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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another unnerving performance from Jeremy Renner(he portrayed Jeffrey Dahmer in DAHMER and was also in the highly revered HURT LOCKER)highlights this particular episode of CSI, as a recently paroled criminal who possibly murdered two people, having his innocent brother bury the bodies, caught by a police officer, blood in the poor kid's car implicating him. A gun is found(ballistics can not tie it to slugs taken from the body of the first victim due to tampering with the barrel)as well as blood(unusable to to dry cleaning)but neither can convict Renner. Pizza flour is what links Renner to the first victim but it isn't enough to convict him. The second case concerns a healthy women who had a stroke in a sauna and how it could pertain to shellfish and a catfight over a guy in a bar. A haunting ending where the evidence doesn't put the right man in prison, with the one convicted taking drastic measures to keep from going to jail. We also see that Grissom was once a Catholic; Dylan Baker guest stars as a priest who knows the innocent young man locked up for the crime committed by his brother due to epithelials found on the yellow tie used to strangle the second victim.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off let me say that I love this show. I have been renting
episodes on DVD for a while now, and have grown to really appreciate
CSI more than any TV show in quite a long time. That said, I had a real
problem with two little lines from this one specific episode. And
please understand, I am not one of those people that picks apart every
little thing in a movie or show on IMDb. I love CSI. You really have to
be familiar with the show and have seen this episode for me not to
sound like a raving lunatic:
When Grissom, Nick, and Sarah are at the crime scene in the desert digging up the second body, they find a wallet in his pocket that helps them to identify the victim as "Ramirez".
NICK: "A 25-year old Latino and a 42-year old white guy...?"
SARAH: "Strangers. Doesn't make sense, there's no connection."
OK, come on. This is CSI! We know these characters, we've seen in countless episodes how they approach everything scientifically and without bias (or at least it's a plot-driven bias that is specific to one character in one episode, and helps that character's development by revealing some hardship in their distant past). For two CSI's to come to the lightning fast assumption that two men MUST be strangers because they differ slightly in age and ethnicity is laughable to me. These guys were 17 years apart in age. The mens ethnicity makes even less of a difference than the age gap. We are in the Western U.S., almost everyone's either white or Latino. And sure, maybe one of the younger CSI's would conceivably jump to a conclusion like that... maybe. On a longshot. But for both Nick and Sarah to be so blatantly short-sighted, in front of Grissom on top of it, and NOT have it somehow be part of the episode....?? (The two did in fact turn out to be strangers, and they never even brushed the topic again.)
How bout they work together? Go to the same church? The same bar? Share a hobby? Maybe they both have kids in the same school? How could anyone possibly say they ARE strangers with such certainty, especially a CSI?
It just rubbed me the wrong way, because it seemed so completely out of character for this group. Also, the episode ended on a bad note, with a known murderer getting away scott free, and the innocent brother killing himself.... not standard fare for CSI. I was about to question whether the writer, Ann Donahue, was any good; but then I looked up her writing credits and saw she wrote a number of CSI episodes, including the last episode from season 1, "The Strip Strangler" which thus far is probably my favorite. I'll have to pay attention as I continue to watch and see what I think of her other work.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of my favorite episodes (of course I have many). I'm
surprised this episode "only" has a 7.5 rating. It deserves to be in
the 8 range like a lot of classic CSI episodes.
A cop finds Ben Jennings burying a dead body in the middle of nowhere. Ben is arrested and refuses to say anything. Of course Grissom knows the evidence will speak for itself. Grissom, Nick and Sara investigate. A lot of evidence just piles up against Ben and it just gets worse and worse for him. The CSI gang discover flour on the victim. Ben says he delivers pizzas (notice he doesn't actually make them). Ben accidentally makes it slip that there's at least 1 more body he buried. The CSI team find it. One of the best lines of the episode comes when Ben tells Grissom that he's not a bad person after they find the second body. Grissom replies back, "You're not a bad person? Then what are you? Then he walks away.
Throughout this episode a priest is trying to convince Grissom that Ben is a good kid and he didn't do it, even after Grissom breaks out the luminol and dried blood appears on Ben's car seat right before the priest's eyes. The priest must know something that everyone else doesn't. Grissom eventually starts to have a bit of doubt, but Nick and Sara convince him to present the case to the DA.
Grissom realized he made a mistake when he looks up Ben's brother Roger and realizes that he's a hardened criminal. He should have done research on Ben's character (no major crimes committed). Nick realizes that Roger would be looking at his 3rd strike if he was convicted of anything else. Ben refuses to turn on his brother and says nothing. Of course Roger has no problem pointing the finger at Ben when confronted by Grissom and O'Riley. Nick and Sara find evidence against Roger at his rundown trailer. Another top moment of this episode happens when Roger is brought to jail and he gives his younger brother Ben a cold-blooded, evil look while passing by his cell. Ben nods thinking he and his brother are still cool.
The "evidence" against Roger is useless. He dry cleaned his bloody jeans pants, the blood is degraded and Greg can't detect any blood. Also, the gun that Nick found buried in a bin by his trailer has a barrel that has been altered. Roger jammed something down it and the bullet striations are different from the ones in the corpses.
Grissom tries to talk the DA out of pressing charges against Ben, but Roger put the final nail in his brother's coffin by bringing in the tie that HE used to strangle one of the victims to death. Roger told the DA that he hid the tie to protect his brother (which conveniently explains away why Roger's epithelials are on the tie). And of course Ben's epithelials are all over it because in reality Ben took the tie and was going to bury it. Roger committed the murders and asked his younger brother to bury the bodies.
Ben is gonna get convicted and decides to commit suicide in the final scene. The episode ends with Grissom literally having blood on his hands. It's a stunning and heartbreaking end to the episode.
I kinda think Roger was more "lucky" than smart as one of the few bad guys to get away with murder on the show. (He foolishly kept the bloody pants and the gun, but then again wisely altered the barrel so there wouldn't be a bullet match). I highly doubt a guy like Roger will stay out of trouble with the law for long. He probably would go on to get that 3rd strike eventually. Roger did actually confess to that priest that he was the one who actually killed the 2 men when his brother was in prison. So apparently, he does still somewhat have a soul.
Catherine and Warrick got the "secondary" case. If it weren't for Jim Brass, they wouldn't have found the murderer. They were blaming the hotel for the death of a woman (heat stroke) in a spa. The hotel was somewhat negligent for taking too long to check on the woman, but what really did her in was someone intentionally feeding her food that she was allergic to (although they didn't mean to kill her). The woman went into Anaphylactic shock. Two women fighting over a man. What a shame. I actually felt sorry for the killer somewhat, even though it was a STUPID thing to do. She was "only" trying to make her friend sick to miss a date.
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