Season 6 Episode 16

Uncertainty Rules

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2010 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
142 votes

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Episode Summary

The team investigates the particularly gruesome outcome of a 21st birthday where the party plans became all but anything worth celebrating. With just a few and not easy answers as their only lead in the case, the CSIs are challenged to stretch their abilities to the limit.moreless

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  • Up to this episode, possibly the best this lackluster season 6 has had to offer.

    "Uncertainty Rules" takes on "The Hangover" formula with deadlier results. This 6th season of CSI: NY is turning out to be one of the weakest, but an episode like this is a refreshing breath of air. Acting wise, the team seems to be at the top of their game with a special nod going to Eddie Cahill who was especially good. Our innocent victim, who, for most of the episode is high on LSD, is also very convincing. The murder is grisly and even more disturbing is the man who committed it; a slimy just plain evil guy. The only issue I have with the episode is the way our killer is confronted. The shootout seemed slightly forced and more along the lines of CSI: Miami, but because the rest of the episode was so good, I'll half forgive it.moreless
  • Mac and the team investigate the gruesome murder of four people at a 21st birthday party gone horribly wrong. Mac works with the sole survivor of the massacre, the birthday boy, to find out what exactly happened and bring the killer to justice.moreless

    Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! The episode is season's best so far for a number of reasons. The unforgettable opening sequence, the frighteningly realistic crime scene, and the very compelling and well written script. The top notch performances by Gary Sinise and the rest of the cast almost goes without saying. Another high point is Adam's computer simulation of how the massacre at the hotel room occurred. That will have viewers cringing and looking away for sure. Gary Sinise is once again at the top of his game in this episode. A great episode.moreless
  • Uncertainty Rules

    See, this is why I do not drink or do drugs. Because when you do you wake up in the streets without a shirt and holding a bloody axe.

    In all seriousness though, a solid episode of CSI: NY, a show that I was sort of souring on earlier this year, but have been enjoying the past few weeks with the racing, vampire and now this episode. The plot was intriguing, as is usually the case with this show, but I thought the ending was particularly noteworthy. Anytime the show ends with gunfire, I am more often than not a satisfied man.moreless
  • Lots of blood and a guy killing with an axe...great!!

    Really great chapter!! Although I missed Lindsay and Sid in it... There were tons of evidence to process, I bet they could have used another CSI *cough* Lindsay*cough* to help them. Sid was mentioned a couple of times at least....

    The case was really good. A guy covered in blood with an axe acting crazy in the middle of the street and then finding the 4 bodies on his hotel room. All things pointed to him but our lovely CSI proved that he was just tripping in the bathtub... The resolution of the case was great too, all because of the timing, and the poor friends of James were just colateral damage... Danny and Flack scenes were all hilarious!! these 2 crack me up everytime they are in the same rooom together. I loved the grandma saying 'I beg to differ' (I said 'me too' outloud in that moment! ) and calling Danny, 'sonny' too... Very little Adam but we got him talking/singing alone again...

    Stella and Hawkes being the smartest and Mac bonding with the poor James.

    I dunno who the actor that played James is but he did an amazing job, kudos for him.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

Joe Reegan

Joe Reegan

James Roberts

Guest Star

Kerie W Edmead

Kerie W Edmead

Officer # 1

Guest Star

Don Jeanes

Don Jeanes

Officer # 2

Guest Star

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: Mac and James Roberts can be seen coming out and walking past the entrance door of the 13th precinct; however, later on they are back in and the sign on the inside doors reads 12th precinct.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Flack: Clowns? That's what you're going with? Clowns? That's your official story?
      James Roberts: They were trying to kill me.
      Flack: Oh, so they're the 'homicidal on the inside' kind of clowns. Well, hang on a second while I put out an apb for two guys with frizzy pink hair and big red noses!

    • Mac: Depending on the dose, the effects could last anywhere between six and twelve hours.
      Stella: He has moments of lucidity, but he could go in and out of hallucinations during that time. Let's see. He's a Physics major at Chelsea university and a member of the Manhattan Physics Club. Kid's no dummy.
      Mac: Strange. A kid like this, no record, clean as a whistle.

    • Mac: James is a science buff, huh?
      Sara Carr: Yeah.
      Mac: I can relate.
      Sara Carr: I was gonna throw a party for him. He made me promise not to. Mark and Daniel said they weren't taking no for an answer. James... he isn't a party guy. He... he's kind of a wallflower, you know? He just sits back and watches everyone else have fun. I don't care, though. I... I love that he's not one of those fraternity-type guys, you know?

    • Hawkes: They go to school with our suspect?
      Danny: Nah, I don't think they seem like the school type. The only detention they've seen is probably Manhattan's House of Detention.

    • Hawkes: I've heard of people having a bad trip, but something set this kid off.

    • Stella: This is James' shirt. Unis found it on the stairwell at the hotel.
      Danny: Nice.
      Hawkes: You see? No corresponding castoff patterns across here.
      Danny: Yeah, so he didn't create the void. It would confirm that James was holding the axe.
      Stella: Yeah, but I don't see any medium velocity blood spatter, not on his shirt or his jeans. And these are close contact axe wounds. If James were the killer, there would be some blood spatter evidence on him.
      Hawkes: So he didn't create the void and he wasn't swinging that axe, what the hell was he doing when his friends were being massacred?

    • Stella: James said he remembered swimming with the seahorses and the starfish.
      Danny: And he had traces of shampoo on his jeans.
      Stella: James isn't our killer. He was tripping in the bathroom.

    • James Roberts: What's happening to me?
      Mac: You took LSD.
      James Roberts: No. No. No. No. I...
      Mac: Listen to me, James. You're experiencing hallucinations, heightened anxiety, intense paranoia.
      James Roberts: I wouldn't have done that. I... I... I...
      Mac: Your friends took it, too. It was your 21st birthday. You were probably doing a lot of things you hadn't done before.

    • Mac: James, I know you're scared. But we're going to get through this. The two of us, okay? You and me. You don't have to answer anything you don't want to. We'll just take it slow. Try to figure this out together.

    • Flack: The hotel manager said that the girls did not check in with them.
      Hawkes: So the guys either met them at some point that night and they all went back to the hotel to continue the party.
      Danny: Right, or they were the party. Hired to, erm, blow out the birthday boy's candle.
      (Flack and Hawkes smile)

    • (About the bingo game at the assisted living facility).
      Flack: How much did he win?
      Mary Riesling: $25,000.
      Danny: What...? 25 grand?
      Mary Riesling: This ain't your grandmother's bingo game. We play high stakes. Spices things up.

    • Henry Wainright: Is that all, gentlemen? 'Cause I can think of better things to do than sit here all day with you two.
      Mary Riesling: I beg to differ (Addresses a charming grin to Flack and Danny who smile bemused in return).

    • Flack: Why'd you do it?
      Calvin Moore: Why do you think?
      Danny: For the money.
      Calvin Moore: You bet your ass money.
      Danny: How much money you get?
      Calvin Moore: A grand.
      Flack: A grand? You did this for a grand?
      Calvin Moore: Yeah. It was the easiest money I ever made.
      (Flack and Danny exchange a puzzled look)
      Flack: What are you talking about?
      Calvin Moore: What are you talking about?
      Danny: We're talking about a quadruple homicide that apparently you committed last night.
      Calvin Moore: That I committed?
      Danny: Yeah. That's what it sounds like.

    • Mac: You and I probably have a lot in common. Never had a desire to be the life of the party, unable to just let go. I think your buddies just wanted you to loosen up, take a moment to let the world happen to you.
      James Roberts: It definitely happened to me. Why can't I remember?
      Mac: Just relax. It'll come in time.

    • Mac: 'I can't believe god plays dice with the universe.' That phrase comes to mind often in my field. There have been times in my life where I wish everything was as predictable as you say.

    • Bartender: (Pulling a country accent) Wait... let me guess. Cosmo or... an Appletini.
      Flack: Let me guess. Long Island, maybe Dix Hills.
      Bartender: (Without the country accent) My manager makes us talk like that.

    • Gerald Gordon: Strangest thing. Came out of nowhere.
      Stella: The lamppost? The lamppost came out of nowhere?
      Gerald Gordon: Right.
      Danny: They have a tendency to do that when you're driving up on the sidewalk.

    • Danny: I'm losing my patience here, Gerald. Tell us what you know or I'm gonna lock you up for reckless driving.
      Gerald Gordon: You… you can't do that.
      Stella: Watch us.
      Gerald Gordon: No, no, I mean, you can't because, erm… I wasn't the one driving. They gave me a hundred bucks to drive the cab and... another $1,500 for the damage.
      Stella: $1,600 to flush your medallion down the toilet?

    • (Flack knocks on door. Four locks are unlocked before the door gets open)
      Flack: Uh, all right, I'll start. Me and my partner here are recruiting on behalf of the NYPD. Looking for a couple of good guys to do some undercover work. You know, inconspicuous types who blend in. We think you got what it takes. You interested?

    • Danny: That looks like a gunshot wound. You all right there, chief?
      Rufus Knox: It ain't nothin'. Mama said there'd be days like this.

    • Danny: They left this building last night. We know that Jackie was carrying a gun. Now why would that be?
      Rufus Knox: (Scoffs) I don't know. Bad parenting, maybe?
      (Danny laughs)
      Rufus Knox: She should know better than to play with guns.
      Flack: Yeah, you're quite the role model.

    • Danny: His name's Rufus Knox. Drug dealer, twitchy son of a bitch.
      Stella: What's his connection to the girls?
      Danny: They worked for him selling drugs in an underground nightclub. Rufus also bailed them out on their last two arrests.
      Stella: Okay, so the relationship goes south, the girls put a bullet in his face and then take off.
      Danny: Right when James and his buddies drive by in the cab.

    • Stella: One of Rufus' girls spotted them going into the hotel with James and their friends.
      Mac: James' friends were collateral damage.
      Stella: Yeah. Well, he would've been too if he hadn't been in the bathroom. Rufus wasn't leaving any witnesses. The timing on this thing is unbelievable. Driving up in the cab just as the girls ran out of the apartment. The sequence of events, I mean, what are the odds?
      Mac: Worlds colliding.

    • Mac: How you feeling?
      James Roberts: (Sighs) Guilty. Like... this is all my fault. My best friends are all dead because of me.
      Mac: That's not true, James. This is life. It throws things at you. Some good, some bad. No one could have predicted what happened, not even if you're Albert Einstein.

    • James Roberts: What do I do now?
      Mac: You've been through a major trauma. It's gonna be tough. So don't pretend to have all the answers. You talk to people. You're feeling something, you reach out. Depend on the people who love you. You'll be all right.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Despite featured in the opening credits, Anna Belknap and Robert Joy do not appear in this episode.

    • Joe Reegan, who plays James Roberts, also appears in the C.S.I. episodes Built to Kill, Part 1 and Built to Kill, Part 2.

      Nadine Heimann, who plays Lacey Deshane, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Empty Eyes.

      Martin Klebba, who plays Calvin Moore, also appears in the C.S.I. episode The Chick Chop Flick Shop.

      Cullen Douglas, who plays Gerald Gordon, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Killer.

      Natascha Hopkins, who plays Carolina, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Witness to Murder.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 3, 2010 on CTV.
      United Kingdom: April 24, 2010 on Five.
      Czech Republic: June 12, 2010 on AXN.
      Spain: June 29, 2010 on AXN
      Turkey: July 18, 2010 on CNBC-e.
      Sweden: August 23, 2010 on Kanal 5.
      Norway: September 22, 2010 on TVNorge.
      Germany: January 10, 2011 on Vox.
      Slovakia: May 3, 2011 on JOJ.
      Finland: June 8, 2011 on MTV3.


    • Rufus Knox: Check this out, Sipowicz.

      Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz, is one of the characters in the ABC police drama series NYPD Blue.

    • Rufus Knox: Some crazy bastard went all Paul Bunyan on them girls.
      Flack: So that makes you Babe the blue ox.

      Paul Bunyan is a mythological lumberjack and frontier folk hero commonly believed to be a giant of unusual skills to overcome all obstacles. His companion is a blue ox called Babe.

    • Mac: Worlds colliding.

      Worlds in Collision, published in 1950, is the last book Einstein was known to be reading when he died. The book was written by Immanuel Vikovsky (1895-1979) a well known and controversial author of Catastrophism themed books that reinvent the events of ancient history.

    • Mac: 'I can't believe god plays dice with the universe.'

      This is a famous sentence by Albert Einstein about Quantum theory, since he tried to prove wrong once and again its principle of uncertainty.

    • James Roberts: Einstein believed that everything in the universe is predictable.
      Mac: Until Niels Bohr proved him wrong at the atomic level.

      Niels Henrik David Bohr (1885-1962) was a Danish physicist who greatly contributed to the understanding of the atomic structure and quantum mechanics, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.

    • Danny: Did they organize a Golden Girls reunion?

      The Golden Girls is an American sitcom starring Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty about four older women sharing a home in Miami. It aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992.

    • Sara Carr: James never made a big deal out of his birthday; last year he spent it at the library, said he was celebrating with Einstein.

      Mac: Tell me about that paper you're writing. 'An open letter to Albert Einstein'. I hate to break it to you James, but Einstein's dead.

      James Roberts: Yeah, Einstein didn't buy it.

      Mac: No one could have predicted what happened, not even if you're Albert Einstein.

      Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German physicist and philosopher widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is best known for his many contributions to Physics in particular for his theories of special relativity and general relativity. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

    • Episode title: Uncertainty Rules.

      It refers to Werner Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty which was first formulated in 1927 and states that uncertainty rules in the quantum world because the position and momentum of a quantum entity such as an electron cannot be measured simultaneously. Albert Einstein tried to prove this principle wrong unsuccessfully.