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The CSIs Get Cuddly On 'Grand Murder At Central Station'

By Christian
July 31, 2005 - 9:32 PM

See Also: 'Grand Murder At Central Station' Episode Guide

Next season on CSI: New York, it turns out that even when people devote themselves to breaking through society's taboos promoting non-agressive cuddling, things can turn ugly when they forget there are still some borders that shouldn't be crossed.

CSI Files sources suggest that "Grand Murder At Central Station," the second episode of the season, will introduce us to Evelyn Danner, a sculptor who works from her apartment in New York. She's blind, but that's no problem for her art -- in fact, it might be an asset, as her working method is to use one hand to read someone's face, and the other to mold a perfect replica. Her subjects are tremendously impressed by Evelyn's ability to recreate faces she's never even seen, particularly her boyfriend, Steve Samprass, who is a frequent subject for Evelyn's artworks. Evelyn seems to have everything going for her: she's spending her life with the man of her dreams, she's well liked and respected. So what could explain her ending up strangled on a rooftop somewhere in Manhattan?

A few hours after a sunbathing couple find Evelyn's bruised body, Stella and Danny are hard at work answering just that question. They begin by tracing her steps, which is made a lot easier when they find the braille-based GPS system Evelyn used to get around. Danny accesses the device's location history, and discovers that Evelyn spent a lot of time engaging in Manhattan's hottest new trend: the cuddle party.

In real life, cuddle parties were invented by New Yorkers Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, who felt there was a need for "affectionate non-sexual play events" where adults can touch, caress and massage each other. Through their web site CuddleParty.com, they organise several events each month during which pyama-clad participants all snuggle up together in a "puppy pile." In "Grand Murder," Evelyn is a frequent attendant of the parties organised by fictional cuddle lifeguard Hal Feinstein -- the man whose job it is to make sure there is no dry humping, no sex, and that everyone realises no means no. As long as everyone gets their daily recommended allowance of touching, Hal is satisfied.

Unfortunately for Hal, things seemed to get a little out of hand the last time Evelyn attended one of his cuddle parties. Evelyn was one of the most faithful regulars -- being blind, she had no inhibitions about touching people, and seemed to fit right in. But last time, that was exactly what got her in trouble, as one of the women present didn't take too well to Evelyn "reading" her husband's face. The woman pulled Evelyn out of the puppy pile by her hair, and if it hadn't been for Hal the cuddle lifeguard's quick intervention, a cat fight would have ensued. The CSIs know enough: they've got their first suspect.

But Hal isn't quite as innocent as he seems. He claims to be gay, and at first just says he knows Evelyn from the cuddle parties. But when Stella and Danny search through Evelyn's apartment, they find a sculpture that's unmistakably one of Hal's face. What's Hal's story? Could it be he's not quite as touchy-feely as he pretends to be?

While Stella and Danny are working on the cuddle party case, what's going on with the other CSIs -- especially Aiden Burns and Det. Flack, one of whom is rumored to be leaving CSI: New York after this episode? Aiden is still entangled in the rape case from the season premiere, in which she fruitlessly tried to get a repeat rapist locked up to protect his two-time victim. In "Grand Murder," Aiden nearly loses it as she's got absolutely no physical evidence proving the man's guilt -- could it be she'll end up taking the case too personally, causing her to make a misstep that could claim her career, or worse?

Meanwhile, Flack works with Mac and Dr. Harper on the episode's titular case, in which a man dies after getting lye thrown on him at Grand Central Station. It turns out the man was a plastic surgeon, and Flack is assigned the task of interviewing his former patients. Many of them seem to have a grudge against him, from the woman who was left looking like Catwoman to the man who was left unable to do anything but grin for the rest of his life after a jaw operation went wrong. Will Flack come to regret his decision to talk to this freak show parade of disgruntled patients all on his own?

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 of the episodes are liable to change before the episodes are shown.

"Grand Murder At Central Station" is expected to air in late September, 2005. Meanwhile, if you'd like to find out more about the cuddle party phenomenon, please head over to CuddleParty.com.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

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