A Ball Of Fire Rattles Grissom's Brain In 'Firestarter'

By Carolina
March 3, 2005 - 10:16 PM

See Also: 'Spark Of Life' Episode Guide

When a woman lights herself on fire, Grissom and his team investigate the mysterious reason behind her apparent suicide in "Firestarter". Note: this episode may also be called "Spark of Life".

According to CSI Files sources, the episode begins in the outskirts of Vegas, where astronomy afficionado Tim Kachler is getting ready to enjoy a quiet night stargazing. He sets up his telescope carefully on the tripod and presses his eyes against the viewfinder, pointing the telescope heavenward. A shining star quickly comes into view, and it's not until Kachler focuses the lens that he notices the flashes of light that obstruct the beautiful view. He pulls back and is quickly alarmed to see a ball of fire, bouncing off the hillside and heading straight in his direction. He doesn't have time to figure out what is happening, there's barely enough time to react. Kachler begins to gather his equipment as the ball of flames nears, igniting the hillside in its wake, fire engulfing the area in a flash as he runs for his life.

Grissom, Sara, and Greg arrive to a much calmer crime scene. Both the Fire and Police Departments have restored peace and extinguished the fire that charred the dry hillside. Grissom wastes no time in questioning Tim Kachler, who is still shaken over the events of the night. Kachler claims the area was completely quiet before the ball of flames rolled down the hills – no cars, no trucks, only the crickets could be heard. Nothing even caught his attention but the starry mantle that covered the sky. But Grissom is reluctant to believe Kachler. Surely a human ball of fire doesn't come out of nowhere? It's not until Grissom voices his concern that Kachler convulses in repulsion at the realization that the ball of flames was not a comet or an asteroid, not even a falling star - but a person.

At the hospital, the medical staff is doing everything they can to save the victim's life. The body is charred and swollen, covered from head to toe with gauze. Dr. Chris Mullins leaves his patient's side to talk to Brass and Sara, who inform him the victim is still a Jane Doe. Dr. Mullins's prognosis isn't good – Jane Doe has suffered third degree burns on 81 percent of her body and her recovery, if there is one, will be long and arduous. He was able to save the victim's possessions, which, among burnt clothing, include a wedding ring. Not much, but at least it's a start. Brass orders a SART kit but it may be too late. Machines begin to beep and the medical staff scurries to save Jane Doe's life as Brass and Sara watch helplessly. Their only witness to the vicious crime slips from their grasps.

Back at the crime scene, Grissom and Greg try to put the pieces of this disturbing puzzle together. Greg finds a nearly empty bottle of Vodka, which could have acted as an accelerant, creating a wild fire that caught Jane Doe without a warning. But when Jane Doe made it to the bottom of the hill she was almost completely burned. She didn't get burned in a wild fire, she started one. The lack of evidence to support malicious intent suggests the possibility of suicide. But Greg is reluctant. People don't just light themselves on fire. Grissom doesn't need to shoot wild theories. They do when they have help.

Meanwhile, Catherine, Warrick and Nick investigate the murder of an upper middle class family. Morgan and Corinne Stewart are found dead in their homes; Morgan with a bullet up his mouth, Corinne with one on her back. The killings become harder to stomach when their young daughter, Dani, is found drowned in their swimming pool. A gun shot through the mouth sounds a lot like suicide, but what would lead Morgan Stewart to kill himself and his perfect family? The evidence, as usual, speaks for itself, and it produces more questions than answers when it tells Grissom and Catherine their two cases might be connected.

Please note that the above plot details have not been confirmed by CBS, Alliance Atlantis or Bruckheimer Films, and until such time you should treat this information as you would any other rumour. The above information comes from early script drafts and the details and the airing order of the episodes are liable to change before the episodes are shown.

"Firestarter" will most likely air in April, 2005.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.