CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 5 Episode 18

Spark of Life

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 31, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
352 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Grissom, Sara, and Greg investigate a wildfire that killed one man and badly burned a woman. Catherine, Nick, and Warrick get the case of a family of three murdered in their home.

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  • Great Episode

    I think this is one of the best worked episodes as I was surprised at who killed the family and how the cases were linked. As you wouldn't have thought a bushfire and an apparent murder-suicide would have been linked. I also liked how they got a GSR moment in at the beginning of the show. I was a little put off however at the close-ups of the burnt woman, they made me feel abit sick and made me wondered how her unborn baby could have survived, I think the writers should have thought about that a bit more. But overall it was a fantastic episode and liked how they showed Greg's softer side.moreless
  • Could be better

    This episode is written by Allen MacDonald and directed by Kenneth Fink.Greg, Sara, and Gil Grissom investigate a scene of bush fire which led to the death of man and the 3rd degree burn of another woman. Catherine, Nick and Warrick solve a case involving the death of an entire family. The father is found dead, apparently from a suicide, on his bed. The mother was shot while running downstairs. Their little daughter drowned to death in the pool. Later, Mia analyse the DNA from Catherine's case and find out it is connected to Grissom's case. Both of the case are related!!

    This is not the best episode in this season. Could be MUCH better than this. This episode is kind of boring. Hopefully the next episode will be better.moreless
  • Grissom & his team investigate a fire that kills one man & seriously burns a woman who amazingly is still alive.

    Great episode, even though it was a bit gross & sad. Especially the burn victim.

    Grissom & his team investigate a fire that kills one man & seriously burns a woman who amazingly is still alive. We see another side of Greg in this episode, serious & sensitive.

    Catherine & her team investigate the murder of a family: mother, father & 5 year old daughter.

    As each team investigate, they discover that both cases are connected to each other & that they are actually working on the same case.moreless
Heather McComb

Heather McComb

Annabelle Frost

Guest Star

Jeffrey Johnson

Jeffrey Johnson

Morgan Stewart

Guest Star

Anna Lumarque

Anna Lumarque

ER Nurse

Guest Star

Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler

Mia Dickerson

Recurring Role

Louise Lombard

Louise Lombard

Sofia Curtis

Recurring Role

Alex Carter

Alex Carter

Detective Vartann

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The T.V. show playing on the T.V. when Catherine and Warrick first walk into the house is the same show that was playing during episode 5X7 Formalities when the team first walks into the 17 year old "kidnapping" victim's hotel room.

    • Goof: Late in this episode, the CSI crew is sitting around discussing the case. Sara Sidle summarizes the facts in the case, including making the comment that Tara Matthews was attacked by the truck driver "just before her death"; in actuality, while Tara was severely burned, she remained alive in the hospital throughout the entire episode.

    • Goof: Greg is seen in the burn victim's OR, during debridement, wearing his street clothes (under a paper apron), and no mask or hat. Considering that the woman's skin is practically one continuous open wound, and her immune system is in an exceedingly fragile state, there's no way a breach of sterility like that would be allowed.

      He is separated from her by a glass wall.

    • Goof: When Catherine and Warrick investigate the crime scene inside the house, the dead victim on the stairs has her visible eye open. However, when they ascend the stairs, the woman's eye is closed.

    • The placement of the Basal Body thermometers was unrealistic. To properly track your BBT, you need to take your temperature first thing in the morning without getting out of bed. The thermometer at her home should have been right by her bed and it's not plausible to have kept an additional thermometer at the friend's house.

    • Goof: Grissom took over the finger from Greg, then Grissom took a finger with a pincette toward the direction of palm. But in the following scene, this pincette is flipped to the opposite direction under the magnifier.

    • Goof: The doctor that cut Tara's wedding ring off (left hand) also mentions as he gives the ring to Greg that she's going to lose those fingers. However, the fingers removed were from her right hand.

    • Goof: For a women with numerous third degree burns all over her body, it seemed quite odd that when we saw a closeup of her she still had eye lashes.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • (Hodges is watching Mia work)
      Catherine: It's hard to look and not touch, isn't it? (Hodges is startled)
      Hodges: That poor kid has been working her tail off. Only fair, considering how DNA gets most of the glory these days.
      Catherine: Have something for me?
      Hodges: Of course.

    • Mia: I ran the DNA through CODIS and Missing Persons, and I came up empty. But one thing I do know is that one of her markers is out of the control range.
      Grissom: "Off-ladder" peak?
      Mia: You talk the talk, but did you know the frequency of that anomaly is one in every 250?
      Grissom: I learn something new every day around here.

    • Grissom: I hear our victim is still alive.
      Greg: I don't see why.
      Grissom: Well, she's not ready to let go yet.

    • Greg: I thought ... I just assumed she was dead.
      Doctor: It's a miracle she's not. This is as bad as it gets.
      Greg: How extensive are the burns?
      Doctor: Eighty percent. Mostly third degree.
      Greg: I hope the morphine's working.
      Doctor: Third degree burns are painless. The nerves are burned away. She's not conscious of what's happening to her.
      Greg: Not now.

    • Nick: So, what, we're looking at a murder-suicide? Guy kills his family and then turns the gun on himself?
      Warrick: Well, you know it's a possibility. Brass pulled his financials. Morgan Stewart was in debt up to his eyeballs. He was in danger of losing his house.
      Catherine: Never underestimate the fragility of the male ego.

    • Grissom: This area is always a good place for star gazing.
      Sara: It's a good make-out spot too, so I've heard.

    • Sofia: What's the problem?
      Greg: Nothing. I'm fine.
      Sofia: You're not.
      Greg: I feel like a wuss. Grissom told me I should take a break, and I did.
      Sofia: Your burn victim.
      Greg (nods): How do you get an image like that out of your mind?
      Sofia: You go home. You, uh ... hug your cat, your dog, your pillow. You have a beer, you watch a movie, and then you come back tomorrow.
      Greg: Is that supposed to make me feel better?
      Sofia: Rumor has it you used to be a pretty funny guy. Don't lose that.

    • Sara: Possible accelerant.
      Grissom: Or possible martini. (Sara picks up the broken mouth of the bottle of vodka and smells it)
      Sara: I didn't think you could smell vodka.
      Grissom: Well, that depends on how long it was distilled.
      Sara: Cheap stuff.
      Grissom: Ironically, the word for "vodka" comes from the Russian phrase zhizennia voda. "Water of life."

  • NOTES (1)


    • The concept for the story line came from Technical adviser, Larry Mitchell, who's a CSI in the L.A. sheriff's department for many years and worked a case about a woman who had set herself on fire. Also, a random article about an infertile couple--the tension there if they really want to have children. Together these separate stories became the base line for this episode.

    • As Grissom points out, the word "vodka" is derived from a phrase which translates as "water of life" (see Quotes, above). The word "whiskey" also comes from a phrase with the same meaning, the Gaelic "uisce beatha".

      This proves that more than one culture has high expectations from their national alcoholic beverage.

    • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The clip in the house is the intro from the 'Adult Swim' series on Cartoon Network: "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." However, the sound playing does not match.