Archives for posts with tag: sara sidle

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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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!).

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!!!!!!

I seem to start every single one of these updates with a reference to the CSIs’ love lives, and essentially this one is just the same: Catherine and Greg have got exciting new haircuts, Grissom enjoys the feel of a young body in his arms, and Sara and David are flirting… AGAIN.

First things first, however, and the A-case (the one that opens the episode) is jeopardised by the WRATH OF MOTHER NATURE when a serious downpour sets in just as the CSIs arrive at the crime scene. Luckily there’s a handy eyewitness around to let them know exactly what went down.

Justin Green

Huh. He seems pretty SWEATY AND GUILTY. Guess that's just the rain...

Deceived by his blue eyes and delicate cheekbones, the team launch a hunt for the killer which takes them, via a third victim (who provides Grissom with a frisson of physical excitement, as her corpse falls out of a stolen car)…

Falling body

Caught you!

Grissom: Well, I haven’t felt that in a while.
Brass: What’s that?
Grissom: The element of surprise. (OR, A YOUNG WOMAN’S NUBILE FLESH)

Grissom surprised

THRILLED TO THE CORE

… to her flat, where Nick does some hilarious hacking…

Nick and Grissom

Worried that Grissom, rejected by Terri, is transferring his affections

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Did we really log into her online banking with the username 'Jessica' and the password 'money'? Good thing people here in 2001 don't know how the internet works!"

… then through an incredible 3-way realisationface…

3 way realisationface

Oho! Aha! Ihi!

… and the inevitable crime scene re-enaction…

Re-enactment

Where's Catherine with the Polaroid camera when you need her?

… to a bit of climactic laser-pointing from Grissom…

Grissom laser pointer

"You'll note that for the genuine Petersen Pout the lips have to remain together, though slightly projected from the face"

… and finally RIGHT BACK TO WHERE THEY STARTED.

Guilty CPR

GUILTIEST. CPR. EVER.

Patented Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Doh!"

Meanwhile, Greg is working the Hoxton fin

Greg Sanders

Fran from Travis: the thinking chemist's style icon

and Catherine, with a schmancy new haircut of her own

Catherine Willows short hair

Going all-out with the glitzy clip

is bickering/flirting with the district engineer, as she investigates a building which has inexplicably collapsed.

District engineer

Hate the bickering...

District Engineer

... LURVE THE FLIRTIN'

Catherine Willows hard hat

Even more, lurve the hard hat. WORK IT, sister!

As I already implied in my tantalising opener, Catherine isn’t the only one flirting, as Sara and David exchange amused

Sara Sidle flirt

Amused

/longing

David flirt

Longing

looks across the body of Grissom’s surprising victim. It seems to put Sara in a good mood, anyway, as she gives this random, helpful but chubbly knife expert

Knife man

Knife to see you, to see you...

the biggest smile I have ever seen her produce! Hurrah for a Sidle full of delight!

Sara Sidle smile

Radiant like the frickin' sun

Still, for all that Sara, Catherine and Greg are looking their best this episode (I’ll be charitable and say nothing about Grissom) (oops, too late), we all know whose arms I’d rather be in.

Nick Stokes and cat

Come on, people. It wouldn't be right for me to finish an update with a picture of anyone else.

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.

This is a very Grissom and Sara-y episode if you like that kind of thing. They’re handling the central case, the murder of a woman whose body is found out in the desert and whose husband (celebrity guest evil wife-murderer Paul Young from Desperate Housewives [is he actually a wife-murderer in DH? I think that’s a lie. He’s definitely dodgy though]) rapidly becomes prime suspect.

Paul Young

Look at that smug, wife-beaty face

Sara hates a wife-beater of course so gets to have an enjoyable showdown with Paul (or ‘Scott’ as he is calling himself) as he reacts badly to her accusations about him, erm, shooting his wife and dumping the body.

Sara Sidle angry

DON'T MESS WITH IT

Creepy Wife Beater (to Grissom): I told you she was a handful.
Sara: You don’t know a handful!

Excellent line! Sara I love you. Unfortunately after this first rate beginning the case starts to get to her, she ends up sleeping in the office as she is staying so late to work (instance #2 of the ‘Sara is a workaholic’ trope) and then ends up in this GSRtastic exchange with Grissom as he tries to play down her sense of emotional responsibility for the case.

Sara: Do you wanna sleep with me?
Grissom: Did you just say what I think you said?
Sara: That way, when I wake up in a cold sweat under the blanket, hearing Kaye’s screams, you can tell me it’s nothing. It’s just empathy.

Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "I was keen until I heard about the sweating and the screaming. Actually, I'm still keen."

Little does she know that Grissom is working his entomological socks off trying to sort out the insect evidence to make sure Evil Wife Beater Vest goes down.

Gil Grissom

Insect darts: a new pub sport

As usual it takes a Gratuitous Crime Reconstruction to work out what really happened, this time involving Grissom and Sara sitting (presumably for several days) watching a pig decompose. Ahhh, love…

Pigwatch

Like the worst kind of family camping trip

NB Future knowledge alert: this is the incident to which Sara will, in a later episode, attribute her vegetarianism; thus making it ironic (?) or at least significant that at the beginning of the episode, Grissom is borrowing ‘that beef jerky [she’s] always gnawing on’ to feed his bugs with. (I don’t really buy Sara being a big beef jerky eater, given her distaste for Nick’s microburrito, but OK whatevs.)

Meanwhile in other news, Nick’s been on a date (with this lady)

Some bimbo

Obviously, I hate her face

who he is then a little embarrassed to find himself working with on some super-snoozefest missing persons case.

Rollneck jumper lady: We had dinner last week. I thought it went great. You never called.
Nick: That doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to.

Lady. Say it with me. HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. [mwahahahaaa]

Also, Catherine is still getting hassle from child services, who have contacted Warrick to ask about her parenting; luckily, he tells them ‘where mothers are concerned, [she’s] the bomb’. YEAH loyalty, friendship and a little frisson of mutual attraction.

Catherine Willows

And who wouldn't be attracted to this fox?

Unfortunately for Warrick, Ecklie is on the warpath against him

Conrad Ecklie

He just has an unfortunate face

and Grissom has to set Sara tracking his movements all over again. As she finds him on a security tape entering the Monaco (when he should have been in court), it’s not looking good for Grissom’s ‘favourite CSI’. (Really? Maybe that’s why he’s not my favourite despite his obvious hunkliness. In the words of Gretchen Wilson/the whole nation of Britain, ‘I’m for the underdog’…)

So this episode is the CSI version of World’s Most Famous Detective Story (is that true? I feel like it might be) Murder on the Orient Express. Except this is Murder on a Las Vegas Airlines Plane.

Las Vegas Air

It's reenactment time! WOOP WOOP

Some unfortunate guy is dead in first class and none of the other passengers are talking. Adding to the tension? The CSIs have only 12 hours to solve the case before it gets handed over to the FBI… and the sheriff (gunning for a mayoral role?) wants results.

Sheriff

This little piggy wants... someone to arrest

Petersen Pout

PPP sez... "Tough gig"

The episode unfolds much as its celebrity predecessor might lead you to expect; most of the fun comes from the CSIs’ personal reactions to a case which says some not-very-nice things about human nature. What’s nice is that everybody’s working together.

CSI Vegas

This gives me another great idea for a series: CSI GALACTIC

By the end of the episode, Sara, Warrick and Nick are discussing murder, and whether they’d commit it:

Sara: I wouldn’t, Warrick would, and Nick’s on the fence.

Warrick

"If it was between him or me, I could." BAD. ASS.

Catherine also would, if Lindsey was in danger.

Catherine

WHATCHAGONNADO? Sue me?

So, that’s good to know. Also of interest? Some excellent Mile High Club banter between Sara and Grissom, after these passengers

Mile High clubbers

Guilty!

prove to be fairly crappy eyewitnesses after having shagged in the toilet through the whole performance.

Grissom: You know, high altitude increases the entire sexual experience; increases the euphoria.

Sara Sidle

Euphoria, schmuphoria

Sara: Well, it’s good, but I don’t know if it’s that good.

Grissom

"Cite your sources." (Now she's got his attention)

All very thrilling and just like the Agatha version I’d say it’s a pretty memorable episode case-wise. However, whatever the unfortunate events on the plane (there’s a Samuel L Jackson joke hovering overhead somewhere but I can’t quite reach it), the episode contains only two real crimes:

Greg Sanders

The shirt. Of course the shirt.

(n.b. Greggo nickname watch: “Einstein”)

aaaaaaaaaaand

Vending machine

Vendie DISASTER!!!

Sad vendie man

Lou Everett (you bastard) I feel your pain!

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