CSI: Crime Scene Investigation--'King Baby'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 21, 2005 - 9:49 PM GMT

See Also: 'King Baby' Episode Guide

Note: Viewer Discretion Advised warning was given with this episode.


A high profile case lands in the laps of the swing shift CSIs when Bruce Eiger, a wealthy, sixty-year-old casino owner is found dead on his own driveway. Catherine is none too pleased that Ecklie has put Grissom in charge of the case. Ecklie wants to stay on the other side of the crime tape and deal with the press, but not get involved with the high profile case himself. Warrick notices contusions and cracked teeth on Eiger, and Grissom surmises that the man fell from a balcony onto the driveway.

While Ecklie caters to the press, Brass questions Donna Eiger, who admits to rolling her husband's body over when she found him and putting boxer shorts on him. Grissom finds Donna's car in the garage, and puzzles over why the woman would pull her car into the garage and shut it off after finding the body of her husband. Further down on the driveway, Sara notices fresh oil from a leak, and surmises that someone less wealthy than the Eigers was present recently. Up on the balcony, Nick and Warrick show Catherine two greasy hand prints on the railing. There's no sign of struggle in the hall. In Eiger's office, the CSIs find a mix of milk and scotch, a half-smoked Cuban cigar and greasy prints on the desk.

Back at the morgue, Robbins shows Grissom and Sofia signs of rectal penetration on Eiger as well as something that resembles diaper rash. The cause of death was asphyxia--Eiger survived the fall, though his neck was broken. He might have lived had Donna Eiger not rolled him over. After the post, Grissom tells Sofia he's glad she stayed, but they're interrupted by Catherine, who is irritated that the post was done in her absence. She soon has another problem on her hands: when she goes to process the crime scene photos, she finds someone has stolen the photo card from her camera.

Ecklie tells Grissom that Eiger was hated by many, and no one knows just how many people he had dirt on. Brass and Greg question Sy Magli, a casino owner who was one of Eiger's main rivals. They traced several phone calls from Eiger's house to Sy's phone, but the calls weren't to Eiger, but to his wife, Donna, with whom Sy was having an affair. Back at the lab, Catherine tells Grissom that her photos were stolen, and he sends her back to the scene to retake whatever shots she can. Hodges tells Nick that Eiger used Brewer's ointment on his diaper rash and that his stomach contents were all milk.

At the Eiger mansion, Catherine comes across Donna Eiger washing away the blood on the driveway with a hose. Catherine stops her and begins photographing while Donna receives a break-up call from Sy. She rebuffs Catherine's attempts to console her. Catherine goes over the Eigers' trash and finds rolled up carpet from the office inside, which she takes back to the lab. In it, she and Warrick discover a large, adult-sized diaper with blood on it. Catherine also finds a bloody shoe. Warrick runs the carpet and finds hand prints and feces on it. Grissom, Catherine, Nick and Warrick take the carpet back to the office and discover a secret entry to a crawlspace, which leads to a gigantic nursery, sized for an adult. Nick discovers a woman's nursing dress, while Warrick takes note of a massive security system, which indicates the nursery was once a panic room. Grissom finds a logo, 'Forever Baby,' on one of the bottles he discovers.

Back at the lab, Mia tells Catherine the blood on the diaper was Eiger's as was the urine, which she sent off to for a tox screen. Greg calls Catherine over--her crime photos are on the news. An irritated Ecklie decides to call the station to get the photos and the name of the source. Meanwhile, Grissom and Nick pay a visit to Forever Baby, where one of the saleswomen explains the adult baby phenomenon to Grissom. At the station, Catherine and Brass recover the crime photos from Fox Harris, who took the card from Catherine's camera. He worked for Sy Magli and was trying to get dirt on Eiger for the man, but when he couldn't, Magli had Harris take photos of him and Donna.

Mia tells Warrick the liquid in the bottles from Eiger's nursery was human breast milk, but it wasn't from Donna Eiger. Sara and Nick open up the large box found in the nursery and discover a secret compartment filled with files on all sorts of Las Vegas high rollers, including Sy Magli, Sam Braun and even Sheriff Rory Atwater. There's one with no name, just the picture of a baby and the date 12/20/01. Warrick goes over the security logs from the Eiger house alarm system, noting that someone left the house just after Donna Eiger pulled into the garage. He also notices that Donna waited over an hour after coming home to call the police. Grissom and Catherine examine the crime scene photos, noting a gap in the blood spray that could be consistent with a woman's shoe getting in the way. Their suspicions turn back to Donna Eiger. She admits she didn't try to help him; instead, she stood by and watched him die. If she had saved him, he would have been a quadriplegic, and she would have had to take care of him for the rest of his life, something she knows he would have loved. She knew he hired a "babysitter" when she went out, but didn't know any details.

Catherine reports that the tox screen results indicated there was LSD in Eiger's diapers. Sara has the results on the oil leakage on the driveway: it came from a Lamborghini. The car gives the CSIs a lead: Sy Magli just gave a Lamborghini to Tanya Rawlings, a young lounge singer at his hotel. Sy says he knew Tanya and Eiger were sleeping together, but Tanya called him one night and told him she wanted out. Catherine and Brass question Tanya, whose fingerprints are all over the nursery. The CSIs also found LSD in her purse. Tanya admits she put LSD in the enema bottle that night. He started acting crazy, ran out of the nursery and jumped off the balcony. She says Eiger got her pregnant and took her baby away to give to his mother until Tanya launched her career; then he took her to his nursery and showed her his baby fantasy. After five years, he still hadn't returned her baby to her.

Brass questions Bruce's mother Daphne, who has never seen Tanya's child. Later he learns that Bruce put the child up for adoption after it was born and had no intention of ever returning it to Tanya.


Let's face it: CSI is at the top of its game when it tackles out-of-the-ordinary sex rituals, habits or inclinations. Something about Grissom's raised eyebrow and Catherine's baffled expression when the pair encounter something that shocks even their hardened sensibilities mirrors the audience's reaction so well. Everything is taken in stride, but the CSIs always manage to get a few cracks or puns in that are perfectly in line with the show's laconic approach to the underbelly of Vegas. These investigators may think they've seen it all before, but when they encounter something they haven't, their reaction is delightfully understated.

The case opens in pure scandal style, with the CSIs having to work while the news crews try to get all the information they can about what's happened. Ecklie shines here--it's clear he's in his element. The man is a born politician, and an oily one at that, and his refusal to cross the crime tape and work on the scene shows just how crafty he is. Again, he sends Grissom in, figuring if the case goes poorly, Grissom can take the fall, and if it doesn't Ecklie can take the glory because as we all know by now, Grissom is completely unable to play the political game. Marc Vann turns in another fine performance as the man we love to hate.

Unlike Grissom, Catherine clearly does want to play the political game. She's frustrated and angry when Ecklie calls Grissom in to be the lead on the Eiger case, which she feels should be hers. It's hard to tell whether Ecklie really didn't want Catherine as the lead on the high profile case, or whether he was viewing it as another opportunity to further diminish Grissom's credibility if the case went south. The irony is, of course, that it's Catherine who ends up in trouble when her pictures of the crime scene are stolen from her digital camera.

A Google search for "adult baby" proves this fetish is just as real as the others the CSIs have encountered. The fact that Eiger ended up jumping on his own power, with some encouragement from Tanya, was a somewhat surprising reveal, but Tanya's involvement wasn't. The camera lingered on her at Sy's casino twice, clueing the audience in that she had to be involved somehow. That she wouldn't have sought legal recourse when her baby was taken from her is hard to believe, but the rest of the case flows pretty smoothly.

According to Marg Helgenberger, the characters of Sofia Curtis and Mia Dickerson were brought in to reinforce the idea that the original CSI cast is largely replaceable (story), but if that's so, I don't think the network's case has been proved. Sofia's main attribute is that she's a catalyst for getting Grissom to think outside the sometimes rigid box he's constructed. She also seems to be making Sara pretty jealous. Mia is quirky and interesting, but much of her character's purpose seems to be to flirt warily with Warrick, delaying the hinted at Catherine/Warrick relationship. Neither works as a replacement for any of the main cast, nor does it seem either will be sticking around for long: Louise Lombard is expecting a baby soon, and Aisha Tyler, who is currently pulling double-duty over on 24, is working on developing her own show. Replacing regular cast members is not so easy as CBS would have the current cast believe.

On a lighter note, though, I'm pleased to see the CSI shows providing work for former Sunset Beach actors. Don't remember Sunset Beach? It was Aaron Spelling's short-lived foray into daytime television, and it was unapologetically fun fluff. Susan Ward, who played Tanya in this episode and Ginger in Miami's "Hell Night", is an alum, as is Sarah Buxton, who appeared in two CSI episodes, "Eleven Angry Jurors" and the series' 100th episode, "Ch-Ch-Changes". Even New York is getting in on the Sunset Beach action--two-time guest star Kelly Hu also spent a year on the soaper.

Next week: Grissom and co. search for a killer at a plus-size convention.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.