However, they don’t owe much to the suspects. Peter Rowe, Janelle’s husband and Nora’s father, comes into the house with gunshot residue on his hands. A suspect? Well, evidently he’s been out shooting in the desert. A likely story. Brass takes him into custody and questions him about his past. It turns out Peter Rowe used to be Mark Redding. Years ago Redding was being followed by a private investigator hired by his then wife. Redding was cheating, and when his wife found out their marriage ended… and P.I. Trevor Murphy disappeared. Back in the present, Rowe has been receiving anonymous threatening text messages. Perhaps his past has come back to haunt him.
Nick is out in the field looking into what looks like an alcohol-related car crash fatality involving two high school boys. They ran into the tree and then… the tree ran into them. Their bodies are basically full of wood from the tree, but there are injuries that are inconsistent with the crash, as well as some wood that doesn’t belong to the tree. After a bit of analysis they discover it’s wood from a baseball bat. I take a trip down Nick’s memory lane and learn about mailbox baseball, the practice of driving by freestanding mailboxes and bashing them with a baseball bat as you pass. It’s good fun to Nick and Hodges evidently, but it doesn’t explain why a bat wasn’t found at the scene. Or how those interesting shoulder fractures occurred just by knocking over a mailbox…
Brass does some research into the threatening texts on Rowe’s phone and traces it back to a computer on Kelsey Murphy’s IP address. Kelsey Murphy is, of course, Trevor Murphy’s daughter. She claims innocence, and Brass later learns that it was actually Nathan Murphy, Trevor’s son, who sent the texts. He says he didn’t do anything but text, and there’s not much evidence to hold him, so they let him go.
Meanwhile, Greg and Riley spend some time at the Rowe’s house. They find blood on the corner of a table and figure that comes from the laceration on Nora’s head (who may or may not pull through, by the way). Riley finds a plastic jewel inside before heading outside and finding the cell phone it belongs to. The cell phone has photos on it, and most of them were taken just before the attack. There’s an interesting one of the floor. Perhaps what the neighbors saw wasn’t actually muzzle flash but camera flash instead… and maybe the killer thought the little girl had taken an unsavory photo. That’s why the phone was nearly destroyed.
Grissom is on a bit of a mission of his own. He’s gone to visit Natalie Davis, everyone’s favorite miniature killer. She’s currently involved in a hearing to see if she’s sane enough to move out of the psych ward and into real prison. The prosecutor asks Grissom to testify as to her mental state when he interviewed her during the murders, and also to her state now. He agrees, and goes to talk to Natalie. It seems to him that she’s more normal now, actually guilty for what she’s done. He tells as much at the hearing, and it is determined that her psychosis was only temporary, and she is now as sane as anyone else.
Nick goes out to investigate the real cause behind the fractures and the baseball bat. Around the scene of the crime he discovers a house with a detachable mailbox. Hmm. The owner of the house is friendly enough… until Nick finds a hole in the ground with a mailbox full of cement in it. It turns out Mr. Jackmin was getting sick of the punks around here destroying mailboxes, so he filled one with cement and set a trap. The teens came roaring by, smacked it with a bat, and the resulting ricochet caused an injured shoulder, a car accident, and two very dead teens. Oops. Not a very nice way to teach a lesson, Mr. Jackmin.
While monitoring Peter Rowe, the CSIs see him on the hospital cameras while he is visiting his daughter. He is accosted by Kelsey and lead away. Where to? They track them down in the middle of the desert, where Kelsey is pointing a gun at Peter and telling him to dig. Evidently he confessed to killing her father and is showing her where he is buried. Brass tries to talk Kelsey down but to no avail: she shoots Peter and the cops shoot her.
It’s time to put the miniature killer to rest. Natalie is going to prison, and she and Grissom say goodbye. She expresses her regret and says that people who do bad things deserved to be punished. Evidently she means that, because Grissom finds one last miniature in her cell – a tiny figure of herself, hanging by a noose.
I was happy to see more involving the miniature killer (by far the most successful continuing plotline in CSI history) but it was brief and seems to be over now. Oh well. It’s better for it to end well than have it drag on. The case involving the two teens and mailbox baseball was fairly entertaining, though I found the arrest of Mr. Jackmin at the end to be quite harsh. I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to argue his way out of that one in court.