CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 7 Episode 16

Monster In the Box

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Feb 15, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (26)

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  • The miniature killer is still alive

    This episode was brilliant to see that the miniature killer is back and too smart to have been caught on the episode loco motives.The miniature killer proves to be too smart on this episode when they set a trap for officer Karmen who was the miniature from days ago in the model which wasn't expected.This episode shows that Ernie Dell wasn't the miniature killer but was close to the person who is the miniature killer and that the miniature killer was one of his 13 foster kids.Grissom had saw all the kids on a video but the children will be adults now and they can't make an ID off any of them but they are on the right path and they are getting closer to the miniature killer.
  • Grissom opens the box, there was no GSR, and it was a little, well, Sporky.

    Grissom opens the box that has been sitting on his desk for the past for weeks and finds a miniature of a murder that hasn't happened yet! Nick and Warrick find the apartment where the supposed victim lives. When they arrive she seems very out of it, drugged or something. They send an officer to pose as the "victim" and hope that the killer shows up. After waiting all day and not finding anyone suspicious,except the victims brother who is cleared, they give up. Sophia Curtis goes into the room to get the officer and call it a day but, there's a catch, she's dead! And the woman's cat is also dead. At autopsy they discover that she and the cat were both poisoned with carbon monoxide. The killer had a device, which at the appropriate time, would block the chimney causing the room to fill with carbon monoxide. After the room is cleared the woman demands that she be let back into her home. So they allow her back in and she is found dead the next day. They find evidence linking the brother to her murder, he was trying to frame the miniature killer, who is still on the loose!
  • This episode was so mind bending...not only did it blow my mind and remind me of a horror movie, but it also had forensics (MY 2 FOV THINGS TO WATCH)!! it was a great episode but they cut a few that i wanted :( But it was still good!! 'Til next time!!

    This was a very nerve wracking episode!! i was on the edge of my seat the entire time!! But it seemed to go bye way too fast and we didn't learn anything!! But that is why i keep tuning in!! I figured we were going to seee Ecklie or the Sheriff in this episode to yell at Grissom and Sara about not letting them go public about the Miniature Killer. Also, in the last scene, wasn't Sara supposed to reveal something about her past as a foster child?? i was a little disappointed that wasn't there, but over all it was awesome!! CANT WAIT 'TIL NEXT WEEK!!
  • The Miniture Killer is still out there!

    I can't believe this storyline! it is so fantastic. The only part that confused me was when they were brainstorming at the beginning I thought they said the never released the part about the miniatures so it couldn't be a copy cat, but the the shrink & her brother knew about it. How?

    It was so interesting see the plot unfold & all the twists & turns it took & now according to the son there were dozens of foster children. So many suspects!

    I also wonder when they will be showing a little more of the Grissom/Sara romance. You have barely seen her in the last few episodes.
  • This was the best miniature killer episode to date.

    Like I said in the summary, this was the best miniature killer episode to date. I LOVED this episode! When Grissom was looking at all od the doll pictures and the message, "you were wrong" came up I about died. It was so creepy. I knew when Sofia walked in on the 'sleeping' officer that she was dead. The background sounds helped to justify that. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh I can't believe this hasn't been solved yet! The suspense and curiousity is killing me. I want to find out which of Ernie Dell's foster kids did it. I am anticipating the next miniature kill episode very much. OMG I love this plot line.
  • Another installment of the miniature killer! But still a mystery! Can't wait for more

    I personally still think Eddie's son might have been the killer, even though it could be any one of the foster children. He seems good with his hands, and full of hate. I bet he's smart too, and is adept at fooling the police. Maybe he has more to kill? More people to blame for his life? But it may not explain Izzy's death, if he was the one that killed everyone. Oh well. I'm sure they will clear all this up for us sooner or later. They wouldn't dedicate 4 awesome episodes to something as neat as this and not 'solve' it for us.

  • Grissom finally opens the box.

    When Grissom opens the box, he finds another mini-model. He thinks that Ernie Dell might have had it sent after his death, but then they find that the death that this model entails hasn't happened yet. After some searching, they find the intended victim, and put an undercover police officer in her place. Enter evil mayor from Buffy, who I figured to be as evil as the day is long, he's the intended victims’ brother, and at this point it doesn't seem like he has anything to do with the murders. After a little more watching, Sophia decides that the killer isn't coming, and goes to tell the officer that it's time to go, only to find her dead. This probably brings back memories of when Sophia thought she shot that officer in "A Bullet Runs Through It". Anyway, they finally determine that she died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. As did her cat, which conveniently died behind the books, just like in the model. After viewing some home videos from Ernie Dells house, and a little snooping into his insurance records, they find out he had a son. He has done time in prison, and the doctor who was the intended victim had worked at the halfway house he had been in. He lets them know that when it came to is father, he came way down on the list. The doctor insists on going back home, and refuses the offer of a police presence. Later, she is found dead on the couch, with some liquid splashed around. From her ear they find some DNA in the form of tears, and Wham Bam they've got their killer. Or at least this killer. Seems that the good doctor had Parkinson’s, and that she'd rather die on her terms, so she had her brother suffocate her. The brother helps her with it, and they try to blame the MSK. But the DNA is the brothers, so he is caught. Sara and Grissom have what is probably the closest we will ever see to a date, and watch some Dell home movies, trying to determine which foster kid could be a killer. All in all a really good episode.
  • The mini model killer strikes again and makes things even more complicated.

    You know, I thought that the team would catch the mini model killer this episode, but apparently not. We can definitely expect to see that this case is going to be a long one. I wonder if it's going to be part of the season finale. Poor Barbara. Parkinson's Disease totally sucks. I don't know anyone who's gotten it, but I've read enough to tknow it's not something I'd wish on my own enemy. I feel bad for Peyton too, killing his sister to end her misery and everything. I wonder when we'll ever hear about the verdict of's Greg's civil suit. It keeps getting pumped around. I feel bad for Sofia. It must be really killing her inside to have put a rookie in to play as Mrs. Tallman only to have her die from CO poisoning.

    This episode was wonderful, but very sad. That poor kitty.
  • Grissom gets an unexpected surprise. A miniature model is sent to him containing clues to a murder that has not yet taken place. The team races against the clock to find the intended murder victim and catch the killer before he actually strikes.

    CSI continues to outshine its spin-offs. The writing is intense, the episodes are fresh, and the acting is top notch. Grissom encounters his most illusive criminal to date. The miniature killer is clever and always one step ahead the the CSI's. The plot twists kept you guessing. The biggest one was the death of an undercover police officer who was undercover disguised as the potential murder victim. The death was carbon minoxide poisoning, something that Grissom didn't think about until it was too late. Sara had some good moments. She still harbors bad feelings about being a foster child, which was evident from her facial reactions when Lionel Dell talked about the foster children he was raised with. Lionel Dell came across as someone hated his father but didn't let his hatered ruin his life.Lionel also didn't want sympathy for being the child who never got enough attention. I liked that. The episode left one big question unanswered-who is the miniature killer. Lionel was the teams best suspect but now it looks like one of the foster children may be responsible. One thing is certain, we haven't seen the last of the miniatures.
  • Mini-killer returns? A great episode for a great season

    I was very excited to see that Grissom FINALLY opened the frigging box. I mean how long have we been waiitng for that? I'm not sure how I would have preferred it- if he opened it at the end of lat episode and we had to wait an entire week to see his reaction, or the way they had it this time. Nevertheless, I enjoyed his reaction and I was glad we finally had it happen. I liked how in the beginning it's from the view of the model and it's looking up at Grissom. I also liked how as they were putting out all the files for the case, the voice of Ed Dell with his confession was in the background. Very nice to have that repeated for us. I don't believe he actually said he did the murders. It was just in the email subject.

    Everything about this episode was wonderfully done. I definitely had my body shiver when we saw the doll photos from previous minis and saw the "You Were Wrong." I liked how Grissom pointed out that it couldn't be a copy cat, as no one KNEW about the mini crime scenes. It had to be someone who knew of them and or did them before. It was a definite nudge to the viewers who might have been thinking along the same lines. I love Sara’s look when Nick suggests it’s someone in the lab. Does she think it’s Grissom like I do? (hahah just kidding. I don’t really think it's Grissom.) I loved the humor associated with this case. The mini autopsy they did with the body and how they saw the carbon monoxide. And I also liked how they went through the mini purse to find ID before it happened. Another part I really liked was when they were on the search for the building. I loved how everyone was just like "this looks like a doll" yes well it IS a death threat as Brass said. I mean how funny is that? Cops are finding out the next victim and are being led on a chase by dolls and doll houses. Hmmm maybe the killer is a female? I have to say it was really creepy watching them walk in and it looks EXACTLY like the model. I knew the directors would have a field day with these episodes.

    I also loved the bits with Sara and Greg talking. They are too cute together! :D

    I'm glad that they address Keppler again. I mean I couldn't help but go, "Awww bless, Cath still feels for Keppkepp. 'He did come down on the right side.' That’s right Griss, you betta nod."

    The supposed victim was very bizarre in her actions. And I definitely felt sorry for the poor cat. I totally called that the cop was going to die in her place. Now you dummy are a cop killer. Stupid. The woman feeling bad for her cat but not the dead cop was a little funny but more annoying than funny. I did appreciate Sophia feeling really upset about the whole thing. Though why did she feel the need to go to Grissom? Grrr. Whatever. He was nice to her. It was sweet that he took the blame as well. Though Griss it's not like it's totally your fault. I mean you didn't know.

    The psychiatrist did have a great speech though. And i definitely didn't see it coming that her brother killed her. No he's not the mini killer but he killed her since he figured they would think it was.

    The coolest part of the case was seeing the mechanism work for the flu and the charcoal to make the carbon monoxide. This guy is good.

    I love how this semi affect Sara as well. I mean the guy was a foster dad and he had tons of foster children (and he apparently loved them more than his own child) I definitely felt bad for the son he definitely looked genuinely hurt and not psychotic. I wonder if the mini killer has any other connection to Sara?
  • Monster in the Box beats every other CSI episodes!

    Grissom opens a package sent to him weeks ago, while he was on his sabbatical, and finds a miniature crime scene, except this murder didn't happen yet. The CSI's try to prevent a murder from being committed by protecting the targeted victim; a troubled psychiatrist. While trying to trap the killer by filming the woman's apartment with an undercover cop inside, they realize the murderer found out he or she was being observed. That is, until the undercover cop ends up dead after the mission to capture the killer is put to an end. The CSI's must figure out this confusing murder, and still prevent one from happening.
  • Grissom and his team try to prevent the miniature killer's another murder from happening, but...

    Grissom opens a box that has been on his table for 4 weeks while he was on sabbatical and realizes that the miniature killer's another murder is about to happen. Since the team have already failed in catching the miniature killer 3 times, this whole episode is dedicated to this one crime. The miniature sent by the killer has a much more precise description of the crime scene, indicating the killer's obsessive-compulsive personality. In a word, it gets creepier enough to give me goose bumps. Like the psychotheraphist said, the killer can visualize the crime scene and predict what will happen when the crimes are actually carried out. Plus, the killer was able to not only remember all the details of the room but also see what the room would exactly look like after the murder in advance. I can't forget Grissom's look when he found the dead cat behind the books.
  • Surprise.. surprise.. The miniature killer strikes back..

    Grissom is alarmed when he finds a box with a miniature on his office desk which has been sitting there since he’s been away on sabbatical. He is even more concerned by the fact that the alleged person responsible for the miniatures confessed about the murders before committing suicide in front of him. On analyzing the miniature, Grissom and the team find that the murder hasn’t occurred yet and unlike the previous cases, they now know when the killer is going to strike. An officer goes uncover in the place of the target and unfortunately ends up dead. This episode unwinds itself in a captivating way and it is fascinating the amount of details (tiny lungs with carbon monoxide) the miniature killer created..
  • Grissom's finally back! But so is someone else...

    This episode was shown over here (UK) on tuesday but i've only just got round to watching it tonight, and I have to say I feel for Grissom. He's only just got back now he has yet another killer on his back. It's getting me more and more intrigued and excited about the finale though. I wasn't surprised when I heard the miniture killer had returned, especially after how "Loco Motives" ended, a little too quickly and "easy" in my opinion. But this episode was quite exciting. I also thought Hodges was a bit more present in this episode too, which was nice. You just dont see enough of Hodges that much really come to think of it! ;) Good episode though, really enjoyed it!
  • The end of a great arc

    The third serial killer arc ends in this pivotal episode. I found who did it a little predictble in this episode. I loved why he did it though. The episode was great with a gsr moment SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Basically this episode is the highlight of the season in my opnion their isnt much more to say. Watch for yourself.
  • Rewarding! Certainly one of the best episodes ever! Not only the writing, but the production, directing and acting were flawless. The segways from reality, into the model, and back to reality were spectacular.

    I was very pleased with the cailbre of this episode. Light-years beyond anything done in the "downmarket" Miami and New York series.

    Character development here is very good. The mystery builder continues to provide a Moriarty-like foil to Grissom's Holmes, and the writers provide a terrifically intricate and satisfying episode here, most ably realised by the production team and cast. Wondeful!

    I may actually go back and watch this episode again soon (which I almost never do for TV shows).

    William Peterson one of my favourite actors for years, shines here. His early career showed a flashy energy and arrogance, as in the excellent "To Live & Die in L.A." movie, but this did not serve him well as most subsequent productions failed to advance his career very much (mostly due to B-grade writers unable to give him enough fuel to work with).

    In his slower middle-age, he is more able to overcome weak writing through strength of acting skills. But this episode's writing provides him with enough substance to really shine! Well done!
  • The return of the Miniature Killer!

    I love the Miniature Killer episodes. It is an interesting M.O. for any serial killer; I just wonder if they'll ever be able to really get him/her (though female serial killers are pretty rare). I normally hate cliff-hangers, but this one I can definitely deal with. I thought the way they worked the death of the undercover officer was ingenious. Gotta feel for Sophia (even though most of you out there don't like her-- I'm okay with her, as long as she's not trying to steal Gris), being in the position she was.

    Personally, I especially loved the added detail of the nutty doctor's cat (and Hodges' cat too-- Kobayashi Maru! What a great name!).

    Great ep!
  • Gil's really back and so is the miniature killer...

    So this was an episode with an interesting twist. I really liked it, even though a cope died, it was really unexpected. I am glad that Grissom is back, glad to see the team all together again. I got sad when Cath got sad about Keppler. Like she said, he ended up on the good side. I like that Hodges is around more, he is still annoying most of the time, but adds something to the team. I am still waiting for some more GSR, I want to know that’s in that darn cocoon. Can’t wait to see what the next step for the miniature killer is.
  • The miniature serial killer is back with a puzzle for Grissom to solve and time is of the essence.

    A very Grissom-centred episode. Hodges was also quite prominent here with the tid bits he contributed to solving the case. The miniature serial killer is back, which wasn't very surprising when you think about how "Loco Motives" was resolved and there had been hints in the previous episodes.

    I thought Grissom would've saved a lot of time if he did an x-ray on the model like he did in "Post Mortem", so that he can measure the 'depth' of the model and find the various things in the miniature that were not immediately visible.

    It's a real pity that the cop had to die when the woman the cops where protecting didn't want to live. I liked the fact that they've established that since the very beginning, when you can see how unconcerned she was about the threat to her life. I wanted to give the brother (Peyton) a kick for blaming the cops when Barbara refused to have police protection at her apartment. Duh, get your facts straight. Of course, we found out that's death is exactly what she wanted.

    All in all, even if the discoveries in the miniature could've been faster, all the scenes were arranged to tell a great story, so no complaints.
  • The Miniature killer strikes again!!!

    I thought that this episode is very well written and that it had a lot of great twist and turns to keep you guessing. I love that we are getting closer to catching the miniature killer but I have to wonder is the killer recreating the Game of Clue. So far the same types of rooms are popping up and similar people or characters are dying off. The Rock star was first kind-a like Scarlet, the cop is kind-like Colonel Mustard and the newest one the retired wealthy lady is kind of like Peacock. The only thing that I can't get to quite figure in is the weapons of the game. I think that this revelation might have something to do with how many people will die from the Miniature killer. I am definitely going to stay tuned to see if maybe this revelation is correct.
  • 7 years of CSI....

    ... and it is still on the top of my favorites.

    It was great to see this episode, well plotted, interesting. Great pleasure to see again our old and still fresh Grissom smartly fighting his old enemy. It was a whole chapter dedicated to this unknown serial Killer. I guess there's much more action to come and many more surprises going around this mysterious character.
  • The best "miniature-killer" episode!

    The "miniature-killer" is back! the box that has been standing on Grissoms desk is finnally opened, and in it we find a new tiny-crime scene. The thing is, the murder has not happend yet. This is THE best "miniature-killer" episode I have ever seen. The only thing that bugged me was that we don`t really find out who the real killer is! And when the cop got killed.. Did NOT expect that! The idea was great, and you could not look away for a second. And it also had the best comment ever on CSI:

    (phone rings)
    Grissom: Grissom.
    Doc Robbins: Yeah Gil, got a good idea on COD for your asphyxiated officer. Internal organ color nailed it on both autopsy, and necropsy as...
    Grissom: Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Doc Robbins: You know, no one likes when you do that. So, how did CO2 get into the room?
    Grissom: That I don't know.

  • The return of Grissom's nemesis marks not only one of the most intense episodes to date, but one of the best.

    First off, let me say that this was probably, the best overall episode to date since Grave Danger. Some of the things I believe truly make this episode special are: for the first time the Miniature Killer case takes up the whole episode and I believe that definetely helps the episode, essentially the entire cast gets screentime (which is a mighty task considering the size of the cast), there are plenty of twists that keeps up guessing till the very end, and there are several points of continuity (like the mention of Greg's Civil Suit, the mention of the Blue Paint Killer, and even an indirect mention of "A Bullet Ran Through It") are a nice treat for long time viewers. Now onto the episode.

    When Grissom first opens the box, his reaction says it all: Arguably the most intelligent and elusive killer in CSI history has returned, after a person confessing to the murders blew his brains out right in front of him! With the other serial killer arcs, the tention is always much higher then your normal episode because you know the killer could strike at any time. This time, it's even more so, because Grissom discovers that DAY the victim (and her cat) are scheduled to die, so now they have to find who she is and where she is, before it's too late. Add in the message "You Were Wrong" written by the killer using the doll photos from the previous miniatures, and this is definetely the most chilling one yet.

    Though it doesn't take long for the CSIs to find the victim's house and who she is, the intensity doesn't stop as the CSIs decide to leave a decoy to trick The Miniature Killer. Almost right on time, a supicious man goes to the very room where the decoy woman is waiting, and while common sense tells us that The Miniature Killer would never fall for such a trap, it's still very edge-of-your-seat exciting when they make the arrest. Unfortunetely, the man is only the woman's brother, coming up to check up on her. They continue with the decoy, until it is very late at night and decide to call it off. At the same time, Grissom makes the discovery that the plants are to wilt at the time the woman dies, meaning something in the air must have killed her, but it is too late, as Sophia tells the decoy to come out, only to find her dead as a stone! This twist I thought was incredibly shocking and had me saying "Holy ****" at the TV. As Grissom discovers (via tiny lunges in the miniature victim), the officer died by carbon monoxide poisoning. They also find a device that was set to go off and send charcoals into the fire, releasing CO into the air. This made me think, while at first I believed the killer must have been someone very close to Grissom to know he'd go on Sabbatical. However, since the means of killing meant the Miniature Killer didn't even have to lay a finger on the victim, even if Grissom hadn't gone on Sabbatical and opened it a month ago, the result would have been the same.

    Afterwards, after Sophia comes to see Grissom and talks about the killing of the undercover officer (which reminded me of "A Bullet Ran Through It"), Grissom comments that he believes that since the intended victim is not dead, the crime scene is not "perfect enough". Right on cue, Grissom recieves a call and says "Now it's perfect." While processing the scene for the second time, Catherine notices that there is one drop of liquid in the victim's ear. At the autopsy, Doc. Robbins finds that the victim was suffering from severe Parkenson's Disease, and that the liquid is a tear. The DNA inside the tear is revealed to be that of her brother, who decided that he would kill her instead of seeing her suffer, and blame the death on The Miniature Killer. The twist is both shocking and sad, since we know the brother, who was trying to save his sister from torment, will go to jail. Also, while the The Miniature Killer did not kill her, the result is the same: the intended victim died, and the miniature is now perfect.

    At the end of the episode, we see Grissom and Sara going over the tapes of Ernie Dell's (the guy who took blame for the murders) home movies because they found out that Ernie Dell had many foster kids who he would shoot himself to protect. Unfortunetely, tracking the literally dozens of foster would be virtually impossible, leading to another dead end. Grissom ends the episode with a great line: "Eeenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe. Catch a monster by the toe".

    I've noticed that some people believe that Sara could possibly be the Miniature Killer, and the young girl in the home movie is Sara. I noticed that they show a almost slow-mo show of her, possibly meaning she will be very important. I don't want to say that she IS the killer (or the girl for that matter), but it would be one amazing twist to end an amazing story arc.
  • The miniature killer is at it again!

    A well written, well acted episode. The only thing that irritated me a little bit is the fact that we do not find out who the killer actually is! I was really hoping that we would!

    I was captivated from the time that Grissom opened the box to the time when there were 13 kids that are possibly the killer. From the time I saw the son of the man who shot himself, I was convinced he was not the killer. He was evil, that was obvious, but he just was not creepy enough to be a serial killer nor was he focused enough.

    The biggest shocker was when the undercover police officer was killed. I did not expect that at all. Its strange how serial killers on CSI all seem to develop a sort of relationship with Grissom - they taunt him. They should not do that... Its risky for them.

    I cant wait until the next miniature killer installment!
  • The return of the miniature killer.

    That killer's clever. To be able to make the LVPD and the CSIs to set up the crime scene and the actual crime for him is extremely clever. Now I can't wait to see what he will do next, if he will be able to outwit the team again like he did in this episode. I can imagine Sofia's guilt, I'd most likely lose sleep over it for a long, long time.

    I had a feeling Keppler will be mentioned in this episode, and it looks like I was right. And who better to say his name than Catherine? You could almost feel her sadness at the memory.

    What else can I say? This was a great episode. I can't find the words to say how much I enjoyed watching (or maybe my creative writing juices just dried up).
  • I really enjoyed this episode and onto my review...

    This episode really got me thinking even more about the miniature crime scene killer not that I wasn't before. I think it is completely eerie how detailed and how well he knows his victims routines. When Grissom took out those pictures of the dolls with "you were wrong" written out across them that was chilling and one of the moments where you just know the killer is toying with them. I really am looking forward to the reveal of the identity of this killer eventually. I mean like I already said he or she is very detailed, has control, and seems to do research on the victims which is creepy beyond all belief. Anyway, I thought it would have been a cop out had they made Lionel, Ernie's son the MCSK because for one he is just way to obvious a choice and I just really didn't see him being the one to commit the murders. I thought it was sad that the brother ended up killing his sister. I kind of felt bad for him because you know he did it so she wouldn't be in pain anymore but...I really don't know what else to say to that. Yes, it was very nice to Sara before we were half way through the show. Also, loved how quickly Warrick and Nick found the lady's apartment. I think that's it for now. I don't have much to say about the tapes they viewed except Oh my goodness!How in the world did Ernie and his wife handle all those foster children. I mean don't get me wrong I love kids but foster kids most of the time have additional problems because of the situations they come from oh and so appropriate that it was with Grissom, that Sara made more of a reference to foster care and kids changing their names when they get older. But then it really isn't something she would talk about with anyone else anyway. Okay now I am really done. Whew! I had a lot to say this episode.