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CSI: New York--'Crime And Misdemeanor'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at April 14, 2005 - 8:31 PM GMT

See Also: 'Crime and Misdemeanor' Episode Guide


At a cleaning facility, a woman's body is found wrapped in a set of hotel sheets. When Mac and Stella arrive on the scene, Flack laments that there are upwards of 70,000 hotel rooms in New York City. Dr. Hawkes looks at the young woman's body and tells the CSIs her throat was cut. Stella notices the logo 'Lynford' on the sheets. Stella decides to start with the missing persons database while Mac starts to process the sheets.

Across town, some Swedish tourists have been greeted with an unpleasant surprise: when one posed for a picture with a human statue, the statue fell over dead. Officer Omar Lilly tells Danny and Aiden that the man, who painted himself entirely in silver, would stand in position for seven our eight hours a day. Danny notices the man was wearing support braces beneath his clothes. When they take his body to Dr. Hawkes, the medical examiner shows Danny scars on the man's body as well as his tooth decay. Danny finds a fast food receipt dated from the night before.

In the lab, Chad Willingham shows Mac that the sheets the woman was wrapped were 100 thread count Egyptian cotton, used in only five of the Lynford hotels. Hawkes tells Stella that the woman's last meal was expensive Almas caviar served at only three of the Lynford hotels. Only one Lynford hotel offers both the sheets and the caviar: the Dunsmore, home to UN delegates. One delegate ordered caviar the night before: Robert Costa of Tescara, a small Atlantic island. Costa and his three attaches, Tony Garcia, Tom Martin and Frank Barret, seem unconcerned by the CSIs' presence, though Robert asks to see the warrant. Frank Barret ignores Flack when the detective talks to him, but it's due to his hearing problems rather than any disrespect. Mac and Stella go over the hotel room, which appears to have been thoroughly cleaned. They think to flip the mattress and Mac discovers blood on the springs beneath the mattress covering.

Flack pulls Robert's records and learns he was accused of raping and murdering a co-ed, Susan Young, ten years ago when he was in college. Tony, Frank and Tom all took the stand on Robert's behalf and he's employed them ever since. Flack confronts Robert with the news that the blood in the mattress matches the dead woman and Mac promises they'll track her back to the diplomat. Robert admits to meeting her at a function and says he took her back to his room, but he claims the blood on the mattress is menstrual blood.

Hawkes has an ID on the human statue: John Hawkins, but he also tells the CSI that Hawkins died of natural causes. He adds that Hawkins has been dead for 48 hours, meaning someone posed him. Hawkes even notes that the man's face was shaved after he died. Aiden thinks the case is over--posing a dead body would only be a misdemeanor, but Danny isn't ready to let it go, even once Man tells him to drop it.

Chad is going over evidence from the dumpster, including a green dress and a broken champagne bottle. He also has an ID on the victim: Jenny Lee from Wyoming. Stella tracks down Jenny's college roommate who tells her that the girl gave up her dance studies at Julliard to pursue European men. Back in the lab, Mac reassembles the champagne bottle, which he suspects is the murder weapon. There are two distinct blood patterns on the bottle. Stella informs him that Jenny's blood alcohol level was elevated, and that she'd also been given roofies, a common date rape drug. Meanwhile, Danny, with Aiden's help, is still pursuing the Hawkins case. He learns Officer Lilly had the man arrested nine times, which both CSIs find excessive.

Jane tells Mac that one of the blood samples on the champagne bottle is Jenny's, while the other belongs to Tom Martin, Robert's driver. Tom was arrested for knocking around a girlfriend four years ago. Mac and Stella confront the man, who they suspect may have been seeing Jenny. Tom claims Robert and Jenny hooked up and then she wandered off to find someone to party with afterwards. Stella laments that they haven't been able to find roofies in the hotel room when Mac thinks to check the men individually. Sure enough, Tony Garcia was carrying roofies when he entered the country and was allowed to keep them because he claimed it was a prescription for sleeping problems. Tony denies any involvement and reiterates his loyalty to Robert.

Danny confronts Lilly about the arrests, but Lilly tells him that Hawkins was a homeless man that he had arrested so that he would have a warm place to sleep. He's surprised when Danny tells him that it was Hawkins under the silver makeup. Back at the lab, Hawkes tells Stella that there is champagne laces with roofies on Jenny's body, and the only saliva samples come from Robert. Jane tells her Robert would have passed out, meaning he wouldn't have been able to kill Jenny. She also shows Stella that a ring Jenny wore had epithelials from a female relative of Robert's--a grandmother. Robert was in love with Jenny. In the AV lab, Danny and Aiden look at surveillance pictures of the human statue from the day he was found dead and two days prior to that. Aiden measures the ulna to the femur proportion on both pictures and finds they don't match up. The pictures feature two different men.

Mac and Stella put Chad under a dummy to figure out the positions of Jenny and Robert the night she died and based on how the blood pattern the mock blood on Chad makes, they determine Jenny was lying on top of Robert when she was murdered. Mac confronts Robert with the knowledge that while Susan Young meant nothing to him, Robert loved Jenny. Robert denies being the one who killed her, but Mac suspects he knows who did kill her. Stella finds the same print on both the roofies sample and the champagne bottle, and it doesn't elong to either Robert or Tom.

Aiden finds another useless hair sample, covered in silver, and starts to get frustrated with what she's seeing as a dead end. Danny has a flash of inspiration and checks the man's shoes--if he was on his feet all day, he would have had special insoles. Sure enough, they have a serial number, which leads the CSIs to David Scott, the real human statue. It turns out he found John dead when he brought him food and saw an opportunity to take a day off by having John stand in for him.

Mac and Stella go back to the hotel room and search the closet where they believe the killer watched Robert and Jenny from. He waited for them to pass out and then slit Jenny's throat. Mac finds a bloody hearing aid in the closet and the case comes together. Stella interrogates Frank Barret, the Costa aide with hearing difficulties. His prints were the ones on both the champagne bottle and the roofies. Stella matched the DNA sample to a semen sample from Susan Young--Frank and Susan were lovers. Finally Frank starts talking: Robert wanted Susan, but she didn't want him so he raped and killed her. Stella is disgusted: Frank killed Jenny, an innocent girl, for revenge.

Their case closed, Aiden heads out of the lab dressed for a date, possibly with Omar Lilly, whom she flirted with earlier. Danny is about to head out as well, but Mac stops him and confronts him about not dropping the case when Mac ordered him to. Mac tells Danny he has to learn he's not a "one man army," but Danny brushes him off and storms off. The men exchange dark looks before Danny leaves.


Delegates from foreign countries don't fare well on CSI shows. On CSI: Miami, the Cruz brothers made life difficult for Horatio Caine in "Blood Brothers" and "Identity", and now we have a diplomat from the fictional island of Tescara who got away with murder in New York ten years ago. While Clavo Cruz hid behind his father's diplomatic immunity, Robert Costa apparently didn't have that luxury: Flack mentioned he was on trial for the murder of Susan Young ten years before but the testimony of three of his friends got him off.

So why did Frank Bennet testify for Robert? Was his killing of Jenny Lee some sort of delayed reaction? One would think if he knew at the time it happened Robert raped and killed the woman he loved, Frank would have taken the easier, less criminal way out and testified against his friend. Stella is justifiably disgusted: another innocent woman had to die, and Robert is still alive. Frank is the only one going to jail--with double jeopardy, Robert will never be brought to justice for the murder of Susan Young. Frank would have been far wiser to just kill Robert if he decided to opt out of doing the right thing by testifying against the man ten years ago.

That said, "Crime and Misdemeanor" is an entertaining episode. Though it is clear early on that Robert or one of his henchmen did Jenny in, all four men remain viable suspects throughout the episode. The "misdemeanor" case is intriguing too, and its resolution is somehow fitting. It truly is a misdemeanor--there's no doubt it was sick, but it's hard not to chuckle when David Scott tells the CSIs in a satisfied, peaceful voice that he did absolutely nothing on his day off.

The dynamic between Mac and Danny grows more intriguing as time goes on. Was Danny wrong to pursue the misdemeanor even after Mac told him to drop it? No doubt. It's hard not to sympathize with Danny when has good intentions, though--the character has a natural earnestness about him, and I believe his motives were pure--he genuinely wanted to find out who posed John Hawkins' body and to learn if the perpetrator had ill-intentions. The look on his face when David Scott confesses he just wanted a day off clues the viewer in that he knows he should have let the case drop.

Not that he'll admit that to Mac. Just as Danny kept the knowledge of how deeply involved he was with the Tanglewood boys from his mentor, he is completely unwilling to open up to Mac here and admit he was mistaken and should have followed Mac's order. Their body language in their scene is interesting; despite the fact that Danny is being defiant, his posture is almost defensive, with slumped shoulders and a rigid back. Something about his posture made me think of a child afraid he was going to be hit. Mac on the other hand, stands firm--as confrontational and as angry as we've ever seen him, there's something decidedly aggressive about his stance.

Gary Sinise and Carmine Giovinazzo play the scene perfectly. Sinise radiates anger with an undercurrent of disappointment: he seems genuinely surprised that Danny defied him. Giovinazzo conveys Danny's defensiveness but peppers it with a hang-dog air, getting across the fact that Danny knows he did wrong. The incident clearly goes beyond work--this is personal for both of them. Both Sinise and Giovinazzo do a good job of playing up the mentor relationship between Mac and Danny.

It's notable that none of Mac's anger was directed at Aiden. No doubt he knows Danny and Aiden didn't pursue the Hawkins case on Aiden's mandate, but she did help Danny with it when perhaps she should have walked away. Vanessa Ferlito balances Giovinazzo well; she maintains a lighter tone while Danny gets very serious. They work well together, though I do hope we're not going to see the same pairings--Mac paired with Stella, Danny with Aiden--all the time. Shaking up the teams and mixing and matching partners makes things more interesting in general.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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