The Inner Crab


[Air Date: 09-28-06]

"Built to Kill, Part II"

It’s flashback time, in case you missed the previous episode. Woozy Catherine at a bar; Catherine waking up in a strange motel bed and peeking out the window; Catherine proving that she doesn’t have the good sense God and the writers gave a turnip by performing her own inadmissible evidence-collection. John Mayer sings during the montage. He trails off as Catherine walks down to the motel’s front desk. The scruffy desk clerk is talking on the phone while browsing He assures the person on the line that his profile’s photo is legit, except for the penis he Photoshopped in to hide his venereal ulcers. “Excuse me,” says Catherine, and the clerk waves her off. She looks around at the floor and has a brief flashback of being ushered along a similar floor last night; meanwhile, the clerk continues lying his ass off to the person on the other end who’s almost certainly lying her ass off too, so at least there’s a symmetry to it. Catherine appears to have little patience for listening in on other peoples’ mundane perversions after her very bad experience the night before, and grabs the clerk’s arm. She asks if he remembers her. He does. “Yeah…you were feelin’ no pain,” he says. She wants to know who was with her, what they looked like, what kind of car they drove. The clerk points out that he gets paid not to notice things like that. He’d make a good elected representative, wouldn’t he? Good in the sense that he’d fit in well, right down to the venereal ulcers. She shows him her CSI ID and asks who rented the room she was in. He looks it up and – surprise – it was registered to her. The clerk tells her she used her credit card to pay for the room. I hope her credit card’s fraud protection program covers something like this. She looks frustrated, and leaves.

Over at the other crime scene, Sara and Grissom study the miniature model on the counter that mirrors the actual scene down to the smallest detail. “I think Malibu Barbie did it,” says Sara. I don’t think that’s the product placement the folks at Mattel were hoping for; that’s what they get for not reading the fine print. They speculate that it would have taken weeks or months to create a model this detailed, which would qualify as premeditation. Once they’ve nabbed a suspect, I’d love to see their defense attorney argue the “amazing coincidence” theory. Grissom notices that the blood pools around the dead guy’s head and his smaller counterpart are identical in shape. “There’s no predicting a blood pool,” he says. “It’s inherently random.” Sara notes that the killer must’ve stuck around to match the scene. Grissom swabs and tests the red puddle in the model, and confirms that it’s actually blood. We get a flashback of someone sucking up blood from the dead guy with a syringe or a turkey baster and dripping it carefully into the model. I guess it is possible to go overboard in your attention to detail. Sara agrees: “That is a level of obsession that gives even you a run for your money,” she says, and Grissom gives her a look that says, “so now you’re complaining about me cataloging your climaxes? What happened to ‘Oh God, anything for science, oh God’?” Sara ignores him and stares at the gold records on the wall. She reads one of the record labels aloud, and says she’s never even heard of Izzy Delancy. Grissom tells her it was Izzy’s biggest hit, but probably before her time. Or this is the first in a recurring thread in which we discover that CSI takes place in a different quantum universe than our own, and Sara has been sent there from our universe to save them from the Daleks or the Cromags or whatever. It could explain a lot of things about the show, such as Choco-Bees or the imaginary casino names or a CSI department that actually gives a shit when crimes happen to unimportant people. I suppose it’s also possible that Izzy’s a convenient fabrication for the purposes of advancing the story and giving Danny Bonaduce a vehicle for his triumphant return to stardom, but that seems less likely. (Director to Bonaduce: “Okay, Dan. In this scene, I want you to show me…your career.”) Sara says she’ll download the song, which makes me laugh. She’ll snag it from Choco-Tunes, no doubt. She tells Grissom that the property is gated and there’s no sign of forced entry anywhere. She notes that if a girl could get into Brad Pitt’s underwear drawer and take a nap on his bed, anything’s possible. Well, this is the first I’ve heard of that! I never should’ve unsubscribed from the Brad Pitt newsletter; I don’t like being out of the loop. Sara pokes the corpse and says it doesn’t look like he’s been moved. The bloody mess on the back of his head indicates blunt-force trauma. There’s no blood castoff on the ceiling, though, which suggests he was killed with one blow. “Sometimes it only takes one hit,” says Grissom, like with a fine Turkish hookah. Opening credits.

Paramedics drag the late great Izzy Partridge out of his house on a gurney. At the end of the driveway, there’s a mob of fans and media people. When the paramedics lift the otherwise-impenetrable strip of police tape across the driveway to wheel the gurney under it, two young women seize the opportunity and make a run for the house. I think that, if they’re going to make this a realistic scene, those two young women should be replaced with 48-year-olds. Greg ducks under the tape too, and Sara comes out to greet him. He’s surprised that Sara would be leaving Izzy’s death scene, what with him being so famous in this quantum universe and all. Sara says she’s got something to take care of, but Greg will find the rest of the crew assembled inside. She assigns him to work on the bedrooms, then pats him on the back and bolts. That’s ‘bolts’ as in leaves; she doesn’t pat him on the bolts any more, because Grissom’s violently jealous. Not about her, but better safe than sorry. Meanwhile, the cops have grabbed the two teen fans and dragged them back to the starting line.

Inside, Nick and Sofia approach a hot young blonde woman holding a baby. “Mrs. Delancy?” asks Sofia. “No, that’s Mrs. Delancy,” says the young woman, pointing to an older blonde woman who’s talking on her cell phone. “I’m Annie, the nanny,” says Annie. Sofia gives her a look of mild amusement. Nick tells Annie he’s going to need to photograph her hands. “To look for blood, right?” says Annie. Nick nods and says he’s also looking for defensive wounds, and he’ll need some DNA, her fingerprints, and a routine bust measurement. He suggests that Annie hand the baby over to Mrs. Delancy. “No,” says Annie. “Mrs. D never holds the baby. She’s got a bad back.” I can see the wife of a rock star having bad knees, but the bad back just seems like a lazy ploy to me. Plus, you know, all the stuff about privileged white women with no nurturing gene raising warped children in absentia and all that. Annie hands Baby D to Sofia, who glances over at Nick like she’s trying to figure out what nurturing looks like. Now that there’s no baby in the way, we can see that Annie is wearing blue jeans and a bra, and that’s it. I am not unimpressed with the display, but I can’t help thinking that that’s one pair of jeans more than the hot nanny’s uniform would entail at my house. I wonder if I could get an au pair to help out with my wiener dogs.

Annie holds her hands out obediently and smiles at Nick, who tries very hard to stay professional. He starts photographing her hands, and Annie warns him that she’s a little freaked and has a tendency to talk a lot when nervous, which she starts to demonstrate before being cut off by Sophia. “You found the body?” asks Sophia, and Annie starts to tear up but chokes it back. She describes a bit about Izzy’s eating regimen which I didn’t care enough to pay attention to, and then we get a flashback. Annie bounces the baby and chats with him softly as she heads toward the kitchen. She’s wearing a white blouse. She walks into the kitchen, sees Izzy’s one-time-only performance-art piece, and screams because she groks the piece’s message of humanity’s futile struggle against a corporation-dominated world. “I immediately called 911,” she tells Sofia, and then asks for a copy of the police report. In lieu of a letter of reference from Izzy, I guess. Nick, who’s trying his best not to blurt out “Boobies!” in the middle of a crime scene investigation (or maybe that’s me), asks her a little stammeringly where’s her shirt. She looks down and notices her lack of a shirt, and laughs. The baby spit up on it shortly after she found Izzy, she says, and she put the shirt in the laundry. “It happens all the time,” she says. “Nobody minds.” Smart kid; guess those “Baby Hefner” DVDs are working.

Greg is processing the bedrooms, snapping photographs and whatnot. He pulls back the sheets on the nanny’s bed and UVs it, but doesn’t appear to find anything.

Transition shot of Vegas. I wonder if they send up a helicopter for each episode, or just once for several hours to gather shots to be used throughout the entire run of the show? I mean, the shots don’t really serve any function aside from being a visual buffer between scenes; it’s not like we need to be reminded several times per episode that we’re in Vegas. I think if they wanted to be avant-garde and save some money, they should have just put up “TRANSITION SHOT OF VEGAS” in white text on a black background in between scenes. The scene to which we’re transitioning is Catherine’s. She’s waiting at the motel for Sara to arrive, which she now does. Catherine tells her that she may have been drugged and raped last night, and that she woke up here. “What?!” asks Sara, a little boggled. Catherine barrels on, adding that she improvised her own rape kit and has collected fingernail scrapings, pubic combings, vaginal swabs, and so on. Sara wants to know if Catherine has called it in, and Catherine turns to her and says “I called you.” Sara repeats what I said last time; doing it herself makes the evidence inadmissible. Catherine says she knows the procedures, but she didn’t want an official investigation. “I just want to know what happened,” she says with a tremor in her voice. I feel bad for her, of course, but I’m still not convinced it was the smart way to go. She asks Sara to go up to the motel room and dust for prints, while she gets her box of tainted evidence over to the tainted lab. A cab is waiting, and she gets in.

Nick and Sofia are processing Mrs. D. She’s also a pretty blonde, not that looks matter except as a barometer of guilt and a factor in sentencing, but she’s less…let’s say effervescent than Annie, and she’s kind of snotty. She tells them that she returned from a latte run at around 5 and went straight upstairs to take a shower. Sofia tells her that whoever killed Izzy probably had access to the house. Nick asks whether anyone else might have had the gate code. “Just the housekeepers,” says Mrs. D. “And the handymen…and the pool guys…and the gardeners…and the messengers…and the caterers…and the Satan-worshipping motorcycle club Izzy dropped out of a couple years ago…and, let’s see…nine obsessed fans…and the Republican National Committee. But that’s all!”

Greg has moved to the master bedroom, where he shines the Flashlight of Truth into all the corners and pulls back the Bedsheets of Stickiness to UV for clues, but there are none to be found.

“I can tell you where you should start looking,” says Mrs. D, and then lowers her voice. “Sven,” she whispers, nodding toward a young man sitting a ways away listening to some electronic gadget with headphones. Nick, who still hasn’t come to grips with the no-nurturing-gene concept, asks with some incredulity if she’s accusing her son of killing Izzy. Mrs. D laughs a little too long and says that Sven is Izzy’s troubled son from a previous marriage. To a cokehead whore, bless her heart!

Greg totally ignores the “Sven’s Lair – Keep Out!” sign and barges into Sven’s lair anyway, where he is promptly eaten by a grue. When he respawns, he looks around the disturbingly neat teenage “lair” and then pulls back the sheets for a UV sweep. There, in the middle of the sheets on a teenager’s bed, he finds – dun dun dunnnnn – sperm! It’s not a lot, but judging from the lack of sperm anywhere else (well, on the bed…maybe Greg doesn’t know to look on the floor or against the washing machine or on top of the breakfast nook), this must be the nexus for the torrid illicit couplings between some combination of Izzy, Annie, Sven and Mrs. D. It’s also possible that Mrs. D is right about Sven, as troubled teenagers (or “teenagers”) are notorious serial wankers. Could be both; we’ll see.

Sven’s gadget turns out to be a PSP, and he’s playing a game that looks like it involves moving boxes around a warehouse. If there’s a bad warehouse-organizing game, I haven’t seen it. Sofia and Nick approach Sven, and she asks how he’s doing. Nick motions for Sven to take off his headphones, then repeats the question. Sven says he’s been better. He tells the CSIs that he came home from school, did some homework, played some games, had a wank, but didn’t see his dad. He expected to see Izzy at dinner and then be picked up by his mother. We learn that Sven doesn’t live there full-time; this is just his lair-away-from-lair on Tuesdays and every other Saturday. Sofia thinks it’s a tough gig, but Sven is used to the parental shuffle. “I just go where I’m told,” he says, and it kind of reminds me of my own childhood, but with fewer rock stars and mansions. I did receive a crappy LED football game one Christmas, but I didn’t really understand football at the time (or currently) so I mostly just mashed the buttons at random to hear the different sounds it made. Sven’s mother arrives, and she looks disappointingly normal after Mrs. D’s description. She comforts Sven and tells him it’s okay to be upset. She notices the fingerprint ink on his hands and says “WTF?” to the two CSIs. Nick and Sofia explain that everyone got fingerprinted and swabbed. Sven didn’t refuse, says Sofia, and Mrs. D was right nearby. She tactfully does not mention Mrs. D’s accusations toward Sven and his mother. “Dat ho ain’t Sven’s mama; I’m his mama, beeotch,” says Sven’s mom, more or less. Sofia asks where she was this afternoon; she says she was taking an uncorroborated walk. She packs up her Sven and leaves, and I’m a little surprised the CSIs didn’t get some DNA and prints from her. I don’t say this to be mean – it just seems like it’d be appropriate under the circumstances.

Grissom is still playing with the model crime scene. He tweezers open a tiny drawer and finds a wee bottle of bleach. He opens the analogous drawer in the larger scene, and finds a regular bottle of bleach. He squirts the kitchen sink with Luminol and UVs it; there’s a faint trace of blood going down the drain. I’m tempted to make another snide remark about Danny Bonaduce’s career at this point, but I decide to restrain myself. Grissom keeps UV-ing around the kitchen, and eventually finds a marble rolling pin in a drawer. It’s been cleaned off, but there’s still a blotch of blood visible under the UV light. Doesn’t he have to spray it with Luminol first? If not, why did he spray the sink? Maybe it’s only needed to prime the UV light and tell it what it’s looking for, like giving a bloodhound a piece of someone’s clothing; as we saw with Greg upstairs, the default setting seems to be ‘sperm.’ Greg hears me type his name and comes into the kitchen. Grissom tells him that bleach was used in the kitchen, but not to clean up blood. “So…the aging rocker bit it in the kitchen with the marble rolling pin?” says Greg, to the delight of “Clue” fans everywhere. They’re an easily delighted bunch. Grissom opens another drawer in the model, and there’s a tiny rolling pin inside. It doesn’t have any blood on it, but I would have found it hilarious if it had. “If only the ‘who’ was as easy as the ‘how,’ says Grissom. I saw The How in concert once; it was a good show.

Catherine is processing her own evidence in a lab. I imagine that all the lab techs backed away from her with their hands up when she explained the situation. “I’d love to help you examine some personal and unofficial evidence and all, really I would, but…you know…union rules,” and then they fled to the Professional Ethics Room where Catherine would never think to look for them. Snip snip, stir stir, montage montage. Wendy comes in, unaware of the mess she’s interrupting, and genially offers to give Catherine a hand. Catherine snaps at her, and Wendy looks perplexed, a little hurt, and in need of a hug. In my mind, I give her one. And another so she won’t think the first one was just given out of a sense of rote obligation, and then another one for “The Tick” getting cancelled. Catherine grabs her stuff and stomps over to Hodges’ lab where her wrath can maybe be put to some entertaining purpose. She gives Hodges a paper cup with a urine sample and instructs him to get it over to Tox, then hands him the tampon she used to swab herself and tells him to check it for spermicide. He asks if she ran out of proper swabs. “Just do it,” she grumps. She wants him to call her with the results as soon as they’re available. Hodges asks for the case number, and she tells him to consider it a proficiency exam and stomps back out. It’s not the smackdown I was hoping for, frankly. Hodges also looks perplexed, but he’s out of luck in the hug department.

Out in the hallway, she meets up with Sam. He missed her at the implosion party, he says, and dropped by because he wanted to see her. She makes a vague non-excuse and semi-apologizes for missing the party. He asks when her mother Lilly is due back from her cruise, and suggests that they all get together for a family dinner. Catherine tells him she’ll call him when Lilly’s settled back in. “You know you don’t always need a reason to call me,” he chides gently. “I know you’re busy; I’ll see you later,” he adds, touching her on the cheek as he leaves. He didn’t even mention hired goons; it was a decent familial interaction and a moderately humanizing bit for Sam, which naturally means something is going to happen to him later on.

Grissom and Doc Robbins are in the Karaoke and Corpses Lounge, singing along with a rock song while Izzy putrefies melodically on the table. Doc plays a little air guitar with his cane, and then they realize they’re being filmed and Doc shuts off the music. Grissom asks about the cause of death, and Doc – in one of his finer scenes of the series – sings the autopsy report to him: “Blunt force trauma to the back of the skull / and a fractured occipital lobe / There was massive hemorrhaging on the brain / and death was probably swift…yeah!” Grissom smiles and apologizes to Izzy. He then holds up a chest x-ray and points to a dense object on the film. “What is that?” he asks. Doc slices Izzy’s stomach open and pulls out a small key with the word “Bumblebee” on it. “The key to our mystery?” quips Grissom, and Doc chuckles. Commercials.

Catherine gets out of a cab at the bar she was drugged in. Her car is still in the parking lot. She opens it and checks the glove box; her gun is still there. The ghost of Anton Chekhov appears in the back seat wearing a white linen suit and a fedora for some reason. “You know you’re gonna have to shoot someone with that now, right?” he says, and Catherine nods. “UNLV’s doing ‘Uncle Vanya’ next weekend,” he continues. “You should go see it, maybe take your kid. You still got a kid?” Catherine nods again. Chekhov waves and disappears, and Catherine heads into the bar. A janitor runs a floor buffer along the floor in front of the stage. Catherine flashes back to the other night. John Mayer sings, bar patrons mill about, and a bartender cleans a glass with a dirty, septic rag. When she’s done, she approaches the same bartender and asks him if he was working last night. It was only last night? It seems like weeks and weeks have gone by. He says that he owns the place, and he’s always working. She wants to know if he remembers her, but he doesn’t. She asks if there are any surveillance cameras. When he asks what this is all about, she pulls out her CSI badge and shows it to him. He says there’s one, and it covers the cash register. She sighs in frustration and has another flashback, and then we switch scenes.

Grissom snips the shirt off the male figurine from the model, then jabs a pocketknife into its belly and slices it open. That’s a dangerous road to start down, right there; one day you’re slicing open figurines, and before you know it you’re beating up clothing-store mannequins and mutilating blow-up love dolls. Sara comes in and asks if he’s found anything. He says he hasn’t; there are no prints, no stray fibers, and everything in the model is standard hobby-shop issue except the blood. He confirms that the blood was Izzy’s, but we already knew that. Sara tells him that Sofia has been kibitzing with Izzy’s lawyers for the last several hours. She found out that Izzy owned the rights to all his songs, and he was negotiating with the Olympia hotel to produce a medley show or something like that. He didn’t get a chance to sign the contracts before dying. Izzy’s son Sven is the heir to the songs, but because he’s a minor his mother Dusty would have control of them. Grissom points out that benefiting from a crime is illegal, and if either Dusty or Sven were involved, they wouldn’t get squat. Sara says that the rights would go to Mrs. D in that case, and Grissom says that’s a good motive for her “How does this fit in?” he asks, pointing to the model. “Maybe we should release it to the media,” says Ecklie from the doorway. He thinks that someone who unwittingly helped assemble some part of the model might see it and come forward, plus the media are crawling up his butt because Izzy was famous and they want some answers. Grissom doesn’t see the point in giving the murderer free TV jollies. Ecklie asks Sara what she thinks, and she agrees with Grissom. “Of course you’re going to say that; you’re shtupping him,” Ecklie says with his eyes, and walks out. Sara makes a “don’t worry, he doesn’t know I’m shtupping you” face at Grissom.

Greg fills Grissom in on his research into Izzy’s key. Bumblebee, he says, is a safe company. Mrs. D told Sofia that there was a safe in the house, but she didn’t know where. Grissom says the key could’ve been in Izzy’s system for minutes or days, and Greg adds that Izzy might’ve swallowed the key to thwart a robbery. If that’s the case, whatever’s in the safe might give a clue about who killed him. It could also be that Izzy had pica and swallowed keys all the time, but I’m all in favor of hunting for hidden safes because it’s so very Nancy Drew, so let’s do that.

It’s time for another music montage. Warrick and Greg search Casa De Lancy for the safe. They take down portraits and wave airport-security scanners along the walls, but they don’t find anything. Greg takes a rest break on the toilet in the master bathroom, and notices a TV opposite the toilet. He picks up a nearby remote and presses a button, and something under the bath mat in front of him pops open. He pulls back the rug to reveal a concealed hatch containing the safe. He opens it with the key, and pulls out the unsigned Olympia contracts. There’s a wedding photo of him and what looks like the first Mrs. D, and some small boxes. He pulls out one of the boxes, which is labeled “Cincinnati 6/21/86” and opens it. It contains a dried bird head. That’s a little random. There’s also a tiny bit of pink fiber, and he tweezers it out. Next he goes looking around the house, presumably for items that might have pink fibers or birds without heads. There are some pink towels and baby blankets on a shelf, but he loses interest in those when he notices a nearby laptop. The first file he opens is a collection of photos of various bird heads and their box lids. Seems a little contrived to me, but that’s a thread you definitely have to yank on with caution in the TV world or you might unravel the entire industry and end up stuck with recapping C-Span 7.

Another TSOV, then Catherine pulls up to a curb and collects her daughter. I’m hesitant to speculate on what Lindsay was doing on a street curb in Vegas at night, especially given the show’s penchant for dragging various characters through the muck. Since she’s underage, we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. As soon as she turns 18, though, and assuming the show hasn’t killed her off by then, look for a spinoff where she becomes Brass’s daughter’s roommate. Speaking of Lindsay, is this the same actress who’s played her in previous episodes? It seems like every time I see her she looks different; maybe they’ve taken the “Doctor Who” approach to casting her. Lindsay kvetches that Catherine is late in picking her up, and didn’t come to the rehearsal as promised. Catherine blames it on work, but that doesn’t comfort Lindsay. Catherine gets a text message from Hodges: “Swab spermicide negative.” Catherine apologizes to Lindsay again, adding that she loves to see Lindsay dance. Lindsay is a little more receptive this time, and tells Catherine she got a solo in “Romeo and Juliet.” Oh yeah, that’s definitely foreshadowing. I’d start updating your resume, Lindsay. Catherine looks over her shoulder to congratulate her daughter, and a car comes out of nowhere and smashes into the side of their car. It was so sudden, random, and violent that I don’t mind telling you I was startled, but the notion that I wet myself is a dirty lie. Glass sprays everywhere, and Catherine’s airbag deploys. She and Lindsay are dazed and contused. A man gets out of the car that hit her, and another man gets out of an SUV behind them. One of the men opens Lindsay’s door, pulls her out of the car, and puts her into the SUV. Catherine screams after them as they drive off. “Walt! I mean, Lindsay!” she yells. She struggles to undo her seatbelt, and then we go to commercials. That will give me time to dry off and figure out what the Others from “Lost” are doing in Vegas.

Cops and firemen are swarming around the accident, and Catherine sits in the back of an ambulance fighting off the paramedic who’s trying to bandage her up. “I’m refusing treatment,” she says, because a concussive blow to the head can only make her thinking clearer at this point. Warrick comes over to calm her down, and she grabs him and shouts that they’ve taken Lindsay away in an SUV. Then she notices the Dharma Initiative logo on his vest, and blacks out. Not really, but that would’ve been beyond cool. She continues giving Warrick details of what happened, then stoops down in the street to look at the tire marks left by the car that hit her. “These are acceleration marks,” she says. “They were waiting for us.” There’s a quick flashback of the other car accelerating and smashing into hers.

Back at the lab, Catherine has apparently just finished explaining the situation to Grissom. “I should’ve told you, but I didn’t want a sermon,” she says. She skips a supervisor’s semen sermon by the seashore. Grissom is glad her rape kit came back negative. He thinks the two cases must be connected, and says he’ll ask Ecklie for some extra help from day shift. “You’ve got to stay at arm’s length, Catherine,” he reminds her. “I know,” she nods, totally not knowing, and parts from Grissom to go into the garage-lab where Nick’s working on her car. She stays an arm’s length away from Nick as he explains that he’s only found a few partial prints on the car so far. “That’s impossible, you lying sack of shit! I’ll kill you!” she says, mostly, and bends down to peek inside the car. Nick accepts her venom with good-natured aplomb, and tells her he ran the VIN number on the Cougar that hit her. It was purchased just the other day, and the buyer paid cash. He tells her that he’s really sorry for leaving her alone at the bar. “Don’t go there, Nick,” she says, adding that whoever it was would’ve found a way to get to her regardless. She tells him that there were at least two people involved, one driving the Cougar and one driving the SUV. She flashes back and remembers the guy reaching through the window to open Lindsay’s door, and tells Nick to print the inside of the door handle. Sam calls Catherine just then, and she goes out to the hall to talk. He wants to know why he didn’t call her about the wreck and kidnapping, and she tells him that it just happened. She says she’ll call him as soon as she has any more information. He offers to send some hired goons after whoever’s behind this, but she blows him off and hangs up. I think she should’ve heard him out, because hey, free hired goons.

The next TSOV gives her time to change her mind, though, and she’s suddenly at Sam’s casino chasing him down. They go back and forth with “What do you know about this?” “No, what do you know about this?” for a bit, and then Sam pulls an envelope out of his pocket and gives it to her. He says the front desk people found it in the quick checkout bin. It contains a photo of Catherine, naked and facedown on the motel bed. There’s a printed caption on the photo that says “Can you guess what you’re going to give me?” Catherine wants to know, reasonably enough, what that might mean and who’s behind it. Sam says he doesn’t know, and pulls out another envelope. It contains a photo of Lindsay, bound to a chair with duct tape. The printed caption on this photo asks for $20 million to be wired to a bank in Geneva. Catherine asks him again who’s behind this, and refuses to believe him when he says he doesn’t know. “Like hell! I blame you! I blame you for this!” she cries, and Sam says he never wanted to involve her in his business dealings. She mocks his “business” and calls him a thug in thousand-dollar shoes, and he smacks her. I suppose somebody was bound to do that eventually. He immediately looks contrite, but I have to say that every time I called my parents thugs in thousand-dollar shoes I got smacked too. “Thanks for not disappointing me, Sam,” she says, rubbing her jaw. I bet Thanksgiving dinner is going to be awkward.

Catherine and Warrick are examining the photos in the lab. Warrick politely asks Catherine to go get some tea or something before her crazy panicking over his shoulder gives him a heart attack. Nick comes in with news: one of the prints from Catherine’s car matches a print from another crime scene a few months back. It was Warrick’s case, so Nick gives him the crime scene folder. Warrick looks through the folder and summarizes the case: it was a robbery of the second home of a couple from San Francisco. The photos show a disheveled room and a chair lying on its side. Warrick looks at the chair in the robbery photo and back at the one of Lindsay; she’s tied up to an identical chair.

Kaboom! A SWAT team bursts through the door of the robbery house. A man inside starts running away toward the back of the house. The cops shout that he’s under arrest. He keeps running, and pulls out a handgun. Not a smart move when there are three or four laser-sight dots floating around on your shirt. The cops shoot him, and he goes down and slides along the hardwood floor for a bit. Whee! Brass runs up to him and kicks the gun away. Blood dribbles from the dead guy’s mouth, and Brass tells the other cops to call a paramedic. Catherine comes running in with Warrick. She shouts for Lindsay, who screams behind her gag. Catherine charges over to her and prepares to contaminate the hell out of the evidence, but Warrick stops her. He reminds her that they want a conviction, and Catherine listens to reason for once. She stays a few feet away from Lindsay and makes soothing sounds as Warrick unties her. Lindsay collapses into Catherine’s arms and they hug and cry and hug. Commercials.

Arby’s now has a commercial in which a cop comes to the scene of a reported disturbance, only to find the masked intruders trashing the place while the bound-and-gagged homeowner groans loudly from his chair. The burglars tell the cop everything is fine, and the cop wishes them a nice day and leaves…because he’s distracted with thoughts of Arby’s. Message: Arby’s wants the terrorists to win.

Now we’re at the hospital, where the dead kidnapper’s condition has been upgraded to unconscious. He’s handcuffed to his bed. A police officer sits by the bed, and Catherine stands in the door waiting for the officer to take a bathroom break so she can jam sharp things into the kidnapper until he tells her what she wants to know. Grissom must’ve suspected as much, because he shows up behind her. He asks how Lindsay’s doing, and Catherine replies that Lindsay says she’s fine and is being checked over by the doctor right now. There’s no ID on the kidnapper yet, but Grissom says he was in the motel. His prints were found on a Polaroid paper strip. There’s a flashback of the guy taking a picture and casting the incriminating slip on the motel room floor, which seems like kind of a dumb mistake to me. Grissom asks if she remembers seeing the guy at the bar. She flashes back to the guy offering to buy her a drink. He glowers at her in a moody-loner sort of way that would make me suspicious of his intentions in buying me a drink too, and I realize now that spending the last several years cultivating just such a look in order to impress the ladies was probably a bad idea after all. She also remembers a second guy telling her that the first guy wanted to buy her a drink, but she can’t remember his face.

Sara and Grissom are reviewing various photos of Izzy on a computer. She tells him that Greg found Annie’s old emails, which indicated that she’d been selling private Delancy family photos to “Scandal Pages” magazine. How very enterprising. I wonder if that’s why she wanted a copy of the police report. Wendy comes in with the DNA report on Sven’s bed. None of the deposits on the bed were Svemen, but she doesn’t say whose they are. She does hand her report to Grissom, though, so I suppose we’ll find out shortly. Sara finds a photo of Izzy taken from the crime scene, slumped over the table just the way we all remember him.

Sofia interviews Annie. Annie was the Cornstalk Queen of Tidiute, Pennsylvania, Sofia tells us, and she moved to Vegas with dreams of parlaying her title into a vast empire of Cornstalk Queen cabarets, handbags, and perfumes, or something, but she ended up working as a nanny for a washed-up rock star instead. Ain’t that always the way. Annie holds her regal chin high in spite of Sofia’s withering judgment. Sofia wants to know how Annie knew where the safe was when Mrs. D didn’t, and Annie says she cleaned the house for extra cash and knew all its secrets. Concealed staircase, B & D dungeon, secret bird graveyard…the only thing she didn’t have was the key to the safe. We flash back to Izzy and family having dinner. Mrs. D wants some cash for baby clothes, and Izzy says he already gave her money for that. She counters that babies grow, which is true, but I don’t understand why people feel compelled to buy new (and pricey) outfits for their growing babies all the time. Hell, I wore a couple of flour sacks stitched together until I was five, and I turned out just fine. Mrs. D says they’d have plenty of money to piss away on baby clothes if he’d just sign the Olympia contracts, which ticks Izzy off. He tells her that’s between him and his music and his music’s legal counsel, then pulls the safe key from a chain around his neck and swallows it. He washes it down with a glass of water and laughs. “Gold digger! Dig for that!” he says. Annie sits at the far end of the table in the flashback, trying not to smile. She tells Sofia that the emergency room doctor said the key would pass in a couple of days. I think I’d just call the safe company and have them make me another one instead of running a metal detector over my poop for a few days.

The x-ray of Izzy’s stomach had a perfect outline of the key, Annie says, so she took it to a locksmith and had a duplicate made. Sofia compliments her on her resourcefulness. Annie says she put everything back in the safe when she was done. “After making Scandal Pages money off it,” notes Sofia. Annie tells her that Izzy turned vegetarian a few years ago, and claimed at the time that the chicken heads he’d bitten off on stage were fake. So that explains the dead bird heads, except for why he did it in the first place and why he kept them in little boxes in his safe, but I suppose they need to save some mysteries for the sequel. Annie figured she could make good money with photos confirming an urban legend like that. “Here’s a scandal,” says Sofia. “We’ve got evidence of sex between you and Izzy Delancy in Sven’s bed.” Annie looks a little upset. It’s not a surprise to anyone else watching the show, I’m sure; I knew they were getting it on within the first three frames of Annie’s appearance. Sofia goes on to say that if Annie had killed him, she’d have a profitable scoop with the exclusive pictures and whatnot. Annie says that it took the paramedics a while to respond so she took a quick picture of Izzy, but she didn’t kill him.

Greg and Sara are researching Izzy’s life by watching a video called “After the Hits: The Izzy Delancy Story.” There’s a picture of Danny Partridge with Izzy’s name next to it. Did you know that there was an animated show called “Partridge Family 2200 AD (aka The Partridge Family in Space)” that ran from 1974 to 1975? I didn’t, and I wish I still didn’t. Danny Bonaduce apparently did voice work for the show. The video recalls Izzy’s fairy-tale rise to stardom, marriage to his true love Dusty, and subsequent legal fallout when Dusty filed for divorce and custody of Sven and discovered that their Malaysian wedding ceremony wasn’t recognized by US officials. “Sounds like motive to me,” says Greg, polishing his Captain Obvious badge lovingly.

Sara and Sofia happen to be driving past Dusty’s house on the way to their weekly threesome with Grissom, and they decide to drop in and see how she’s doing. Dusty opens the door and invites them in, saying she’s running late for an appointment and they’ll have to follow her around as she gets ready. She asks what they want. Sofia says they’d like some dirt on their relationship with Izzy, because they’re writing an article for Scand—er, the New England Journal of Medicine. Dusty figures they think she’s a suspect now, and she’s not at all happy. “The man makes a mint off of singing about our sex life, barely offers a relationship to our son, kicks me out of a house we built together, leaves me with nothing, and now you want to put me in jail? Rich. Really Rich.” Not that she’s bitter. Sara and Sofia point out that the rights to Izzy’s songs go to Sven, with her as trustee or whatever, and she doesn’t have an alibi for where she was during Izzy’s murder. Except that she does. Dusty sighs and says Mrs. D had called her and asked her to talk sense into Izzy, who was balking at signing the contracts with the Olympia. She asks if Izzy had started sleeping with the nanny yet, and when they say he had, she tells them that used to be Mrs. D’s job. Well, at least it’s a position with room for advancement. Dusty says she’d love to pin the murder on Mrs. D, but she can’t because she was with her at the Espresso Drop all that afternoon. Sara notices some drawings on the table, and Dusty says they’re Sven’s. He likes drawing cityscapes, and wants to be an urban planner. “He’s kind of…obsessed…with models,” she says. Hmmmmmm. Lego or leggy? Dusty says she’s got to go now, and invites Sara and Sofia to let themselves out.

Sven’s room is wallpapered with his drawings. Sofia and Sara speculate that Sven could easily have created the model of Izzy’s murder. “Son defending the honor of his mother?” asks Sofia. “Name that Greek tragedy,” says Sara. Um…what is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?”

Sofia interviews Sven. Sven is angry with his father. Angry for Izzy’s treatment of Dusty, angry for Izzy sleeping with Annie before he got a chance to, and angry for being named Sven. He’s been going to therapy since the age of six, he says, and he’s tired of grownups asking him if he’s angry. Stupid grownups. I feel ya, kiddo; they’re always bringing me down too. Sven says he’s not the only one who was mad at Izzy. Sofia says Dusty and Mrs. D have an alibi, and shows him security camera footage of the two women at the coffee shop. She adds that Sven’s model-making skills would have lent themselves well to the miniature murder scene. She slides some more pictures over to him. Sven takes a good look at his dead dad marinating in his own blood, his eyes roll back in his head, and he slides sideways in his chair. The social worker sitting in the back of the room starts to come after him, but Sofia holds her at bay. “Let’s see where he’s going with this,” she seems to say. Sven recovers just shy of falling out of his chair, then tells Sofia he always faints at the sight of blood. Sara and Grissom are watching this little entertainment from the other side of the glass, because her cable’s out and they’re waiting for their next delivery from Netflix. If Sven’s blood-wussiness is true, Sven probably didn’t kill Izzy and definitely didn’t suck up his blood with a turkey baster and drip it lovingly on the miniature, says Sara. Grissom says there’s a test they can do to chew up some more time in the episode, and it will have the added bonus of proving or disproving Sven’s condition.

Sven is strapped to a tilt table while people bustle around him doing medical things. In an adjoining room, Grissom explains to Dusty that this test will take up at least three minutes of air time, thus allowing the writers to slip out early for their AA meeting and 2-for-1 Jell-O shooters night at the local club. Also it might help keep her son out of jail and stuff. Sven gets tilted on the table, and whatever they’re doing to him causes him to pass out, confirming the thing they were confirming, whatever it was. Hey, we all have our AA meetings to go to, okay? Don’t judge me.

Grissom’s in his office with the miniature crime scene. Again. Still. At least Sara knows what to get him for Christmas now. Speaking of Sara, she comes in and says that they’re out of suspects. Grissom counters that there’s a big wide world of people out there, any of whom could be a suspect. Sounds like the government’s approach to terrorism. She asks what they should do, and he says he’ll handle it. He puts on his magnifying spectacles and goes back to examining the model.

Wendy meets up with Catherine in the hall. The kidnapper had some uncommon markers in his DNA that reminded Wendy of another case, so she compared them to Robert O’Brien, the suicide guy from the first half of this two-parter. They’re brothers. She also found some DNA belonging to Robert’s business partner Joe.

Catherine hustles over to Sam’s casino, and finds him just as he’s walking out the door with some young blonde. Catherine tells him that everyone in town knows to find him here on Sunday nights, but he’s usually with Catherine’s mother. Sam tells his companion to go wait in the car, and she does. He protests to Catherine that the woman is just for show, doesn’t mean a thing, blah blah, but Catherine doesn’t care about that right now. She wants Sam to call off his goons. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about, so she explains that Robert and Joe invested their $20 million in the new casino project. The project went bankrupt and Sam started a new corporation to finish the casino, leaving Robert and Joe high and dry. Robert offed himself as a result, but Joe wants his money back. She tells Sam to let the police handle it, unless he’s already killed Joe and Robert’s brother, in which case never mind. Sam says he hasn’t done anything, double-scout’s honor. It appears he’s telling the truth, because just then Joe comes up from behind Sam and pulls out a gun. Music comes up in place of dialog, and Catherine mouths something to Sam as Joe trains the gun on him. My lip-reading skill is a little rusty, but I think she says “Groozle wond frangzorp.” I’m not sure what that means, but it makes Sam turn around. Joe blows two holes in the squibs in Sam’s shirt, and he falls backward. Catherine catches him and tries to ease him to the ground. Joe turns around and starts to run away, but some other armed guy – either Sam’s bodyguard or another disgruntled investor – shoots Joe several times in the back. Joe goes down. Sam continues dying. Catherine continues shouting wordlessly. Fade to black.

But it’s not over yet. Grissom is snaking his way through the model with a fiber-optic camera. One of the tiny pictures on the counter catches his attention. It’s a picture of Izzy holding his baby. He tweezers it out and looks at it, then turns it over. On the back, there’s a slightly smaller picture of a plastic baby doll’s face. He looks at it again through his magnifying glass. You can see one eye, the nose and mouth, and what looks like a smear of blood on the doll’s forehead. Grissom looks puzzled, like he’s reminded of an older case or some piece of evidence we’d forgotten about, but that’s where the show ends. I hate that. I know, not all mysteries get solved, but what was the point of teasing us with this little segment? If they needed to fill up time, I would have been perfectly content with a few more minutes spent on the interview with bra-clad Annie. I can accept that we may not get closure, but rubbing our faces in the fact that we’re not going to get closure is just rude.


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