CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 1 Episode 4

Pledging Mr. Johnson

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 27, 2000 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
373 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Grissom and Catherine investigate when a leg is found severed from a body in a lake. They suspect the husband and boyfriend. Meanwhile Sara and Nick investigate a fraternity pledging gone terribly wrong.

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  • Nick and Sara investigate what appears to be a suicide at a fraternity house. Elsewhere Warrick decides to take on a corrupt judge.

    "CSI" is four for four. This is yet another very well written and entertaining episode. There were a number of good twists and turns here which made the episode work so well. I think ti is safe to say that we all knew the frat boy's death was not a suicide. However I think that particular story was done well because it did a good job of keeping the viewer's interest and also kept viewers wondering how that would end and why the perpetrator did it. I also found some respect for Warrick in this episode. Despite the fact that he has not one but two blemishes on his record: his gambling problem and his failure to follow protocol which resulted in the death of Holly Gribbs, he still did the right thing and turned the tables on the judge. As with the case of Holly Gribbs' murder I am glad this issue was resolved quickly. The story concerning the death of the unfaithful woman, I think that was very well written also. I like the conclusion it came to as to how she died. I think it was very clever and plausible as well. There is a lot to like about this episode that makes it worth seeing. I recommend you do if you have not already.moreless
  • Nick and Sara investigate a frat boy hanging Warrick finally shakes the corrupt judge of his a$$.

    I'm pretty sure the reason this episode is so great is a) shirtless Nick b) shirtless Warrick (almost) and c) the little dorky guy that's being hazed outdoes everyone and gets the main guys girlfriend to sign his....well you know, you've seen the episode. Hooray for underdogs! Granted he does die...but still. The only thing that could make this episode better was shirtless Greg, but I don't think even I could work that into the storyline of this particular episode, but I'm still pushing for a nice shot of his abs sometime soon! ('4x4' doesn't really count, there wern't any really good shots).moreless
  • well written episode with twists and a good storyline.

    this was a good episode. nothing out of the ordinary but very well written when it came to the scenes with the boyfriend and the husband.

    pretty much a girl gets killed in a boat on a lake while travelling between her boyfriends and husbands house. the husband didnt know about the boyfriend so he thinks its her that kills her - if my memory serves me well i think it turned out to be an accident.

    the husband however sees fit to hold the boyfriend at his house cause he blames him - great twist when it turns out to be an accident as you always expect to find a killer at the end - was very surprising as i was thinking this is too obvious.

    the case for the pledgin was sad as the teenager was my age and thats always a scary thought!moreless
  • The Pledge

    This was an alright episode but it definitely wasn't my favorite. I actually thought it was pretty sad how the kid just wanted to fit in and ended up dead by some dumb prank. And to make matters worst they tried to cover it up by making it a suicide. The women with the missing leg story kind of had a nice little twist at the end because for a moment, I couldn't tell who killer her, the husband or the guy she was cheating on him with. Nice little twist. Grissom has this weird way about him but he always manages to figure it out.moreless
  • Good episode.

    Catherine investagates a murder...severed leg found in a lake.Then sara and nick investagate a possible sucide- murder. I like how Nick is- was in a feternity and you hear about it in this episode i think it made it way better because Nick had an insight on what really goes on in a frat house and he could relate to them in ways. So it ended up being hazing gone wrong the guy choked to death and they hung him so it looked like he killed him self so that they wouldnt be to blame for what happened. All around a good episode.moreless
Harrison Young

Harrison Young

Judge Cohen

Guest Star

Jim Ortlieb

Jim Ortlieb

Winston Barger

Guest Star

Mark Famiglietti

Mark Famiglietti

Matt Daniels

Guest Star

Eric Szmanda

Eric Szmanda

Greg Sanders

Recurring Role

Judith Scott

Judith Scott

Dr. Jenna Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When he was at Texas Tech University, George Eads (Nick Stokes) was also in a fraternity.

      A fraternity at Baylor University, located about 35 miles from George Eads (Nick Stokes) hometown of Belton, TX, caused the accidental death of a pledge in 1968 by forcing the pledge to swallow a piece of liver tied to a string, that was then supposed to be retrieved from his stomach by pulling on the string left hanging out of his mouth. The pledge began to gag and choke on the string/liver, and then started vomiting, which ultimately led to death fom asphyxiation on his own vomit.

    • Goof: The length of the string used to hold the piece of liver is inconsistent.

    • When Sara walks in on Nick at the changing room and tells him that his shirt is hideous, he takes it off. It's green, with imprinted leaves on it. When Greg and Grissom are talking we can see that Greg is wearing the same pattern shirt as the one Nick took off. Greg's version has short sleeves, while Nick's is long sleeved. They have the same bad taste in clothing.

    • In this episode, Warrick is promoted to CSI 3.

    • Goof: While the morgue's examiner opens Johnson's right eye with his fingers, you can see the "corpse's" eyelid twitching repeatedly.

    • Goof: While Grissom is showing off his tarantula, the spider is at the far end of the aquarium. When he says "My spider sense says it wasn't" the spider "jumps" to Grissom's end of the aquarium, but in the next shot it's back at the far end.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Warrick (to Judge Cohen): I told you nobody owns me.

    • Warrick: More money, more problems.

    • Catherine: Well...(sighs)...I guess we better go talk to the husband. I mean, unless you think I'm going to compromise the integrity of the case again. (she gets up)
      Grissom: Look, could we have a truce?
      Catherine: I would love to.
      Grissom: Good. (he helps her out of the boat) But let me do all the talking to the husband and the boyfriend.
      Catherine (shakes her head, quietly): He had to say it.

    • Grissom: Get in the boat. Pull the engine cord.
      Catherine: What?
      Grissom: Get in the boat.
      Catherine: Why?
      Grissom: Just indulge me, please?
      Catherine: There's no gas. It's not gonna start.
      Grissom: That's not the point.
      Catherine (sighs): As long as there is one.

    • (Catherine walks in to see Grissom looking at a spider)
      Catherine: New pet?
      Grissom: The African Red Baboon Tarantula-- the most feared of all arachnids. But basically harmless.
      Catherine: Yeah, well just keep the lid on it, okay?
      Grissom: I think you scared him. All his hairs are standing up.
      Catherine: If you're through amusing yourself I have some news on the boat.
      Grissom: Was it at the Marina?
      Catherine: What do you think?
      Grissom: My spider sense says it wasn't.
      Catherine: Right. We need to find the boat.

    • Catherine: When Eddie was cheating on me I sure wish somebody would have said something.
      Grissom: You mean me.
      Catherine (beat): Who else?

    • Catherine: What do you think the chances are she was seeing somebody else?
      Grissom: You were married. You tell me.
      Catherine: Very good to excellent.

    • (Grissom hears Greg's music, walks into his lab, and talks to him)
      Grissom (loudly): Hey, maestro, what's the deal on our floater? (Greg doesn't hear him. Grissom turns the music down) Excuse me. Professor? What's up with our floater?
      Greg: Come hither.

    • Grissom: How's it look for prints?
      Dr. Williams: Her skin's shriveled like a shar-pei. No pressure, no prints. (Grissom looks expectantly at Catherine. Catherine knows that look)
      Catherine: No. No way, use your own hand.
      Grissom: Come on, Catherine, my hand's too big.
      Catherine (firmly): No!
      Grissom: It's the only way we can print her. Her skin on your hand should fit like a leather glove. (Grissom reaches for the hand and a knife. Catherine watches as Grissom takes the skin off of the hand. When he finishes, he looks up at Catherine and extends his hand to her) May I take your hand? (Catherine puts her hand in Grissom's and he leads her to the table where the fingerprint kit is. Grissom puts the dead woman's skin on Catherine's hand) On behalf of the decedent I thank you. (he takes the fingerprint)
      Catherine: Umm...
      Grissom: I think we're going to know who she is by lunchtime.
      Catherine (shivers): Ugh!

    • Dr. Corbett: How did this get on his penis? (Nick turns away as he pulled up the sheet)
      Sara (looking closer): Huh. Is that a tattoo?
      Dr. Corbett: No, no, it looks like ink.
      Sara: Nick? You want to take a look at this?
      Nick: Oh, no, I... don't have to look. I have a pretty good idea what this is all about, so...
      Sara (smiles): Okay
      Nick: Knock yourself out.

    • Sara: What's that smell?
      Nick: I'm nuking a burrito.
      Sara: Mmm, junk food and radiation.. good combo!

    • Greg: Hey, Grissom. I hear Catherine beat you to the boat.
      Grissom: We work as a team. We're not competing.
      Greg: Okay. But, ah, she found it first. Right?
      Grissom: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and, sorry I could not travel
      Greg: Robert Frost.
      Grissom: Very good, Greg.
      Greg: Thanks.
      Grissom: But actually, in this case, Mr. Frost does not apply. When you have a partner you each take a road. That's how you find a missing boat.
      Greg: Come on. Level with me. Who do you think killed her.. the husband or boyfriend?
      Grissom: And you've narrowed it down to just two suspects?
      Greg: Actually, you did. You see, my second week at CSI, you told me that when a cheating spouse is murdered there's always two suspects at the top of the list: The lover and the betrayed.
      Grissom: I told you this?
      Greg: Mm-hmm. You see, I'm thinking that the husband caught Wendy with the boyfriend and when she left his house, he killed her in a jealous rage.
      Grissom: And this theory is based on...?
      Greg: Nothing. I'm just trying to help.
      Grissom: I'm going to the garage to meet Catherine. You keep thinking, Butch. That's what you're good at.
      Greg: Hey. If this theory checks out, uh maybe we should talk about a raise.
      Grissom (laughing): Yeah.

    • Sara (to Warrick): Fine suit. (Warrick and Nick turn around to find Sara in the locker room)
      Sara (to Nick): And well, just fine.
      Nick: That's harassment.
      Sara: Hey, we have one locker room and it's my job to be observant. (Nick grabs a shirt and puts it on)
      Warrick: Well, evidence vault opens in five. (Warrick closes his locker) See you guys later.
      Nick: Later, bro.
      Sara: Easy. So, you and me, 419 Western LVU.
      Nick: I know, a dead body at a fraternity. 7:00 A.M. Looks like we're pulling another double.
      Sara: I know, we don't have all day... are, are you going to wear... that?
      Nick: Yeah.
      Sara: It's that hideous...
      Nick: Hideous. Thank you. (Sara leaves and he changes his shirt)

    • Catherine: I can tell you first hand, when you don't cheat, you don't suspect.
      Brass: Oh, man, I wish I had been married to you.
      Catherine: Not a chance.

    • Catherine: You're right, you know. I should be just like you. Alone in my hermetically sealed condo, watching Discovery on the big screen, working genius-level crossword puzzles. But no relationships, no chance any will slop over into a case. Yeah, right. I want to be just like you.
      Grissom: Technically it's a townhouse. And the crosswords are advanced, not genius. But you're right, I'm deficient in a lot of ways. But I never screw up one of my cases with personal stuff.
      Catherine: Grissom...what personal stuff?

    • Warrick: Let me guess. Radiohead or Rage Against the Machine?
      Greg: Actually, it's an audio book on restriction enzyme analysis and DNA typing. PCR fingerprinting. Choice.
      Warrick: Right. (as they walk by Greg sees Grissom in the garage)
      Greg: What's Grissom doing in the garage?
      Warrick: Oh, he's working that Wendy Barger case -- you know, the floater?
      Greg: Oh.
      Warrick: Only clue he's got is a missing boat, which sucks because... it's missing.
      Greg (chuckles): He thinks he's going to find it in a bathtub?
      Warrick: It's a simulation tank. He's re-creating the conditions the night she died. Body was dumped, like, a half mile from Calville Bay. They think the
      boat must have drifted with the currents.
      Greg: And let me guess, Catherine got bored.
      Warrick: Well, you know Grissom. Shortest distance between two points is
      science. And for Catherine, it's pounding the pavement.

    • Brass (to the judge): You're under arrest for obstructing justice, tampering with state's evidence, and violating seven articles of being scumbag.

    • (Inside a frat house)
      Nick: I can't believe I used to live in a place like this.
      Sara: And here I had all this respect for you.

    • (after finding out the drowned woman had fried calamari before she died)
      Catherine: Now tell me, why are we here?
      Grissom: 'Cause it's the only place within ten miles of Calville Bay that serves calamari.
      Catherine: And you know this because...?
      Grissom: I come here for calamari.
      Catherine: Oh. Alone?
      Grissom: No. Sometimes I have a beer with it.

    • Grissom (to Catherine after finding a severed leg): Well Watson, the game's afoot.

    • Dr. Williams: The leg was severed post-mortem.
      Catherine: Well, that's good news.
      Dr. Williams: How do you figure?
      Catherine: Would you want to be alive while your leg's being cut off?

  • NOTES (1)


    • Warrick: More money, more problems.

      Warrick is alluding to the song "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G.

    • Grissom (to Greg): You just keep thinking, Butch -- that's what you're good at.

      This is a direct quote from the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, spoken by Sundance (Robert Redford) to Butch (Paul Newman).

    • Grissom: My spider sense says no.

      Said as Grissom is holding a very large tarantula in a box and an obvious reference to Peter Parker, better known as Spiderman, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and published by Marvel Comics, first appearing in the early sixties. Parker is bitten by a very special spider and develops all the senses and powers that spiders have - and decides to combat crime.

    • Grissom: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and, sorry I could not travel both.
      Greg: Robert Frost.

      Robert Frost was an American poet; the verses Grissom recites are from the poem The Road Not Taken.

    • The title Pledging Mr Johnson is a play on words for Paging Mr Johnson, a euphemism used to tell someone their flies are undone.

    • Catherine: Now tell me, why are we here?
      Grissom: 'Cause it's the only place within ten miles of Calville Bay that serves calamari.
      Catherine: And you know this because...?
      Grissom: I come here for calamari.
      Catherine: Oh. Alone?
      Grissom: No. Sometimes I have a beer with it.

      This same joke is repeated by Grissom and Catherine in Season 3 episode "A Night At The Movies" when he mentions he frequents the art house theater.

    • Grissom: So Watson. The game is afoot.

      In this case all that's been recovered so far is a woman's foot and part of her femur. Grissom is making a double entendre while quoting Sherlock Holmes.