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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'Cockroaches'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at December 12, 2007 - 4:07 AM GMT

See Also: 'Cockroaches' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

A police pursuit of a garbage truck ends in tragedy: a body falls from the truck and the driver, who flees on foot once the cars corner him, is struck and killed by another driver. Grissom is frustrated when Warrick shows up late at the scene and sends him to process the garbage truck. The body in the truck is identified as club owner Jason Crewes, whom Dr. Robbins determines was suffocated. The truck driver--and Crewes' presumed killer--was Brody Biggs, a former cop who worked as a freelance mechanic for the past twenty years. Catherine and Nick examine Crewes' house, and when Catherine finds a blue stain on the sheets of his bed, she posits he was murdered here. Grissom and Warrick discover that the garbage truck was an old one from the 80s; the line of trucks was bought by a mobster known as Anthony Pazzulo, who was killed in 1983. The CSIs are surprised to learn Pazzulo's wife at the time was none other than Jason Crewes' mother, Linda. Though she denied recognizing Brody Biggs when Brass first questioned her, when he asks her about the cop-turned-hitman again, Linda admits "BB" was an old friend of her husband's--but that she hasn't seen him since Anthony's death, when she and their son Jason entered the witness protection program and changed their names. When Brass asks her about the garbage trucks, she tells him she gave them to Lou Gedda, the owner of the strip club Pigalle Boulevard.

Warrick and Brass go to Pigalle and question Lou, who claims BB worked for him at his auto detail business. Lou tells them that Jason used to bring his clients to Pigalle, but that he hasn't seen him in a week. When Warrick asks him about the trash trucks, Gedda ends the interrogation, saying the club makes him all the profit he needs. Warrick tracks down an agent who patronized the Pigalle with Jason, and he tells Warrick that after he refused to pay his inflated bill, Lou had him beat up, brought to the back room, tied him to a barber chair and castrated. He also tells Warrick that when he told Jason about his treatment, Jason called Lou and told him he was done doing business with him. Greg analyzes a gun Brody abandoned before he was killed and connects it to an unsolved murder from 1993. Grissom concludes that Brody was definitely a hitman, and Warrick thinks Gedda hired him to kill Jason. Warrick goes to Gedda's auto detail lot and finds a compressor, but Gedda chases him off before he can thoroughly investigate.

Back at the lab, Warrick combs through pictures and case files of victims of Gedda's brutality who dropped charges against him. Nick catches Warrick popping pills and confronts him, angrily throwing out the bottle. Warrick sees strap-like bruises on some of the victims, backing up the agent's story about a barber chair and hopes it's enough for a warrant. When a judge and then the under-sheriff deny Warrick's petition for a warrant, Warrick angrily confronts the under-sheriff, prompting Grissom to send him home. Rather than going home, Warrick goes to the Pigalle and orders three bottles of champagne, intending to refuse to pay for them and see what happens. He orders a lap dance from "Candy," a pretty stripper who catches his eye. Grissom is upset when he finds Warrick drunk at the club and orders him to leave. Warrick intends to see his plan through--until the bill arrives with "on the house" written on it. Warrick gets in a cab and follows "Candy" to another bar. He learns her name is Joanna, and beds her in an alcohol-induced haze. When he awakens, she's gone, so he returns to the Pigalle to pick up his car, only to find a new crime scene there. Grissom refuses to let him cross the tape: Joanna's dead body has been found in Warrick's car.

Analysis:

Oh, Warrick, you stupid man! By now, don't you know better than to pop pills on the job, go get drunk at a strip club and sleep with one of the dancers? Especially after those three bottles of champagne were on the house and Grissom busted you for being in the club. Poor Warrick--the end of his marriage is obviously hitting him hard, but I don't think I've ever seen a CSI go this far down a bad path. Even Sara's arrest for DUI in "Bloodlines" and her meltdown in "Nesting Dolls" when she earned a reprimand from Ecklie and got sent home from work pale in comparison to the mess Warrick has gotten himself into.

Warrick has been popping pills for a while now, and Nick puts it together for the audience when he confronts Warrick: the CSI is taking both uppers and downers, which is bound to mess with anyone's body chemistry. The casual way Warrick pops the pills at work--much the way unapologetically addicted Dr. House downs Vicodin on House--suggests that he's not intending to quit anytime soon. Nick witnesses this along with the audience, and wastes no time in confronting Warrick. The scene is handled incredibly well by both George Eads and Gary Dourdan; both men are clearly upset, but in Nick's case it comes from caring for his friend, and Warrick, angry as he is to be chastised, recognizes that Nick is concerned about him. Who but Nick would dare to toss Warrick's pills into the trash right in front of him? The beauty of the scene is that the men have the confrontation and then are able to go back to work. On some level, Warrick recognizes Nick's concerns as legitimate.

Warrick's marriage to Tina was troubled almost from the beginning. They wed sometime between seasons five and six and we briefly met Tina in "Shooting Stars". But by the penultimate episode of the season, "Bang Bang", the couple was already having trouble. Warrick caught Tina in a lie while working on a case, and his first response was to toss her out. They apparently reconciled at some point, but it obviously didn't last. The divorce is clearly a bitter, ugly one--Warrick makes a reference on the phone to Tina carrying another man's child. Ouch. That certainly puts a finality on the whole "will they reconcile again at some point?" question. One has to wonder if Tina got herself pregnant before or after she and Warrick split for good. Either way, he's clearly done with her.

Film director William Friedkin makes his mark on the episode, and his direction is at its most vibrant in the scene where Warrick and Joanna have sex in the hotel room. The scene plays out like a drug trip, with a bright white background and vibrant colors assailing the viewers' eyes. A quick flash of Joanna dead, her throat cut and blood spilling down her body, alerts the audience that something has gone horribly awry. Warrick wakes up in the bed alone and heads back to the club to pick up his car, only to be greeted by the site of police cars and crime tape--and Grissom telling him to stay outside the scene, pointing out the body in his car.

Warrick is horrified by the sight: talk about a bad end to a bad day. Dourdan conveys Warrick's horror with passion; when he catches sight of Joanna's dead body in his car, he screams, "No, this is wrong! She didn't do anything!" Warrick's bender threatens to have serious consequences: not only is his career in jeopardy after Grissom's disapproval of his behavior, but now he's the prime suspect in Joanna's murder. How's Warrick going to get out of this one?

Warrick is hardly the first CSI to fall under suspicion of killing someone, either through intent or carelessness. Nick himself was suspected of murder under surprisingly similar circumstances in "Boom". Nick's circumstances were somewhat similar, minus the mob: he slept with Kristy, a prostitute he'd been helping out, only to wake alone and later discover she's dead. The circumstances are awfully similar, and even though eight seasons worth of episodes separate the entries, they have a lot in common--maybe too much. Both Nick and Warrick (presumably) are being framed for murders of women working in the sex industry (one as a prostitute, the other a stripper) after sleeping with them. It's a "punishment" of sorts for the men, but a worse one for the women, as it so often is.

Grissom isn't very sympathetic to Warrick's plight, even when Warrick levels with him, mentioning his divorce and the recent disjointedness in the team now that Sara's left. Grissom doesn't react to Warrick's comment about Sara's departure, telling him bluntly not to screw things up at work. Was Grissom irritated that Warrick used Sara's exit as an excuse for his tardiness, or does Grissom simply think that if he can soldier on in the face of Sara's absence, then Warrick should be able to put his personal problems aside and do his job? Grissom's mood in the episode goes from irritation to full out anger when he sends Warrick after Warrick confronts the under-sheriff over the warrant for Gedda's office.

Greg provides enough background info that we know Gedda is a pretty bad guys before we even meet him. This is Greg's second reference to the book he's writing, after he first brought it up in "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp" while investigating what turned out to be a very old mob murder alongside Sara. Is Greg's book the real thing? He certainly is a fount of information on classic Las Vegas and the mobsters who built it up. And, as is mentioned in the episode, those mobsters did make Vegas. Greg's always had a fascination with mob history in Vegas, so it makes sense that he'd be delving into a project that would teach him more about the subject. And let's face it: if he actually gets that book published, seeing the team's reaction will be priceless.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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