June 13 2024

CSI Files

An archive of CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and crime drama news

Retro Review: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation–‘To Halve And To Hold’

6 min read

When scattered human bone fragments are found in the desert, Catherine is convinced it’s murder, while Grissom avoids jumping to a hasty conclusion.

With the CSI franchise in reruns for the summer, CSI Files is taking the opportunity to go back to the beginning, offering reviews of episodes from the early seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami, many of which aired before the site’s 2003 founding! The retro reviews will run for the duration of the summer until new episodes of the franchise start to air in the fall.

Synopsis:

The discovery of a tibia bone near Mount Charleston brings Grissom and Catherine to the desert to search for the rest of the remains. The two discover over a hundred bone fragments and set about reassembling them to learn about the victim, whom Grissom determines in a man. Grissom is irritated to learn Catherine has called in reconstruction expert Teri Miller to consult on the case. Grissom finds markings on the bones indicating the body was cut up, and Teri sets about to find out whether it was before or after the man died. Using a dental database, Nick and Catherine are able to identify the man the remains belong to: seventy-year-old Mel Bennett. When Brass, Grissom and Catherine go to Bennett’s address, his wife Rose tells them he just ran out to the store, immediately igniting suspicion. The CSIs search the house, and Catherine finds evidence of blood in the drain of the bathtub while Brass discovers a saw that Teri Miller is able to match to the cuts on the bones. With a public defender by her side, Rose Bennett admits to cutting up her husband’s body because she couldn’t afford to bury him, but insists he was already dead. Brass is skeptical, especially when he discovers Rose was still cashing her husband’s social security checks. When Greg finds massive amounts of a heart drug in Bennett’s bones, Grissom and Catherine think Rose poisoned her husband, but she admits to them that he was dying and didn’t want her to suffer, so he took a fatal dose of the drug, after insisting she hide his death so that she wouldn’t lose his benefits. After some discussion, Brass, Grisson and Catherine decide they can’t charge her with anything. Grissom gets Teri Miller to change her flight out of town so that they can have dinner together, but he’s called away to work in the middle of their meal.

Sara and Warrick investigate the murder of Darren Pine, found dead in a bed at a Lucky 7 Motel. Sara discovers the room was paid for by a woman named Lynn Henry, so she and Warrick track Lynn down and find her with two friends, Meg and Joyce. Lynn is surprised to learn Darren is dead; she tells the CSIs that he was an exotic dancer she and Joyce hired for Meg’s bachelorette party. The women insist Darren was alive when they left at 3 a.m., but when Doc Robbins puts Darren’s time of death at midnight, the CSIs realize the women are lying. When they bring the three women in, Lynn claims that Darren raped her after she came back to the room to get her coat, but a sexual assault kit proves this, too, is a lie. Knowing Darren had sex before his death, Sara and Warrick interrupt Meg’s wedding to her fiancé, Luke, to question the three women again. Meg admits to sleeping with Darren, but Sara isn’t able to match a small cubic zirconium jewel found in the hotel room to Meg’s engagement ring. When Meg tells Sara that Luke has cubic zirconium in his engagement ring, Sara realizes Luke caught his fiancé having sex with the stripper and took it out on the man. Luke admits he was hoping he and Meg could put the whole incident behind them.

Analysis:

Viewers get a glimpse into Grissom’s somewhat stilted love life when Catherine invites reconstruction expert Teri Miller, first introduced in “Who Are You?” to consult on their case. We learn that after Teri left Grissom her number at the end of “Who Are You?” Grissom did in fact phone her—but she never returned his call. Things are initially awkward between Grissom and Teri, but by the end of the episode, he’s asking her to dinner, with such persistence that he even asks her to change her flight out of town. She agrees, and the two share a nice meal together—until Grissom’s pager and then phone go off. Sensing Grissom’s reluctance to end the date conflicting with his sense of duty and interest in the case he’s being called to investigate, Teri takes herself out of the equation, silently sneaking off during Grissom’s phone call. The move seems a bit harsh, but at the same time makes perfect sense: Teri understands Grissom’s devotion to his job because she shares it.

Though their romance doesn’t seem to have much of a future, Grissom is clearly taken with her. He’s delightfully befuddled around her during the examination of the bones, and clearly pleased that she’s impressed with the job he and Catherine did reconstructing the skeleton. He likes her enough to press her into changing her flight out that evening so that he can take her to dinner. The two have a lot in common: they’re both excited and fascinated by their jobs, and they’re both hopelessly devoted to them—which is precisely why a relationship between them probably wouldn’t work. But it’s definitely fun to see the taciturn bug man excited by something other than insects.

Of course, Grissom isn’t thrilled initially by Teri’s presence, because her arrival reveals that Catherine went over his head after he demurred when she suggested calling Teri in the first place. Grissom actually goes so far as to argue with Catherine, accusing her of bringing a specialist in without his approval. Naturally, Catherine—being far more in touch with her emotions than Grissom is with his—zeroes in on what’s really bothering him: his interest in Teri. Though he claims to “barely know her,” his awkwardness when her name comes up is apparent to everyone but him. Catherine doesn’t back down, but allows Grissom to save some face by letting him have the last word in the disagreement.

This episode highlights the differences between Grissom and Catherine in more ways than one. She’s the first to jump to conclusions, while he is far more cautious and waits to see what the evidence tells him. Catherine says that she feels it in “every one of my 206 bones” that this a murder, while Grissom reserves judgment. But in the end, when Catherine meets Rose Bennett and realizes she’s wrong, she’s quick to admit that she was off base. And it’s she, not Grissom, who goes to tell Rose that she’s not going to be charged with her husband’s murder. Catherine might be the more high tempered of the pair, but she deals better with people than Grissom does.

Sara and Warrick have their hands full during the episode with a trio of lying suspects, but in the end, none of the women turn out to be the actual killer. Meg’s fiancé, who caught her having sex with the stripper, is the actual culprit. The case highlights a common theme in CSI: witnesses and suspects will lie, but the truth can be found in the evidence. When Sara and Warrick go back to the hotel room, Sara readily admits she doesn’t know exactly what she’s looking for, but she’s fairly confident a search will reveal something they may have missed. Her instincts are dead on: the evidence she and Warrick find in the room is far more reliable than any of the witnesses the case turns up.

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