CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 3 Episode 22

Play with Fire

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 08, 2003 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
576 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Grissom, Sara, and Nick investigate the murder of a woman in the press box of a high school stadium. They arrive less than an hour after the woman's death. Catherine and Warrick try to determine the cause of an explosion in the DNA lab of CSI that seriously injures a lab tech. The personal lives of our characters come into play in this episode.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Some of the CSI's get in a bit of trouble

    This was a stunning episode with so much going on and CSI's facing consequences that all started off with a murder in a high school football stadium where they found that they had to act quick because they had only been there in under an hour of the murder been committed.Some of the evidence leads to an explosion in the lab badly injuring Greg and he is rushed to hospital.Nick and Warrick then investigate how the explosion started which shockingly proves that Catherine was responsible and she gets a five day suspension.It also gets worse for the CSI's when Sara gets in trouble by Brass for going in the suspects apartment with the swat team which could have put her in danger.In a bad day for the CSI's it was an amazing episode for me to watch and was one of the best CSI episodes I have saw.moreless
  • Poor Greggo..........

    Episode sort of starts out with Catherine and Warrick going to Greg's lab and putting a jar of green liquid under the fumehood, then leaving, acting totally natural so we don't think anything of the green stuff for a duration of the episode until KA-BOOM!! Greg's on the other side of the glass wall, Sara's injured and to top it off the lab's on fire.

    I'm not a fan of GSR, but the scene with Grissom checking Sara's hand out (which I personally think that the 'blood' could have been done better) and then getting medical attention. I think it's nice seeing that side of Grissom for once.

    The second character I feel sorry the most for is Catherine, when she's done her investigation of the lab and discovers she's the one who blew the plaace up. At least she had the guts to tell Greggo in person that she was the one who put him in the hospital.

    In all I think they did a great job with this episode. The GSR fans were happy, Greg-Angst-Episode fans (me included) were happy, and fans of Catherine x Warrick were happy. Although, I think Nick has a lot of explaining to do. I don't recall him asking about Greggo and he sure as hell didn't see him at the hospital (unless he went after shift, or something).moreless
  • The CSI's face a difficult case when they have to investigate the explosion of their own lab.

    There were certainly several what-the-hell? moments in this episode. The first being when the DNA lab exploded in a ball of flame, sending poor Greg flying through a glass window. The second was Catherine's revelation that it was in fact she who blew up the DNA lab. And the third was when Sara bite the bullet and finally asked Grissom out; even if she didn't get quite the answer she wanted.

    This episode was very exciting, but the drama took second place to the character development that was taking place. Grissom is at one of the most human he has ever been around his staff; his concern for Greg when he is being wheeled out on the gurney, his defence of Catherine when it transpires that she blew up the lab and most tellingly, his feelings for Sara when she has been hurt. In a season that has done an excellent job humanising Grissom, this episode really showed him at his very best and finally cracked the lid on his cool, professional demeanour.

    We also see Sara develop in this episode, particularly through her feelings for Grissom. And after her frightening experience with the lab explosion, we see Sara deal with it by becoming a little reckless.

    Catherine too, grows as a person. She is the woman who is used to being right and in charge, and yet in this episode we see her admit that her daughter is a little out of control and that she blew up the lab. Catherine also proves herself to be a braver person than I had ever given her credit for by going to see Greg in the hospital to confess to him that it was in fact her fault the lab blew up.

    One of my all time CSI favourites, and always will be.moreless
  • Excellent for developing the characters.

    Not a perfect 10.0 show.*

    But an excellent one for showing procedures similar to the real world and how people can and do foul up. Importantly it shows the consequences following that foul up, the knock on effect such a foul up can have on 'on-going' investigations etc. It goes a long way to show that even in a great series as this the characters are fallible. The best part for me was how the characters are developing within the show. This episode stands out from most of the others for this reason alone.

    All in all a great episode to watch.

    The only failing that doesn't make this a perfect 10.0 is at the end of the show - How can Grisom give an immediate 'No' to Sara Sidle's question... In reality he would at least think about it for a couple of seconds!moreless
  • The DNA lab explodes when someone put a substance near the heater.

    I would've rated this episode with a ten but something happens to my favorite CSI. While Catherine and Warrick investigate what happened in the lab, Grissom, Nick and Sara investigate the murder of the death of a woman who is found dead near the football field. This was kind of a sad episode for me. Because this is trip number one to the hospital for Greg.
Olivia Rosewood

Olivia Rosewood

Alison Carpenter

Guest Star

Bob Gunton

Bob Gunton

Robert Carvallo

Guest Star

Max Martini

Max Martini

Jason Kent

Guest Star

Wallace Langham

Wallace Langham

David Hodges

Recurring Role

Romy Rosemont

Romy Rosemont

Jacqui Franco

Recurring Role

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

Archie Johnson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Greg: What time is it?
      Catherine: Late.
      Greg: How long have you been here?
      Catherine: A while. (pauses) I got a little time on my hands.
      Greg: You figured out what happened in the lab, didn't you?
      Catherine: Yeah. Yeah, and, um ... I wanted you to hear it from me.

    • Brass: You going to go to the DA with a connect-the-dots hand on a piece of tracing paper?
      Grissom: It's all we got that links him to the murder. Everything else blew up in the lab.
      Brass: This guy's going to walk.
      Grissom: Yep.

    • Nick: Jason's little girlfriend was screwing a guy he hates.
      Grissom: Well, if you can't kill the one you want ... kill the one you're with.

    • Warrick: You know, O'Riley interviewed the victim's wife.
      Catherine: Yeah?
      Warrick: She said her husband was in the garage drinking and just "done fell over."
      Catherine: Oh, the ever-popular DFO. Right up there with the "mysterious dude" defense.

    • Archie: Nevada State Correctional Facility. Pretty casual for a prison.
      Grissom: It's medium-security...
      Nick: ...for nicer criminals.
      Archie (laughing): Right.

    • Nick (while searching the crime scene): Beer bottles.
      Brass: Well, it is high school.

    • (After Catherine caused the explosion in the lab)
      Robert Cavollo: It's not your job to protect your people. It's to protect the integrity of this lab.
      Grissom: Without the people, there is no lab.

    • Catherine: CSI Brown and I had collected evidence on a case involving a woman whose husband had collapsed. We suspected poison. When we returned to the lab ...
      Robert Cavallo: You hadn't identified the liquid?
      Catherine: Not yet, no.
      Robert Cavallo: And it was consumed in the explosion so I guess we'll never know what it was. In any event, you placed this unidentified chemical under the fume hood.
      Catherine: Right.
      Robert Cavallo: Next to an active heat source.
      Catherine: I didn't know that at the time.
      Robert Cavallo: Because you didn't check.
      Grissom: Unlogged evidence gets placed under the fume hood. A hot plate was left on. It's a lab. It's nobodys fault.
      Catherine: It's my responsibility. I didn't follow procedure.
      Robert Cavollo: Why not?
      Catherine: Because there's 24 hours in a day, and I'm pulling 16 for the county, spending three pretending to sleep, and the other five... lying to my daughter that everything is gonna be alright.
      Robert Cavollo: There were 13 active cases in DNA. They are all now tainted or destroyed.
      Catherine: What do you wanna hear? I screwed up. I'm sorry.
      Robert Cavollo: "Sorry" doesn't cut it. You're on suspension. Five days unpaid leave. (Catherine walks out and Grissom gets up to leave to) Grissom! We're not done here. I've heard rumors you've been kicking back Willows' reports.
      Grissom: One report. The Jenkins case she made a miscalculation and I've asked her to re-issue the report.
      Robert Cavollo: Great. While you're at it, maybe she can re-issue the lab explosion.

    • (After Catherine finds out it wasn't Hodges who blew the lab up)
      Warrick: Then who blew up the lab?
      Catherine: I did.

    • (Warrick and Catherine who are investigating the explosion are asking Hodges questions)
      Hodges: I know what this is. You guys heard those rumors about me from LA. You know how much Grissom depends on me so you figure let's get rid of him. I'll lawyer up before I let you pin the tail on the new donkey.
      Warrick: Start dialing.

    • (Trying to figure out why the DNA lab blew up)
      Catherine: Someone left the hot plate on under the fume hood.... genius.
      Warrick (holding a piece of plastic): What do you think? Developer pen?
      Catherine: Presence of acitone, methonal, all kinds of combustables.
      Warrick: Mix that with a heat source and what do you got?
      Catherine: This.

    • Robert Cavallo: I want a complete evidence inventory by case. What's been lost, what's contaminated, what's salvageable.
      Grissom: We have LIMS backup for every computer on the network. I'm sure we've only lost an hour or two of data.
      Robert Cavallo: Well, we'll never sell that in court. Defense attorneys will rip us apart. That, uh, double murder movie star case last year, compromised evidence, lax procedures, mistakes.
      Grissom: We got a conviction on that.
      Robert Cavallo: You got lucky. This is a priority. I wanna know how this happened.
      Grissom: And who's to blame. I have Catherine run the investigation. I'm on a murder case.
      Robert Cavallo: I'll be waiting for her report.

    • Robert Cavallo: What'd you do to my lab, Grissom?

    • (After the explosion)
      Grissom: Are you okay?
      Sara: Uh-huh.
      Grissom (sees the cut on her hand): Honey, this doesn't look good.
      Sara: It's fine. Cleanup's going to be something. We should get started.
      Grissom: You need stitches.
      Sara: I'm okay.
      Grissom (shouts): Would you take care of her hand, please?

    • (About evidence)
      Grissom: You should be telling Nick or Sara.
      Hodges: Yeah, couldn't find them. They must be on another break. Anyway, the blister pack is methadone. 40 milligrams, former smack addict dose. And that ceramic chip? Not ceramic. It's acrylic with a quartz resin composite used primarily in dental crowns. Cheap ones.
      Grissom: Good work.
      Hodges: Yeah listen I like to think of you and I...
      Grissom (as he's walking away): Now go tell Nick or Sara.

    • Nick: Hey, who's working trace tonight?
      Sara: Hodges.
      Nick: Oh, great. I guarantee you that kiss-ass will have the results to Grissom before we do.

    • Nick: Who takes a tape recorder with them on vacation?
      Brass: Well, I keep one by the bed just in case I dream anything useful.
      Nick: Hmm?
      Brass: What? I can't have deep thoughts? (Nick just looks at him and Brass laughs) Just kidding.

    • (About fingerprints)
      Grissom: You still have to check each one by hand.
      Jacqui: And you're gonna have to sign my time card.

    • Nick (to a suspect with a cut on his forehead): Did you cut yourself shaving or were you just thinking too hard?

    • David: 98.1
      Nick: She's been dead less than an hour.
      Grissom: The killer's still on her.

    • Grissom: A murderer, his groupie, and a heroin dealer; what a team.

    • Grissom: May have started as sex, but ended as murder.

    • Sara: Would you like to have dinner with me?
      Grissom: No.
      Sara: Why not? Let's ... Let's have dinner, let's see what happens.
      Grissom: Sara ... I don't know what to do about this.
      Sara: I do. By the time you figure it out, you really will be too late.

    • Brass: You're all done, hombre.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Nick: Have you ever had a gun drawn on you, Sara?
      Sara: No, I haven't.

      This is a reference to both times Nick has had a gun drawn on him which in the Season 1 episode "Who Are You?"? and the Season 2 episode "Stalker."

    • Robert Cavollo: That double murder movie star case last year.

      Cavollo is referring to the case in the earlier season episode "The Accused is Entitled."

    • Archie: Is it just me, or does she sound like she's in love with him?
      Nick: Maybe she's a murder groupie. Manson, the Night Stalker... they all had them.

      Charles Manson was convicted in the 1969 murder of Sharon Tate and sentenced to death; his groupies assisted him in the murder (and were also convicted); he also had an extended "family" of groupies who showed their support in court and intimidated witnesses.

      Richard Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker, was convicted in the 1985 murders of 13 people, and sentenced to death; his groupies came to court during his trial on a daily basis to show support.

    • Grissom: If you can't kill the one you want, kill the one you're with.

      This refers to the 1970 Stephen Stills song, "Love The One You're With." The line from the song is "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."