CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 9 Episode 5

Leave Out All the Rest

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Nov 06, 2008 on CBS

Episode Recap

It's storming heavily in Las Vegas as Grissom drives to a crime scene, upset and distracted by memories of Sara. Specifically, memories of a video message she sent to him. In sharp contrast to Grissom's downtrodden expression, Sara looks relaxed and at peace.

Sara: "I've been thinking about us a lot, though, all the moments. I thought we could survive anything. This trip has given me a lot of clarity. That last year in Vegas, I could barely breathe, let alone think."

When Grissom arrives, Catherine is trying to protect a tire tread from the pouring rain. She scolds Grissom for ignoring the dispatcher when he was on call. It's become a habit because he ignores her as well and peers at the body, a male victim whose face looks like raw hamburger. He's also missing his fingers and toes and SuperDave spots ligature marks on his wrists, indicating he was dragged behind a car. But when the body is rolled and Grissom sees burn marks on the victim's shirt, he guesses that the victim was tied to the undercarriage of a car. The storm picks up in intensity and Catherine shouts over the wind and rain that the body needs to be moved. Grissom just crouches there, face raised up to the sky, letting the rain wash over his face.

Sara: "Before I left, you said some things that I tried not to hear, but now I think you were right."

Back at the lab, Grissom photographs the body while Nicky collects the victim's softball shirt, hoping to find an ID from the team's name. Nicky spots numerous stab marks in the shirt but he stops talking when he sees Grissom pinching the bridge of his nose. He asks if Grissom has a migraine but Grissom just brushes him off and Nicky lets it drop. Doc Robbins arrives and observes that what happened to the victim's face happened post-mortem, but he's got another autopsy to do first. "BRB!" he chirps. No, seriously, he totally does. His wife's gotten him into texting. Hee. He departs and Nicky comes back, having sent the shirt to Brass. Grissom shows him that the stab wounds and ligature marks were also post-mortem, but the victim also has swelling and puncture marks around the nipples.

Out at the crime scene, Catherine is photographing the tire tread, which survived the storm. Hodges joins her, complaining about being forced into the field. "Hire some more CSIs." "Trust me, you were the last choice," Catherine shoots back. Hodges wanders around and sees a bloody rope, but gets a splinter when he reaches for it. He yelps and whines like his finger has been cut off but Catherine ignores his boo-boo and walks right by him to bag the rope. She speculates that the victim was tied underneath the car with the rope but the rope melted and the body fell off, so the killer pulled the body into the desert.

The victim has been identified as Ian Wallace and Brass lets himself into Ian's apartment, followed by Nicky and Riley. Aside from Brass smashing a window to get in, there are no signs of forced entry. Riley finds traces of blood on the living room furniture and Nicky finds evidence of a scuffle in the hallway. Upon further investigation, he also finds Ian's car and evidence that another car was in the driveway. Also, the back door was unlocked. Riley notes that a woman lived with Ian and she finds a name on a magazine address label - Justine Stefani. At the lab, Henry tells Catherine that he only found traces of marijuana and alcohol in Ian's tox screen, but he doesn't think Ian injected either into his nipples. Then he goes on to share a story about Hodges and botox injections and Catherine cuts him off before it gets more TMI, bless her heart.

In his office, Grissom watches Sara's video again, from the beginning.

Sara: "Hello from below the equator, in Puerto Ayora. We've been at sea for over a month now. Man, you wouldn't believe the crew - students, activists, scientists - the dinner conversations alone are mindblowing. And there's even this marine biologist that reminds me a little bit of you. I wish that we could talk in person but this is the best that I can do. I want to apologize for being out of touch. I've been thinking about us a lot, though, all the moments. I thought we could survive anything. This trip has given me a lot of clarity. That last year in Vegas, I could barely breathe, let alone think but now, for the first time in a really long time, I'm happy."

I think there's going to be a lot of disagreement over Sara's avowal of happiness but I don't think she's pretending. She looks happy. She's glowing, really. I don't doubt for a second that she misses Grissom terribly, but that doesn't negate her finding happiness and peace away from, not so much him, but the toxic environment that he refuses to leave and which she can no longer tolerate. Sara's not the one in denial; Grissom is.

Robbins tells Grissom that the puncture marks around the nipples were too shallow to indicate drug use, and they were also done in a pattern. Additionally, he says Ian's tongue showed burn marks from an electrical charge. Both wounds suggest torture. The cause of death was asphyxiation from being strangled. Grissom puts all of the evidence together and suggests S&M was involved. "Gone very, very wrong," Catherine adds. Grissom takes off without saying anything and Catherine asks Robbins if that's normal. "Grissom being socially awkward? Yeah, that's normal," Robbins replies. Hee! But Catherine's still concerned about her friend; she says he's not sleeping much and he won't talk to her.

It's raining again and Grissom stands outside a house, getting soaked because he's conflicted about his next move. Finally, he rings the doorbell. Of course, it's Lady Heather's house and she's shocked to see him, probably more because he's shivering and miserable like a half-drowned puppy than because he's actually there.

After bringing him inside and giving him a mug of tea, Lady Heather asks when Grissom last got a good night's sleep. "Bad dreams," he responds. He tells her a bit about the case and asks for her first impressions. She looks closely at him and says her first impression is that he's changed, which he can't deny. He asks how she's been and Lady Heather says she got her masters and is now working as a therapist. She's only one PhD from being Dr. Heather instead of Lady Heather but seriously, it's awesome that Heather has regained her tranquility after going through such a dark period. After taking him upstairs and giving him a dry shirt to change into, she looks over the photographs and confirms that the nipple punctures and tongue burn are indeed S&M play. Heather gives a hands-on demonstration of how the needle play works and Grissom's uncomfortable and slightly aroused expression would be hilarious if his abject sadness wasn't also still there. She says Ian wasn't just a submissive, he was also a masochist. Grissom tells her that Ian lived with a woman, although she's missing and they don't know if she was also into S&M. Heather asks to see photos of the bedroom.

Nicky, Greg and Riley oblige Lady Heather's request. Greg finds a "booty smudge" on the TV and traces of semen, Nicky photographs a flier for a club called Lower Linx, but it's Riley who hits the jackpot. She finds a trunk under the bed and it's filled with S&M gear. Greg and Riley have some forced "flirtatious banter" about who's kinkier but Nicky, as grossed out as I am, orders them to knock it off. He finds a bloody shirt in the hamper and it indicates that Ian changed clothes after getting his nipples poked with needles but before being killed. Riley suggests Justine re-dressed him after killing him but Nicky doesn't think she could've tied him to the underside of her car. Riley insists she could have done it, since it takes brains not brawn, and Greg is on her side.

Back at Lady Heather's, she looks over the photographs and determines that Ian must've went somewhere else for his hardcore S&M kinks, since he didn't have a dedicated room for it. She spots the photo with the club flier and says it's part of the amateur scene and has a back room for S&M play. Brass and Nicly go to Lower Linx and speak with the surly owner, Michelle Tournay, who looks like a baby Lady Heather but has none of Heather's innate charm and charisma. Michelle is played by Peyton List, last seen breaking up Roger Sterling's marriage on Mad Men. Michelle refuses to cooperate until Brass gets a warrant but when he and Nicky sit down at the bar, intending to stick around and drive her customers away until a warrant arrives, she relents and shows them the back room, where Nicky finds metal chopsticks.

In the DNA lab, Wendy tells Riley that the TV smear included seminal fluid from Ian but the vaginal secretions were from an unknown woman, not Justine. She's also found blood spatter on the back of Ian's shirt, perhaps from the killer.

Sara: "Before I left, you said some things that I tried not to hear but now...I think you were right. If a relationship can't move forward, it withers."

Grissom is still at Heather's house, gazing out at the rain. Heather says that there was a schism in Ian and Justine's relationship. Justine was traditional, "a good girl, afraid of the dark." As for Ian, he compartmentalized everything, including his relationship. Heather doesn't think Justine knew about Ian's S&M fetish. "Does Sara know you're here?" Grissom, startled, says no. Heather also wants to know if she's Grissom's secret. "No," Grissom replies coldly. "And you're not my therapist." He goes back to the case, telling Heather that Ian had sex with someone else. Heather says that Justine was an enabler, not a dominant, and she couldn't have harmed Ian even if she knew about his infidelities.

Out in the desert, the burned out husk of Justine's car has been found not far from where Ian's body was found. There's a crispy body inside the car and it's probably Justine, who is definitely no longer a suspect even if Grissom ignored Heather's analysis. The team pieces together what happened to Justine. Her hands were bound behind her back and at some point she escaped from Ian's killer and her captor. The killer ran her down in her own car and killed her, so whoever did it cut his losses and burned Justine in her own car. The killer left by another car, driven by either a passing motorist or an accomplice. Nicky shares that the same female DNA found in Ian's bedroom is on the metal chopsticks used to hold Ian's tongue in the S&M room. Michelle seems a likely suspect and Nicky intends to get a warrant for her DNA. Greg adds that their possible second suspect could be Martin Devlin, who was the last person to call Justine. Brass talks to Devlin, who keeps smarmily calling Brass "Jim," and learns that Devlin sells life insurance and was trying to get Justine to sign a policy.

Grissom and Lady Heather share a nice pot of tea, harkening back to their "did they or didn't they?" morning tea in "Lady Heather's Box." Grissom tells her that Ian was having sex with his domme, which Heather says is an amateur mistake. When Grissom mentions that the killer might've had an accomplice, Heather suggests that if the killer was Ian's domme, she would've had a male slave, someone she could control and trust, help her.

Nicky talks to Michelle in interrogation and gets her to admit that she was sleeping with Ian, but she says she liked to keep her privacy and she never went to Ian's place, or he to hers. She tells Nicky that she's only involved the S&M scene as a facilitator and to make money. She doesn't get into it herself. Nicky tries to take a DNA sample and she refuses, so an office has to hold her down. Trying to keep her cool and remain in control, but failing miserable, Michelle tries to rattle Nicky by suggesting he got turned on when swabbing her. Nicky just stares at her impassively, because he knows exactly how ridiculous she is. Lady Heather would eat this kid for breakfast and still have room leftover for a croissant and second cup of tea.

Wendy finds Riley and tells her that the blood found on the back of Ian's shirt was related to a convicted felon named George Devlin. That brings Martin Devlin back into the scene and he's brought his lawyer with him. Brass has a warrant for Devlin's DNA and also orders him to open his shirt. Devlin does, only after his lawyer okays it, and Brass and Riley see that Devlin has needle marks around his nipples. Riley tells him to stick out his tongue and she confirms that Devlin also has burn marks. Brass theorizes that Michelle and Devlin killed Ian and Justine and Devlin says he didn't kill or kidnap anyone, but other than that he doesn't respond except to keep shooting panicked looks at his lawyer.

Heather continues to go through the file and she's revised her analysis of the killer. Based on the post-mortem stab wounds, she thinks the killer is a sexual sadist, not a dominant. Grissom doesn't get the difference and Heather explains that unlike S&M devotees, who enjoy the safe and consensual aspects of the lifestyle, sexual sadists don't generally respect safe words and get off on their victim's fear. She doesn't think the S&M play had anything to do with Ian's death. Changing tacks, she asks Grissom if she can make a personal observation as a friend, not a therapist. He doesn't agree but he also doesn't tell her to stop, so she goes on to point out that she didn't tell him anything he couldn't have read in a book. Heather thinks Grissom used the case as a pretext to come see her for a more personal reason.

Sara: "Before I left, you said some things that I tried not to hear but now...I think you were right. If a relationship can't move forward, it withers. I've been waiting for you to decide but sometimes not making a decision is making a decision."

Heather asks, "Where's Sara?" Grissom looks at her, all of his boundaries stripped away, and she's stunned to see how despairing and bewildered and lost he is.

Sometime later, Heather questions Grissom about his decision to not leave with Sara. He can't really say why he didn't leave and when Heather asks if he regrets his decision, he non-answers that it was beyond his control. Heather doesn't buy this, then goes on to say that most relationships are over before they officially end. Even amidst the grief and conflicting emotions, there's also a sense of relief. Grissom lamely replies that he didn't say the relationship was over, but Heather says he didn't have to. "Not making a decision was your decision," she adds, echoing Sara's words.

Sara: "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, you don't have to worry about me anymore. I'm good. I'm really good and honestly, I think it's better this way."

That last bit is the only part where I felt Sara was not being entirely honest, but I can see why she said. She wants to make it easier for Grissom, but she also needs to protect her own heart.

Heather tells Grissom that he's at her house because it's the one place that doesn't remind him of Sara. He can't look her in the eyes and he can't deny this. She takes a breath and says she's got a guest room, which he can use for as long as he needs it. Yeah, but who's going to take care of poor, lonely Hank?

In the A/V lab, Archie goes through Devlin's phone records and tells Riley that he found no proof Devlin had contact with Michelle. He was the last person who called Justine and shortly after, he sent a text message with a photo. Archie opens the picture and it shows Ian having sex with Devlin's lawyer, Kumari. Brass brings her back in for questioning and calls her out on being a lawyer by day, domme by night. She admits she was Devlin and Ian's domme and she fell in love with Ian, but after they had sex at his home he rebuffed her when she told him how she felt. Devlin had followed and confronted Ian, punching him, then Ian threw both of them out. Kumari says she saw Devlin drive away but even if he went back and killed Ian, he never would've killed Justine.

The team, totally stymied, tries to figure out where to go next in the investigation. They can't link any of the suspects to the crime scenes, and Nicky remembers the unlocked back door. Anyone could've walked in, suggesting the crime was random or Ian and Justine were targetted. Riley thinks they got tunnel vision from the S&M angle but Nicky disagrees, insisting they followed the evidence. He thinks they missed something and Catherine backs him up, saying there's still go to be undiscovered evidence somewhere out there.

On Lady Heather's guest room bed, Grissom lies on his side, back to the door. Heather watches him for a few moments then turns to leave, but Grissom asks her to stay. She hesitates for a moment, looking torn, then enters the room and shuts the door.