[Air Date: 02-09-06]
“Pirates of the Third Reich”
Oh boy! Pirates! Any CSI episode with a promise of pirates is bound to be a good one. Not so sure about the Nazi reference, but that’s probably just a tease. Due to the mature theme, I’m told, viewer discretion is advised. That’s good to know; I’ll set my viewing mode to Discreet.
Vegas flashes on the screen briefly, and then a sandstorm hurls us into the desert – the part of the desert where Vegas isn’t, to be more specific. Gil drives down the hot windy sandy sneezy road in his tricked-out Forensicsmobile. He pulls up to a cluster of cars and cops with their collars zipped way up into makeshift dust masks. Brass (hey, didn’t he just get shot? Oh, wait…that was in the future) meets him with the facts: a guy on his way to a landscaping job in Palm Springs saw a body sticking out of the sand. Gil thinks it’s a body dump. I think it’s the landscaper’s attempt to get the LVPD to let him put a stack of his business cards on their front desk. They meet up with El Nicko, or so his blue bandito bandana-mask suggests to me. El Nicko shows them the body; it’s a skinny mostly naked woman. She’s been half-buried face down in the sand. She’s wearing a bra and panties, her head is shaved, and as the camera switches angles, we can see a “19” branded into her left shoulder. It looks like she’s behind a berm of sand, so how the landscaper saw her from the road is anyone’s guess. Maybe he stopped to collect some sand for his client’s zen garden. Nick points out that the victim’s right hand is missing too, and she appears to have been starved. She’s just not having a good day, although from the state she’s in, maybe this is a better day than she’s been having recently. David pulls up (don’t these guys carpool?) and points out that conditions are less than ideal; he’d like Grissom’s permission to do a ‘scoop and run’ and take the body back to the morgue for processing. Grissom agrees. He starts to say that any potential tire tracks or footprints are…and Brass steals his line. “Dust in the wind,” says Brass, and David smiles and nods at the hat-tip to the band Kansas. Did you know that Kansas’ violinist came to them as a classically-trained musician? And it is not fogey music; shut up. Grissom notices the brand on the victim’s shoulder. “Emaciated, bald, and numbered. What does that remind you of?” Guantanamo? Grissom doesn’t say anything, since Brass stole his A material for the credit roll, and then the credits roll.
Microsoft makes software for the people-ready business. As long as those people are ready to do a lot of rebooting.
David, Doc Robbins, and Nick are gathered around Ninetina in the morgue. Doc thinks of brands as a sort of contract, such as a Maori tribesman or a Marine might get to pledge kinship with their fellows. Nick mentions something about beef and a hot poker in the rear…gaaaaay. David says he couldn’t get an accurate temperature reading from her liver, so he’ll take a measurement from the vitreous fluid in the eye instead. Ick. One of her eyes is pretty badly desiccated, says the doc, and he’ll take some fluid from both to see whether she had an infection. David jabs a syringe in her good eye and sucks out about 3 cups of fluid; I hope that was on a cadaver and not the actress playing our victim, because she’ll probably need both eyes fully inflated for her next audition. He sticks another needle in the other eye, and when he pulls a little it just pops right out of its socket; he’s now holding an eyeball on a stick, complete with optic nerves. I recant my previous “Ick” and issue it here instead. David just stares at the eyecicle in his hand. Nick looks a little ill. “Um…Doctor Robbins?” David says hesitantly. Well, it’s not like she’s going to miss it, you know. Doc comes over and casually notes that the optic nerve appears to have been severed. He asks David to check the other eye, and David digs right in, squishing the eye around in its socket. It’s still connected. Doc says to clip the optic nerve on that one and send them both to DNA. Nick now looks ready to hurl.
It’s time for a music montage! In the DNA lab, Wendy syringes out some juice from each eye and mixes it into her health shake. In the morgue, Doc pulls something that looks like a dead bug or a bit of cloth out of Ninetina’s teeth. His gloved hands and smock are covered in blood. The music winds down as Grissom enters the lab, and Doc tells him it’s been “a long strange trip for this poor girl.” She has puncture wounds around her glands from large fluid-drawing needles. He’s not sure what he pulled out of her teeth, but speculates that it’s from her last meal. She’d had a DNC, possibly from an abortion or removal of polyps. She’s also a lot roomier on the inside than she used to be; necrotizing fasciitis has shrunk most of her internal organs. Doc medexposits that the disease usually starts with the skin and works its way inward through the bloodstream; in her case it started in her bloodstream, which explains why her skin looks fine. Which is good, because her career as a casket model is just getting started. Gil wonders if the big needle holes mean someone injected her with something, instead of taking something out.
Wendy is sharing news about the case with Sara as they wander the halls. The victim had oxycodone and an anti-panic drug in her system, or so said her eye juice. The removable eye, however, didn’t actually belong to her but to a male. Maybe she had a jealous boyfriend who wanted to keep an eye on her while he was away. Her eye’s condition suggested she’d been dead for a day, but the other eye had apparently been away from home for a week. Wendy found the man’s eye’s DNA in CODIS. His name is Jack Landers, and he’s a registered sex offender. Registered after the fact, I mean, not like a fishing-license type thing. Wendy and Sara debate whether putting your eye in someone else’s eye socket constitutes a sex offense. They conclude that it’s not sexual under Nevada law, which calls for genitals to be involved – and prudently so, I think, because who wants to be tossed in jail over a Wet Willie? – but it certainly qualifies as offensive. This is how hot criminology babes bond.
On the mean streets of Vegas, Sara and Brass walk with a parole officer who’s taking them to meet Jack Landers. Jack got out of jail not long ago and had both eyes at the time. When he missed his monthly parole appointment, his PO was prepared to give Jack a paperwork smackdown when Jack suddenly reappeared across the street from his halfway house, “thinking he was Cap’n Crunch.” A urine test came back clean, but he’s still acting crazy. “Hey, Jack,” shouts the PO as the three approach him. “Captain Jack to you,” he says, possibly because he’s listening to that Billy Joel song about heroin on his MP3 player. Captain Jack turns around, and in addition to a head bandana and a mullet and a gold earring, he’s also got an eye patch. Maybe he really is a sea captain. He rubs his eye patch and rants quietly about his childhood and the sea and the beast and he’s a puppet and stuff, standard rant fare. He presses in close to Brass to make his crazy non-point, and Brass tries to act casual.
Nick catches up to Sara at the hospital. He tells her he didn’t get any fingerprint matches in AFIS for Ninetina, so he put out a bulletin to other law enforcement agencies and the media. Hope he did something to lighten up her current grey, corpsey color and put a blonde wig on her beforehand, because when it comes to lost women, the media doesn’t seem to give a shit about any other kind. They head into an examining room where a doctor is trying to examine Jack’s eye hole. Jack isn’t being particularly cooperative. He bobs and weaves his head around, muttering about how he’d like to make the doctor walk the plank. Jack does a good job of staying in character. The doctor finally gets a good peek, and his penlight shows us the back of Jack’s eye socket. He asks Jack if he was in an accident or a fight recently, but Captain Jack “don’t do much recallin’.” He asks Sara about eye tumors, but all Sara knows is that he’s a suspect in a murder investigation. She asks the doctor if he thinks Jack’s crazy, and the doctor replies that he thinks Jack’s been lobotomized. He hands Jack a gown to put on and tells the audience that lobotomies were often done through the eye socket in the 1930s and 1940s. The doctor is going to run a CT scan to be sure. I hope “often” means “often in the rare cases it happened,” and not that eye socket lobotomies were one of the less popular projects of the WPA. They also used to (and may still) perform lobotomies through the nose, as the ancient Egyptians did. I’m looking forward to the development of transporter technology, when the lobe can be beamed painlessly out from the skull. Jack takes off his shirt, and we see the number 18 branded on his shoulder. Sara points it out to Nick, and Nick realizes out loud that Jack isn’t a suspect; he’s a victim. I hope there’s not a lot of paperwork involved in switching someone from one category to the other.
Brass’s office. A woman sits across from him, but we can only see her from the back. He tells her that she’ll need to identify the body. A close-up shot shows her fingering a cross hanging from her necklace, both done in silver and onyx. She agrees, and asks Brass to provide her with some anonymity, “for reasons I’m sure we both understand.” Brass says he’ll do his best. The woman gets up and leaves, and as she walks down the hallway, we see that it’s Grissom’s old flame and dominatrix extraordinare Lady Heather, played by Melinda Clarke. Firefly fans may recognize her as the spunky madam in the episode “Heart of Gold.” It’s one of the episodes on the DVD set that never aired on Fox. She was also in the series premier of Enterprise and an episode of Sliders (Season 3, before the show turned to crap). Commercials.
Grissom is leafing through some books on lobotomies. There are pictures and everything, which isn’t good because now all the kids who watch this show are going to be trying it themselves. Well, as long as they try it on the kids who watch “The Simple Life,” I guess there’s no harm. Brass comes in and tells him that Ninetina’s real name is Zöë Kessler. Zöë’s mom saw her on the news and identified her as her estranged daughter. Oh, and by the way…Lady Heather’s the mother. Grissom looks more than a little shocked.
Brass and Grissom and Catherine break into Zöë’s dumpy apartment to look for clues. Her mail is piled up by the door under the mail slot. Grissom checks her closet, which contains normal closet things, and her bookshelf, which contains some actual literature. Not surprising, I suppose, as Lady Heather is also very smart. “Freud, Goethe, Rilke,” says Grissom, holding up a thin book. “In German. Briefe an einen jungen Dichter.” Roughly translated: “Who Moved My Cheese?” Catherine wonders how she got from Harvard to the seedy part of Vegas. She notes from the mail that Zöë hasn’t been home for about 10 weeks. There’s a note by the phone about a 7 pm appointment at a place called Betz on Nov. 12, 10 weeks ago show time. Grissom checks her answering machine messages; she only has three, which seems a little low to me for 10 weeks and disappearing without a trace. Two messages are from the Betz Clinic, follow-up calls about her appointment, and one is from CitiBank wondering what she’s doing that’s so important that she thinks she doesn’t have to pay her credit card bill on time. I’m glad they won’t get their money from her. It’s funny how the people who should get snatched and mutilated never do. Although I guess you can’t kidnap a corporation. Grissom finds some pictures of Zöë with her dad (I guess; he looks daddish) and Lady Heather. He notes that she’s got heterochromia, or eyes of different colors. In this case, one is blue and one is brown. Brass notes that “the pirate” had one blue eye. I think he said pirate; he might have said pie rat, which could refer to a scene I missed in which someone stole his pie. I’ll go back and check for that later. Grissom spends quite a bit of time looking at the photo of Zöë and Lady Heather. For, uh, clues. I guess he still has a bit of a crush on her. They are two attractive women, but the actors are probably within 10 years or so of each other.
Doc Robbins is in the Corpse Drawer Room with Lady Heather. Zöë is laid out before her. She wants to know what happened to Zöë, and Doc says they’re still trying to find out. She asks if she can touch Zöë, and when Doc agrees, she caresses her daughter’s cheek. As she moves her hand down Zöë’s arm, she notices the brand. “This required skill,” she says, “and the infliction of pain.” She wants to know if Doc shaved her head, but he tells her Zöë was like that when they found her. It’s a good thing the CSIs don’t make up names for their corpses like I do (the ones on the show; any corpses I produce on my own are clearly undeserving of a name). I’m sure there’d be discomfort all around if he’d referred to her as Ninetina by mistake. Lady Heather wonders whether Doc could tell if Zöë had ever given birth. He says there was some scarring on her pelvic bones, but it’s hard to say given the condition her body was in when they found it. She’s saved the best for last: Zöë always wore her grandmother’s ring on her right hand; did they find the ring? Doc puts on his “more bad news” face.
Transition to the hallway. Lady Heather comes out of the morgue, only to run into Grissom. She looks surprised, and seems to bite down an urge to hug him and cry on his shoulder. Or so it appeared to me. “Hi,” he says. “I’m so sorry about your loss.” “But you need to ask me some questions,” she says. Grissom wants more info on Zöë; Lady Heather says she dropped out of Harvard a year ago, and she didn’t even know Zöë was in town. Lady Heather says she wasn’t in contact with her, and Grissom asks gently if she can tell him why. “What difference does it make now?” she asks, and Grissom’s got no response except to bite down on his urge to hug her and cry on her shoulder. He asks if Zöë had any medical problems, and explains about the appointment at the Betz Clinic. Lady Heather gets a look in her eye, like she’s filing that piece of info away for later. “Where was she found?” she asks. Grissom tells her they found Zöë off Highway 55 near Sparks. She nods and processes, then excuses herself and heads down the hall.
At Betz Farmasooticle, a busy receptionist works the phones. Mostly by putting people on hold. Catherine and Greg are met in the lobby by Dr. Wolfowitz, who hands them the info on Zöë’s stay on Nov. 12. She came to the clinic for an overnight sleep study to help deal with her chronic insomnia, but Wolfowitz tells the CSIs that Zöë left early. Greg asks if there was a problem, but Wolfowitz says it’s not uncommon for people to get a little freaked out about sleeping in a new place. Catherine would like to see the testing rooms, and Wolfowitz gives them the nickel tour. The testing rooms have a lamp, a bed, a chair, and even a painting on the wall, all to give the testees the sense they’re in a regular bedroom instead of a lab. Greg suggests that a TV would be a nice addition to the room, but Wolfowitz snaps that it would defeat the purpose of the test; the subjects can’t get any cues about what time it really is. Xbox, maybe? Catherine wants to know how they monitor the patients. Wolfowitz tells them that the patients wear electrodes to measure their relevant vitals, and a video camera in each room helps make sure the patients stay in bed. Greg thinks he’s talking about hanky-panky, and so did I, because what else are they going to do if they can’t sleep and there’s no TV or computer games? But no, he’s talking about sleepwalking. He goes on to say that they dole out the sleep meds and then ask the patients to assume a “sleep-ready position.” That’s better than the position the doctor usually asks you to assume. The clinic screens its patients carefully, he says, which makes one wonder how Captain Jack got in. What? We haven’t found out about that yet? Oops. Well, now you know. When we learn that for real, try to look surprised. The screening is done to prevent people from just wandering in for free sleep meds, he says. We wouldn’t want people getting a good night’s sleep without proper clearance, after all.
Back at HQ, Greg fills Grissom in on their tour of Betz. “This clinic is like Hotel California,” he says. “You can check in any time you like, but you might never leave.” So let’s see…Kansas, Billy Joel, and now the Eagles. One of the writers for this show obviously got an iPod for their birthday. He adds that Zöë and Captain Jack were part of the same sleep study. See? Did you remember to look surprised? Greg called the dozen other participants, and they were all alive and unbranded. For now. Next week two of them go in for a “Population Acceptance Survey on Civilian Barcoding.” Grissom says that Zöë’s car was towed away from the Betz parking lot a few days after her stay. Greg tells him that Zöë left early that night, and Captain Jack did as well, at least according to the clinic’s records. Grissom thinks that ‘left early’ is a euphemism. Possibly for ‘departed prior to the expected time.’
Wendy has finished with the crud from Zöë’s teeth, and tells Nick that the material was human sinew – Zöë’s. She apparently chewed her own hand off. Wendy is unsettled at the thought that she was starving and ate her own hand, but Nick – who finally gets to be more cynical than someone – thinks she chewed it off to escape.
Back in the desert, where it’s less windy today because they only rented the wind machine for one day because the Assistant Producer forgot they’d need it for this scene too, and then it was booked for another show for two weeks, and the only other place that had one was way up in Billings, and that guy wanted to get his niece a walk-on because she’s a huge CSI freak, and the Director said no because he was pissed at the AP and also the niece was kind of ugly…anyway, desert, less windy, Nick and Warrick. An anonymous source wishes me to add that Anastasia thinks Warrick is extremely attractive and she would like to service him sexually, but frankly I think that’s kind of pandering, so I’m not going to put that in. Warrick is not excited about being out in the desert to look for a hand that’s probably long gone. “What are the odds that this hand is not being eaten right now by a coyote?” he grumps. Well, since it would take the coyote probably 30 seconds to eat the hand, and given the amount of time that’s elapsed since the hand went missing in the first place, I’d say odds are very good that the hand isn’t being eaten right now, and when you factor in that this was a rerun it gets even more likely, but perhaps it was a rhetorical question. Anyway, they’ve rounded up a bunch of LVPD cadets to do most of the looking for them, so all Nick and Warrick are really about to do is take a pleasant stroll in the desert. Nick gives the cadets their marching orders, laying out the landmarks they’ll use as boundaries in their search. He doesn’t actually say they’ll be looking for a human hand, and I hope he told them that before, or they might think he lost a contact and one of them is going to end up getting a big surprise.
Cut to the desert. Again. This is more of a sagebrush-and-shrubs kind of desert than a sand-and-cactus desert. It’s all the same to a casino developer, I suppose. Nick and Warrick and their coplets wander around without dialogue, looking for Nick’s lost lens. One of the cadets has a metal detector. So far they’ve found twenty-seven beer cans, four arrowheads, six pretty rocks and a Frisbee, but no hand.
Nick and Warrick come over the top of a ridge just in time to keep the desert search scene from becoming really really boring. There’s a brown house down there, all by its lonesome in the vast Nevada wastes. They decide to investigate, and I hope it’s not just because the house is brown. No, these guys are cool. There’s a mound of soil, a rusty wheelbarrow, and some lumber piled by the side of a large open shed, and flies are buzzing all over the mound. Nick takes a whiff, and smells decomposing flesh. Warrick smells it too, and they both draw their guns and fire several shots into the mound. The mound surrenders and Nick pokes around in it while Warrick checks out the shed (or open-sided greenhouse) nearby. One of the plants is particularly stinky, and he reads on its tag that it’s a “Corpse Flower.” Who would have a bunch of plants that smell like decomp, they wonder? Someone who hates his neighbors, maybe, or someone with a pile of corpses and a Lysol allergy. Nick announces “LVPD” to the flowers, and they head deeper into the greenhouse. There’s a large deep-freeze unit in there, and they discuss the paradox of needing a warrant to open the thing and find proof that they need a warrant. Of course, getting a warrant dramatically increases the odds that it will be full of frozen peas and venison. In the end, they chicken out and don’t open it, and cast aspersions on Grissom for his enjoyment of delayed gratification. I totally would have peeked and then told the warrant-issuing judge I had X-ray vision. They mock the other plants for being freaky looking, which isn’t what you’re supposed to say when you talk to your plants, and then head over to the house. Nick finds a package on the front porch addressed to Jacob Wolfowitz, the guy from the Betz Clinic. It even says “Betz Pharmaceutical” as part of the address, just in case we’re only partly paying attention because we’re typing stuff on our laptop during the scene. Suddenly there’s a clanking noise from inside, and Nick calls out for Mr. Wolfowitz to come out and talk to them. Warrick adds that they can totally hear his clumsy ass sneaking around in there, so he might as well just open the door. The door opens, and…it’s Lady Heather! “He’s not home,” she deadpans, and then we go to commercials.
Grissom and Lady Heather are in his office; the spanker has become the spankee. He asks if she knows Mr. Wolfowitz; she does not. “Why were you at his house?” he asks. “Breaking and entering,” she says, very matter-of-factly. She’s not one to beat around the bush, unless that’s what the client likes. Grissom points to a paper etching that the police found in her handbag, and which she readily admits to stealing from Wolfowitz’s house. She’s already put the pieces together about him: he oversaw Zöë’s tests at Betz, he was one of the last people to see her alive, and her body was found near his house in the middle of nowhere. She figures that, if she stole something valuable from his place, he’d want to press charges – which would, in turn, give the police an excuse to look around the place and find something to tie him to Zöë’s disappearance. She’s very sharp.
Down the hall, Brass interviews the man of the hour, Mr. Wolfowitz. Wolfy isn’t interested in pressing charges. “She’s clearly disturbed; she just lost her daughter,” he says, “and I was one of the last people to see Zöë Kessler alive. I’m sure she was just looking for a connection.” Hey, no being serene. That’s Grissom’s shtick. Brass offers to have the police look around and see if anything else was stolen or shaved and branded. Wolfy says he lives pretty simply, and doesn’t have anything worth stealing. I guess he means now that the etching has been stolen, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Down the hall the other way, Lady Heather and Grissom are still yakking it up. If Wolfy refuses to press charges, she’d be curious about what kind of person would do that. Grissom finishes her thought: “Someone with something to hide.” I smell a big rat too, but I’m a little leery of the slippery slope here. If you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t mind the police poking around in your house or your email or your phone calls or your bank records or your thoughts, right? I hear Orwell’s estate gets a nickel every time that happens. Lady Heather’s other motivation for stealing this particular etching is symbolic in several ways: it’s an etching from a plate, “must be worth thousands,” and it’s one of the earliest known illustrations of the Romulus and Remus myth. You know, the TWINS who founded Rome. Why did I put that in all caps? No reason. Lady Heather thinks it was removed from a book. “I find that people who don’t respect books have a general disregard for keeping things whole.” True dat. She finds it unlikely that a “pencil-pusher in a pharmaceutical lab” could afford it. Depends on whose pencils he was pushing, I suppose. By which I mean to convey some vague innuendo. A sexual innuendo.
Wolfy tells Brass he’s worked at Betz for 18 years. He lives in the middle of BFE because he likes the solitude and the space for his plants. His stinky, stinky plants. Brass ponders Wolfy for a minute, probably trying to figure out a way to get him to crack and spill his guts so we can skip to the end of the show and he can go home and catch the end of the game on TV. Wolfy picks up the vibe and asks Brass if he’s done something wrong.
Grissom can’t argue with Lady Heather’s logic, so he points out instead that they still don’t have any proof that Wolfy killed Zöë. “Too many coincidences,” says Lady Heather. That’s probably not going to convince a judge to issue a warrant, though, and even though I might want it to in this case, as a general statement on jurisprudence it’s probably a good thing. Doesn’t she have any Las Vegas-area judges in her little black book? What’s the point of being a high-class dominatrix if you don’t cultivate a pool of high-powered people you can call on in a pinch? I wonder if this exchange is the sort of thing they did as foreplay back when they were doing whatever they did in their mystery relationship. Grissom urges Lady Heather to stay away from Wolfy; she politely but firmly tells him to bugger off. She leaves, and as she’s escorted down the hall by a uniformed officer, she passes by Brass’s office where Wolfy still sits. She gives him the stink eye through the glass, but he doesn’t notice her.
The etching is being analyzed (I know that’s passive voice, and I don’t care) by Master Bra’tac himself! He’s not wearing his Stargate SG1 outfit, though, so he must be working undercover. Bra’tac tells Grissom that the parchment seems to be original, probably from the 16th century. They babble back and forth about inks of the era, then Grissom asks how Wolfy might have gotten the thing out of the book so neatly; the edge of the paper is straight and smooth. Bra’tac guesses it was a “classic ‘spit and string’” job. We get a flashback of Wolfy pulling a wad of wet string out of his mouth. He opens a book to the page he wants, then lays the string along the edge of the paper by the binding. He closes the book and leans on it, all nonchalant, and then pulls the page neatly out of the book. Some neighbors asked me to watch their house while they’re out of town this weekend; I’m going to try that on their illustrated Kama Sutra. Grissom pulls out a DNA swab and swabs the spit-edge of the paper. “Even if this tests positive for DNA,” he says, “I’m going to need the book to match it.” One question: if Wolfy isn’t going to press charges, this parchment isn’t really evidence, so why do they still have it?
Catherine and Greg are reviewing tapes from the sleep lab. Zöë’s asleep in the lab’s bed, and she stays that way as Catherine fast-forwards through the tape. Greg notes that she looks pretty peaceful, and not like someone who “freaked out” and left as Wolfy implied. At hour four, though, she gets up, takes off her electrodes, and puts on her shoes. Catherine points out a shadow that appears at the bottom right corner of the video: someone opened the door. “She didn’t just pop out of bed; she was woken up by someone,” says Greg. Catherine flips to another camera’s view, where Captain Jack also gets out of bed and takes off his electrodes. She spells out for Greg what Lady Heather already spelled out for Grissom: Wolfy worked at this clinic and had access to the victims, Zöë’s body was found less than a mile from his house, and the house itself smells like corpses. “How do we get to him?” she muses. How indeed? Grissom walks in with a book in a plastic sleeve. Bra’tac checked out the rare book collections in the area, he says, and found a book at UNLV that was missing Plate 62. He adds that it’s enough for them to get a warrant.
Grissom strolls into the Betz Clinic parking garage, where many cop car lights are flashing. Brass meets him next to Wolfy’s car. The car door is open, and Wolfy is propped up in the driver’s seat. He appears to be less alive than before, which is saying something, because he was really quite dreary to begin with. Grissom puts down his case and gets out his flashlight. He doesn’t see any blood or other signs of trauma. Brass points out that the seat is wet. We see some water drip from Wolfy’s thumb. “He’s wet,” says Grissom in surprise. Wolfy’s in rigor, meaning that he’s been dead for over 6 hours. Brass remarks on the oddness of Wolfy being dead in his car in a parking garage for that long with no one noticing. It’s a subtle jab at the hectic pace of our self-absorbed modern life, I’m sure.
Doc Robbins has Wolfy on the slab, and he doesn’t waste any time slicing him open. Steam rises from Wolfy’s innards as Doc saws off the front of his ribs and sets them aside. He picks up a scalpel and digs in deep to chop out the heart or something. There’s a metallic clink and the scalpel blade snaps off. Wolfy is frozen. Grissom steps out from the shadows, and Doc tells him he won’t be able to do an autopsy until the body is completely defrosted. Grissom asks how long it takes to freeze an entire body, and Doc says it takes at least two days to freeze it to the core like this. He found bruises and puncture wounds all over his body, similar in placement to Zöë’s. He also found a brand on his shoulder: number 1. Most people just put that on their coffee mug.
Catherine and Grissom walk and talk down the hallway. She says that she saw him just yesterday, and he wasn’t frozen then. She starts to speculate that maybe Wolfy knew too much and someone at Betz was feeling the heat from the CSIs’ investigation, and…. “They dumped him in liquid nitrogen, cryogenically froze him?” finishes a skeptical Grissom. “Well, I know what I saw,” she says, and I remember that scene too, so there we are. He tells her she’s got to find some explanation, and she agrees as they part ways.
Grissom heads out to the parking lot, where he’s surprised again by Lady Heather, who’s waiting by his car. “I think I might be able to help you,” she says. Grissom is all ears. She says that Grissom would have liked her daughter, because she was a lot like him: “Thoughtful, pragmatic, patient.” She was a psychology student at Harvard, and while Lady Heather realizes that it must have been difficult to have a mother in her line of work, she stressed to Zöë the importance of empowerment and independence. When she received a call last year from Zöë saying that she was pregnant with her therapist’s baby, she was angry with the therapist for violating his oath and his marital vows and basically screwing up her daughter’s potential-laden life. She called the AMA and got him defrocked, and Zöë hadn’t spoken to her since then. Grissom asks whether she had the baby, but Lady Heather says that Doc Robbins couldn’t confirm that. She’s got something for Grissom with Wolfy’s DNA on it: it’s a used condom in a baggie. “People have used sex for much less worthy causes,” she says when Grissom asks how she got it. She tells him that she slept with Wolfy last night. She takes Grissom’s silence as disapproval, and reminds him that she’s doing her best to play by his rules: Wolfy was consenting, and she can’t be arrested for sleeping with him. That took a lot of guts. Seriously. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull off something like that. Whatever Grissom may think about her methods, she’s trying her best to give him something he can legally use. “If I had it my way, this man would die the same way my daughter died,” she concludes. “He’s already dead,” says Grissom. Lady Heather is surprised. Grissom says Wolfy’s been dead for two days. “That’s not possible,” she says, and the camera zooms out to a wide shot of the two of them pondering the metaphysics of it all. Commercials.
Every time you watch a commercial, an ad executive gets to eat another puppy. That’s why I have TiVo, because I love animals.
Catherine is searching Wolfy’s car for clues. Wendy is swabbing some of his baby butter out of the condom. We go back and forth between them a few times without dialogue as they do their thing. The music isn’t really upbeat enough to constitute a montage, but the scene is montagian in nature. Catherine finds a pill wedged in one of the seat cracks. When the music fades, we land on Wendy in the Lab with a Grissom. She tells him that the dirt mound from Wolfy’s house had over a dozen different DNA doodads in it, including some from Zöë. She’s skeptical of the condom’s chain of custody, because a plain Ziploc baggie isn’t the same as an official LVPD bindle, but whaddaya gonna do. The DNA from the condom matched the saliva from the book, and they both matched dead Wolfy. Wendy has a question, in the ‘pleading with your sage mentor for a hint of order in a chaotic world’ vein: she wants to know how someone could have sex with the man who killed her daughter. Just, you know, in case it comes in handy later. “Revenge is an act of passion,” he says quietly, then kind of shakes his head and walks away. Wendy looks less than satisfied with his answer. Grissom probably is too.
Grissom meets up with Catherine in another lab. None of the fingerprints she pulled were a match to Wolfy, but they were a match to a Leon Sneller. She shows Grissom his photo. He looks a lot like Wolfy. Catherine spells it out for the dumb audience: this explains how she met with Wolfy, and how Lady Heather had sex with him. “Identical twins,” adds Grissom, because the subtlety tube is all squeezed out this week. “I thought she killed him too,” says Catherine, noting Grissom’s expression. “I would’ve. I mean, I wouldn’t have slept with him first, but….” That’ll do, thanks. Grissom points out that all the DNA evidence they’ve attributed to Wolfy could belong to Sneller. Catherine adds that it also makes one wonder who’s on the autopsy table. No, not really…if the dead guy’s prints don’t match the new guy’s prints, and the new guy’s prints are everywhere but the dead guy’s aren’t, and one of them has been seen more recently than the dead guy’s time of death, and we know that they must be twins because of the Romulus and Remus reference, which couldn’t have been a red herring because the parchment was in so many scenes, then it’s a safe bet the dead guy is Wolfowitz. Grissom says all of the above with an eyebrow twitch toward Catherine, but she ignores it and reads Sneller’s info off her screen. He joined the Army in 1985, and his last assignment was at a field hospital near Berlin. He got out a year ago. We flash back to Wolfulus knocking on Wemus’s door as Catherine narrates: he showed up one night at his brother’s door, whacked him and dumped him in the freezer, then took over his life and his job. Catherine concedes that her theory is a little far out, but it fits with the evidence they’ve got. Grissom and Occam’s razor agree with her.
Cops! They swarm up to Wolfulus’s house. Bad Nazi, bad Nazi, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they figure out you offed your brother, took over his life, and harvested victims for sinister experiments from a Vegas sleep clinic? I guess technically we don’t know for sure about the Nazi part yet, but we will soon enough. The cops bust down his door with a little battering ram and sweep through the place, guns and flashlights drawn. One of the cops comes out and tells Brass, Grissom, and Catherine that “everything’s Code Four,” which I guess means all clear. The three of them head in. The house is decorated in an older style: plain wood walls, china cabinet, and a harpsichord player in the corner. “This isn’t a torture chamber, it’s a time capsule,” says Grissom, not realizing that the harpsichord makes music by jabbing the prisoners in the basement with sharp things, causing them to howl melodiously a la Baron Munchausen. Brass says that Wemus inherited the place from his parents about ten years ago. Catherine finds a brown prescription-type bottle on the dining table. It contains pills similar to the one she found in the car. The toxicology report on the pill said it didn’t match any known pharmaceuticals, she says, which Brass clarifies for the dumb, dumb audience that Wolfulus was sampling the company candy. I’m surprised someone didn’t step in to explain that reference too. They rummage around in the cupboards and drawers for a while longer, and Catherine finds a small silver menorah. “Shabbat shalom,” she says, which translates roughly as “Oy gevalt.”
Grissom has found a springy, squeaky part of the floor. He bounces up and down on it a few times, then pulls back a loose section of the carpet to reveal a trap door. It opens to reveal a carpeted staircase leading – you guessed it – down. There’s a cramped medical lab, full of equipment and beakers and unguents and whatnot. They explore it for a while, and Grissom deduces from the handwritten and illustrated notebooks on the desk that Wolfulus was conducting and documenting medical experiments, in this case the correlation between skull size and intelligence. Catherine finds a white porcelain device the size of a water cooler, with knobs and hoses and a glass bell jar on top. “I think this is a gynecological device from a hundred years ago,” she says, but declines to say what it was used for or how she knows that. Grissom finds a Nazi eagle-and-swastika plaque on the wall with the logo “Arbeit mach frei,” which he translates as “work will set you free.” I guess this was from the days before they developed the technology to make posters of kittens hanging from trees. He adds that those were the words over the gates at Auschwitz. What a very, very cynical thing to put over a prison camp. That’s even worse than the peppy names the Bush crew likes to give their environment- and liberty-destroying programs. Catherine says Zöë would have made the perfect über-wöman if it weren’t for her one brown eye. “What nature couldn’t fix, our Doctor Mengele could, is that it?” says Brass. Catherine notices a grandfather clock with no numbers, and they all ponder its significance for a minute until they hear muffled groans coming from nearby. They shove the clock aside to reveal a hidden room. A man lies on the floor of the room, partly covered by a white sheet. The man has a 21 tattooed on his shoulder. Grissom pulls the sheet back to reveal another man. The two men have been surgically joined, back-to-back, like Siamese twins. Brass leaves to barf and call for a paramedic and barf. Grissom checks the pulse of the second man; he’s dead.
Nick meets up with Catherine at the hospital. Nick tells her that Brass has all the exits from the city covered, but there’s no sign of Wolfulus yet. Catherine tells him that the other ‘twin’ died too. Nick has some family background on the Wolfowitz brothers: they were born Snellers but were adopted by a nice Jewish couple. Wemus went Nurture, and Wolfulus went Nature.
Back in the desert, Grissom is reading Wolfulus’s diary. In addition to his medical notes, he’s got a quote from Hitler and his own philosophical musings that what he’s doing differs from government experiments such as Tuskegee, the US Naval Hospital, and pesticide testing is the amount of funding he receives (which is presumably pretty low). He takes photos of the notebooks and the cell, and we get a ghostly flashback of a kneeling Zöë; she’s handcuffed to a low rail. One hand is free from the cuffs, and she chews off her other hand while Wolfulus is distracted with another victim. There’s a branding iron and some extra numbers lying nearby. I think you can get all of that as a set from Parties Plus. Grissom comes upstairs, and as he leans down to close the trap door, he notices something on the floor under a piece of furniture – possibly a credenza or a sideboard. It’s Lady Heather’s silver-and-onyx cross necklace. He asks a nearby cop if they’ve secured the entire perimeter of the house and barn, and the cop says they have and it’s all clear.
Cut to Grissom on the road, speeding toward Sparks and looking grim. He sees a car’s headlights off to the side of the road. A man is fastened to the car’s hood and a woman is whipping his bare chest. I think it would be funny if it turned out to be a completely different pair of people who met on the internet due to their mutual interest in desert flagellation. Grissom pulls off the road and drives down to them. Lady Heather is tearing Wolfulus up something fierce; his face and torso are covered in lash marks, and she’s grunting with primal rage at each snap of the long black bullwhip. Grissom hops out of his car and shouts for her to stop. “Let me finish,” she growls, and keeps whipping. Grissom grabs the end of the whip when she backswings, and pulls it tight. “You cannot do this!” he shouts. She fights with him for control of the whip, pulling on it with all her strength and finally begging him to let go. He slowly reels himself toward her. “Heather,” he says, “I’m saying ‘Stop.’” I believe that’s a reference to the first time they met, when they discussed how far a dominatrix would take the delivery of pain to a client. She stops struggling but keeps a tight hold on her end of the whip, and when Grissom reaches her he pulls her to him. She sobs on his shoulder, and he holds her and caresses the back of her head. The show ends here, so we don’t find out whether any charges are brought against her, but given how heinous her target’s crimes were, I’d imagine it would cause a huge media backlash, no pun intended, if the grieving mother of a murder victim were charged with roughing up the murderer.
Site Contents © 2004-2006 Robert M. Rowan