CSI: New York--'Hush'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 25, 2005 - 7:02 PM GMT

See Also: 'Hush' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

After a trucker is shot when some teens try to steal his truck, Flack calls Mac and Stella to the scene. The driver is wounded but alive; however, there's a pulverized body in the back of his truck. Or rather, half a body, as Hawkes, armed with a spatula, tells the CSIs. The manager at the truck facility, Kevin Hannigan, is angry about the CSIs' interference with his business, but he sends on of the workers, Paul "Tiny" Wojewedski, to help them find out where the flatbed had been prior to being stolen.

Danny and Aiden arrive at another scene, where they're irritated to find Detective Vicaro, who asks them to identify themselves. Danny gives him attitude and he and Aiden climb under the tape, where they find the body of a naked dead woman in the woods, a little bit off the road. Aiden notices headlight glass on the ground, and Danny sees the bark of a nearby tree is bloody and broken, as well as skid marks. Danny wonders if the woman was a hitchhiker, but as Aiden points out, who hitchhikes naked?

Paul gets the tracking code and gives Stella and Mac the printout of where the container has been for the last twelve hours. Along with Hawkes, the CSIs examine the various flatbeds until they come across one with blood on the side. They open it up and discover the other half of the body. Hawkes takes it back to the morgue, where Danny and Aiden are waiting for his take on the body in their case. Hawkes isn't able to identify her, but he does point out ligature marks that indicate she was restrained--they're in a candy cane pattern up and down her body, and are too even to be from either duct tape or rope. Vicaro has located the vehicle from the case: it's an F-150 in impound with an odd apparatus strapped to the front of it. The apparatus turns out to be harness with a button on the bottom of it. Inside the car they find a latex suit, straps and a red ball with teeth marks on it--the woman was strapped, upside down, to the harness on the front of the car. Danny also finds glass on the passenger side, but it doesn't seem to be from any of the car's windows.

Hawkes reassembles the body he refers to as "spatula man." Stella has an ID: Paddy Dolan, a longshoreman. Hawkes says Dolan was crushed to death, but points out an ante-mortem knife wound. Dolan was stabbed before he was crushed. Mac and Stella head back to the docks, where they question the men who worked for Paddy: Manny Moraga, Sean Bally and Mike Prineman. The men are wary of being questioned--only Mike speaks out against Dolan, calling him lazy. He says Dolan collected a big check for doing no work. Mike won't say any more--he's afraid of losing his job and has a family to support. Mac notices Mike is carrying a knife and collects it to test.

Danny and Aiden arrive at the house of Ron Bogda, who owns the F-150 from the impound. He identifies a photograph of the victim as his wife Debbie, and claims they led separate lives during the week as she worked and staying in Manhattan. The CSIs notice a cut above his eye, which Ron claims he got when his daughter kicked a soccer ball into his face and shattered his glasses. Aiden tells Ron they need to take his glasses, and she and Danny head back to the lab. Lab tech Chad Willingham compares the glass from Ron's glasses and the glass from the car and determines that they don't match.

Mike's knife isn't a match for Paddy's stab wound, either. Nor are any of the other workers' knives. Stella did find something interesting: insect eggs on Paddy's jeans. Mac, puzzled by Sean's spotless knife, questions the young man. Sean is bitter because Paddy intentionally hurt his hand with a forklift. Stella IDs the insect eggs: they came from the Southern Pine Beetle, which isn't native to New York. They go back to the dock and discover another body in another container: this one, a young African-American man. The man is identified as James Prineman, Mike's brother. He was killed by multiple blows to the head and his assailant was wearing brass knuckles. His clothes have the ame beetles as Paddy Dolan's had, but James has been dead for days, indicating he died before Paddy did.

Danny and Aiden get a print off of the latex suit: it matches a woman named Jennifer Stupaine. The CSIs pay Jennifer a visit and find Jennifer and her husband John hosting a forniphilia instruction seminar for safe bondage practice. They mistake Danny and Aiden for a couple they're expecting, the Andersons, and begin the session. A man known as Garage Joe is their resident mechanic, but when he notices Aiden's badge, he flees. Danny and Aiden give chase but he gets away. When they get back to the Stupaine's residence, Aiden notices bruising under Jennifer's make-up. She takes her aside and photographs bruising on Jennifer's body, which appears to be from a car accident. Aiden notices a bruise that resembles a seat belt from the passenger side of a car. She photographs John as well, but he has no such bruising on his body.

Mac is upset when he learns that Mike Prineman has been fired--he feels responsible. He and Stella go to Paddy's apartment where they find stolen merchandise from various shipments. Stella also finds three thousand dollars stashed away. Mac finds a pair of brass knuckles and concludes that Paddy killed Mike's brother. Stella also finds a bloody shirt. The CSIs track down the workers at a local bar, looking for Mike, but the guys deny seeing him and leave. They show James and Paddy's pictures to the bartender, who admits he saw the yard workers having a disagreement. Paddy was extorting money from James, and Mike followed Paddy out when he left on the tail of James. They question Mike, who admits he followed Paddy out, but he claims he was just making sure his brother was all right.

In the lab, Danny and Aiden are examining some of Garage Joe's supplies, including a Robospanker and a set of metal stocks. Danny finds a hair on the stocks, which he identifies as belonging to one Joe Strahil. Danny and Detective Vicaro take a team to Joe Strahil, aka Garage Joe's, body shop where the man welding something. When he doesn't drop the propane torch, Danny tackles him and they bring him in. Joe admits to selling Debbie the harness, but says he was "tied up" the night she was killed. There are no seat belt bruises on his body.

Jane tells Stella she found two sets of DNA on the brass knuckles: one from James, and one from an unknown source. The skin cells don't match Paddy Dolan. Elsewhere in the lab, Danny and Aiden go back to the car, where they determine that the button at the bottom of the harness was a safety precaution, a way for the person strapped to the harness to alert the driver if he/she wanted to stop. Chad tells Danny and Aiden he's identified the glass as coming from a video camera. The CSIs search the Stupaine's house and find a Super8 camera among their things. They determine that Ron, Debbie's husband was the driver: he filmed Jennifer strapping Debbie in and drove the car, speeding until he lost control of the car and hit a tree, killing his wife.

Back at the docks, Mac and Stella realize that someone moved the container with James' body in so that it would be shipper out immediately, something only a boss could do. Just as they realize this, Stella pulls Mac out of the way of a flatbed moving to crush him. Kevin Hannigan is on the run, but Mac floors him and aims his weapon at the man. Hannigan was envious of Paddy, who was cutting deals with the men. He wanted to teach James a lesson and killed him accidentally. Paddy helped him clean up the mess and then blackmailed him; Kevin killed him and made it look like an accident. After Kevin is led away, Mac thanks Stella for saving his life. All's well that ends well: Mike Prineman gets his job back.

Analysis:

Where on earth would we be without the CSI shows to teach us about all the different sexual pecadillos out there? Fornifilia is real--I didn't have any doubt, but I Googled it anyway and found several sites with frequently asked questions about the practice, books and stories in which it features, and sites selling paraphenalia. Lots of people must go to Google after one of the CSI shows airs a sex-centered episode because the sponsored link is none other than CSI: NY's official website.

So, human furniture. Danny and Aiden have plenty of fun joking around about the various accessories they confiscate from Garage Joe, and it makes for some of the show's lighter, humorous moments. Danny and Aiden have a nice chemistry--an ease with each other than allows them to tease each other and be silly together, while still allowing them to get down to business when need be. There's a natural comfort between these two, a trust that mirrors the trust between Mac and Stella. They're younger versions of their more staid counterparts, and are often more fun to watch.

It does seem that Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes grow more comfortable with their roles as each week goes by. Sinise doesn't looks so grim all of the time, and Kanakaredes seems to realize that Stella's strength doesn't have to be expressed as hostility. They're becoming an attractive pair of leads, as appealing as Grissom and Catherine, in their own way. Like the pair from the original CSI, the man is more taciturn, while the woman is a force to be reckoned with. The similarities are just that, merely similarities: ultimately the characters aren't alike enough to feel like carbon copies, which is to the spin-off's benefit.

I love that Stella was the one who saved Mac in the truck yard. It's refreshing to see a cop show that doesn't cast the women in weak roles. I also enjoyed the chase at the end--it surprises me in the CSI shows that so many murderers are willing to just say "okay" or "all right" (one of those two phrases almost always precedes a confession) and admit to doing whatever the CSIs have figured out they did. It was refreshing to see someone run. Mark Sheppard, who played Kevin Hannigan, is always a delight--he plays the sullen rogue so well. He gives a lighter performance in Firefly, as the criminal middleman Badger.

Even though he didn't get much more to do than to run from Danny and Aiden and get tackled by Danny, it was fun to see Ted Raimi make an appearance in the episode as well. Raimi, who usually comes off as lovably dorky, managed to insert a bit of creepiness into Garage Joe as well, especially when Danny and Detective Vicaro came to arrest him, and he just stood there, holding the propane torch. Does it get any creepier?

The addition of two odd (possibly recurring?) characters left me scratching my head. What was with the decidedly weird Detective Vicaro and the equally bizarre lab tech Chad? While I think it's good to not have detectives and lab techs who are virtually interchangeable (besides Mia and Hodges, I can't identify a single lab tech on CSI and the same is true of the detectives), throwing in two strange characters in one episode is a little much. And they didn't charm so much as raise eyebrows.

It was exciting to see Hawkes get our of his morgue. Of all the characters, he's the least developed so far--even Flack has his witty quips to give the audience insight into his character. As it stands, I think Hawkes is a lot like Grissom: a man so fascinated by science that he's lost sight of the world around him. His fascination with his job makes him an enjoyable character to watch.

Next week: A movie mogul plunges to his death.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.