Season 6 Episode 4

Dead Reckoning

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 14, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A woman confesses to murdering her husband but when the evidence is tested to see if she is telling the truth, it clears her of any wrong doing taking the case in a completely different direction and leading to several potential suspects, a serial killer striking in the city among them. Mac sets his mind out to find who the woman is protecting.moreless

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  • Kind of boring.

    This episode was, how do I say this, boring. While it was still entertaining, it is CSI: New York after all, so it can't be all bad.

    At least the show is making an effort to carry over some storylines such as the emergence of Haylen Becall with the unit, Danny Messer's ongoing battle with being handicapped and Donald Flack possibly having the yips, all things to look forward to even though anybody who has sense five hours of television in their lifetime could predict how they will turn out.

    As I said, not a horrible episode, but a little low on action at times.moreless
  • A woman confesses to the brutal murder of her unfaithful husband. However, the DNA recovered at the crimescene tells a different story. Mac and the team soon find that the DNA is linked to dozens of murders making them think a serial killer is at large.moreless

    I like how the writers of this episode took a familiar plot device and tried to take it in a new direction. However, there were a number of flaws in this episode. This episode is by far one of the most wordy of all. There were times when the plot ground to a halt in order for the characters to do a lot of explaining. The story was also sidetracked by Danny's difficult recovery. The dialouge between Hawkes and Danny at the beginning of the episode seemed too contrivbed to come off as genuine. A good episode, but flawed also.moreless
  • Story stolen and too much personal drama

    The storyline of this episode is actually far from creative as it is based on the "Phantom Killer" in Germany that never existed. For a period of more than 15 years the police tried to track the phantom killer and this (or last) year they found out the swabs were contaminated by "erika", a woman working in a factory in bavaria.

    But what bothers me more is all this personal drama that they are now putting into the show. It's a great tool to profile characters every once in a while but now we are in season 129 and it looks like the writers are running out of ideas.moreless
  • DL!

    I love this episode, I kinda liked the case..but it wasn't really that excited 4 me.

    Because the wife killing her husband, isn't really that special anymore.

    But I did like the DNA transfer on cotton swab, that was really original

    I did really like the D/L moments in this episode!

    And how Hawkes cares about Danny, it was soo cute to see how they still have a very good fiendschip.

    And I especially liked the end when Danny could stand up and he was holding Lucy, it was soo cute! And I was soo happy, Lindsay's face was priceless!

    (sorry 4 the bad english xD)moreless
  • Different twist on the same ol' thing...

    I know this is going to be a little strange, given that there are so many crime dramas out there today. I really liked the "crime" in this episode. Sorta shows that even the best of the best crime labs and detectives can be led astray buy simple human error.

    The story was really compelling how one factor outside the control of everyone in the lab can change the course of an investigation. I guess this episode is further proof of what you get for going with the lowest bidder!

    Also, insert obligatory comment about the story arcs and Danny walking again. Good ep.moreless
Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Detective Mack 'Mac' Taylor

Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Detective Stella Bonasera

Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo

Danny Messer

Anna Belknap

Anna Belknap

Lindsay Monroe

Robert Joy

Robert Joy

Dr. Sid Hammerback

A.J. Buckley

A.J. Buckley

Adam Ross

Mia Kirshner

Mia Kirshner

Deborah Carter

Guest Star

Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter

Haylen Becall

Guest Star

T.J. Hoban

T.J. Hoban

Kevin Carter

Guest Star

Mykelti Williamson

Mykelti Williamson

Chief of Detectives Brigham Sinclair

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • It is the first time that Danny can be seen standing on his feet ever since the shooting in 5x25 Pay Up.

    • By taking a close look at the pictures taken at the crime scene, Haylen makes a discovery: plates and silverware at the scene were untouched and the food was not consumed, so the vic dined somewhere else. It is highly unlikely that such an obvious detail would have escaped Mac's attention.

    • Lindsay finds traces of cocaine inside the World Send packages that have passed inadvertent before to other labs. However, it is not 'traces' that she finds but a full teaspoon in some cases which makes it highly unlikely for it not to have been noticed before.

    • Flashbacks to 5x25 Pay Up can be seen during this episode.

    • Goof: Flack's badge number in this episode (8620) is not consistent with the one that appeared in his ID card (8571) as shown on Mac's desk in 6x02 Blacklist Featuring Grave Digger.

    • It looks like this case was based off a real life case in Germany where cotton swabs were contaminated by a female employee at the factory. Her DNA was found on over 40 crime scenes in Germany including the homicide of a female police officer. The 'phantom female serial killer' baffled the investigators for two years.

  • QUOTES (27)

    • Deborah Carter: (After turning herself in for killing her husband) I imagine that this is every detective's dream.
      Flack: Every detective's dream is have people stop killing each other.

    • Deborah Carter: (After finding out that her husband was cheating on her when she had set up a special night together) Do you know how stupid that made me feel?
      Mac: Stupid enough to commit murder.
      Deborah Carter: He was warned. I told him that if ever caught him cheating, that I would kill him. And I will never forget the look on his face. And then I got on top of him and I started stabbing (Recalls how the events happened)
      Mac: 17 times.
      Deborah Carter: It was that many? I only stopped because I got tired.

    • Flack: Maybe you can explain to us how another woman's DNA wound up on a piece of bread that came out of your oven.
      Deborah Carter: Maybe your staff was hungry.

    • Flack: If you could go back to that moment, just you and him in that apartment, would you do it again? Would you stick the knife in his chest?
      (Sound of stabbing and the victim's yells can be heard)
      Deborah Carter: All 17 times. Regret's a waste of time, Detective.
      Flack: Right. You can't change the past. Stand up. Turn around. No matter how okay you think you are, when you close your eyes at night, it's gonna haunt you.

    • Sid: I've always been fascinated at the way corn is able to withstand the acids of the stomach and travel through the whole digestive...
      Stella: Sid, please?
      Sid: Of course (Gets on topic again).

    • Danny: Doc, what are you doing here? Where's Lindsay?
      Hawkes: She's working. I volunteered to come by and get you.
      Danny: Thanks.
      Hawkes: So what was that?
      Danny: What?
      Hawkes: Danny, you gotta try way harder if you're gonna get up out of this chair.
      Danny: Doc, you know what? I got a policy, buddy. I don't take advice unless I ask for it.
      Hawkes: I got a policy, too. I'm always up front with my friends. And with an injury like yours, you should have been up out of that chair weeks ago. You're not pushing yourself.
      Danny: Are you kidding me?! I'd like to give you five minutes of the pain I feel every time I take a step.
      Hawkes: Danny, I treated hundreds of trauma patients that would trade places with you in a minute.
      Danny: Look... you came here to take me to work, right? Let's go.

    • Hawkes: There's a fireman that came in to Emergency one day, big strong guy, huh? Just hit a walk-off home run at the department softball game. Rounded the bases, crossed home plate his whole team piled on top of him in celebration, broke his back. I never met anybody with a heart like this guy. It took a lot of sweat and pain and perseverance, but eventually, yeah, he walked again.
      Danny: Is that the end of that story?
      Hawkes: He said: 'Pain is the payment for each precious thing'. Try harder, Danny.
      Danny: Let's go. Come on. Let's go!

    • Lindsay: (Observing closely the bloody shirt of a man who has been stabbed 17 times by his wife) How does eight years of marriage end like that?
      Danny: Love.
      (Lindsay lets out a wry laugh)

    • (Haylen yawns)
      Stella: How do you do it? Crime scene cleanup by night, lab tech by day...
      Haylen: It's student loans. It's the great motivator.

    • Hawkes: According to the young lady on the other end of the phone in Albany, I'm persistent and charming.
      Lindsay: Oh. And modest. (Giggles)
      (Hawkes chuckles)

    • Hawkes: Hey, guys. Our case just got complicated.
      Stella: As if it wasn't already?

    • Hawkes: We now have case-to-case hits linking DNA from the Carter case to 21 major felonies across three states and seven different jurisdictions. Eleven homicides, eight burglaries, two robberies.
      Lindsay: And there's plenty of forensic evidence in all these cases, including several different DNA profiles. But the only profile in common in all the cases belongs to our mystery woman.

    • Sinclair: But what about the press? I have to tell them something.
      Mac: Come on, Chief. I've seen you do that 'No comment. I'm not at liberty to discuss this' dance before.
      Sinclair: (Sighs) Another body turns up, they will have a field day. They'll scream 'cover up', say that we should have warned people.
      Mac: I just need some time.
      Sinclair: Well, I'll see what I can do. No promises, Mac.

    • Stella: (As Flack and her knock on doors trying to get statements) I swear, if I see one more hairy guy in a wife-beater and boxers, I'm going to lose my mind.

    • Flack: This guy covered his tracks really well. Both of Kevin's parents are deceased. His brother was killed in a car accident back in Seattle ten years ago. He used the same name, but his brother's social to create a second identity.
      Mac: Married to two women in the same apartment complex. It's hard to believe they never bumped into each other.
      Flack: And if she is lying, she's the second best one we've had in here in the last 24 hours.

    • Danny: (To his rehab therapist) I'm done whining. I came here so you can help me get out of this wheelchair and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I've got a few precious things I need to pay for.

    • Hawkes: In several cases it appears that our suspect was working with one or more accomplices. But one thing is certain, her crime spree is increasing in violence and frequency.
      Haylen: Isn't it unusual for a woman to commit so many violent crimes?
      Mac: It is.

    • Flack: Don't move! Drop it now! You don't want to do this! Put the knife down!
      Marcia Vasquez: Shoot me! Shoot me or I'll kill you!
      Flack: Don't move! Drop it, now! Put it down!
      Marcia Vasquez: Stay back!
      Flack: Drop it!
      Marcia Vasquez: Shoot me or I'll kill you!
      (Flack recalls Angell's death and his shooting of her killer.) Do it now!
      Flack: Do it now! Drop it
      Marcia Vasquez: Shoot me or I'll kill you!
      (Lindsay tackles Marcia to the ground and handcuffs her)
      Marcia Vasquez: Why didn't you just pull the damn trigger?

    • (About the incident at the restaurant)
      Mac: What the hell happened out there?
      Lindsay: Nobody got hurt.
      Mac: That's not the answer I was looking for.
      Lindsay: He froze, Mac. He couldn't pull the trigger. She could have easily killed him.

    • Mac: Don. Everything okay with you?
      Flack: Yeah, I'm fine.
      Mac: I'm not convinced.
      Flack: Why do you need to be? Did I do something wrong?
      Macc: It's what you didn't do. It could have got you killed.
      Flack: Am I being second-guessed for not killing someone? I thought that was a good thing.
      Mac: It is, if it was a choice. People are concerned about you, Don.
      Flack: Tell people I said thanks, but I can take care of myself.
      Mac: I wish that was true. If it wasn't for Lindsay saving your ass today, we might be having this conversation in an emergency room, or maybe not at all.
      Flack: Unless you want to make that official, I got nothing else to say.

    • Hawkes: (To Haylen) Hey, newbie. What you working on?

    • Mac: Somewhere along the way, we got it wrong. We messed up.

    • Mac: Stella. Chief Sinclair is giving a press conference announcing the arrest of the Phantom Killer in time for the 6:00 news. I need you to stop him from doing that.
      Stella: Not a problem.

    • Stella: Chief, you can't move forward with this press conference.
      Sinclair: Detective, this department and city need a bit of good news. We have the person responsible for countless crimes in custody.
      Stella: Well, this arrest isn't what it appears to be. Marcia Vasquez is not the Phantom Killer. She is responsible for three of the murders, but not the rest.
      Sinclair: I was told the DNA is a match in all the cases.
      Stella: Chief, you have never questioned my judgment before.
      Sinclair: That's right.
      Stella: Don't do it now. Please trust me.

    • Mac: Do you touch all of the cotton that comes out of these boxes?
      Girl: Most of it, I guess.
      Mac: Do you ever wear gloves?
      Girl: We're supposed to, but they make my hands all sweaty. Am I in trouble? I hope you're not an inspector or something.
      Mac: No. I'm just a detective with the New York Crime Lab.

    • Sinclair: White Tip Cotton won a city contract to provide evidence swabs for the NYPD Crime Lab and several other departments. Earlier today, a DNA sample was taken from a female employee of the company, confirming what our investigators suspected.
      (Reporters clamour)
      Sinclair: The cotton swabs provided to our department were inadvertently contaminated by this female employee during the packing process. And although these swabs were sterilized at the end of that process, sterilization is only effective in eliminating bacteria, not human DNA. There is no phantom murderer running loose in the streets of the city.

    • Haylen: I'm sorry. This is a crime scene cleanup. You're not allowed to be here.
      Zoya Carter: He was my husband. He cheated on me with another woman.
      Haylen: I'm sorry. Um...
      Zoya Carter: I thought I had the perfect man, perfect life. They look like a happy couple, huh? I don't know what I'll do. How I'll move on from this. He was my life. I'm glad she killed him. So I didn't have to.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Episode Title: Dead Reckoning.

      There's a 1947 John Cromwell movie that goes by the same title.

    • Sinclair: This Carter homicide just turned into Son of Sam times five.

      David Richard Berkowitz 'Son of Sam' is an American serial killer whose murders terrorized New York City from July 1976 until his arrest in August 1977.

      Spike Lee directed a crime-drama movie entitled Summer of Sam in 1999 based around the aforementioned murders.