There's only one case in this episode, but it's a big one, so the whole team is working on it. The first victim is a young woman who is posed leaning against a pole. The second victim is a young man that's found in jogging shorts on a bench. The third is a transient dressed in a suit and posed standing up, and the fourth and fifth are a couple bird watching.
The only thing in common between the corpses? They're all in advanced stages of rigor mortis, which is why they look like statues. Less clear is how this happened, since for the jogger, at least, they know that he was not on the bench an hour before he was found and yet, he has marks from the bench on his back. The team tries to find commonalities between the victims, but they're different ages, sexes, and ethnicities.
They decide to focus on the young woman, because she had the most mainstream life. Searching her apartment leads them to a local artist, Jerzy Skaggs, who she used to pose for. Jerzy claims that he doesn't kill his models. He would also like to paint Brass nude, which makes me laugh. Brass, of course, takes this in stride.
They discover that the transient who was posed as a business man had lice. This is remarkable only because the lice were killed by gas. Grissom surmises that the victims were also gassed, but they had to have been gassed while in those poses. He thinks they were drugged, then posed, then gassed in something like a gas chamber. Yikes.
Brass pulls in Jerzy when they discover that the jogger had been to one of Jerzy's parties. Jerzy is unimpressed by this reasoning, since everyone goes to his parties, apparently. Brass shows him the pictures of the victims and Jerzy immediately recognizes the poses. One of the contractors working on his studio tried to show him drawings with similar poses. Jerzy doesn't know the man's name, but remembers him mentioning a municipal art competition. The competition was to produce sculptures that would reflect the socio-economic diversity of Las Vegas. Well, considering the number of serial killers in Las Vegas, I guess he accomplished that mission.
They review the submissions and find drawings with the same poses as their murder victims submitted by Arthur Blisterman. The only problem: one of the drawings has yet to be completed and it's of a little boy. Grissom realizes that Blisterman isn't done killing yet.
Brass goes after Blisterman, but he hasn't been seen. The new CSI, Riley, suggests that the killer is into the controversy brewing in the artist community about the killings. She's surfing the web when Nick realizes that one of the pictures of the girl was posted by the killer. They corral the owner of the artist's blog where the pictures were posted. He replies to the killer and keeps him online so the police can trace him. Unfortunately, a mother has just arrived at the station, because her son is missing.
They trace the killer to a library machine. During the subsequent raid, they find Blisterman, but no boy. Blisterman left spots of tan dust (burlap) on his computer, which was also found on the other victims. Greg and Catherine find a warehouse that makes natural fibre packaging materials. They break in just in time to save the little boy.
Grissom gets the privilege of interrogating Blisterman. His motivation? He's an artist who just wants some recognition for his murderous work. Nice.
In other news, Grissom is having trouble adapting after Warrick's death. He actually gets confused when doing a simple lab test. Grissom's dog, Hank, is not eating or sleeping and acting listless. Being Grissom, he asks the peer counsellor, Patricia, if Hank might be reflecting his owner's feelings. Patricia thinks that Hank might be and that Grissom should talk to someone about his feelings and soon.
I'm also introduced to Warrick's replacement: Riley Adams. She's a CSI Level 2 with a sarcastic wit. Both her parents are psychiatrists and she doesn't like being called defensive. She also knows good pot. I guess she's okay--she's no Warrick.
I'm a bit tired of the serial killer episodes. I mean Las Vegas has more serial killers per capita than anywhere else, apparently. I also didn't like the thwarted artist who turns to gas chambers. That sounds awfully familiar.