CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'A Thousand Days On Earth'

Discussion in 'CSI Files News Items' started by CSI Files, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. CSI Files

    CSI Files Captain

    Feb 28, 2003
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    <p><b>Synopsis:</b><p>Fresh off a performance, a stand up comic discovers the body of a little girl in a packing box. The CSIs begin the search for the four-year-old's identity and her killer as Brass deals with the press. Dr. Robbins determines the little girl, whom Catherine dubs "Baby Cordelia," was killed by a blow to the head. Hodges determines that a substance found on her body was drain cleaner. When mourners set up a memorial for the girl, Warrick installs a camera in case the killer returns to the scene. Hodges finds evidence that the girl's hair was dyed and curled, leading the CSIs to wonder if she was abducted and her appearance changed. Prints off the packing slip tape from the box the girl was found in lead the CSIs to Nora O'Toole, a bubbly young woman who lives with her boyfriend, Dean James. Nora says the box was from a vacuum cleaner she bought and that her boyfriend got rid of for her. Dean confirms her story. Warrick searches the missing persons database and believes he's found the identity of the little girl: Sashira Sayeed, but when he brings her parents in to identify her body, they say the little girl is not their daughter. A hair on the box matches to a registered sex offender, Leo Finley, who turns out to be none other than Dean James, Nora's boyfriend. Catherine interrogates him and he tells her he's in the database for accidental indecent exposure. He denies having anything to do with the little girl's death, but Catherine remains skeptical. The CSIs catch Leo in a lie when they learn he brought a car part in the box to a body shop near where the girl's body was found. He says he lied because he didn't think they'd believe him.<p>The CSIs finally get an ID on the girl when a convict named Donald Balboa recognizes her as his daughter, Inez. He tells the CSIs he suspects his former cellmate, Boyd Waldrip, of killing her. Boyd is now married to Donald's former wife, Grace, and has two children with her. The CSIs storm the house where Boyd and Grace are living, but the family is gone--and it looks like they left in a hurry. Catherine discovers blood under the kitchen sink. Boyd, Grace and their two children are tracked to a diner, and Boyd takes the customers hostage when he's recognized. He's talked into giving up, but in the chaos, Grace is fatally shot. Devastated Boyd agrees to confess that he killed Inez, but Catherine gets a different story from Inez's half-siblings, who tell her that they played a game of hide and seek while Boyd slept on the couch. Inez hit her head while hiding under the sink. When Boyd woke up and discovered her bleeding and unconscious, he took a bus to the hospital because his wife had the car. Inez died on the way, and he left her body in the box. Because of his status as an ex-con, he didn't report her death, fearing he'd be blamed. Catherine leaves for the night and is confronted by Leo, who accuses her of ruining his life and tells her he's contemplating suicide--and that it will be her fault if he does take his own life.<p><b>Analysis:</b><p>The death of a child is always a downer, and out of the three <i>CSI</i> shows, the flagship's tone, lighting and score lend the subject the most pathos and gravitas. There's a grimness to the Vegas show that the spin-offs don't have, which generally makes the dark episodes of <i>CSI</i> intense and depressing. The opening of "A Thousand Days on Earth" is reminiscent of <A class="link" HREF="http://www.csifiles.com/episodes/csi/season5/no_humans_involved.shtml">"No Humans Involved"</a>, when Greg discovers the body of a small boy in a box in the trash. Unlike that boy, the body of Inez Balboa has not been literally thrown away in the trash but carefully arranged in the box, though she is discarded all the same. Unlike Devon Malton, Inez's death is the result of an accident, not neglect.<p>Boyd Waldrip isn't negligent in the same way Divine, Devon's guardian was, though like Divine he wasn't Inez's birth parent, but her stepfather. Unlike Divine, he's torn up about the girl's death, though he still makes an attempt to conceal it, assuming his status as an ex-con would prevent anyone from believing that Inez's death was an accident. <font color=yellow>David Meunier</font> gives a great performance in Boyd's final scene, when he admits to Catherine what happened with Inez. There's anguish in his demeanor and speech, and it's no surprise when Grissom discovers Boyd and Grace on the surveillance camera the CSIs set up at Inez's memorial.<p><HR ALIGN="CENTER" SIZE="1" WIDTH="45\%" COLOR="#007BB5"><p>To read the full reviews, please click <A HREF="http://www.csifiles.com/reviews/csi/a_thousand_days_on_earth.shtml">here</A>.<center></center>
  2. jafox

    jafox CSI Level Two

    Jun 15, 2007
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    I have to say I didn't like this episode very much. I agree that the supporting characters are wonderful and the death of a child is always tragic, but the plot fell flat in the end. After all these years Catherine should know better. This plot worked in the early seasons, but after 8 years she should know how to 'follow the evidence' by now. And she did not seem too remorseful at ruining someone's life.
    Also, the conclusion of the accidental death storyline with the stepfather going on the bus with Inez still being alive at this point, and no one saying anything on the bus, was too unbelievable. There is too much public awareness these days for this to occur. Even young children are taught to call 911.
  3. Top41

    Top41 Administrator Administrator Moderator Premium Member

    Mar 5, 2003
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    ^I think the stepfather didn't call 911 because he was afraid of how it would look. He probably intended to drop her off anonymously at the hospital. His cowardice cost her--and eventually his wife--her life.

    I think the episode did a decent job of establishing how Catherine got carried away with the case and lost perspective. She's not the first CSI to jump to erroneous conclusions, but she definitely did go pretty far in ensuring that Leo paid the price for something he ultimately had no involvement in.

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