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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Built To Kill, Part 2'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at October 6, 2006 - 6:57 AM GMT

See Also: 'Built To Kill, Part Two' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Picking up where "Built to Kill Part 1" left off, Catherine summons Sara to the hotel where she woke up after possibly being assaulted. She asks Sara to work the case with her so that she can find out what happened to her. Grissom puzzles over the miniature replica of the crime scene he's at. The body of rock star Izzy Delancy is slumped over the kitchen table sporting a fatal head wound. Sofia and Nick speak to Izzy's family, including his second wife, Madeline, his son, Sven, his first wife, Dusty and the family's nanny, Annie, who found the body. Grissom finds a bottle of bleach in the trash, leading him to examine the sink, where he finds traces of washed-away blood. He discovers blood on a drawer handle, and inside the drawer, he discovers a rolling pin with blood on it. Dr. Robbins confirms Izzy's cause of death was blunt force trauma, and he pulls a key from the body. Grissom turns to the mini Izzy and dissects him. Sara tells him that Izzy was in negotiations to sell the rights to his songs to the hotel Olympia for a show, but hadn't signed the contract yet. In the event of his death, the rights would fall to his son, Sven, but they would be under the control of Sven's mother, Dusty, until Sven turned 18. Greg returns to Izzy's house, where he discovers the safe the key found in Izzy opens. In the safe he discovers the Olympia contract, a picture of Dusty and Izzy on their wedding day and several severed chicken heads.

Catherine brings her own sex assault kit to the lab and begins running tests. She finds no semen on the tampon, so she turns it over to Hodges to check for spermicide. Sam Braun stops by to check in on Catherine, but she brushes him off to continue her investigation. She revisits the bar she and Nick were at, but the bartender claims he doesn't remember her, and the only surveillance camera is aimed at the cash register, not the bar's patrons. Discouraged, Catherine goes to pick her daughter Lindsey up from her dance audition. Catherine is relieved when Hodges texts her to tell her the tampon came back negative for spermicide, but her peace of mind is again shattered when a car crashes into hers and a man snatches Lindsey from the car. When the CSIs arrive, Catherine is forced to tell them what happened to her, and Nick feels especially guilty.

Sam Braun calls when he hears about Lindsey's abduction, offering to take care of it. Catherine realizes she and her daughter are being used to get at Sam. He received pictures of Catherine passed out in bed at the hotel and of Lindsey bound to a chair, with a ransom demand for 20 million dollars attached to it. Catherine takes the photos back to the lab for examination. A print from the car matches a set from an unsolved robbery Catherine worked some time back, and the chair Lindsey is tied to matches one taken in the robbery. The CSIs are able to trace it to a house in town, which they storm. The kidnapper pulls a gun and they shoot him, and Catherine and Warrick are able to rescue her frightened daughter. Catherine recognizes the kidnapper from the bar, but can't recall any other man who might have been helping him.

The CSIs discover Annie Lansfield, the nanny, has been both sleeping with Izzy and selling pictures of him and his family to the Scandal Pages, a tabloid. Her DNA was found in the safe, making her a suspect. She admits to sleeping with Izzy, and confesses that she stole an X-ray of the key in Izzy's stomach after he swallowed it to keep it from Madeline and copied it, but denies killing him. After Sara and Sofia discover Dusty and Izzy's marriage wasn't legal, their suspicions turn to her. Dusty has an unusual alibi--she was with Madeline, who asked her to convince Izzy to sign the Olympia contract. When they learn Sven has a knack for drawing and dreams of a career in urban planning, they suspect the boy is capable of building the model, but he faints at crime scene pictures with blood in them. Grissom performs a test that confirms the boy isn't faking, leaving him with no suspects.

Catherine confronts Sam Braun to tell him that both she and Lindsey were being targeted by Joe Hirshoff, whose partner Robert O'Brian committed suicide over a bad investment. That investment was in one of Sam Braun's hotels, which ended up falling through before it was built, costing Joe and Robert 20 million dollars. Catherine's eyes widen when she spots Joe Hirshoff walking up behind Sam. She calls out a warning, but it's too late: Joe fires off two shots, killing Sam. Back at the lab, Grissom continues to puzzle over the miniature crime scene, noticing a doll's face on the back of one of the tiny pictures.

Analysis:

A marked improvement on the first installment, the second part of "Built to Kill" is both faster-paced and packs more of an emotional punch. I wonder if the two episodes couldn't have been combined somehow because the second part would have made an excellent season opener. This episode plays with the CSI format a bit, and it's to the show's advantage.

According to Nina Tassler at CBS, the miniature murder that remains unsolved in this episode is going to crop up again (story). I love answers as much as the next person, but I did find it fascinating how the CSIs eliminated one suspect after another, until they were left empty-handed. I suspected Sven right off the bat, and I was pleasantly surprised to find he really was a red herring. The story line intrigues, and I'm willing to wait for answers.

I was relieved to learn that Catherine hadn't been raped, and I had wondered at the end of the first half if her ordeal had something to do with Sam Braun. He was in the first half of the episode for only a few minutes, but I suspected he was going to factor into the conclusion. I was still bothered by Catherine's decision to process herself, despite her explanation to Sara. What if she changed her mind at some point? I can understand that Catherine might not want the whole crime lab to know, but if she trusted Sara enough to call her, wouldn't she trust her enough to process her? The scene between Catherine and Sara after Catherine calls Sara to the hotel effectively illustrates the bond that has developed between two strong-willed women.

I was sorry to see Sam Braun meet his end at the conclusion of the episode. Sam is one of CSI's most complex recurring players--he might be corrupt, but he had a nobility to him in his attempts to do right by Catherine and Lindsey. Having the grief-stricken Joe Hirshoff shoot him brought the two parter around full circle, to the beginning of the first installment, when Joe's partner Robert was found dead at Sam's party, the gun he used to shoot himself still clutched in his hand.

The only part of the episode that was difficult to follow was when the CSIs tracked Lindsey and her kidnappers down by recognizing a chair stolen in a robbery Catherine investigated. The line there isn't clear, making it a bit confusing that the CSIs were able to find Lindsey so quickly. Lindsey is now apparently a teen, and as surly with her mother as she has been in recent seasons. Maybe Catherine and Brass could form a support group.

It's only two episodes into the new season, but it certainly seems that the romance between Grissom and Sara that was revealed at the end of last season is being firmly kept in the background. The two exchange a few significant looks, but other than Grissom bringing her lunch in the first part, there's little hint of romance. CSI: New York should take note of the subtlty being used here--the connection between Grissom and Sara is evident without awkward exchanges that come across as heavy-handed and distract from the plot.

On a completely superficial note, I miss Grissom's beard. I liked the edge it gave to the mild-mannered CSI, but its absence does make one recall the early seasons of CSI, and reminds viewers of first falling in love with the show back in 2000 when it was simply a quirky underdog and not the reigning drama champ. Recalling the charm and inventiveness of those early seasons can only be a good thing.

Discuss this reviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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