Archives for posts with tag: csi: crime scene investigation

Lesson from this week’s episode? EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

That’s true for these guys, doofus touristicii who we see in the opening scene getting ripped off by a Vegas conman:

Stupid tourists

"We're honest people"... honest

It’s true for the conman, who ends up shot in a car park shortly after making off with $2000 of their money:

Griss (looks at body): Striking resemblance to Judas.
Brass: How’s that?
Griss: Both men lost their lives over a worthless bag of chips. (ROLL TITLE SEQUENCE)

Chippie chips

Worthless?? ARE YOU CRAZY IN THE HEAD?

Casino chips

Oh what yeah these are actually pretty worthless. OK.

It’s definitely true for Warrick, who gets lumbered with running the shift as Catherine’s in Reno and Grissom is cockroach-racing at an entomological convention in Deleuze.

Warrick Brown unlucky

UNLUCKY

Warrick: Acting supervisor? What about Nick – he’s got seniority? Or Sara – she’d jump at the chance.
Grissom: If it was about seniority, I’d ask Nick. If I wanted someone to stay up for three straight days, I’d ask Sara. Instead, I want you.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "I want you"

Warrick Brown hot

... and I think we can ALL see why

It’s also true for Sara and Nick, when they find out. Nick (all round solid and amazing guy that he is) takes the snub well. Sara – who doesn’t have seniority and therefore has much less right to be pissed off – is, unsurprisingly, a little harder to handle.

Sara Sidle angry

So full of burning rage

It’s true for Special Agent Beckman, who accidentally ends up in the middle of one of Sara and Warrick’s many rows.

Warrick Brown Sara Sidle argument

Argument in progress

Special Agent Beckman

AWKWARD

It’s true for Sara, when Special Agent Beckman turns out to be running a complicated, Sherlock Holmes-style double-bluff to test her morals. Turns out those doofy tourists weren’t so doofy after all?

Sara Sidle betrayed

BETRAYED by the cut-glass cheekbones

Don’t worry Sara I don’t think he would be much of a lover:

Special Agent Beckman: Never feels right when it works; only feels wrong when it doesn’t.

BUT most of all, as the episode title suggests, it’s true for Captain Jim Brass, whose daughter Ellie turns out to be involved with the central crime and with some rather shady characters.

Ellie Rebecca Brass

NO WAYYYYYYZ

Ellie Brass bitchface

YES WAYYYYYYZ

Jim Brass sad

SAD DAYYYYYYZ

Ellie’s shady dealings (and flagrant ingratitude to her dear old dad) land both of them in trouble, as Brass goes all vigilante on her boyfriend

Car Chase

Not the best way to meet the parents

and finds Warrick having to confiscate his badge.

Badge confiscation

EMASCULATION

Conrad Ecklie

Ecklie - never knowingly absent when somebody's getting bitched out

The episode is notable for rekindling the mutual dislike between Warrick and Brass that was evident at the beginning of Season 1 but seems to have been let slide until now; anyway it’s back with a vengeance (as you can imagine) after this incident, and isn’t much helped by Ellie’s shameless flirting with the W-man.

Ellie to Warrick: Will you fill me up, Warrick?

Warrick resisting

I get enough of this kind of thing from Grissom, thanks

Some of her lines have a touch of the Louis Walsh about them:

Ellie to Warrick: You know, you have this whole Lenny Kravitz thing going on.

Louis Walsh

"like a little Lenny Henry"

Others are just terrifyingly prescient:

Ellie: Everyone I sleep with dies.

Ellie Brass flirting

SHE'S GONE MOFFAT! (this is assuming they did actually sleep together, of course)

Poor Brass. A daughter who doesn’t respect him and who is desperate to get into the pants of the one guy at work who he doesn’t really like.

Captain Jim Brass emotional

In a glass case of emotion

Jim Brass head injury

(He also sustains a head injury)

Thank goodness, then, for this episode’s one really reliable element: Catherine’s maternal empathy, which she phones in all the way from Reno. Can’t have a parent-child relationship without Catherine passing comment!

Catherine Willows maternal empathy

Yeah yeah yeah weeping for you Jimbo - but only a little as you're not a laydee. WHATEVS

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!).