CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Season 2 Episode 23

The Hunger Artist

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 16, 2002 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
283 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Season Finale. The CSIs investigate when the body of an unidentified young woman is discovered stuffed in an overturned shopping cart near a freeway underpass. Her horribly disfigured and partially decomposed face is a nightmare of blood, scabs and scars, as if she'd been shoved into a fan. A huge circular hole dominates her left cheek. Someone not only wanted her dead, Grissom reasons, but "they wanted her ugly." Adding to the mystery are the cart's other contents: an expensive handbag, fashion magazines and a leather day planner with notes written in code.moreless

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  • Modelling job gone very, very wrong!!!

    This episode was downright creepy on a number of levels. The main point some would think would be to serve as a PSA about the problems associated with excessive dieting, drug use and how society values appearances.

    All the usual murder suspects are rounded up, but none of them have any evidence to link them to the crime:

    1. The Jealous ex-boyfriend-seems like a no-brainer, but this guy loved the girl who was, not the pretty ad face that she was molded into.

    2. The ex-agent/photographer. The man who made her what she was, an asset to him, who most likely drove her to bulimia, but in the end, didn't hold the smoking gun.

    3. The homeless sister who once was a beautiful model, but lost her mind due to freebasing cocaine and paranoia derived from bulimia.

    The fact that this woman actually had self-mutilated her own face and had binged, purged, enema'd and so forth to drive herself to death makes it all the creepier. I just don't figure how that NASTY RAT got into her digestive tract. YUCK! I could have done with her "ratting herself out" scene. YUCK!!!moreless
  • I know how this pain feels...

    I found this particular episode of CSI to be painful. Painful because I used to work in an Eating Disorders Unit of a Psychiatric Hospital.

    I chose to work in this area because a person has/had to be pretty thick skinned to deal with the sorrow of a person's self hatred.

    So on that note this is a rather gruesome episode but it is pretty spot on which is very sad and unfortunate. No human being should be influenced to think they're so "ugly" that they literally kill themselves over it. But damn, yes it happens. The extremely very sad sad part about this episode is that it is painfully realistic. More so then many other episodes.

    I can't work in this field anymore. It hurt so damn much that it almost killed me. I still, however, worry about my former clients/patients. That is what separates the jerk offs from the real feeling people. This just sucks so bad I can't even began to describe it.

    Anyhow, this is one episode of CSI that unfortunately is pretty damn accurate. Which makes it an extremely grand tragedy.moreless
  • This is by far the best episode of CSI ever! Still!

    The whole feeling and mood is so sad and in a way cosy. The idea that it doesn\'t have to be a mad killer out there but a destructive soul is very thrilling. The way that the truth unfolds and the teams respons to it feels so very real.

    The epsiode shows a side of modeling that isn\'t talked about much, we know it\'s there we tend to forget it since all we see is beauty. When things go out of hand, which it eventually does, things can be really ugly. I hope the ideals change and people stop try to live up to those ideals.

    Great epsiode, great actors. Great ending of both episode and season.moreless
  • The team invesigates a model's murder...

    I only found this episode alright. I expected more because it was the season finale. I thought more was going to happen since usually the CSI finale make you go "Oh my God!". I think that this episode, had it been a regular episode and not the season finale, would have been more likable for me. The episode isn't bad, just disappointing. It takes you into the world of modeling and shows you just how desperate and sick it can be. The poor victim (and her sister) were just about driven to madness because of what everyone told them, about how wrong they were and how they were never good enough.moreless
  • My favourite episode of CSI because it was chilling and tear-jerking.

    This is my favourite episode because it was a little scary caompared to the other ones. What makes this scary is that this type of thing can and does happen a lot more, perhaps, than people realise. This woman\'s pain was terrible and it made me cry. The storyline here was particualarly good, although CSI is nothing but great storylines. This episode also sends out a good message. That we are beautiful no matter who or what makes us feel we are not. I also think that this was a great way to end the season becuase it keeps us happily anticipating the next season.moreless
Nicole Randall Johnson

Nicole Randall Johnson


Guest Star

Erin Guzowski

Erin Guzowski


Guest Star

Keith Allan

Keith Allan

Fashion Photographer

Guest Star

Robert David Hall

Robert David Hall

Dr. Al Robbins

Recurring Role

Eric Szmanda

Eric Szmanda

Greg Sanders

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • It is shown in this episode that Grissom is starting to become deaf.

    • Goof: When we see Ashleigh picking at her face with the cosmetic tools all her hair is in a clip and in the next shot part of her hair is down then in the next shot it's all in a clip again.

    • Goof: During the flashback of the death of Ashley James, she is shown falling onto her bed on her back, her arms spread away from her chest. In the next scene, when her living sister enters the room, Ashley is shown lying on her side with both arms to one side of her body.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Grissom: So the victim and the killer became one and the same. The very nature of addiction -- whether it be self-medicating herself or self-mutilating -- is that the very behavior we use to survive it becomes a behavior that ends up killing us.

    • Warrick: Well, that makes sense why the blood and skin under Ashleigh James's fingernails is a perfect match to Ashleigh James.
      Grissom: She attacked herself. I mean, Ashleigh was convinced that everything about her needed to be fixed. The real problem was inside her head. She couldn't deal with that so she tried to fix the outside. Hence, the digging and picking and purging and bleeding. To us, it would be torture. To her ... some sort of release.

    • Grissom: Cassie threw her life away and her sister Ashleigh recycled it.

    • Grissom: Hey, Cassie, you know that scarf you gave Tookie?
      Cassie: Yeah, I know it.
      Grissom: Did your sister give that to you or ... did you steal it from her?
      Cassie: I should have stole it. Because sh-sh-she stole from me.
      Grissom: What did she steal from you?
      Cassie: My life.

    • Grissom: So, you're pretty careful about what you eat?
      Cassie: Yeah, you know, you-you have to be careful, you know 'cause what goes down, you know it's got to come out. It's got to come up. Out.
      Grissom (smiles): Newton's theory twisted again.
      Cassie: Everybody's twisted.

    • Grissom: The tools of the trade; the weapons of beauty.
      Warrick: Yeah. If other people inflicted as much torture as women inflict upon themselves, there would be lawsuits.

    • Frank McBride: You just don't get it, do you?
      Brass: No, I don't. I mean, I don't know. I care about a woman, I put her picture in a frame. Maybe put it on my desk but to tear it up and throw it in the garbage with old cole slaw that just doesn't say "love" to me.

    • Sara (about where Ashleigh was found): She was under her own billboard.
      Grissom: Coincidence?
      Sara: Somebody was making a point.

    • Nick (seeing a magazine the victim was in): Ooh, pretty girl.
      Warrick: Yeah. Dangerous being a pretty girl in this town.

    • Grissom (going through the victim's stuff): The secret life of women.
      Catherine: Don't generalize. It's not very scientific of you.
      Grissom: You're right. I'm sorry.

    • Nick (going through the vic's car, and it has junk food wrappers every where): You, uh, you sure this is the vic's?
      Brass: You are what you eat.

    • Grissom (seeing many pictures of the victim in her house): Well, Narcissus would be proud.

    • Grissom (after Catherine puts a magazine on his desk): Why are you showing me this?
      Catherine: The cover girl, Ashleigh James, she's your girl in the shopping cart. P.D.'s tracking down her agency now. Somebody wanted her dead.
      Grissom: They also wanted her ugly.

    • (Sara and Warrick are looking at the victim's day planner, and everything is written in code)
      Sara: I write everything down in shorthand. You couldn't read it.
      Warrick: Shorthand?
      Sara: Keeps things in order.
      Warrick: You're not a control freak or anything?
      Sara: No.

    • Greg: It's like prince and the pauper. No. Princess and the pauper. The Princess is a dead supermodel.
      Grissom: Yeah. And her Pauper sister could be the killer.

    • Doc Robbins: Educated guess: Beautification. She was injected with pig botulism. Botox ... the ultimate wrinkle cream.
      Grissom: How did it get into her bloodstream?
      Doc Robbins: Bad doctor. Missed the muscle. Shot directly into her supratrochlear vein.
      Grissom: Amazing the advances we make in science and the primitive uses we find for them.

    • Sara: She literally means even. A large number of BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) sufferers are convinced that they're not symmetric. That one side of their body or their face doesn't match the other.
      Grissom: All animals prefer symmetry in their mates. The male Japanese scorpion flies with the most symmetrical wings gets the most mates.
      Warrick: So, really we're not talking about being beautiful at all.
      Grissom: In terms of entomology being beautiful is about being even. It signals the fitness to procreate.
      Nick: So, we're not really talking about looks. We're talking about survival of the species.

    • Cassie James (while holding up a flashlight): Now I can see what the dark looks like.
      Grissom: I've been trying to do that for years.

    • Grissom (voiceover): Obviously most of crime scene investigation is about seeing. But much of it is about hearing as well. Listening. Knowing how to listen. Not just to what people are saying but how they say it... how their tone of voice matches their facial expressions or body posture. So, even if I read lips and know what they're saying... it's not enough.

    • Sara: I've got crabs.
      Grissom: Excuse me?
      Sara: I've got crabs, take a look. (pointing to microscope)

    • (After a rat crawls out of the dead woman's mouth)
      Grissom: Looks like she ratted herself out.
      (Later, in autopsy)
      Doc Robbins: Heard about the rat. Hope it didn't have any children.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Otrok hladu (The Slave of Hunger)

    • Music:
      Baba O' Riley - The Who
      Gorecki - Lamb
      Hallo Spaceboy - David Bowie
      Hayling - FC Kahuna
      In Trance As Mission - Simple Minds
      Me and Jesus - Stellar Kart
      Smiling Faces - Stellar Kart
      Unbound - Robbie Robertson
      Wild Horses - Natasha Bedingfield
      Gave Up - Nine Inch Nails
      Von - Sigur Rós.