Season 1 Episode 8

Three Generations are Enough

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 24, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
187 votes

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Episode Summary

Danny and Mac investigate after a briefcase belonging to Luke Sutton is found left in the NYMEX with a bloody note inside. Their investigation into Sutton's activities lead them to Nick Lawson, whom Sutton had been investigating for illegal trades, but who swears he had nothing to do with his disappearance. Stella and Flack investigate the death of Trina Rolston, a young pregnant woman who fell to her death from the roof of a church. With Hawkes' help, Stella realises that the body was thrown off the roof to mask the true cause of death. The detectives soon realise that their two cases are connected.moreless

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  • I love the scripting for this episode.

    We see a little in to Stella's background, not much just a peak. Mac & Stella initially only occasionally crossing paths, which was interesting in and of itself. But ulitmately they're cases are linked. Trina Halston a single pregnant dead woman, who worked at a Catholic church, this could be sticking. The scene with Paul in the interview room I thought was great action.Luke Sutton who was into computer gadgets and knew about illegal trading missing turning up dead, burned to death in his burned out car. Mac on the trail of the infamous "Charles". I loved the twist that "Charles" ends up being imaginative and the reasons or cause behind both Trina & Luke's deaths was mental illness and the want to stop the spread of it. Have I mentioned I love Hawkes as the ME. He has a great thought process and great instints, maybe he should start working in the field. LOLmoreless
  • A death of a pregnant woman at a church, and the death of a merchant. Two seemingly different cases, one interesting twist.

    I loved this episode. I thought the very beginning, with the traders showed precisely how crazy Wall Street is. And then it all being empty was just a shocking sight to see in the middle of the day. I loved the work with the robot. And it seemed like it was moving so slow, and it was, but it all still happened in a minute. And had to. It was brilliant to see them do that sort of suspense. The church scene struck a chord with me. I thought it was a little too sentimental to see her in church, but it was a little okay and nice to be that sweet too.

    I noticed they did this in the last ep or the ep before that, where they felt this need to do a sort of recap and go over with the whole situation. I must say while I find it a little insulting (because it feels like they are saying well people have the attention span of gnats) it does help in the very intensive cases, as this turned out to be. I loved how the two cases turned into one in this. I mean, we always see that happen in CSI but it hadn’t happened here yet.

    We have the one case with the pregnant woman dead off of a church- but the death reads wrong- it doesn’t seem suicide. There’s no note, and it’s not leaving a message in the death itself. Then they find the merc who is found dead in his car. Immediately it goes to murder.

    Both cases end up being more complicated than they thought! The dead merchant is actually a suicide of sorts. He kills himself because he’s a schizophrenic and that’s what the voice inside him says to do. He also kills the girl because he doesn’t want there to be another schizophrenic alive (the girl was pregnant with the brother of the man who killed her). Both brothers were schizophrenic, but it seems the one was handling it better than the other. I loved seeing the teamwork. How they each took separate things. Before that I couldn’t help but think, “Poor Stella, she has to work a case all alone!” It was nice to see them at things work on different things that they seemed to excel at.moreless
  • Genetics, shame we're suck with them.

    Three Generations are enough is one of those episodes that makes you wonder how far should people be controlled. Whilst I don't doubt having a mental disorder is no picnic what right does society, or in this case reletives have in controlling the passing on of genes, especially those which would mean that the child would not fit into the specturm of 'social norm'. Whilst the story of three generations of mental problems is a harsh legacy that is no excuse to kill the innocent party, in this case the pregnant woman.

    In this episode Mac seems somewhat emotionally detached as he does in most of the episodes. I don't know weather this is the way he is or just the way the character is.

    Pretty good episode honestly.moreless
  • A murdered church worker is connected with a paranoid stockbroker in a smart and twisting episode.

    Nice show. I'm glad to see that this series can pull off a connecting episode, where two cases work out to be just one. The cases were smart, challenging common perceptions and issues regarding both the Church and mental illness. The first scene was brilliant, as it played into both the feel of the show and the new fears of NYC.

    It was nice, for once, to see a person suffering from schizophrenia treated as a person with a treatable problem, instead of just a barrier to solving a case. It was also a nice aspect of the episode that schizophrenia, and the common misconceptions and fears of schizophrenia, was part of the case, not just a sideline.moreless
Hill Harper

Hill Harper

Dr. Sheldon Hawkes

Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Detective Stella Bonasera

Eddie Cahill

Eddie Cahill

Detective Donald "Don" Flack, Jr.

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Detective Mack "Mac" Taylor

Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo

Danny Messer

Vanessa Ferlito

Vanessa Ferlito

Aiden Burn

Mike Kirkland

Mike Kirkland

Trader #2

Guest Star

Steven Flynn

Steven Flynn

Luke Sutton

Guest Star

Peter O'Meara

Peter O'Meara

Paul Stryzewski

Guest Star

Sonya Walger

Sonya Walger

Jane Parsons

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: When the robot is checking the suitcase, a person can be walking around in the background, which is pretty unlikely in a bomb threat situation.

    • Stella is possibly Catholic. She does have a large knowledge of it, and she does bless herself in the church, but that does not mean she is without a doubt Catholic.

    • Goof: It would be wrong to extract a hard disk platter on a work bench and put it in another drive. The gap between the read/write heads and the platter is so narrow that dust particles would be several times bigger than this gap. In essence the operation of working with disk platters should be carried out in a particle free cabinet.

    • Goof: While it is fairly easy to access a hard drive platter from a defective hard disk drive by putting it in the exact same make and model, what they did in this episode would simply not work. Firstly, you need to fasten the platter to the spindle or it won't spin. Also, it would help to have read/write heads on the actuator arm, which the receiving drive did not have. If the drives were identical, he would still need both platters as the WD 1600 drive is 160-gigabyte, two-platter drive. Essentially, he is only working on half of the information stored on the drive.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Mac: Let's take the rest to go.

    • Jane Parsons: It's kind of circular logic, isn't it? Leaving behind a sample of your own blood when you're obviously in fear for your life?
      Mac: Fear tends to trump logic.
      Jane Parsons: That depends on how logical you are.
      Mac: Or how afraid.

    • Mac: A paranoid schizophrenic's worst nightmare.
      Stella: He doesn't just think we're out to get him. We are.

    • Stella: (about church) It seems like whenever I do go, the sermon's always about forgiveness. And then I think about what we do.
      Mac: Forgiveness isn't part of our job.

    • Danny: With all this cash lying around, you'd think a guy could afford new rounds.
      Mac: With all the evidence we've collected, you'd think we could find Charles Langdon.

    • (Paul Streyzewski is saying how he kissed the vic.)
      Flack: Now, how does that thought process work? There's the mother of my child on the ground dead. I should probably call 911, but let me get a little action first.

    • (Hawkes and Stella are figuring out Trina's official cause of death)
      Stella: So we've got a murder.
      (Hawkes nods.)
      Stella: Now all we have to do is find the crime scene that goes with it.

    • Danny: Charles... a last name would be nice on Charles.
      Nick Lawson: I don't know it. Luke said he was a lawyer or something. And those were the guys coming after me.
      Danny: All right, all right, so you're just defending yourself, then.
      Nick Lawson: Yeah.
      Danny: How about a sample?
      Nick Lawson: No comment.

    • Stella: If she wanted to off herself, she would've jumped off
      the front of the church, not the side. And landed on the pavement, not the
      grass. Suicide isn't just a sin, it's a statement, and I don't see one here.

    • Aiden: You don't have to swipe your ID to get out. NY Merc searched the entire building and taken a head count outside. He's the one person they can't account for.
      Mac: Our people on it?
      (They leave the main room through the corridor.)
      Aiden: 19th Precinct sector car looked through his apartment window. The place is trashed.
      Mac: Something happened ... and it wasn't good.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Mac: I'm on the ghost in the machine.

      Ghost in the Machine is a philosophy book written by Arthur Koestler in 1967. It's also the title of a 1993 horror movie and an album by The Police.

    • Buck v. Bell: The case mentioned in this episode took place in 1927. It upheld the practice of negative eugenics, which is the compulsory sterilization of people judged to be too "inferior" to be allowed to reproduce.

      In 1924, the state of Virginia legalized the sterilization of anyone whom the state deemed too "feeble-minded" (in the language of the time) to reproduce. Carrie Buck, who had been raped and made pregnant by a relative of her adoptive family, was forcibly institutionalized, wrongly judged to have a mental age of 9 and scheduled that same year for involuntary sterilization. The case went to the supreme courts of both Virginia and the United States. The decision was handed down in 1927, with the vote 8-1 in favor of sterilization.

      Carrie Buck, her mother, her sister Doris and her three-year-old daughter were all sterilized (Doris was never told about this; she finally learned about it in 1980). Eventually, Carrie was "paroled" from the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. Both she and Doris married, and to all appearences, turned out to be of normal intelligence.

      The case of Buck vs. Bell encouraged the passage of eugenics laws in other states. The Virginia statute allowing compulsory sterilization was not repealed until 1974.

      The words Mac quotes are from the actual 1927 US Supreme Court decision as written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, including the words: Three generations of imbeciles are enough, which supplied the title of the episode (somewhat abridged).

      This case was dramatized in the 1994 TV movie Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story, starring Marlee Matlin as Carrie Buck.