CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 5, Episode 6

What's Eating Gilbert Grissom? (4 Nov. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 519 users  
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Starting in 1987, three murders were committed on the Western Las Vegas University campus, one of which provided Catherine Willows to investigate a suspect - John Mathers, security guard of... See full summary »



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Title: What's Eating Gilbert Grissom? (04 Nov 2004)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Greer
Walter Beerly


Starting in 1987, three murders were committed on the Western Las Vegas University campus, one of which provided Catherine Willows to investigate a suspect - John Mathers, security guard of the university. Mathers was arrested and convicted. Two years ago he was executed. But the night of his execution another murder with the same M.O. was committed. Eventually, Mathers turned out to be a copycat, responsible only for one murder, and the serial killer got away. And today, the evidence found by Greg Sanders at a fresh crime scene leads Catherine to the conclusion that the killer is back. Written by David Shahoumian <dave2070@gmail.com>

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Release Date:

4 November 2004 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Actress Summer Glau, who plays a friend of one of the murder victims, is well known for her role as River Tam on the TV series Firefly (2002). River is pursued by mysterious blue-gloved men over several episodes. The murder victims in this CSI episode also wind up with "hands of blue" from touching freshly-painted railings. See more »


When the Willows and Grissom are looking at the recently installed hand rail, Willows says that the cement is fresh. The handrail would not be installed using cement, it would be fixed with concrete, of which cement is an ingredient. See more »


Catherine Willows: Come on, Sara. This can't wait.
Sara Sidle: It can't or you can't?
Catherine Willows: Both
[Sara sighes and gets up]
Catherine Willows: Get a up of coffee on me.
Sara Sidle: you know the coffee is free.
See more »


References What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) See more »


Links 234
Performed by Rammstein
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User Reviews

18 September 2012 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Real cracker of an episode. The CSI team do seem to excel when they have a case that runs over several episodes. This is the "blue paint" mystery, connected with the killer John Mathers - which was one of the rare cases where Grissom and the team had previously been completely flummoxed.

Big Spoiler:

There's a very good build up of tension here, but the high point is when you finally get to see the serial killer. This is superb acting - in just a few minutes this guy steals the show. There's nothing unusual or immediately menacing about the guy - he looks like a small, not very successful and perhaps frustrated man, who constantly sketches as he's being interviewed; as though the conversation with Grissom is a side- issue. He smiles ruefully, aware that it's game over, and says the last few things he wants to say...

He's not particularly scary - except for the casual way he talks about his murderous exploits, his little secret. But there's something missing in his manner, as one imagines there would be with such a person*. As he chats away, one is acutely aware of the monstrous nature of his crimes, and the sort of ghoulish goings on inside his mind that must have led to them.

(We might use the phrase 'psychopath', but that doesn't help us understand these people on it's own - rather the cool emotional detachment of an otherwise ordinary person that is sometimes reported on encounters with serial murderers)

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