Nick's first case as fresh-promoted supervisor is the murder of handsome, libertine Ryan Lester in the house where he runs a porn-website, a star of which found him slaughtered in the bathtub. Overzealous vigilante Harvey Wincroft helps the team investigate the rundown neighborhood, astonishingly leading to hostile goth Craig Mason, who turns out to be the adopted son of convicted judge Douglas Mason alias serial killer Paul Millander. Meanwhile Langston and Catherine work out the corpse of once casino star pianist Joseph Bigelow, subjected to an astonishing surgical gimmick, may well be the first victim of an extant serial killer.
Two murders occur in a neighborhood being taken over by undesirable residents, and the prime suspect has a connection to a serial killer case from CSI's past.
- "CSI" - "Ghost Town" - Oct. 1, 2009
We open on a nubile young thing taking a shower. A man pulls back the shower curtain and shocks her. The real shock comes, however,when the CSIs- Nick and Sara- show up and we see that it is the surprise man who is dead in the shower. He had a shallow, efficient slash to his carotid artery.
His name was Ryan Lester and the house was his. He was running an illicit naked lady webcast service out of the house and he and the shower girl, Marnie, had hooked up a few times ("that was a long time ago, at least a couple of weeks") but she swears she didn't kill him. She recounts that he came, got in the shower with her with his clothes on - he was crazy like that - she got out to dress and the power went out. She went to the shower to let him know and he was dead. She screamed, fell in his blood, ran to the street and stopped the first car she say. The car was driven by neighborhood watch captain Harvey, whom she embraced and made his shirt bloody.
Brass has both Marnie and Harvey come down to the station to give statements and drop off their bloody clothes. Harvey tells Nick that since the home crisis the neighborhood's gone down the tubes with the likes of Ryan moving in and drug dealers and stuff. Nick commiserates, griping about his mortgage. Both Marnie and Harvey cast aspersions on a neighborhood peeping Tom.
In examining video of Marnie's webcast - which it turns out Phillips and his wife watch to help get it on - Greg and Nick notice the peeper. They go back to the house and discover a hole cut in the cardboard covering the windows and a discarded coat hanger from a dry cleaner's used to pull the curtain back. There is white make-up around the peephole.
This leads them to goth neighbor boy Craig, who, it turns out was the adopted son of a serial killer who tangled in the past with Grissom. Craig admits to peeping but not murder but he's got creepy rubber hands and masks, a bloody scalpel, and a dead crow in his room and listens to loud music so of course he's a suspect. Sara doesn't tell him she's Mrs. Grissom.
They bring a K-9 unit to the crime scene to get a scent on some bloody footprints but they don't lead to Craig's house but another house one over and the dead body of a drug dealer cleverly nicknamed Kilo who has been killed in the same manner as Ryan. Nick and Sara can tie Craig to Ryan's house but not murder and can't tie Craig to Kilo at all so they call in Ray for a pair of fresh eyes on the case. He looks at the fake rubber hand which has a congenital defect and wonders if Craig has it. They say he doesn't. Ray wonders if he wasn't a serial killer's son and all goth and whatnot if they would even be considering Craig as a suspect. They ruminate. He asks if they have any evidence outstanding.
While they look at that, Ray visits Craig and - after telling him a sad story about his own dad being a malevolent douche upon returning from the Korean war - has his slash the neck of a dummy head. Turns out he does have that congenital defect that would probably rule him out as the murderer due to the nature of the neck slash.
Sara lets Craig go and apologizes if he felt persecuted by them because of his dad. She offers him a ride home.
Nick and Sara pull out the bloody t-shirts worn by Harvey and Marnie. They discover that although Marnie did transfer some blood to Harvey he also has splatter on his right shoulder consistent with slashing of a major artery. They go to his house and when he emerges, holding his young daughter's hand, he essentially admits to the murders. He says he was trying to protect his family. Nick talks him into letting his frightened wife and daughter go and Harvey briefly threatens to shoot himself but eventually gives himself up.
In the night's B story - and picking up from where we left off with Robbins and Ray looking inside a dead body with wonder last week - a man arrives for autopsy with his intestines wrapped in a bow around his spleen like a Christmas present. (The intestine bow is green and the spleen is red).
Ray and Robbins are confused how this was done. They realize it was done post-mortem since the older guy died of natural causes. They notice laparoscopic surgery marks and are impressed with the surgeon's skills.
Catherine takes a look and thinks the guy's name Joseph Bigelow sounds familiar. Turns out he was a piano player for Dean Martin who sadly ended up a washed-up bum. Ray gets a pig and tries to laparoscopically recreate the intestine/spleen bow. Turns out it's super hard, like tying a cherry stem with your tongue. Catherine reveals she can do this after a few drinks. She also does some digging and discovers the guy would walk up and down the strip in a tux looking for work. He was a "strip snob" so the location in which he was found hints that whoever "Dr. Jekyll" is, found the body and moved it closer to his work. Later, when Ray notices Eckley who has stopped by briefly he adjusts his bow tie and seems unreasonably interested. He goes back to Bigelow's clothes and realizes the bow tie from his tux is missing, which also seems to indicate the "Dr.Jekyll" is keeping it as a sourvenir. He and Catherine realize that this is usually the sign of the serial killer. Since this guy died of natural causes they think maybe "Dr. Jekyll" won't be so patient next time.
Later, Nick pulls out the DVD of Ray's interview with Craig and watches him tell the story about his dad starting fights after returning from Korea. As we watch Nick watch Ray, we cut to Ray going through the box he was sent at the end of the last season with some of his dad's effects, including a photo of him and his Bronze Star. Ray pulls out the Bronze Star and in examining it notices blood on the lapel pin. He swabs the pin and pockets the test tube.