Grissom takes his leave from a mostly grateful team and finds his successor by hiring criminology professor Langston, initially as consultant in the serial killer Nate Haskell and copy cat case, their last viz. first. Nate won't cooperate, but analyzing his eye-contact with students helps identify his cahoot and fancy forensics plus victim disposal routes analysis help track down the torture layer he 'inherited' from the original killer.
Grissom gets Dr. Langston's help to find the man who is carrying on the serial killer's work before the next victim is killed. The case will prove to be Grissom's last with the crime lab.
- "CSI" - "One To Go" - Jan. 15, 2009
We pick up where we left off: with the discovery of the remains of a male victim of the "Dick and Jane" serial killer Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin). The CSIs were directed there by the man himself.
He is discovered near a concrete bridge outside of town. We hear Langston (Laurence Fishburne) voice over that the bones were found just where Haskell said they would be, as we watch the CSI's carry the remains to a spot where they can be photographed and examined. Hodges tells us, also in voice over, the method of murder was strangulation. He's being tentatively ID'ed as Joel Steiner, the first male victim of Haskell.
As the pictures and fingerprints are taken by Grissom (William Petersen) and crew we hear Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) say another male victim was found nearby, dead less than 24 hours, Jeffrey Masters, also strangled. He has a wife, Maureen, who isn't home and hasn't answered her cell.
As Brass continues talking we cut to his actual location telling other cops the couple was out clubbing the night before. The sheriff wonders if the wife is really missing and how Brass knows they are truly "Dick and Jane" victims. Another cop explains the man bears the classic "DJK" marks, ten post mortem stab wounds - meaning the Masters' would be the tenth victims. Brass and the cop explain it would really be "DJK's" outside accomplice who committed the murders, kidnapping the couple, killing the male and holding the female captive and torturing her. At most, they figure they have 48 hours to find the Maureen.
They believe it's likely "DJK" communicated with his accomplice through the recent video conferences he's been conducting in Langston's classroom, where Grissom went undercover. The sheriff points out the cops have gotten themselves into a fine mess and they can make it up to him by finding the woman.
Brass and Grissom walk and talk at the lab about how Haskell must've communicated with someone at the seminar. Brass says the sheriff has asked Grissom to stay on through the "DJK" crisis, Grissom just gives him a look.
We get a quick montage of the evils of "DJK" as Langston interviews him on video where he says "fun is taking something away from somebody" and "you never forget your first" as we see glimpses of a female form lying on her face. She awakens woozily, moaning, surveying evil looking instruments: hooks and scalpels and chains and what have you. There is a TV on in the background. She spies a man in the distance and realizes she's handcuffed to the table. She struggles as the man, who is watching some kind of game show, corrects the onscreen contestant saying serotonin is what releases happiness in a person. The woman struggles more mightily.
Grissom walks in on Conrad (Marc Vann) and asks for a favor with the sheriff. Conrad asks if Grissom has bugs in his office. Grissom says he doesn't but notes drolly he does have bugs in his office. (Hee). They are both confused. Turns out Sheriff Burdick has reorganized things, meaning the crime lab will now report directly to him and Conrad has just been made the new undersheriff. Grissom congratulates him and says he has a great idea for his first official act.
We cut to Grissom approaching Langston saying he was just about to call him, and asking him into his office. Langston surveys the buggy surroundings with an impressed/bewildered "huh!" He presents background research he's done on Haskell. It turns out "DJK" subdued men much larger than him before he strangled them and all that was found in their systems was THC (or pot). Langston thinks the pot was laced with something like GHB to incapacitate them. He says it's a long shot but an appreciative Grissom says he'll take the information to Tox. Langston says he doesn't like feeling like an accomplice to murder and he hopes Grissom keeps him in the loop. Grissom says he's already gone him one better, arranging for the lab to retain Langston as a special consultant on the case. Langston says he's in. Grissom shares the theory Haskell's accomplice was someone from the class. He wonders who suggested the video conference hook-up. Turns out it was a student of Langston's from the previous semester, Dan Forrester.
We cut to Forrester in an interrogation room being asked by Brass how a nice, clean-cut boy like himself ends up writing letters to a serial killer. Forrester said he was tired of secondary sources like books, he wanted first-hand material, which Langston encouraged. Forrester sent letters to half a dozen serial killers and Haskell was the only one who responded. Brass shows him a picture of the Masters' and asks if Forrester recognizes them. He doesn't. Nor any of the other victims, whom Brass shows graphic death pictures of and insinuates that since these murders happened while Haskell was incarcerated, he had an accomplice. The student freaks out that he might be a suspect and backpedals from saying it was his idea. He points out a number of students came up with the idea, he took it to Langston, and Langston drafted and sent out the letter. Brass asks for the other students' names. Forrester says he doesn't remember.
Langston and Grissom look on through a two way mirror. Langston wonders if they have to interview all the students in the class. Grissom says Maureen Masters doesn't have that kind of time and says maybe they can deduce who it was by looking at the video of the conference.
Grissom goes back to the classroom with Catherine (Marg Helgenberger), Langston, Stokes (George Eads), and Greg (Eric Szmanda) and they try to recreate who Haskell made eye contact with. They stop on a couple of interludes in which Haskell seems to be giving a directive to someone in the class. They zero in on a student named Thomas Donover (Jimmi Simpson).
They go to his house and grab his wife (Wynn Everett) who says he's gone camping, she's not sure where. Brass brings her in and she says he's an unemployed construction worker who's recently gone back to school. She says she has no idea where he is.
Stokes, Catherine, Riley (Lauren Lee Smith), and Greg search the house. Greg finds a shoe print match for the tread found at the Tolliver house (related to the S&M couple murder from a few weeks back). Riley discovers computer-wise Donover knows how to cover his tracks.
Brass asks Donover's wife to call him on her cell phone. She seems hesitant and has Brass do it.
Back at the classroom we're hearing Haskell talking again about giving his victim's hope as we cut to the man torturing Maureen Masters. He turns and we see that it's Donover. Maureen, still lying face down on the table, asks him calmly to please just not kill her. He grabs a knife, approaches her and says he's going to give her a rest and then cuts her plastic cuffs. He tells her to relax. She sits up, and then tries to run for the door, which is, of course, locked. She turns and slaps him. They struggle and he tells her that he's locked them both in on purpose and if she tries the windows he'll shoot her in the back of the head. She promises it won't happen again. He says if she behaves and makes him happy, she'll get out just fine. She promises to do what it takes to make him happy. He tells her he's going to leave so she can make herself presentable.
We cut to the layout room as Langston and Grissom look over evidence. Hodges enters and says it feels like old times, him, Grissom, and a serial killer. He asks who Langston is. Grissom introduces him. Hodges brags about how hard they work and they don't usually need a consultant. They deduce "DJK" dumped the male bodies on roadsides where it was convenient. We move in on the map until a location- Lake Mead- glows. Although it has a huge mass of shoreline, Hodges says he can cut that in half. Turns out moss discovered on Donover's sneaker by Greg only grows on one side of Lake Mead, according to Hodges.
We cut back to Donover's house and Nick exploring the attic. He stops on a storage bin in which he finds videotapes. He pulls one out, noting there are tapes but no VCR, and at Tolliver's house there was a VCR but no tapes. Although tired, Nick says he's going to push through because it feels like Grissom's last big game and he wants to win it for him.
Brass drops photos in front of Donover's wife. She IDs Tolliver as an old friend, the kind who always asks for money. She calls him sleazy. Brass says actually he's dead, as are a whole bunch of other people he shows her pictures of. He says her husband is a murderer and demands that she tell him where he is. She says he made her promise not to tell.
Back at the Donover house Katherine discovers a vial of Sage extract. She calls the Tox guy Henry and asks about the incapacitating agent. That's it! Katherine lifts a print off it and sends it to Mandy (Barry Watson) at the lab. Mandy gets a match on Garth Harris. The cops speed off to grab him. He tries to run, they give chase, a cop runs into him and apparently kills him.
Robbins examines the dead drug dealer's body. Henry (Jon Wellner) explains to Katherine and Langston that apparently, he was getting high on his own supply. He was on heroin, THC and other stuff. Langston observes that that cocktail would've completely knocked out the male victims.
Stokes pulls them aside to show them an 11 year old video from Donover's attic of the first victims tailgating at a concert on the night they were murdered. Donover is in the video, as is Tolliver. On the video, Donover offers the couple something to keep the party going. Which Katherine is guessing is a joint laced with the knockout potion. Nick surmises Donover probably killed Tolliver because of and to get this video. The video greys out and then cuts to quick shots of the woman being tortured by Nate Haskell. They determine Donover was carrying out the same work in the same place, because the house held sacred meaning for him. They guess it's the place his wife said Donover went "camping." They debate time consuming ways to find the house and Langston suggests going to Haskell. Katherine says the serial killer is having too much fun to help them and that it would be a waste of time. Langston says what they're doing now is a waste of time.
We cut to the video of Haskell again talking about his victims becoming what he wanted them to be as Donover sharpens a knife and the victim pleads for her life. He cuts off her hair. She's tied to a chair in a "Saw"-styled room. He puts on a blindfold and says he's going to finish her haircut. He starts saying "Marco" and prompts her to say "Polo."
Nick enters Grissom's office wondering why he's looking at Moon pictures. Grissom explains about an experiment with Ansel Adams photos that tried to determine when his pictures were taken according to how the moon was reflected in them. Nick tells Grissom he will never forget him. Grissom says Nick is the best student he's ever had.
Langston is entering the prison to talk to Haskell. Langston explains he came to gloat. He lays out photos and invites "DJK" in. They're stills from the video of Donover's kill from Tollivers' collection. He lays out more pictures bluffing that they've found his house in Lake Mead, captured Donover, and saved the girl. Haskell wonders what Langston needs him for then. Closure, says Langston. He says he needs to know where the girls' bodies are buried. Langston tries to bargain with him and says if he doesn't help, the only person who will ever hear Haskell's voice again is Haskell. Haskell says to follow the fence in the backyard. Langston asks to where. Haskell says to nowhere since there is no fence in the backyard and laughs and taunts Langston for thinking he could outsmart him. He assures Langston he's a teacher too and his students are out there and the woman is already dead. Langston hollers for the guards to drag Haskell out, they do.
Greg and Grissom look at the video again trying to work off the moon location triangulation. Greg thanks him for changing his life by putting him out in the field. Stokes arrives with the moon rise tables for Lake Mead. From the moon location, the moss origin, and the mountain height they determine the house is in Black Mesa.
We cut back to the torture scene as Donover hears intruders, clicks on video surveillance and sees figures approaching, and the woman says if he lets her go she won't tell anyone what happened. He pulls out a gun and is about to shoot her, when he is shot in the head and the team moves in led by Brass who uncuffs and hugs Maureen.
The next day teams are dragging the lake and examining the shoreline as Langston arrives. He walks around the kill room along with Grissom, Katherine, and Stokes. Grissom finds a loose panel, undoes it and discovers a row of skeletons under the boards. The female victims.
We cut to Langston in his classroom in a meditative pose. Grissom enters and offers a penny for his thoughts. Langston is rethinking Donover sitting in his class, disbelieving that he was fooled by him. He says he's tired of getting fooled. Grissom says people lie and only the evidence is reliable. Langston thanks Grissom for being allowed to help, it was something he needed to do. Grissom asks him if he'd have any interest in an open job position in his lab. Langston says he can't imagine himself as a cop. Grissom says the CSIs come from all backgrounds and Langston, as an M.D., is more than qualified. It's an entry-level position, the hours are terrible, and the pay is bad but he'd be a great help to CSI and he might really enjoy it. Langston says he'll think about it.
Back at the lab, Grissom is boxing up his office, taking down his bugs. Hodges enters and realizes Grissom is really leaving. He says as Grissom's friend and colleague he has to let him know what a colossal mistake he's making and without Grissom the bad guys will win more often. He asks who Watson was without Sherlock Holmes. Grissom points out Watson was a genius in his own right and it's the right time for him to go. Hodges says OK and walks away. Grissom holds up Warrick's memorial service program and looks sad, then smiles.
He walks the halls smiling to himself as he looks in each room at the lab and sees Brass, Hodges and Wendy, other CSIs, Robbins and Riley, Stokes and Greg. He catches Catherine's eye in one room and she winks at him. He smiles broadly and turns and walks away. The screen blurs, fades to white and cuts to Grissom wandering a jungle, dressed in a hat and sweaty gear examining a GPS marked Costa Rica. His eyes light on a bug for a moment. He walks into a clearing where a woman, whose back is to the camera, is taking a picture of a monkey in a tree. The woman turns and it's Sara (Jorja Fox). They take each other in for a moment and then embrace and kiss, passionately.