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CSI Files - 'Bloodlines'

'Bloodlines'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at May 21, 2004 - 10:08 PM GMT

See Also: 'Bloodlines' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Lindley Parker, a well-dressed pit boss at the Palm Casino, leaves the casino late at night. The scene abruptly shifts a few hours later, when Lindley is running through the forest screaming, her clothes torn. She falls in the road. When the CSIs arrive on the scene, Lindley is still alive. She's been raped; the CSIs photograph her injuries and send her on to the hospital.

Grissom finds her car on another road not far away. In the hospital, Lindley tells them that a man ran her off the road. He seemed to be nice at first, but then he attacked her. The DNA the CSIs retrieve matches that from the rape and murder of a young woman named Emma Dobbins that happened a year ago and was never solved.

The CSIs bring in Todd Coombs, a psychiatrist, as a suspect, based on Lindley's description of her rapist. She quickly identifies him in the line-up, but he professes his innocence. Shockingly, Todd's DNA isn't an exact match for Lindley's rapist. Greg suggests it may have been a brother of Todd's who is responsible. When Catherine tells Lindley she identified the wrong man, Lindley quickly becomes angry and insists Todd was the man who raped her. She storms off angrily.

Todd has four living brothers, and one who died, named Joss. Sara questions fraternal twins Larry and Roger Coombs, who own a car repair shop together. Brass talks to one of the brothers who is a police officer, but the CSIs are unable to locate Kevin Coombs, another brother.

Meanwhile, Lindley is becoming frantic. She calls Catherine and says she is getting a gun. Catherine tries to talk to her, but suddenly she hears the sound of glass shattering and Lindley screams. The phone goes silent. Catherine races to the casino, where Lindley's car has just been recovered. There is no trace of Lindley in the car. Nick tracks her cell phone, which is still on, and the CSIs find Lindley in the woods, badly beaten and strangled to death.

Sara locates Kevin living on the edge of town in a trailer. He is called in for questioning, but the CSIs attention again alights on Todd. A strand of hair was found on Lindley's jacket, and the DNA is an exact match for Todd. When Grissom examines him, he notices some odd markings on his back.

Grissom hits the books and reads up on fraternal twins and Chimeras. He brings Todd into the interrogation room: he's cracked the case. Todd is a Chimera. He should have had a fraternal twin, but the cells of his twin merged back into his, giving him two sets of DNA.

The episode ends with Sara celebrating her promotion with Nick. Grissom gets a call to come pick her up: she was driving under the influence. He goes to the station, takes her hand, and tells her he'll take her home.

Analysis:

What a way to end the season! "Bloodlines" is one impressive episode, filled with suspense, absorbing science, and a truly creepy villain. The episode benefitted from doing away with the often-distracting B-story and just focusing on one case. By doing so, viewers were able to care more about Lindley and her plight; the moment the CSIs found her body was truly heartbreaking, and the chase leading up to that downright thrilling. I hoped against hope they would find her alive, even though I knew as soon as they traced her cell phone to the woods there was pretty much no chance that they would.

What an ending to the mystery! There's nothing like a truly unusual medical factoid to give the ending of a story punch, and the Chimera revelation is an excellent example of this. Slashdot has a short description about the phenomena for those interested in reading more about this condition. Eli Talbert and Sarah Goldfinger deserve praise for coming up with such an inventive and clever yarn.

George Newburn, who is best known for his role as the sweet, easy-going finace in the Father of the Bride movies, plays Todd perfectly in this episode. It's also as if he has two personalities. He's so affable in the beginning and bewildered by the CSIs interest in him. But after he is cleared of the rape by the DNA evidence, he becomes more and more suspicious as the episode moves on. The end resembles the book and movie Primal Fear, when the killer reveals a cold, calculating and truly evil personality beneath the one he's been displaying prior to that.

I do wonder, though, what the ending with Grissom and Sara is supposed to signify. It felt slightly tacked on, given the intensity of what came before. Will it signify anything? If it doesn't, why was it there? I hope it's not just another little tease, because at the ending of such a strong episode--and the season finale--it needs to have some significance. Did Grissom and Sara end up in each other's arms that night? I guess we're just going to have to wait an entire summer to find out.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.