"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CSI: The Happy Place

Back to classic CSI with three unrelated victims: a woman who gets dressed for the beach and then jumps off her balcony; a gambler who is found dead in an alley with her eyes pushed in; and a coma victim who is taken off of life support. There isn't much team interaction this week, but Sara gets sucked into an investigation which just confirms her disillusionment with CSI work, so she leaves...again.

Nick and Catherine investigate the death of a woman named Sprig. Seriously, her name is Sprig and, no, it is not plot related. Anyway. Sprig is cooking dinner until she gets a phone call which prompts her to change into a bikini and then jump off her balcony. Maybe she just received her latest cell phone bill—I know I'm tempted to commit suicide when I do. Unfortunately, Sprig's fall is not cushioned by the bus she falls on. A point that is quite ickly illustrated when the coroner decides to play move-the-limb -with-the-crushed-bones. Ew. Catherine and Nick discover that Sprig was engaged to be married and cooking a dinner for her soon-to-be in-laws. Her fiance, Brad (I was expecting him to be called Twig or Branch), informs them that Sprig wasn't depressed at all. She was on a crazy, obsessive diet and had just lost her job as a bank teller after being accused of stealing from the till, but apparently, she was still cheery.

Nick reviews the security tape at the bank where Sprig hands a man $10,000.00 as change for two $50 dollar bills. Nick discovers that the same person robbed another teller, Grace, who is fortunately still alive. Grace tells Catherine that she doesn't remember the robbery at all even after seeing it on the tape. Catherine discovers that both Sprig and Grace were seeing the same hypnotherapist.The hypnotherapist claims that she was just helping Sprig and Grace lose weight and quit smoking, but Catherine matches the therapist's driver's license photo to the person at the bank. They also find her prints on the phone booth right across from Sprig's apartment. Catherine and Nick arrest her.

The second victim is Paula, a guidance counsellor and gambling addict. Paula is found in an alley with her head bashed in and her eyes pushed in. Grissom, who has finally decided to answer his phone, surmises that the murder was committed with a lot of rage. You think? They go to her house and find her son, Scott. Scott wants to know where his sister Lexie is. The cops have no idea, so they issue an Amber Alert. Video surveillance of the casino shows that Paula was gambling her money away when she was approached by a man who grabbed her and took her to a pawn shop.The cops track down Paula's car and the man who stole it. The man is a loan shark that Paula owed money to, so he took her car and her child, Lexie, who was in the back seat. They find Lexie safe at a day-care. It looks like the loan shark is guilty until they find her son Scott trying to turn in a $500.00 chip that Paula won that night. It turns out that her son is not her son—he was her student and Lexie is their child. He killed her because she'd lost interest in him now that he was “old”. At 18! Yuck.

The last case is one that Sara had worked on as a CSI. Tom Adler unplugs his wife, who was the victim of a rape, from her life support. He claims that the man who raped her, Thorpe, was harassing him and threatening her, so he had to save her. Sara believes him and fights with Grissom over it—only the fight turns into a discussion about their relationship. When she finds out that Thorpe has been in a wheelchair for months, so he couldn't have been harassing the Adlers, she realizes that Tom Adler lied. He admits that he needed to move on, and the only way he could do it was to unplug his wife's life support. Sara is upset and disillusioned and the last scene of the episode is her leaving.

I liked this episode. I thought the few references to Warrick were well done, and it was nice to see a crack in Grissom's CSI armor. For once, he just didn't want to answer his phone or work.

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