Playing with Matches

Season 4, Ep 14, Aired 2/6/08
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  • Episode Description
  • The team must figure out how a self-cleaning restroom leads to a drowning. The team also investigates the death of a man who was set on fire and flew into a fire truck.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Bill Haynes

  • Emmanuelle Vaugier

    Det. Jessica Angell

  • Bess Wohl

    Kendall Novak

  • Jason Chambers


  • Nicole Marie Lenz

    Concrete Cowgirl/Sandra

  • Fan Reviews (14)
  • Once again CSI: NY starts off with two separate, and very peculiar, deaths. The first is a human fireball that literally flew into a speeding FDNY truck. The second is a woman who drowned in a public self-cleaning toilet. An interesting start.

    By meathead704, Feb 10, 2008

  • ok episode...

    By Fwirrel, Jul 04, 2008

  • This was one of the best episodes of the season.

    By Chrewie, May 22, 2008

  • More high quality drama

    By AvatarBlue, May 04, 2008

  • Could have been better

    By SweetMissJaye, Apr 20, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Kendall: Usually you drive with the knuckle draggers. Makeshift board, skull cap, denim pants. Lindsay: Steel balls. (Looks at Danny and smiles)

    • (At the crime scene) Danny: What are you finding? Lindsay: Mostly charred wood and plastic. Danny: Flimsy ride for a guy that came from another galaxy. (Looks at Lindsay and she smiles)

    • (During the experiment with the motorcycle) Lindsay: Danny! Danny: Wa... wait. Just keep spraying. Trust me.

    • Angell: Fire department was on route to a structure fire on 49th when this thing... Danny: 'Thing'? Angell: That's what they called it. Came flying at them like some flaming meteorite. Slammed right into the wind shield. Danny: Fire came to the firemen. That's gotta be a first.

    • Sid: ...And based on the degree of trauma to the bones, I'd say your human comet's rate of speed was at least 80mph at the time of impact. Danny: 80?! What was he doing to be moving that fast? (shakes head in disbelief) Sid: Now keep in mind that I'm simply a pathologist, but the injuries to this victim, well frankly, they appear consistent . . . with him re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Now, until you come up with some evidence that says otherwise, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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    Notes (5)

    • Aaron Behr, who plays Vinnie Parson, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Wolfe in Sheep's Clothing. Christopher Bello, who plays John Szabo, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Caged.

    • Spanish episode title Jugando con Fuego, meaning Playing with fire. French episode title: Toilettes Funèbres, meaning Gloomy Toilets.

    • Music Featured: Burn My Shadow by U.N.K.L.E. feat. Ian Astbury. Sugar (playgroup mix) by Ladytron. Milk Lizard by The Dillinger Escape Plan.

    • Original International Air dates: UK: April 12, 2008 on Ch5. Denmark: May 5, 2008 on Kanal 5. Venezuela: May 15, 2008 on AXN. Turkey: June 2, 2008 on CNBC-e. Spain: June 3, 2008 on AXN. Australia: June 16, 2008 on Network 9. Sweden: July 14, 2008 on Kanal 5. New Zealand: July 22, 2008 on TV3. Norway: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 on TVNorge. Greece: December 17, 2008 on SKAI. Finland: June 17, 2009 on MTV3.

    • This was the last episode completed before the WGA strike that started on November 5, 2007. Non union writers had to finish the episode.

    Trivia (4)

    • When the team uses the velocity of the street luge victim to calculate where he came from, the mathematical expressions that are seen on the computer they're using are real physics formulae -- but they have nothing to do with trajectories, speed, friction, or impacts, as is stated. In fact, they are actually (parts of) Maxwell's equations, which describe the properties and behaviour of electromagnetic fields.

    • Goof: When we first see the girl on the autopsy table, the cut near her elbow is perpendicular to the two on her forearm. But when we see her inflicting the wounds in flashback, all cuts are parallel.

    • Kendall bores easily.

    • Going out on a Public Toilet is pretty low on Flack's list.

    Allusions (4)

    • Sid: That's my story and I'm sticking to it. There is a song out called That's my story and I'm stickin' to it done by Collin Raye.

    • Danny: He's become the human torch. This is an allusion to the marvel comic, Fantastic Four super hero, Johnny Storm, who can turn into The Human Torch at will.

    • Mac: Houston, we have a problem. This is the famous tagline from the 1995 movie Apollo 13. Astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) says it to Mission Control after an oxygen tank explosion on the Apollo 13 spacecraft. Gary Sinise also starred in this film as astronaut Ken Mattingly. This is actually a misquote of the words used on the actual mission. The actual NASA transcript shows the following dialogue: SWIGERT (LMP): Okay, Houston-- LOVELL (CDR): I believe we've had a problem here. CAPCOM (CC): This is Houston. Say again, please. LOVELL: Houston, we've had a problem. However, the version of the quote used in the movie and this episode has appeared so often that few people are aware of what the original words were.

    • The mission patch the first victim has in his hand is from Alan Shepard's Mercury 3 flight, named Freedom 7. This was a 15-minute sub-orbital flight that took place on May 5, 1961. Shepard was the first American in space. He was also the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the moon (as commander of Apollo 14). However, the Project Mercury missions did not have official mission patches at the time they were flown. The astronauts' suits had only simple square black patches embroidered with the name of the space capsule. In Shepard's case, it read "Freedom 7" in simple block lettering. Unlike on the rectangular patch shown in this episode, Shepard's name was not included. Multicolored patches with designs representing each mission's objective became the norm for the Gemini flights, which began in 1965. Similar retrospective designs for the Mercury missions were then created as souvenirs.

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