CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'The Grave Shift'

Discussion in 'CSI Files News Items' started by CSI Files, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. CSI Files

    CSI Files Captain

    Feb 28, 2003
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    <p><b>Synopsis:</b><p>Dr. Raymond Langston walks into the CSI lab for his first shift wearing a suit and tie and carting a kit so large it's on wheels. Newly appointed shift supervisor Catherine sends him out with Nick on a burglary call. Jim Hilliard came home from work to discover several items including his laptop, watch and his wife's jewelry missing from his house. Nick helps Langston find prints on the broken glass of the front door after he bungles dusting the doorknob. The next stop is a possible arson at the house of Don and Paula Kingsley; Brass shows the CSIs that one of the two didn't make it out of the house alive. Paula is shocked to find her house in shambles and her husband dead inside when she returns with her assistant, Carla Banks, in tow. Carla tells Brass that Don had a history of depression. She also notes that Paula was at one of the gyms she owns the night before. Inside the house, Langston helps David Phillips move Don's body--and ends up with a tie covered in evidence! He cuts half of his tie off and bags it. Ray brings the tie to Hodges who gives him the runaround and forces him to follow procedure to the letter. Riley, now on the burglary case, gets Archie to trace a GPS in Hilliard's laptop. She and Ray follow the tracker to the house of Richard Palento and his teenage son, Alex. Riley finds the laptop under Alex's bed, along with several other items stolen from Hilliard's house. Alex claims he got the items from some friends but won't elaborate, leading his father to get rough with him. Ray intervenes, but Riley cuts him off and apologizes to Palento. At the morgue, Dr. Robbins autopsies Don Kingsley with the help of Ray, pulling glass he believes is from a Mason jar out of Don's body. Dr. Robbins also notes the lack of soot in Don's lungs and blood from a subdural hematoma in his skull and concludes that Don Kingsley was already dead when the fire consumed his house. Catherine notes that their arson has become a homicide.<p>While going through the debris, Nick catches a man taking pictures of the house. The man tells Nick his name is Josh Barston and he's a contractor who was working on the Kingsley house. His company lost equipment in the fire, and he's documenting it for the insurance claim. Back at the lab, Ray discovers a pawnshop receipt for some of Mrs. Hilliard's jewelry among the items recovered from Alex Palento's room. Ray bring it to Catherine, telling her he doesn't think a fourteen-year-old kid went to a pawn shop alone. Catherine prints the receipt and gets a hit to Diane Palento, Alex's mother, who has priors for solicitation. Riley brings Richard and Alex in, and the boy defends his mother, claiming she didn't steal the Hilliard's valuables. Riley tells Brass to stake out the house in case she returns. When Nick discovers that Carla Banks made over 20 calls to Don Kingsley's cell phone in the 48 hours before he died, the team pulls her in for questioning. Carla denies an affair with Don, telling Brass he was a "loser." Their relationship was purely a business one--she invested in some herbal supplements and was mad when she lost twenty grand in the deal. Paula Kingsley angrily slaps Carla when she overhears the insult to her husband. Back at the house, Greg and Ray make some puzzling discoveries, including a cord that seems to lead to nowhere and a metal disc. Back at the lab, Hodges finds cornmeal on the metal disc, which he also found on glass found on Don's body. Ray thinks the items add up to form a bomb, but Hodges doesn't have any theories, disappointing the new CSI.<p>After a breakfast at the diner, Catherine and Ray stake out the Palento residence with Riley, who catches Diane Palento sneaking up to the house. To her son's chagrin, they arrest her. With Hodges' help, Ray uses cornmeal in a Mason jar and natural gas to reconstruct and detonate a test explosive like the one he believes destroyed Don Kingsley's house. The CSIs have a suspect when surveillance footage from one of Paula's gyms reveals her kissing the contractor, Josh Barston. The CSIs bring in both Paula and Josh and learn they were having an affair. Paula seems genuinely shocked at the idea that Josh likely killed her husband. Josh admits that when he realized Paula wasn't going to leave her husband, he tricked Don into turning his back on him, knocked him out and set the slow-acting explosive off, which gave him time to leave before the detonation. Ray turns back to the burglary and finds a hole in Jim Hilliard's story: why would a thief take only a few items--including Jim's watch, which would have theoretically been on his wrist during the day. Ray looks at Jim's laptop's browser history and sees Diane Palento's solicitation webpage and realizes Jim hired Diane--and then was robbed by her. Catherine tells him there's no point in pursuing it legally, but Ray does score a small victory when he makes sure Hilliard's wife knows about his lie. Ray tries to offer some solace to Alex Palento, but the boy spits on him. As Nick, Riley and Greg move into Grissom's office, Catherine leaves for the day--and finds Ray hard at work practicing dusting for prints.<p><b>Analysis:</b><p>Ray Langston's first day proves to be anything but an easy one, but then, did anyone expect it to be smooth sailing? Wisely, though, the writers chose not to make the day absurdly difficult, either--the challenges Ray faces aren't anything outside the norm, and the missteps he makes are typical of what one would expect from someone who has never done CSI work before. Ray clearly shows up over-prepared and, from what I can tell, with no arrogant assumptions that he's going to breeze through his first day or be some sort of savant to the Vegas lab. The temptation with a newbie CSI is to either make the character some sort of whiz or a complete failure, but in a way that feels more natural than either extreme, Langston is neither. He botches his first attempt at dusting for prints, but he figures out how the explosive used to destroy the Kingsley's home was put together. All in all, not a bad first day, but not a ridiculously stellar one either.<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/the_grave_shift.shtml">here</A>.<center></center>
  2. Faylinn

    Faylinn Adam Fangirl Super Moderator

    Nov 30, 2005
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    Excellent review, as usual. :)

    I liked the cases. David Weddle and Bradley Thompson did an excellent job on their first episode - I think it's safe to say that they were a great addition to the CSI team. :) They wrote two interesting cases that gave us good character moments in addition to some fascinating science (that bomb was pretty nifty). I also got a kick out of seeing Michelle Clunie in the episode - her character was very different from Mel on Queer as Folk. ;)

    I enjoyed seeing the team starting to settle into a new rhythm now that Grissom is gone - he was an important character to be sure, but there are still a lot of important characters around. We get to see Catherine as a leader without any of the drama I recall from her brief stint as swing shift supervisor. We get to see Nick slipping easily into a teaching role with Langston, which I'm looking forward to seeing more of. Greg and Riley continue to have a nice relationship, and I'm hoping their friendship (friendship :lol:) will be featured a bit more now that Grissom has left.

    I like Riley, but I feel like they need to give us some more development so that we have a better idea of what makes her tick. Her attitude toward Langston when he wanted to help the kid was a bit harsh to me - yes, she was right, but she knows he's new. Nick's methods seem far more understanding than hers. Maybe she doesn't take kindly to having to teach a coworker when she's used to working with people who know what they're doing.

    Langston's relationship with Hodges is definitely one to watch as well - Hodges clearly doesn't want to like Langston, but it seems like he might find himself liking him in spite of himself. :p Langston and Doc Robbins also have a nice, respectful interaction that I hope to see more of.

    While it sucks that Grissom is gone, right now we're at a place where we don't know exactly what's coming up. We don't have the same group we had for so many years, and that gives me something to look forward to when I watch new episodes. Langston and Riley are two people that we really don't know, so we're learning about them, and seeing people we've known for years in new capacities is also giving us the chance to learn new stuff about characters we're already familiar with. Bring it on, I say!

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