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CSI Files News Items Discussion of news articles from CSI Files.

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Old May 11 2009, 11:11 PM   #1
CSI Files
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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Hog Heaven'

Synopsis:

The Vegas team is called out when the Vegas Blasters, a local biker gang, apparently turns on one of their own, savagely killing him in a bar. Because the police are called to the scene immediately, they're able to catch most of the bikers before they flee. The biker is identified as Joey Niagra, and in autopsy Doc Robbins catalogues his multiple wounds and points out that he was on meth. Catherine spots a tattoo of the name Tonya on his body, as well as a distinct looping pattern on one of his wounds. At the station, the lab techs get DNA from the biker gang, including the aggressive Tonya, who head butts Hodges after mouthing off to Wendy and is promptly removed from the group. Catherine runs Joey's prints through the system and finds he's connected to an unsolved homicide of a prostitute who was raped after being killed. Ecklie pulls Brass aside to tell him Joey is actually Jack Nettles--an undercover cop. Brass is surprised--what kind of cop is "tweaking necrophiliac"? Ecklie and Brass go to Nettles house to tell his wife that he's been murdered and Brass is shocked when he recognizes her. Rita Nettles tells the men that her husband turned into someone she didn't know six months ago. She tried to see her husband's captain the night before, but was taken home when the officers she talked to realized she was drunk. Back at the precinct, the team isolates Tonya, who tells Catherine that she was working undercover alongside Joey to infiltrate the biker gang to get to the man at top, who they know as "Scratch." The night of Joey's murder, Tonya recalls the bartender getting a call just before clearing all the women out of the bar. Realizing something bad was happening, Tonya snuck away and called the police. A truckload of cocaine is coming in from Mexico and the Blasters' rivals, the Righteous Dogs, know about it--and are determined to get their hands on it. Tonya is upset that Ecklie has taken her off of active detail.

After Doc Robbins determines that Joey died of exsanguination from 24 stab wounds, Nick tries to match the weapons recovered from the bikers to the wound patterns on Joey, but he's only able to match one knife to several of the wounds, leaving most unaccounted for. Brass receives a visit from a rattled Rita to clear up the misunderstandings between them: she didn't know he was a cop and he wasn't clear she was married. She tells him that Joey stole money from her and hit her. Rita's face darkens when a cop comes in to tell Brass that Tonya Charles is being released. Theorizing that some of the bikers likely escaped before the police arrived, Langston hops on a bike and goes searching for the missing knives. He finds them tossed aside in a bag beside a trash heap. Langston matches the knives in the bag to the wounds in Joey and is able to match the prints on them to five bikers. Archie gets the phone records for the bar and finds that the call the bartender received just before the murder came from a pay phone outside the police department, and surveillance video reveals Rita making the call. Rita tells them her husband gave her the number for emergencies, but denies telling the bartender he was a cop. Tonya gets word to vice that the coke has come in from Mexico, but when she's released from police custody, the car she gets into explodes as Nick and Greg look on! The team determines the bomb was planted before Joey's death, meaning the Blasters--and their leader, Scratch--were on to her. The team recreates the murder and finds a bug in the bar's phone--which was hooked into a transceiver in Joey's iPod. Brass, Langston and Archie listen to Rita's call and hear her ID Joey as a cop after the bartender tells her he's with Tonya. The three realize the bartender is Scratch. Using a transponder on one of the bikes, Archie is able to trace the gang to a warehouse where they're facing off with the Righteous Dogs over the cocaine. Scratch runs at Brass only to be shot down. After Rita is led out in handcuffs, Catherine stops by Brass's office with a bottle of scotch.

Analysis:

There's not much mystery in the latest episode of CSI, which revolves around a murder that's essentially as obvious as it first appears. When the CSIs get to the scene, they suspect the bikers are responsible for the death of their compatriot--and they're right. There's more to the story, but there aren't any real surprises here; the final reveal that Rita purposely blew her husband's cover isn't a shocker, either. Let's face it: stories involving gangs have rarely been among the strongest CSI show entries. Miami has been to this well more times than I can count, and the episodes usually follow a predictable path, more often than not culminating in a big bust of some sort. This episode is no different, with the seizing of the cocaine overshadowing the conclusion of the murder investigation. The biggest problem with gang stories is that the scope of them often overshadows the human-interest aspect of it, rendering both the victim and the killer (or killers) little more than caricatures. That's sadly true here, as we don't really know what caused Jack Nettles to cross over to the dark side, throwing over his wife for Tonya and murder a prostitute. Was it always within him? Maybe--we don't really learn enough about Nettles one way or another to guess...or care.

The gang members are similarly clichéd tough guys who snarl and posture, whether they're in the bar hanging out or in the precinct getting swabbed. None of them are especially interesting, even their leader, who of course mouths off to Brass after getting taken down, spitting out that "the bitch cop was easy to make and Joey should have taken care of his wife." One of the most compelling aspects of CSI and really, any crime show, is the why behind the murder, to what leads one person to take another's life. The gang members in this episode come off as little more than brutes who mindlessly follow the orders of their leader, who isn't enough of a character to be scary or interesting. The scene in which the CSIs re-enact the murder is chillingly horrible, but the bust at the end takes away from the chance to give it an emotional punch. The explosion of Tonya's car makes for a shocking moment, but it's dismissed pretty quickly as well. And for what? The drug bust at the end isn't especially exciting or original.


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Old May 12 2009, 01:51 AM   #2
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Re: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Hog Heaven'

I found this episode was clearly lacking in something and I can't explain it. I knew from the get go it was the wife of the undercover.
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Old May 12 2009, 03:48 AM   #3
Faylinn
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Re: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Hog Heaven'

Excellent review, as usual.

The episode was alright. I don't really have any comments to make about it. I thought Ray liking motorcycles was fine, but the scene where he rode the motorcycle and sat there as the gang went by was a bit ridiculous.

I did like the scene with Brass and Catherine at the end, though.
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Old January 28 2011, 10:23 AM   #4
passguy
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Re: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Hog Heaven'

Originally Posted by Faylinn View Post
Excellent review, as usual.

The episode was alright. I don't really have any comments to make about it. I thought Ray liking motorcycles was fine, but the scene where he rode the motorcycle and sat there as the gang went by was a bit ridiculous.

I did like the scene with Brass and Catherine at the end, though.

i agree with you to some extent
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