CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 3 Episode 5

Abra Cadaver

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 31, 2002 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
234 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Grissom, Warrick, and Sara investigate when a woman vanishes while taking part in a magician's act. The primary suspect is the magician. Catherine and Nick investigate the apparent overdose of a rock star.

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  • You can change your future but you can't erase the past

    Stupid woman. The rock star could've been a jerk like the band members said, but he was the kid's father and he had a right to see him. It's okay that the woman didn't want her child to know her past, but she was a different person now and so was the kid's father. But she just assumed... and she killed him.

    I didn't really enjoy the other case. But it was good to see a mini Manhunter reunion with the actor who played the creepy John Lee Roche in The X-files' season 4 episode "Paper Hearts'. The end is open to comments, though we never saw a followup.moreless
  • Even this had some GSR!

    I totally loved this episode. It was one of those episodes that keeps you on the edge of your seat in antipation of what's gonna happen next.

    Tha A case totally rocked, although it would have been nicer if it were Nick instead of Warrick with Grissom & Sara, but who's complaining. It was still funny.

    My favorite part was when Sara snuck up behind Grissom & scared him, I was laughing so much at that. Greggo rocked too with his Swami act.

    The B case was ok, Nick & Cath were working together on this one & it's always nice to see that because they rarely work alone together.moreless

    The magician picks a woman in the the blue dress. Blood on the case where the knife went in, showing that the woman was hurt. There was an underground route heading outside for volunteers to go after the act. Blood was on the way leading out. Person who killed her used Thorazine to tranquilize her. Magician showed up missing for 6 months. 6 pints of positive blood was found in his home. CSI found pictures of Abra Cadaver and his son Zepher and his baby. (which looked Identical). Found blood in a womans car. Cadaver makes himself disappear and burn. Zepher killed his son, When son was killed, he had a key in his mouth...

    A Rock star is killed at first believed because of suicide, but he had NO heroine in him and he had heart failure and he was strangled. The band was splitting up and they had no money. Guitarist was a heroine addict. He snorted it. Blood was on the door of Gus (the killed) appartment. Found out, his ex killed him because he wouldn't have anything to do with his biological child, and then when he wanted to she didn't want him to because of his past and the woman was protecting her child.moreless
  • Grissom and magic - not everything is as it seems, which is a problem for a CSI!

    I like this episode largely because of the presence of Tom Noonan as Zephyr, a magician who's seen better days. Tom Noonan must be one of the nicest men on the planet, because he can play creepy like nobody else and there has to be an opposite to the sinister!

    Two stories: a woman pulled from the audience for a magic trick disappears, which was the whole idea, except she fails to reappear and that's a problem, especially when traces of her blood are found.

    The second story is about a rock star who appears to have ODd, despite having been clean for several years. His story sets Catherine looking for groupies from the past and a slightly less than satisfying reason for his death.

    Meanwhile over at magic central, things go from bad to worse when Zephyr is incinerated in one of his own tricks, that's been rigged to go wrong. Clues point to a rival magician who is into more visceral illusions involving being nailed to a cross etc.

    It's a fun episode when the magic's around, and I enjoyed the weird house that Zoe Klein supposedly lived in. There are good twists and turns and even a couple of secret passages. Entertaining definitely.

    One thing - oh and a little spoiler warning...

    When at the end we see Noonan regurgitate the key, it looks like a very old key that would have fitted a writing bureau or something similar. Yet we're supposed to believe he now has a way to get out of his handcuffs. How would he even have a key to that set of handcuffs anyway? Magicians having their own keys to their own locks I can get, but this, whilst a neat and tricky ending doesn't quite make sense to me.

    Still a 9 though.moreless
  • Magician vs. Rock Star

    Two mediocre cases make this an iffy episode. The primary is a magician's volunteer goes missing. I'm a big magic fan, but this is just sad. The volunteer is planned, the tricks are simple, and a father/son/sister combo for victim and suspect.

    The secondary is an apparent drug OD by a washed out rock star. Becomes a murder when the OD is found to be staged, and the rest of the band reveals he wanted out.moreless
Lawrence Monoson

Lawrence Monoson

Toby Arcane

Guest Star

Tom Noonan

Tom Noonan

The Amazing Zephyr

Guest Star

Jennifer Sky

Jennifer Sky


Guest Star

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

Archie Johnson

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • The episode title, "Abra Cadaver", refers to the term 'abra kadabra', often used by magicians.

    • When Greg is giving Nick and Catherine gossip on the band, Greg flashes the "rock on" sign, making a fist with his index and pinky finger straight up. Nick returns the gesture, but makes one crucial error: he extends his thumb. This does not mean "rock on", it means "I love you" in American sign language.

    • Goof: After you see Zephyr pour the dust out of his hand, you can see the pack where it came from on his palm if you keep watching for it.

    • Goof: When the CSIs are looking around in Zoe Klein's house, they find a blueprint for one of her magic tricks and the bottom it reads 'PROPERTY OF ZOE KLEIN'. Later, Warrick finds a picture of the magicians, and the picture reads 'CLEIN MAGICAL TOUR'.

    • Goof: When Grissom and Archie look at the photos an older couple took at the magician's show, they zoom in on one of the pictures - the picture showed the top of a woman's head behind the couple originally, but when zoomed in, her whole head can be seen.

    • Goof: Grissom finds a large, winged insect in the windowsill and IDs it as a male io moth when in fact it is not an io moth at all. A male io moth is small and golden-yellow with bright pink and eyespots. In addition, it was a butterfly, not a moth. It folded its wings when landed.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Zephyr: Nothing is what it seems. But I fooled them all. Even that ungrateful masochist. It-it's amazing what you can do with a stagehand and a masquerade mask. You know, not to mention a prop like a packet full of Zoe's blood. You know, lucky for me she let me have some before she mysteriously disappeared.
      Grissom: You made her disappear.

    • Grissom: Zephyr and his son are interchangeable in physical appearance like the Io moth. You know what that means?
      Warrick: Zephyr's still out there.
      Grissom: So, if you're a master of deception where do you hide? ... Or do you?

    • Samantha Dean: I am not proud of my youth and my son was never going to be a part of that world. You're a mother. What would you be willing to do to save the life of your child?
      Catherine: I think that I'd rather have my daughter know a bad father than no father at all.

    • Grissom: I knew that Houdini could swallow and regurgitate keys on cue, but I've never heard of skin pockets.
      Doc Robbins: Learn something new every day don't you?

    • Brass: Hey, hey, hey. This is a non-smoking facility. (Punky takes his cigarette in his right hand and puts the cigarette flame end first into his fist as far as it will go. He covers the exposed filter with his right hand. He opens up his right hand palm up to show nothing there. He looks back up at his audience to see if they're paying attention, then slowly opens his left hand palm up. Nothing is there. Both hands are empty)
      Punky: I'm not a bad magician, you know.
      Brass: When you find that, put that out.
      Punky: Okay. Truth is ... I lied.
      Brass: We know that. That's why we're here.

    • Zephyr: Nothing is as it seems, is it?
      Grissom: That's the conflict of magic -- the burden of knowledge versus the mystique of wonder.
      Zephyr: And you're wondering right now -- I can hear your mind ticking-- "Was she a plant? Was it real?"
      Grissom: Well, there are no secrets, are there? Only hidden answers.
      Zephyr: I'm an honest liar, sir. In my line of work it's accepted. You could say it was my livelihood.
      Grissom: Well, my livelihood is dispelling lies and finding the truth.

    • Brass: I got a bunch of police officers, uh canvassing the theater right now. No sign yet, but we have traced the woman back to her aisle seat, 8A. Paid cash.
      Grissom: Magic is fun, Jim, but it's not real. The woman is somewhere.
      Brass: Thanks for that. Thanks.

    • Brass: Welcome to the house of illusion. This is bizarre. You're not going to believe this. Female volunteer goes on the stage, disappears and doesn't come back.
      Grissom: Was she supposed to ... reappear?
      Brass: The Amazing Zephyr won't say. You know magicians, they never reveal their tricks, but we're working on him.
      Grissom: Well, I can understand why he doesn't want to reveal his trick ... but would he like to explain this blood?

    • Nick (entering at the band trailer): Whoa, rock'n roll, baby!

    • Sara (to herself after finding a print): I'm no psychic, but I have been known to read palms.

    • (A hand reaches out to grab Grissom's shoulder, he is startled)
      Sara: Sorry. (Sara pulls her hand back and smiles)
      Warrick: You keep disappearing.

    • Sara: I know you didn't beep me for a magic trick.
      Greg: Swami doesn't do magic tricks. Swami's here to reveal all of your DNA secrets.
      Sara: I'm very busy, Greg.
      Greg: Blood from the "Chamber of Doom."
      Greg: Same as the d-donor of the blood found on the basement floor but ... d-different than the blood found in the alleyway.
      Sara: Different person?
      Greg: Different ... animal.
      Sara: Really? What kind of animal?
      Greg: Oh, Swami needs more time. Now...clear liquid found near the blood droplets. It's... (Grissom walks up behind Greg and starts reading the results) ...not from Thora Birch, but...
      Grissom: Thorazine. (Greg is surprised. He puts the test results down and takes off the Swami hat)
      Greg: Thorazine.
      Sara: Thorazine. That's an animal tranquilizer. Zephyr didn't use any live animals in his act.
      Grissom: Maybe he didn't use it on animals.

    • Archie: Is that who I think it is?
      Grissom: Who?
      Archie: Toby Arcane. "Freak man".
      Grissom: What makes him a "freak" besides that shirt?
      Archie: All I can say he's not for the faint of heart.

    • Toby Arcane: It's, uh, called "The Cross-ifixion." I get, uh, nailed to it every night.
      Grissom: Well, miraculously, you've resurrected. Have you ever been to the Zephyr show?
      Toby Arcane: He's a hack. I wouldn't be caught dead at that show.
      Grissom: I know. But we caught you alive.

    • Toby Arcane: I'm from Orange County, dude.
      Sara: Thanks for your time.
      Warrick: Yeah. On earth.
      Toby Arcane: You're welcome.

    • Zephyr: Abracadabra.
      Grissom: "Abracadabra". That's a cabalistic charm said to be made up from three Hebrew words meaning, father, son and the holy spirit. You're the father who took his son's life... so that you could disappear and become the holy spirit?
      Zephyr: No. From caterpillar to cocoon. From cocoon... to moth. And from moth... to dust.

    • Grissom: Your son aspired to be a great magician, didn't he?
      Zephyr: Yeah, but he served better as a prop.
      Grissom: You're about to be arrested for his murder.
      Zephyr: You don't want to know how I did that trick?
      Grissom: No. Magicians shouldn't reveal their tricks.
      Zephyr: And they say, they save their best trick for last.

    • (Talking about Zephyr's sword)
      Grissom: Is it possible he put his sabre in the wrong spot?
      Toby: Well, this is Vegas, baby.

    • Grissom: Well, Mr. Dillinger do you know how this trick works?
      Punky: I only control the stage part. (Grissom looks at him, but he's not buying it) Yeah.
      Grissom: Good, make me disappear.

    • (Talking about old music)
      Catherine: Yeah, that was good to dance to. (Nick smiles)

    • Grissom (talking about the big box-like container that the woman disappeared from): This been processed yet?
      Warrick (jokingly): Yeah. You want me to bag it?
      Sara: Let's take it back to the lab. Maybe we can make Greg disappear.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music:
      Rakim - Dead Can Dance
      The Mark Has Been Made - Nine Inch Nails
      Just Like You Imagined - Nine Inch Nails
      Natural One - Folk Implosion


  • 10:00 pm