Cool Change
Cool Change
Season 1
Number 2
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Michael Watkins
Original Airdate October 13, 2000
Previous Episode: Pilot
Next Episode: Crate 'n Burial

Cool Change is the second episode in Season One of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


After the shooting that has left Holly Gribbs fighting for her life, Jim Brass is demoted to homicide and Gil Grissom is made Graveyard Shift supervisor. Catherine Willows vows to solve Gribbs's case and is irritated when Grissom brings in Sara Sidle from San Francisco to investigate Warrick Brown's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Grissom and Nick Stokes investigate the death of a 40-million-dollar slot machine winner who appears to have committed suicide by jumping from a building.


At the casino inside the Hotel Monaco, guest Ted Sallenger is egged on by his girlfriend Jamie to play the slots for a chance to win $40 million in a contest held by the casino. Though less than convinced of their chances, Ted wins the jackpot, much to Jamie's delight. The casino's security chief, Elias Templeton, upgrades Ted and Jamie to the hotel's presidential suite and escorts them there personally. Jamie initially is still euphorically happy, but is flabbergasted when Ted tells her to leave, pressing the point that he, a millionaire now, shouldn't be wasting his time with her. Before Jamie can respond, someone at the door knocks, identifying themselves as room service.

The next morning, Gil Grissom arrives at the Monaco on a crime-scene call, all the while on the phone to someone asking to be kept apprised of Holly Gribbs' condition. The victim is the jackpot winner, Ted Sallenger, dead from a 150-foot drop from the hotel's upper floors, according to the lead investigator on the case, Detective Barns. Though Barns is mindful of the presumed “curse” of the Monaco sweepstakes since the last four winners turned up dead or missing, Grissom is quick to deem them a coincidence as he'd worked those cases. As Barns advises Grissom that Sallenger's girlfriend is upstairs in custody, Grissom deduces that Sallenger's death was not a suicide, since he was wearing his prescription eyeglasses. Jumpers, Grissom explains, take their glasses off because they don't want to watch themselves die.

Grissom returns to the lab and to a larger-than-normal stack of messages from the lab's receptionist. He then proceeds to Jim Brass' office, which Brass is in the process of cleaning out. Brass has been removed from command of the lab and transferred to the homicide division, with Grissom assigned to replace him. Brass leaves him with the parting words, “Cover your ass, and hide. They're all yours, pal.”

Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, and a distraught Warrick Brown watch a news report in the break room on Holly's shooting. As Catherine and Nick confront Warrick on why he would have left Holly alone, Grissom arrives to brief the team on Holly's shooting and announce his reassignment as lab supervisor. Grissom then briefs them on the Monaco jumper case, which he takes himself, and he assigns Holly's shooting to Nick. Catherine protests and asks for Holly's case, since she had convinced Holly not to quit. Grissom relents, then informs the team that Sara Sidle, a CSI from San Francisco, would be arriving to handle the internal investigation into Warrick's actions. After Grissom reassigns Nick to back him up on the Sallenger case, Warrick asks Grissom to reinstate him, but Grissom instead advises him to use his administrative leave time to get his story straight before Sara arrives.

Catherine arrives at the Martin Luther King Apartment Complex where Holly was shot. Her initial findings determine that Holly had fired back at her attacker. Catherine also finds a pager beeping under a couch.

At the morgue, medical examiner Dr. Jenna Williams confirms to Grissom and Nick that Ted Sallenger did not take his own life. Tiny shards of black glass were found in defensive wounds on Sallenger's wrist.

At the Monaco's presidential suite, Grissom and Nick find a shattered champagne bottle, the apparent source of the glass shards, leading to a cursory hypothesis that Jamie attacked Sallenger with the bottle after room service had delivered it. They also find a blood trail and blood-soaked towels.

In the lab's interrogation room, Jamie confirms she attacked Sallenger with the bottle, but that Ted left the room to get medical attention for his wounds. Nick confirms from the hotel security logs that the only time the suite's card key was used was when Elias Templeton opened it for the two of them. And since Jamie was not married to Ted, she had no financial motive for killing him since she wouldn't inherit the contest winnings. Grissom surmises that Sallenger didn't fall from his hotel balcony, but the hotel's roof.

In the lab's break room, Warrick finishes checking in on Holly's condition, but then receives a call from Judge Cohen. Cohen is livid that Warrick bet on the wrong team on his behalf and demands they meet at “the spot.”

Grissom and Nick arrive at the roof of the Monaco to implement an experiment Grissom dubs “Operation Norman.” To the delight and applause of a watching crowd, Grissom watches as Nick drops three crash dummies on the ground in front of the hotel. Grissom then takes photographs of the three dummies, each one dropped by different means to determine how each would land if pushed, if jumped, or if fallen. As Grissom compares his findings and determines that Ted Sallenger was pushed off the roof, he is joined by Sara Sidle, who teases Grissom for employing old-school methodology in favor of computer simulation. The subject then changes to that of Holly Gribbs, whom Grissom says is still in surgery and isn't doing well.

Warrick meets Judge Cohen to pay him back on the botched wager, but only has $4,000 out of the $10,000 he owes him. Cohen listens to none of Warrick's excuses and gives him an hour to pay him back.

Sara arrives at the lab and meets Catherine, who at first is reluctant to work with her. Sara convinces her to help her find Holly Gribbs' shooter, and Catherine brings her in the loop as she tries to trace the usage on the pager. Sara then asks Catherine where Warrick can be found.

Meanwhile, Nick and Grissom are reviewing the security camera footage of Ted Sallenger's winning slot pull. The CSIs find that, just before Sallenger sat at the machine, another man had been sitting at the same machine for over eleven hours. Grissom has Nick call the slot host to get the other man's name off his slot redemption card.

Catherine consults with ballistics specialist Bobby Dawson on an elimination match on Holly's service weapon. The two are shocked to learn that Holly was in fact shot with her own gun.

At the Monaco casino, Nick and Grissom find the other man who'd used the contest-winning slot machine, a man named Red Carlton. Grissom sits down to play alongside him, noticing the unique dust on his pants that could only have come from the hotel's roof. As Carlton is taken away by uniforms, Grissom hits a jackpot. Grissom hands Nick a tub and tells him to collect his winnings as a “CSI-3 initiation.”

Warrick is found by Sara at another casino playing blackjack, and interrupts his game to talk to him. Sara takes Warrick to a cafe nearby and questions him on his reasoning for leaving Holly alone, already fully aware that Warrick's gambling took him away from the crime scene. When Warrick attempts to justify his actions, Sara stops him cold by the news that Holly Gribbs died on the operating table twenty minutes earlier, leaving him shocked. The rest of the CSI are then seen struggling to come to terms with the devastating news.

In the lab break room, Sara and Catherine are in the midst of getting drinks when the pager Catherine found begins beeping. Catherine dials the number on her cellphone and reaches Jerrod Cooper, the pager's owner and Holly's presumed killer. Without revealing her identity, Catherine sets up a meeting with Jerrod at a motel.

Nick and Grissom have Red Carlton in the interrogation room, questioning him about his contact with Ted Sallenger. Carlton explains that he'd met Sallenger and confronted him about winning the jackpot on “his” machine. Sallenger offered to buy him drinks as consolation, but Carlton switched to coffee while Sallenger continued drinking. Carlton admits to being on the roof, but says he went there to take his own life rather than Sallenger's, but couldn't go through with it. Grissom asks Carlton to wait in the room while they examine Sallenger's shoes for roof dust, which would confirm whether Carlton pushed Sallenger off the roof.

At the motel where Jerrod Cooper agreed to meet Catherine, LVPD officers led by Brass are clearing rooms just as Sara and Catherine arrive. Jerrod is found and handcuffed, but Catherine notices a scratch above his eye. As Sara suggests getting a DNA sample, Catherine broadcasts a general message over her radio that Holly Gribbs' murderer has been caught.

As Warrick hears Catherine's broadcast at the parking garage, he is met by Judge Cohen, whom he gives the last of the money he owes him. Judge Cohen, however, is not content with calling things even between the two of them. Cohen informs Warrick that the two are now “in bed” together as a result of their gambling activities, and that Warrick is now beholden to him whether he likes it or not.

Grissom is waiting outside the autopsy lab as Catherine arrives to get a DNA sample from Holly's corpse, offering his aid if she needs it. Catherine declines with thanks, then proceeds into autopsy to collect the tissue scrapings from Holly's fingernails, after which Catherine tells Holly she's sorry.

Grissom and Nick examine Ted Sallenger's shoes and find no trace of roof dust on them, confirming Red Carlton's story and eliminating him as a suspect. They then find fibers in the wristband of the expensive wristwatch Sallenger bought himself. Nick leaves to return to the Monaco's presidential suite to compare the fibers against the room's carpeting, and Grissom tells him to pick Jamie back up on the way back. The possibility that Sallenger was dragged along the carpet, Grissom explains, has now reestablished Jamie as a suspect.

Grissom meets with Dr. Williams, who found a diamond-shaped impression on the back of Ted Sallenger's scalp. Whatever the weapon was, Dr. Williams explains, killed Ted Sallenger with a single blow.

In the DNA lab, Greg Sanders reports to Catherine and Sara that the scrapings from Holly's nails match Jerrod Cooper's DNA conclusively.

As Nick compares the fibers to a swatch of the Monaco suite's carpet, Grissom searches the presidential suite and finds a candle holder with a playing card suit design on the side. A luminol test on the carpet near the balcony finds more blood stains, which Grissom calls in to Nick.

Grissom then meets with Elias Templeton to perform an experiment on the presidential suite's door lock. Grissom uses the cardkey to open the door, but Templeton's security team reports that the door opening did not register on the room's security log.

Grissom and Nick confront Jamie with their findings in the lab's interrogation room: Sallenger returns to the suite after having drinks with Carlton, only to be killed by Jamie with the candle holder and dumped off the balcony. She then cleaned the carpet, but left the bloody towels in plain view, claiming Sallenger's wounds from the initial attack with the wine bottle as her alibi. Jamie doesn't protest and allows herself to be arrested, showing no remorse for her actions.

Grissom finds Warrick seated in a hallway in the lab and sits next to him. He tells Warrick that he has been ordered to fire him on the grounds that he violated procedure by leaving Holly alone. Warrick hands Grissom his sidearm and ID, confessing that he had left her alone to place the bet. Grissom then tells Warrick he doesn't want to lose someone else after already losing Holly, then hands him back his gun and ID.

A handcuffed Jerrod Cooper is led to a squad car by Brass as Grissom and his entire team look on in the parking lot. As Cooper is transported away, each member of the team leaves for home, except for a heavy-hearted Warrick, who remains in the parking lot, contemplative.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
  • Gerald McCullouch as Bobby Dawson
  • Judith Scott as Jenna Williams
  • Harrison Young as Judge Cohen
  • Chandra West as Holly Gribbs
  • Garland Whitt as Jerrod Cooper
  • Paula Francis as News Anchor
  • Jeff Snyder as Officer Smith
  • Tim De Zarn as Red Carlton
  • Ellen Crawford as Lt. Jane Gribbs
  • Johnny Messner as Ted Sallenger
  • Timilee Romolini as Jamie Smith
  • Zach Johnson as Detective Barns
  • Darnell Suttles as Elias Templeton
  • Rocky McMurray as Surveillance Director

Major Events[]

  • Sara Sidle is introduced in this episode, replacing Holly.
  • Holly Gribbs dies during her operation. 
  • Captain Brass is transferred to Homicide as a detective.
  • Grissom is promoted to Night Shift supervisor. 

Episode Title[]

  • Cool Change may refer to a cold front as the leading edge of a cooler mass of air that replaces a warmer mass of air, i.e Sara arriving in Las Vegas to replace Holly Gribbs after her death.


  • During the final backflash of Ted Sallenger's murder when his girlfriend is dragging him to the balcony you can see the green screens out the window where the editing team would normally display the Las Vegas skyline.


  • This is Jorja Fox's first appearance as Sara Sidle.
  • Jorja Fox is billed after Marg Helgenberger in the opening credits.
  • Chandra West's (Holly Gribbs) final appearance is in this episode.
  • Holly Gribbs is one of only four cast members who have been killed off in an episode. Other CSI's killed off onscreen include Michael Keppler (played by Liev Schreiber) in "Law of Gravity", Warrick Brown (played by Gary Dourdan) in "For Gedda" and Julie "Fin" Finlay (played by Elisabeth Shue) in "The End Game." All the others either resigned or were transferred from their respective positions. 

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 1
PilotCool ChangeCrate 'n BurialPledging Mr. JohnsonFriends & LoversWho Are You?Blood DropsAnonymousUnfriendly SkiesSex, Lies and LarvaeI-15 MurdersFahrenheit 932BoomTo Halve and to HoldTable StakesToo Tough to DieFace Lift$35K O.B.O.Gentle, GentleSounds of SilenceJustice is ServedEvaluation DayStrip Strangler