Last time we tuned in to CSI, an increasingly burned-out Gil Grissom met Laurence Fishburne’s Dr. Raymond Langston in an effort to stop a killer who seemed to be copycatting Nathan Haskell, the so-called Dick & Jane Killer. It’s how you wanted Grissom to go out, right? Not with a whimper, but while tracking down the protege to one of the series’ creepiest killers?
[These are Grissom’s final spoilers.]
The previouslys are cleverly hidden in exposition; you, dear readers, can follow the link above to find out what happened the last time we saw the CSI team in action. With Joel’s skeleton recovered and Jeffery Masters’ fresh corpse discovered, Sheriff Burdick demands Ecklie find Jeffrey’s wife Maureen, who is presumably still alive. I can see how Burdick might want some good press, what with his undersheriff killing Warrick and all. Naming Ecklie the new undersheriff, as Burdick does, certainly won’t help.
Grissom decides a few things: First, Haskell has an accomplice, not a copycat. And second, Haskell was working with one of Langston’s students, and that Haskell in fact transmitted instructions to Li’l Killer during his Big Brotheresque videoconference. Langston says university rules won’t allow profs to video their students (which… yeah. Creepy) so the investigators replay Haskell on the big screen and follow his eyes.
Sure enough, he paid special attention to a student who asked about controlling the victims, and it was… Liam McPoyle! I knew Jimmi Simpson was a bit too well-known to just be in the background of the previous ep. Anyhoo, Liam — or rather, Tom Doniphon, also John Wayne’s name in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance — goes camping a whole lot, his nervous wife tells the SWAT team on her doorstep.
And yeah, the wife knows Tom isn’t exactly a saint, but he’s apparently messed with her mind more than a little. Still, she doesn’t know much about his extracurricular activities. Luckily, he left behind shoes with a moss specific to the north shore of Lake Mead, plus videos of himself and Gerry picking up their first victims. The DJK Killers’ body trail also leads toward Lake Mead.
The CSIs had best hurry, though, because Tom is torturing Maureen. It’s mostly mental, with him brandishing a huge knife at one point and then cutting her bonds, joking, "You act like I’m gonna turn you into The Joker or something." Hey, I bet he was thrilled Heath Ledger won a posthumous Golden Globe!
Nick finds a quick glimpse of Haskell torturing his first female victim on one of the videotapes, but there’s not enough of a view of the house for our CSIs to know where on Lake Mead it’s located. Langston, who Grissom brought on as a special consultant, thinks he can trick Haskell into revealing its location. Really? Did he not see Silence of the Lambs? Grissom bets he can triangulate the house’s location using the moon’s location. I’m not sure which man is crazier.
Wait, yes I do. It’s Langston. He tries to pretend the CSIs raided the Torture House and saved Maureen and that he can get Haskell more publicity if the sweet wittle DJK Killer will just tell them where the bodies are buried. Haskell says they’re at the end of the fence, and Langston forgets that when bluffing a psycho who’s trying to verify facts, they’ll always throw out information about something that doesn’t exist! Instead of saying, "What fence?" and possibly pretending any fence had been torn down while Haskell was in jail, Langston bites and exposes himself as a liar. Haskell is led away, gloating manically and talking about other students. Uh-oh.
Luckily, Grissom’s "forensic astronomy" works, and the LVPD’s ridiculously detailed 3D modeling software tells the cops exactly where the Torture House is. And it’s someplace called Black Mesa, which made me giggle about headcrabs and then wish I had some cake. That was a joke, ha-ha, fat chance.
Tom spots the incoming SWAT team on a home-brewed security system and gets ready to shoot Maureen, figuring he’ll at least finish off this couple. Unfortunately for him, CSI-Cam makes its last appearance in a William Petersen episode, following just behind a bullet that rather neatly buries itself in Tom’s forehead. He falls, and the SWAT team rushes in, with Brass doing the honor of freeing Maureen. Next thing we know, the sun is up and the LVPD is scouring the area for our missing victims’ bodies. Grissom notices a loose floorboard in Torture House and pries it up, revealing a neat row of skeletons. Now they can rest in peace.
Next, we’re at Langston’s classroom, where he’s beating himself up over being fooled. Grissom reassures him, and then offers Morpheus a chance to take the red pill or the blue pill. Langston chooses the red pill, an entry-level job at the crime lab. (Okay, he says he’ll "think on it," but — spoiler! — he takes the gig.)
Finally, Grissom clears out his office, sharing words with Hodges and fondling the program for Warrick’s funeral. Gil wanders slowly through the lab, smiling as he watches our favorite investigators hard at work, making Sin City safe for… more sin. Finally, Gil turns and does that shuffle-walk toward a staircase, and the screen goes white.
Sara Sidle Watch
We next see Grissom checking a GPS device in Costa Rica. Please, please tell me he’s there for the bugs. Sure enough, he stops to appreciate a locust, but then keeps going to a small campsite. A familiar female form, back turned, is taking pictures of monkeys. She turns, reveals herself to be Sara (of course), and Gil sweeps her into a kiss. Exeunt Grissom.
This one’s dedicated to a friend who mocked Sara Sidle mercilessly through the years. Wish you’d been here with me to see her last appearance, yo.
Next week: Laurence Fishburne and his tie class up crime scenes!