Dancing With The Fishes
Dancing with the Fishes
Season 2
Number 5
Writer Eli Talbert
Director John Peters
Original Airdate October 26, 2005
Previous Episode: Corporate Warriors
Next Episode: Youngblood

Dancing With The Fishes is the fifth episode in Season Two of CSI: NY.


Mac, Stella and Det. Flack investigate the death of a young dancer who seems to fall from the sky and crashes into a car near the Queensborough Bridge. The team learns that the young dancer was enrolled in a famous dance school and her fellow competitors seem the most likely suspects. Meanwhile, when a local fish merchant’s body is found, Danny and Dr. Hawkes trace him back to the recently relocated Fulton Fish Market where they discover that he was impaled by a swordfish. Their investigation leads them to a high-priced Manhattan private school where parents will pay any price to get their children enrolled. Also, Lindsay examines the death of a Roosevelt Island tram driver found dead on board by early morning commuters.


It is a beautiful NYC night and three motorcyclists are seen racing down Manhattan’s FDR Drive. One of the cyclists does a trick and a couple sees them. The man gets upset, saying they could have killed someone, while the woman just wants to get home safe, without getting killed themselves. Then a woman lands on their car. They swerve to a stop. Mac is on the scene taking photos. Flack is walking with Stella saying the chief of the traffic bureau wants the investigation to hurry up. Mac gets an ID as Flack and Stella come up. The girl is Kia Rowe. But Mac notes some defensive wounds. She was thrown by someone.

Mac and Stella are with the new coroner, Sid Hammerback. Sid is showing them Kia, and Stella is saying how she did not want to die, she put up a good fight. Sid shows them the wounds, they are clean. It was with a knife. Stella notices something under the nails, but Sid already sent a sample to Trace. He notifies them he found a fingernail on her shirt, though hers are manicured and intact. So that means it must be the killer's fingernail.

Stella notices that the girl was a dancer since she has hammertoe. Sid asks Stella if she was a dancer; she says she was mostly a student. Sid and she discuss dancing influences when Mac interrupts them after having checked out Kia's feet. There are some glass fragments on the soles of her feet. Sid has been picking them out all morning. Mac checks out the glass in the lab, while Stella is checking out the clothes and pictures.

The glass turns out to be borosilicate glass with titanium dioxide. Stella meanwhile found some notes and a lottery ticket in the girl's pockets. Flack meets Stella with some info detailing how she was a newcomer to the city, not even there a year. The notes turn out to be dance moves. She is explaining to Flack, and reads “This is Why You’re Here!” from the choreography sheet. Mac comes in; the glass was heat-resistant which leads him to believe it was stage lighting. Stella, after more checking out of the dance moves, thinks she has it nailed where that stage is. Stella does some dance moves, and Mac chuckles, but Stella says it was easy and that the steps on the sheet were not. Danny and Hawkes are in an alley at a DB; the body smells like fish. They inspect him and he has a large hole in his torso. No sign of struggle in the alley, so they think it was a dump job. The hole goes straight through. Hawkes takes the liver temp which makes him think the man has been dead for 12 hours.

Sid is with the corpse alone, undressing him and checking him out. He finds sand in the man's shoe. The vic is washed off and then we see Sid with Danny, looking over the wound which is exposed through a square in the blue sheet covering the vic. Sid noticed the fishy smell too. He goes on about snapper…and a meal of it. Danny looks at him oddly. The man was apparently corked by the weapon, what killed him was getting uncorked. There were four pieces of flaky trace in the wound. They were part of the weapon. We are at the choreography stage and see girls dancing and a male choreographer. They are dancing to Ciara’s one-two step. Mac is investigating and sees some smashed lighting. He bags it. Stella is in the back where the lockers are and sees Kia's locker. Inside a pair of her Puma sneakers are glass shards. Mac comes over and they figure anyone could have done that to her shoes. Mac leaves and Flack arrives. He says he got nothing from the other girls. Stella checks in the locker. There are hot packs, cold packs, and ibuprofen. Stella finds a stack of lottery tickets with the same numbers over and over.

Mac is outside of some lockers and finds glass shards under them. He looks up and sees glass shards on the handle of one, belonging to a Shayna. He looks inside and sees a knife. Change to Flack and Shayna. She says she doesn’t know how the glass got there, and that maybe she stepped on it. She says there are a thousand ways it could have gotten there, but Flack reminds her he needs only one. She tells them how all the girls are great dancers but they all hate each other, they aren't friends and don’t want the others to succeed. So he confronts Shayna about sabotaging Kia. Shayna claims she was proving the point that she’s the best dancer here by doing that to Kia. Kia was apparently the new girl and although she messed up in the steps got hired because the choreographer thought she was hot. She says she didn’t kill her. Flack confronts her about the knife, but Shayna freaks and says she has rights. Flack tells her, “not yet, but in 20 minutes when the warrant arrives, your world opens up.” Mac is in the lab comparing the knife wound to that of the knife from Shayna's locker. He also tests for blood. There is none. Flack says to Danny who's in the lab checking out the flakes that they look like skin. Hawkes enters and he is saying the sand in the shoes might explain the fish smell because it could be from the beach. The trace isn't the victim's and Hawkes looks at it. He tells Danny the skin isn’t human. The boys do research: Hawkes in a book, Danny online. Danny finds the skin he was looking for. It’s swordfish skin. It's real skin, so Hawkes thinks that the vic must've been a fisherman. They think perhaps it was an accident.

We see Flack and Mac at the hot dog cart. Shayna lawyered up. Flack gets a hot dog covered with onions, while Stella walks up to them, and notifies them money might have been the motive. Kia's latest lottery ticket was a winner. We see the Roosevelt tram held up. Lindsay is on scene. There is a dead man on the floor of one tram, newspaper and sheet nearby. A cop comes in, calls her "Dorothy" and rudely tells her to hurry up. She tells him she’s from Montana, not Kansas. She also notifies him that it’s her scene and she likes to be thorough. The man is Harold Claven, 64, and was 3 days from retirement. He thinks it was just a heart attack but she doesn’t think so. He tells her that he was found in the morning by the first commuter. She tells him that this tram is the only commuter tram that is fully functional. The cop isn’t interested. She finds blood by a window. She tells him to settle in and that she’ll be there a while. Flashes of the seaport, men cutting fish. Danny and Hawkes are there. They see the wife and walk up to her. She is with her son, and is very upset. She says that her husband was always home for breakfast. Asked if anyone would want to hurt him, she explains that there are hundreds of vendors around but she and her husband keep the prices low.

Hawkes is checking out fish stalls and finds blood trace on one. He tests it as Danny walks over and repeats what he found out from the wife. The place is about 40k square feet. Hawkes says how the place was hosed but one spot was missed. The blood was human. The vic didn’t die at sea. Danny tries to lift a swordfish up and Hawkes informs him it's about 250 pounds, no way had someone lifted it up. It means Fred Bayliss, the victim, was probably pushed. They check two fish there but no blood are on their beaks, and they notice that two pieces are missing. They find a restaurant, Gibsons. They got the information from the Bayliss Fish company. And the swordfish was bought that morning. They inform him they need to test the beaks, he asks why; they say to find Fred’s blood. After he asks why blood would be on them, they inform him that Fred is dead. He is more concerned about the fish being worthless than the loss of Fred. Danny mentions this to him. He says it came out wrong, and says that while, yes, it’s awful what happened to Fred, the PR could kill his restaurant. Hawkes finds one fish that tests positive.

Hawkes and Danny wheel in the fish to the lab. Danny says he can’t stand the smell. Hawkes is surprised since he can stand decomp. They chatter about how if it was a good salary he would, but Danny says not really. Hawkes comments how the boy had a private school uniform on, but Danny says he just stretched to give his son a good education. They walk faster due to the smell. Stella and Mac are with a trace tech who informs them the trace under the nails of their female vic had no foreign DNA. But they found some rubber and glue underneath. Lindsay comes rushing up to them with some DNA information from her case. The blood matches Kia’s. That’s where she was murdered. She fell off the tram, not the bridge.

Stella, Mac and Lindsay are at the tram. Lindsay informs them that the last tram operated from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan at 2 AM. They conclude that no one else was there so there were three people in the tram: the driver (Harold from Lindsay’s case), Kia, and the killer. And the fact that no one else reported it means that there were only three. Mac notices scratches on a window with a sticker that has glue, and the rubber between the doors. Kia wanted out. Without disabling the gear box there is no way the doors open while the tram is moving. So they figure maybe the driver came to her defense and that she ran to the window, and perhaps that’s how she fell. They are confused why she didn’t just give the ticket to her attacker. Mac is thinking it wasn’t about the ticket. They decide to identify the remaining evidence. Also Stella questions, if Kia lived on the West Side and the dance company was downtown, why was she on Roosevelt Island at 2 AM?

We see Hawkes and Danny with the fish and Danny mentions how he once caught a fish out of the Hudson and threw it back because no one should eat anything that comes out of that river. Danny finds a fiber in the gill. Hawkes notices the flesh is bone dry. It’s been on ice for over a week. This means he got the fish from somewhere instead of having caught it himself. They find the seller who looks a little sketchy. He claims Fred was sketchy but apparently other buyers did not like him (the seller) either. He claims that Fred’s check bounced. He also says that Fred owed him 14 grand. He said he yelled but never laid a hand on him. Seeing his sweater slightly snagged, Danny says he need to take it to the lab with him. Danny compares the sweater fragment to the fiber pulled from the swordfish. A trace tech joins him, and though the fibers look the same, their spectrum on the microscope is totally different. The trace tech tells him that the sand, although from a beach, it isn’t one from New York. "Mystery sand, mystery fiber."

Lindsay just walks past her victim’s family as she heads to the autopsy room. Sid informs her he died of respiratory failure, but not naturally. There is some sort of gel behind his ear. He swabbed it and Lindsay takes the sample.

As Stella is in the lab with a receipt from Lindsay's scene, Mac walks in informing her that mitochondrial DNA on Kia matches the mitochondrial DNA from under the tram driver's nails. But the DNA is male, ruling out Shayna. Stella notices that the items on the receipt match the items found in Kia's locker; it was her receipt. On the back is an address, and it belongs to the choreographer. Mac and Stella are back at the studio with the choreographer. He claims yes, she was at his home but it was innocent. He said he invited her to “give her another chance” and she blew that off and walked away. Mac doesn't believe it and the choreographer takes a drag from his cigarette. They ask for his DNA he says no definitely not. Stella says since he won’t give it to prove his innocence, they’ll take it to prove guilt and they look over at a pole where he had stuck his chewing gum. Soon we see Stella is in the lab with the gum they saw him take from his mouth.

Danny and Hawkes are walking, discussing their case; the amount Fred paid for his kid to go to school was around the same owed to McShea, the seller. Danny claims he won't have kids because they are too expensive. The trace tech from before walks up to them. Apparently the beach sand is found only on the beaches of a specific area in Hawaii. They know it wasn't Bayliss there. But Hawkes comes up with another idea, the beach came to him. It was from his kid’s school, since money can buy anything. The two head to the school. The kid's sandbox (it is an elementary school) has the expensive sand in it. It was a gift, as were other items. Danny and Hawkes mention how gifts give people a better chance, but the headmistress claims it is not a guarantee of admittance and that ultimately it’s about the child. She says the Baylisses were the perfect family and that their kid was amazing. Apparently out of 100 applicants, only 20 were accepted. Danny asks what about the other parents; she says her school is the best choice, not the only choice. This leaves them nowhere so they head back to the lab.

Back in the lab, Lindsay is checking out the mystery substance behind Claven's ear. Stella and Mac are in his office. The choreographer, as Stella puts it, "is a letch but not a murderer." This means his DNA was not a match. They think maybe it was random. Lindsay walks in with some items on a tray. One is hydrogen sulfide. Lindsay takes some of the gel and places it above Mac’s upper lip telling him how it was on Claven’s neck. Apparently the gel causes bad smells to smell like vanilla. Its called odor screen and only available to sanitation department workers. The intended victim was Claven, not Kia. They find a Vincent Williams in the sanitation department, and the CSIs question him. The man claims Claven was dangerous to his wife, Vivian, who is Vincent’s sister. Apparently he beat him up since Harold was beating up Vivian. He claims Kia’s murder was an accident. But Lindsay feels as if something isn’t right. She remembers how Vivian wasn’t crying after losing her husband. Lindsay says how at first she thought it was shock, but now knows it wasn’t.

Back in the lab, Danny is on the computer. Hawkes comes up asking if he found anything with the fiber. Apparently it is used on everything, but frequently on carpets. Danny believes he has a connection. They pull a list of car owners with that carpet color, and find a name they recognize: Richard Daly, owner of Gibsons. The boys head over there and tell him how they know he killed Fred. They say how they found blood in the back of his car. He asks why would he kill Fred, he has enough money. It turns out he had tried getting his own kid in the school. The sand was donated by him, but his kid was not accepted. He claims he did Fred a favor. But Daly never thought Fred’s son would get in. He was angry at Bayliss since he wasn't supposed to go into a school like that. A fisherman’s son shouldn’t be with the NY elite. Cops cuff him taking Daly away, and Hawkes muses how he'll just hire an expensive attorney who’ll say he was only doing what was best for his son. Danny claims he will be there to testify and that when he does, he will be there to say Fred was doing the same thing.

Lindsay interviews Vivian, and asks her to remove her sunglasses. Lindsay asks how Vivian got a bruise she was hiding. Vivian sticks to her story about Harold. Lindsay says that bruises have a healing cycle, and notes the woman's is black, too black. So she hands her a wipe to clean it off. Vivian does it, and Lindsay confronts her saying she tricked her brother into killing her husband. Lindsay asks why not divorce, but Vivian says, "and lose his pension?" Lindsay goes on about the death gamble, how city employees who die on the job have great pension plans for spouses. Vivian didn't want him to retire since it was her nest egg, claiming it was the only way it made her horrible life worthwhile. Lindsay confronts her about Kia's death. Mac and Stella are watching, Stella notes how Lindsay is good, and stays her ground; she'll fit in well.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Robert Joy as Dr. Sid Hammerback
  • Barbara Tarbuck as Vivian Claven
  • Chris Ellis as Vincent Williams
  • Rhys Coiro as Razor
  • Nick Paonessa as Richard Daly
  • Maxine Bahns as Anna
  • Chastity Dotson as Tera Grace
  • Kevin Fry-Bowers as McShea
  • Julia Rose as Laura Bayliss
  • Ron Lester as Officer Murphy
  • Sarah M. Scott as Shayna
  • Mekia Cox as Kia Rowe
  • Michael Petrone as Fred Bayliss
  • James Tupper as Paul Zernecky
  • Austin Highsmith as Rebecca Zernecky
  • Philip Wayne as Fulton Fish Market Manager


  • 1, 2 Step by Ciara


  • Robert Joy makes his first appearance as Sid Hammerback in this episode.

See Also[]

CSI:NY Season 2
Summer in the CityGrand Murder at Central StationZoo YorkCorporate WarriorsDancing with the FishesYoungbloodManhattan ManhuntBad BeatCity of the DollsJamalotTrappedWastedRiskStuck On YouFare GameCool HunterNecrophilia AmericanaLive or Let DieSuper MenRun Silent, Run DeepAll AccessStealing HomeHeroesCharge of this Post