For a more detailed plot summary, please see here.
This episode opens with a body discovered on the side of the road in a dirt field. When Grissom arrives at the scene, it’s pouring rain and the body has been covered by a first responder with a blue tarp. Catherine is already at the scene trying to divert the rain water to salvage tire track impressions by digging small ditches around the tracks. Grissom is upset that the body was covered with a tarp, claiming the tarp is a potential source of contamination.
Examination of the body and clothing indicated the victim was probably tied under a vehicle and dragged to death. Further investigation reveals stab wounds, burn marks on the tongue, and symmetrical puncture marks around the man’s nipples. The team theorizes the burned tongue and nipple punctures are possibly the result of an S&M encounter.
A search of the victim’s home reveals he’s married, but his wife is nowhere to be found, along with her car. An absence of S&M gear in the bedroom suggests the victim isn’t practicing the S&M lifestyle with his wife. Riley discovers a trunk where the victim is hiding his S&M gear, the contents clearly belonging to a submissive. Needing a professional opinion on the S&M evidence, Grissom takes the case data to Lady Heather, a retired dominatrix we’ve seen from previous cases.
Eventually the wife and her vehicle are found, but she’s been murdered too. Her burned vehicle is located in the desert, and her burned body inside. As we later learn, the wife was fatally hit from behind by her own car probably trying to escape her killer. Her body was put in the vehicle by her killer before it was torched. There is a second set of tire tracks leading away from the scene, indicating that the assailant drove away from the scene in a second vehicle.
Phone logs to the wife’s cell phone turn up an insurance salesman who called her as a possible lead. He’s brought in for questioning, but explains away the phone call as a failed effort to sell her insurance before she hung up on him. As improbable as it sounds…further evidence shows the insurance salesman is way more involved in the events leading to both deaths than his original statement. During his second interview he is accompanied by council who threatens to challenge the DNA evidence against her client with a Daubert challenge, alleging DNA evidence is unreliable.
Eventually we learn the dead husband, the insurance salesman, and his female lawyer did an S&M scene together at a local S&M club. The dead husband is followed home by the dominatrix lawyer, and they have sex. Her insurance salesman submissive follows them to the house, furious to be excluded from the extra curricular escapades. He breaks into the house and a fight ensues between the two men. Both the insurance salesman and the dominatrix lawyer claim when they left the house the husband was alive.
The episode ends without any closure to the “whodunnit” aspect of the double homicide, and the team has yet to solve the murders.
What we do get is a heaping dose of a lonely Grissom pining away for Sara Sidle, who has emailed him a video letting him know she’s ok with them not ending up together. Maybe Grissom isn’t as enthusiastic to move on as Sara claims to be. He’s totally distracted by Sara the entire episode, a big yawn in my book. In the end, Grissom turns to Lady Heather for comfort, who armed with a Masters in Psychology is doing a good job getting in Grissom’s head. Realizing Grissom is struggling emotionally, she offers him her guest bedroom to stay with her as long as he likes.
Forensic Points of Interest
Catherine making casts of the tire track impressions;
DNA from blood bubble in house;
DNA on metal chopsticks found at the S&M club.
The tire tracks bear mentioning for the simple reason that CSI Las Vegas is so much better forensically than CSI Miami. If you recall from Miami episode “Wrecking Crew”, they did some nifty tire track analysis using 3D photography and a tricked out A/V Hummer. Here we see Catherine pouring plaster to get tire impressions the old fashioned way.
But aside from the less flashy reality-based tire tread technique, there wasn’t much interesting forensically in this episode. They linked DNA on the chopsticks in the S&M club to the club’s female owner and to the dead husband. Big deal. It hasn’t solved the crime.
The blood droplets found at the dead couple’s house had a bubble in it, Nick claims this proves it contained saliva. He deduces this blood evidence is most likely the result of a punch to the mouth during the fight between the husband and the insurance guy. I don’t know how accurate Nick’s saliva conclusion is since I don’t do blood spatter analysis. But minimally we learn the blood was the insurance salesman’s, so the husband got in at least one good hit.
There was very little forensic analysis this episode. There was mostly plot progression towards Grissom’s departure from the show. It really wasn’t a great episode, unless perhaps you’re an S&M buff or you like the Lady Heather character. She reminds me of strong female version of Grissom in her ability to correctly guess actual events based on minimal information. At any rate, a more intriguing character than Sara Sidle as Grissom’s romantic interest.
The best part of the episode is poor Hodges getting dragged out of the lab to help Catherine process the scene. He instantly complains about his shoes getting ruined in the mud. I love Hodges, he’s the most realistic “lab rat” in any of the three CSI franchise shows.
- CSI Episode # 906 “Say Uncle”
- CSI Miami Episode 703 “And How Does That Make You Kill?”
- CSI Episode # 904 “Let it Bleed”
- CSI Miami Episode #706 “Wrecking Crew”
- CSI Miami Episode # 707 “Cheating Death”
- CSI NY # 505 “The Cost of Living”
- Austin police turning to DNA to solve thefts
- Instant DNA analysis coming soon…
- Fake DNA — Planted Evidence!