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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CSI: Let It Bleed

Nothing creepier than the already-creepy city of Las Vegas decked out for Halloween. Luckily, the Las Vegas Crime Lab knows what to expect. This episode opens with Riley and Nick investigating some liquor store burglaries. They interrupt one in progress, apparently being robbed by… a cop? Nick chases him down while Riley calls for back-up. They run through what looks like an old abandoned building, with Nick cornering the suspect in a room. The suspect decides he doesn’t want to be cornered, however, and jumps out of a window to his death rather than be captured. He lands in a garbage container and cuts himself to ribbons with broken glass. Ouch.

However, while he might not have done himself any favors, he did do the police one. He lands on the body of a young girl, already dead. The CSIs take the whole dumpster back to the lab to sort through the debris. As they piece together the shards of broken glass, both loose and imbedded in the victim, they discover that the female victim has what looks like a tattoo or a club stamp on her skin. Follow the stamp, find the last known whereabouts.

This time Riley teams up with Catherine to check out a hopping nightclub by the name of Koi. Together they hassle the club owner Greg Hess a little, who of course swears he doesn’t know the girl in question. However, when they review the surveillance tapes from the previous night, they discover that while the girl did not enter through the front door, she did exit through it, escorted by Hess, who apparently had something important to say to her.

And her body has something to say to our team. The glass wounds appear to be post-mortem, probably from the fall of the other guy. She has recent needle marks in both her arms, white powder in her nose, and hives. She also happens to be Angela Marine Carlos, the daughter of drug lord Juan Ramon Carlos. Bad news for whoever did this to her, because Juan does not take well to people hassling his daughter.

In the meantime, Nick works on the mysterious un-cop. Brass steps in to lend a forensic hand, proving that the cop costume is actually a real cop uniform by showing the pen stains left in the pocket. They trace the uniform to a Reno cop, in Las Vegas for a brief jaunt, who handed his uniform over for dry-cleaning and never got it back. And the dead guy just happened to be staying in the same hotel.

Doc Robbins and David do a little more investigating in Angela’s body and find some things of interest. For one, Angela has another piece of glass stuck in her head that appears to have been put there before she died. The white powder in her nose wasn’t cocaine by atropine, a tranquilizer. Also, her blood isn’t all her blood. It’s actually a combination of her blood and the blood of two unknown males. And there is our COD: one of the blood types is not compatible with Angela’s. Death by transfusion.

Back in the fingerprint lab, I learn that the falling man is Thomas Taylor. He was accompanied by Barry Wonderlick, a friend who was getting married. However, a little bar fight at his bachelor party ended up with Barry in the slammer. In a misguided attempt to help his best friend, Thomas attempted to get bail money by robbing liquor stores around town, and wound up dead. Not a very happy ending to a happy occasion.

The tech-inclined CSIs manage to trace Angela’s cell phone to a garbage truck that was carrying it. They find her phone, her purse, and a bunch of broken glass. Hodges pieces together the glass to find the shape of a fishbowl. He also finds a fish scale on the purse, and Catherine knows right where to go.

She heads back to the club to talk to Hess, who tells her that yes, he did know Angela, but he did not give her any drugs or kill her. Instead he referred her to his fish provider Goya, who also peddles drugs on the side.

The CSIs breach the fish warehouse and find Goya and another fish guy with a lot of coke. The story comes out after that. Angela came to them looking for drugs, and when their backs were turned she ended up snorting atropine instead. Taking the advice of an urban legend about Keith Richards getting a transfusion to filter out his blood after bad drugs, the fishheads decide to give her a little transfusion. However, that wasn’t so successful.

Unfortunately, even confessing won’t save these two, or any of the others who played any part in Angela’s death. Revenge is sweet, her father thinks, as he has all those closest to Angela executed.

I think they could have played a little more with the Halloween theme. I hadgrisly murders galore, and there couldn’t have been a bit more spookiness? It was disappointing.

One thing I think that CSI has always both succeeded at and failed is their handling of the characters’ personal lives. Interspersed here and there were mentions of Catherine’s daughter (though the resolution seemed to be simply that she is a good kid), Grissom’s hearing loss (a possible excuse for him leaving the show?), and, of course, Warrick’s death. However, these issues are merely glossed over and have little to no bearing on how the cases are conducted

No comments: