker

Smells guilty in here alright

Dodgy pal

Gosh I don't even know what you mean I AM SO LEGIT IT HURTS

Ritton angry wife

... although maybe I did a little swabbing of my own (hence the angry wife)

Well obviously it all gets BLOWN OPEN by the CSIs during the course of the episode… but that’s not what I’m here to talk about! No way! I’m more interested in Coffeegate, Nick being every animal’s best friend, and Warrick pissing off lovely Mandy the fingerprint technician.

So, in the order that I gave them to you then: Coffeegate, as it unfolds.

Grissom grimace

This coffee tastes like sweaty balls (I'm paraphrasing here)

Greg Sanders running

*Chariots of Fire*

Greg Sanders coffee

DO NOT DRINK MY LUXURY COFFEE, MADE FROM THE EYELASHES OF A THOUSAND VIRGINS

Grissom coffee

Great coffee, Greggo, thanks so much

A shocking abuse of power, as I think we’ll all agree. (Meanwhile, let’s have a moment of appreciation not only for Greg’s shirt, but for his chavtastic hairstyle.)

Greg Sanders ghetto hair

Why yes I do have wavy lines shaved across the side of my head

MEANWHILE in hotass Stokes news, Nick has made friends with Tony Braun’s doggies.

Nick Stokes dogs

Yes, eagle-eyed viewers, those ARE new glasses but for some crazy reason the director of this episode decided not to use any close up shots of them. I know, WTF, we get anatomical detail of a dead guy's nose but NOTHING of Nick's hot new frames. Rubbish.

Following on from his cuddle with a cat in $35K O.B.O., I would take this as CONCLUSIVE PROOF that he is loved by all who encounter him, whatever their species, gender or sexual orientation.

Nick Stokes cute

And with those PUPPY DOG eyes (arf arf) I can well understand it

Warrick, on the other hand, is doing his level best not to be loved by Mandy the fingerprinter, who I slightly love.

Warrick: Well, that’s easy for you to say. All you do is scan prints all day and hit ‘enter’.

Mandy fingerprints

I agree, he definitely needs a smackdown

Come on Warrick, have some respect why dontcha!

Final bit of news (apart from this random picture of the CSIs eating)

CSI meal

I don't know why I always feel compelled to screencap this kind of activity, it exerts a weird fascination

is a line from Brass, with accompanying explanatory hand gestures which only serve to alert the viewer (i.e., me) to the fact that he’s straining to avoid the obvious (hilarious) mishearing.

Brass: Based on your pupes I could take you in right now.

Jim Brass

Based on your WHAT NOW?

Patented Petersen Pout

First PPP of the season sez... "I didn't know we were running that kind of a joint"

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?

The cases this week are marked by Dismembered Body Parts, as these two young ladies

Underwear girls

Good thing somebody listened to their mum's advice about wearing matching underwear JUST IN CASE

are pulled over for speeding… but turn out to have a severed head in the back of their car

Severed head

Why is it the head of a giant boxer??

– and Sara and Nick find themselves investigating a distended, skinless handless footless headless body found in the middle of the desert (standard).

Freaky body

Looks suspiciously like a dish Heston Blumenthal might serve a gaggle of C-list celebrities at one of his Feasts

Doc Robbins doesn’t know WOT THE HELL IT IS

Doc Robbins air guitar

Or maybe he just can't be arsed to think about it given his new interest in playing air guitar

Grissom and Catherine music response faces

(of the music) Catherine: "It sucks." Grissom: "I like it."

but luckily there is A SCIENTIST OF TERRI’S CALIBRE (clue: it’s Terri) around to provide some answers.

Terri the forensic anthropologist

Never fear! the brains is here!

Grissom lustful

BURNING WITH A FIERY LUST

It’s a gorilla!

Crappy Gorilla book

Methinks someone has been swotting from this high-quality publication

Nick is promptly whipped off the case

Grissom: You’re working it alone; Catherine needed Nick. [- WHAT ABOUT MY NEEDS?]

and Sara left to deal with this decidedly low priority issue. Animal trafficking just isn’t as interesting as MURDER AND DISMEMBERMENT.

Sara Sidle outraged

Face of outraged vegetarianism

Gil Grissom loves it

Face of carnivorous contempt

You just know that if it were anyone but Sara, Grissom wouldn’t have let them follow up on it at all. (Hence her evaluation: overall, outstanding; ability to prioritise, needs improvement.) Even with his blessing, though, there’s not much she can do but give her (not-so) furry friend a decent burial.

Sara Sidle gorilla burial

Communing with THE GREAT SPIRIT OF THE BEAST

Back in humantown (??!), Catherine is feelin’ feisty

Griss: (re: hacked off head) Do you think a female could do this?
Cath: I could’ve.
Griss: Scared of you…

Grissom scared

PPP sez: "I can't handle the truth"

and Nick has something to prove, after Grissom tells him STRAIGHT OUT in his evaluation that he’s not ready to work cases alone.

Nick Stokes angry

SO ANGRY. SO SEXY.

Much is made of a DUMBASS RIDDLE involving cows which supposedly indicates Nick’s Southern Doofus status as he falls for it:

Grissom: Repeat after me, silk, silk, silk.
Nick: Silk, silk, silk.
Grissom: What do cows drink?
Nick: Milk.

Apparently this is WRONG and cows drink water, but produce milk.

Cows

Errrr NATURE BEGS TO DIFFER

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez: "Nature? I DEFY THEE"

WHATEVS, Grissom.

Nick Stokes confused

Yeah, WHATEVS!

Anyway Nick is spurred on by this harsh assessment of his abilities (about which he doesn’t tell Sara – like the geeky kid in school, she’s desperate to hear how his evaluation went) to discover the KEY PIECE OF EVIDENCE in the severed head case.

Nick Stokes Catherine Willows body in storage

Yay! it's the first instance of the 'body in a storage unit' trope! (N.B. key evidence not in fact found here)

It takes them to this unfortunately-earringed chappie

Bad ear piercings

SORRY LOVE but it's true

and gives Brass a line which I find inexplicably hilarious.

Jim Brass eating a peanut

"Pretty good gimmick they got here: peanuts, toss your shells on the floor, nobody gives a rat's ass."

“Nobody gives a rat’s ass”? Does that really count as a gimmick?!!

Anyway most important about the whole thing is that NICK GIVES CREDIT FOR THE WONDROUS CLUE TO GREG!

Nick Stokes satisfied

SO NOBLE AND SO BEAUTIFUL

This is probably the first step towards Greg becoming a CSI. And he owes it all to Nick.

For those wondering what Warrick is up to (I know I know it’s hard to distract oneself from Stokes and his beauteous jawline, but do spare a thought for Pleo), well, it’s not so much of a change from last week.

Warrick Brown hand down a toilet

Hand down a toilet: the glamorous life of a CSI

Hans Moleman’s grandson is in trouble as there’s been a stabbing at the junior detention unit and he’s the only witness; so Warrick has to sort things out without getting him in trouble for snitching. Two points of interest:

James's bed

Surely it's weird that he should have Warrick's number chalked up in plain view? Isn't that an invite to get harrassed about it?

and this guy, the big bad boy on the unit

Badass kid

Oh so tough

who has the episode’s other most excellent line:

Juvie kid: They answer to me because I’m the macaroni.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez: "Oh yeah? Well I'm the fettucini mate so WATCH IT, aaaight?"

At least Warrick is rewarded for his toilet tribulations with THE GREATEST PLEASURE OF WHICH ANY MAN MIGHT DREAM.

Nick Stokes topless

BOOM! oh sorry, my mistake - what I actually mean is (of course)

Grissom and Warrick on a rollercoaster

It's rollercoaster time!!!!!!

This is the first of what I like familiarly to call the BATSHIT CRAZY episodes, which the CSI writers occasionally like to spring on their unsuspecting audience. (I’m thinking ‘King Baby’ here, people… but more of that in the appropriate time and place.)

In this instance the craziness centres around an evil nutritionist

Gillian McKeith

Ha! I wish!

Creepy Nutritionist

Actually this much more nubile (AND SINISTER) sista, who appears to have stepped out of an 80s music video

who (MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT) is Eating People’s Insides.

Grossed out Grissom

So. Grossed. Out.

Nick Stokes sick

THEY DON'T CALL IT A BATSHIT CRAZY EPISODE FOR NOTHING

Instance #2 of the vomiting cops trope (Nick: ‘Guess he won’t be eating dinner tonight’), the episode prompts a lot of enjoyable double entendre; as when the evil doctor comments on Grissom’s choice of career:

Creepy Nutritionist Lady: Guess one man’s corpse is another man’s candy…

It is all good sensational (and completely unscientific) fun, much of which is generated by the excellent camaraderie always emanating from a case where Nick and Warrick are both involved

Nick and Warrick

EXTREME FACE TWINS

and particularly one where they spend much of their time analysing dog poo. Yup. It’s a glamorous life.

Nick Stokes scat analysis

Ming...

Nick wipe eye

SO MUCH MINGINGER! Nick! Did your mother never tell you that the germs from dog muck can make you go blind??! That's why you wear gloves - SO YOU CAN TAKE THEM OFF

This delightful development also prompts a suggestive allusion to the CSI training regime:

Nick: Don’t even waste your time, that’s cougar.
Warrick: How’d you figure that?
Nick: See the rabbit hair in the faeces? Don’t you remember the seminar?
Warrick: Seminar?

Gillian McKeith

I KNEW she had something to do with it

Meanwhile, Catherine’s much-exercised maternal empathy is called on once more, as a little girl dies on a fairground ride.

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

I weep for you! And for all womankind!

Catherine is quick to lay blame on the dodgy-looking carnie folk

Scary carnie man

Graaaaaaaaargh!

Cheeky carnie

Yeehaaaaaargh!

Catherine Willows angry

Don't mess with a mamaaaaa!

– the fatter of whom has what I think is a contender for best line of the series:

Redneck (arrested): You pullin’ my pud?

All the graaarrring and powerful ladyness seems to get Catherine in the mood – as by the end of the episode she is paying a visit to Mr City Engineer man, primed by their previous flirtation for some Hot Willows Lovin’.

Booty Call

This is what we at CSI denominate a 'booty call'

Catherine Willows kiss

... consider it called.

Finally, in CSI fashion news, O’Reilly has apparently been visiting the Greg Sanders Shirt Emporium

Greg Sanders

This, we know

O'Brian

This, A WHOLE NEW HORROR

and Sara is modelling what I would call her Sci Fi Alien Princess look. I LOVE IT.

Sara Sidle Sci Fi Princess

Natalie Portman eat your heart out (err... perhaps a bad choice of phrase in view of earlier developments)

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?

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.