CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 2, Episode 3

Overload (11 Oct. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.1
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A construction worker falls off a tall building. Forensics determines that he died prior to the fall. Another case involves a boy who suffocates to death at his therapist's house late in the night.

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A construction worker falls off a tall building. Forensics determines that he died prior to the fall. Another case involves a boy who suffocates to death at his therapist's house late in the night.

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11 October 2001 (USA)  »

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In this episode, Nick confesses to Catherine that he was molested at the age of 9. See more »

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Someone cut the grounding pin off Roger Valenti's drill in order to prevent the GFCI from tripping. A GFCI measures the difference in current between the neutral and live wires, not the ground wire. It will work even if the grounding pin is cut. See more »

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Gil Grissom: I need to see his testicles.
Randy Gesek, Funeral Director: I always knew there was something weird about you.
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Serial Circuit.
24 June 2011 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I've only seen a few episodes of this rather challenging series and this is one of the better ones so far. Two crimes are investigated by this team of superduper Sherlocks: (1) a worker falls several stories at a constructions site and may have been murdered; (2) a teen-aged boy is found dead of a cracked skull in the home office of a psychiatrist but appears to have been in his underwear at some point.

The dead worker was some kind of union troublemaker. He was operating a metal cutter at the time he fell off the platform and was evidently electrocuted before he hit the ground. Yes, it was the result of a very clever murder plan. He couldn't have been electrocuted if the equipment were working properly and, even if it weren't, he was wearing rubber soled boots that should have insulated him. However, the "ground" prong was amputated from his three-pronged plug, the wires in the metal cutter's power cord had been twisted and "the polarity reversed", and a nail in the instep of his rubber-soled boot had provided the necessary ground for the current. Got that?

Some slight problems though in the plot. The writers may not be as smart as they seem to think, or else they don't care. The ground prong isn't necessary. We managed to get along without them on household appliances for about 100 years.

Second, so the positive and negative wires in the cable were twisted and the polarity reversed? So what? The equipment would have run anyway, though not as efficiently. But, in fact, the wires we see inside the cable aren't even insulated. The positive and negative wires are bare and twisted around one another. That would have caused an immediate short circuit and, though it probably wouldn't have electrocuted anyone, it might have blown the circuit breakers to bits.

Also, we're compelled to ask, how far did that nail penetrate the instep of the rubber boot? Was it in far enough to touch his flesh and complete a circuit? If so, why the hell was he wearing that particular boot? And how does a nail in a boot's instep manage to reach the floor?

Well, never mind. This is fiction, after all, and it's kind of fun. And challenging fun at that. At any moment you're liable to hear a quote from H. L. Mencken or a dummy's guide to chaos theory. I wish they hadn't given Nick's zeal such a thoroughly corrupt explanation. When he was nine years old he was molested by his baby sitter, presumably a teen-aged girl. That's no excuse at all. If my family had been able to afford a baby sitter and she was a teen-aged girl and I were molested by her when I was nine years old, I wouldn't have been traumatized. I'd have been thrilled. New vistas would have opened before me.

The acting is subdued. The humor is subdued too, and that's okay. But why is the lighting subdued as well? Are CSI labs really so DARK? It makes for more dramatic images, I guess, but really if the lights were any lower the investigators would be tripping all over each other.


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