CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 1, Episode 4

Pledging Mr. Johnson (27 Oct. 2000)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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A severed leg is found in a lake while a fraternity pledge goes badly.


(as R.J. Lewis)


(created by), , 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Winston Barger
Phil Swelco
Matt Daniels
Craig Allen Wolf ...
Kyle Travis
Harrison Young ...
Coroner Corbett
Hank - Fisherman #2


A severed leg is found in a lake while a fraternity pledge goes badly. Written by Erik Kirchner

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

4:3 Full Frame
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Did You Know?


Gil Grissom: So, was the boat at the marina?
Catherine Willows: What do you think?
Gil Grissom: My spider sense says it wasn't.
See more »


References Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

CSI : Pledging Mr. Johnson
14 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Outstanding episode of CSI has Warrick exorcising a demon in the corrupt judge wanting him to disrupt evidence so that a guilty party will escape prosecution. Meanwhile a doozy of a case might seem like either the lover or husband was behind the drowning death of a decomposed 34 year old woman, but a head wound on a boat and a shoulder injury could very well indicate that a completely different reason was responsible. What I think makes this case so memorable in the CSI canon is that Catherine and Grissom go head-to-head over telling the husband about his wife's affair, basically pointing out who he was…a man separated from his wife and deeply in love with the deceased. The tragic results of this and how the wife really died are a direct example of what Grissom argues with Catherine about…telling those involved in their investigation only what is necessary, and not bringing personal life events into the job (Catherine endured a cheating husband and wanted to "do the right thing" by telling the husband about what his wife was doing, encouraging inadvertently the notion that the lover killed her). Catherine's explosive back-and-forth with Grissom over his "not having a life" is especially an eyebrow-raiser. His turning out to be correct is a life lesson that haunts as the screen fades to black. A highlight of this investigation includes Grissom using science (a recreation of the area of water covering certain lakes, little boat, and a fan to determine where the wife's boat ended up while Catherine put "feet to concrete" to find it herself first) while Catherine "pounded the pavement" with both locating the victim's boat. Greg lovingly giving Catherine props to the "defeated" Grissom is a treat. I like how this case doesn't go as expected and, instead, arrives at a conclusion that tells us that accidents do happen. Also, a fraternity-suicide is investigated by Nick and Sara as they pursue the reasoning behind a college kid (trying to secure a spot in the fraternity) hanging from a rope. They have a hard time believing he'd commit suicide just because he didn't make it. When a girl's "inking" of her name on the victim's "privates" shows up during autopsy, a liver is found in his system, the cause of death is ruled to be a choking, and a rope is found with blood located around its noose, Nick and Sara are sure there's much to this story and it could implicate fraternity heads (one with a big-time attorney as his father). Fraternity hazing is put under the microscope here as Nick cops to understanding (since he was part of one in college) the inner working of this while Sara shows her repulsion at these types of activities and behavior. The narcissistic behavior of a frat kid, thumbing his nose at Nick and Sara by lying to them and throwing out how his pops would help him escape the sentencing he truly deserves provides a nicely satisfying conclusion when he gets what's coming to him.

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