Do or Die
Season 7
Number 17
Writer Matthew Levine
Director Matt Earl Beesley
Original Airdate March 11, 2011
Previous Episode: The Untouchable
Next Episode: Identity Crisis (NY)

Do or Die is the seventeenth episode in Season Seven of CSI: NY.


CSI uncovers plenty of inappropriate behavior at one of New York's most prestigious prep schools after one of the school's brightest students is murdered.


Principal Wendell Andrews guides parents and prospective students through the halls of Archford Academy, an elite prep school in Manhattan. He talks about the school’s accomplishments and the caliber of students who attend the academy, but elsewhere in the school students are having sex, buying drugs and stealing test questions. Valedictorian Olivia Prescott staggers toward the assembled group, clutching a bloody wound on the back of her head, and collapses dead in the middle of the hallway.

It took a lot of force to crack Olivia’s skull, but she has no defensive wounds. Danny finds Olivia’s backpack in the bathroom, and there’s blood on the edge of the sink. This is the primary crime scene. Jo finds shoe prints on the toilet seat in one of the stalls, suggesting that someone hid in here. Olivia was smart and popular, and it doesn’t make sense to her parents or the other students that anyone would want to hurt her.

Danny and Lindsay test the school for mold, which caused contact dermatitis on Olivia’s knees. They determine that she came in contact with the mold in the library, and a book about Greek tragedies in her backpack leads to shelf in the back corner. They realize that she caught sight of some people having sex through a gap in the shelves. Fingerprints on the table trace back to Benjamin Gold, a student who has a record. They find homemade pornographic movies in his locker. Olivia saw him making a film in the library, but Benjamin says she didn’t threaten to turn him in—she wanted to be in one of his movies.

Trace from the footprint on the toilet seat leads the team to a squashed emperor scorpion. Biology teacher Mr. Booker tells Mac and Hawkes that a student decided to scare a classmate by putting one of the scorpions near her bag, and she stepped on it when she left the room while the other kids were laughing. Emmy Thomas is smart, but she wasn’t popular among her classmates. Emmy explains that she hid in the bathroom, and she stood on the toilet seat while two other girls insulted her.

The label on a water bottle found in Olivia’s bag has been changed so that the ingredients and nutrition information provide a cheat sheet for the AP World History exam. Soil found on Olivia’s blazer matches the chemical composition of soil found on Mars, but it is actually from the Atacama Desert in Chile. This leads the team to Allen Wilson, who was doing a science project with Emmy using a lizard from that area. Allen made the cheat sheet bottle for Olivia because he liked her. They can’t tie him to the bathroom, but they can tie Emmy to the scene. She was Allen’s partner on the science project, and she was jealous of Olivia spending time with Allen because she was in love with him. They’ve been best friends since they were kids, and she knows that Olivia was using him. They got into a fight, and she killed Olivia. She regrets it, but she doesn’t regret standing up for Allen.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Cassandra Jean as Olivia Prescott
  • Matt Angel as Allen Wilson
  • Scout Taylor-Compton as Emmy Thomas
  • Austin Butler as Benjamin Gold
  • Cherilyn Rae Wilson as Becky
  • Audra Griffis as Cheerleader
  • Samantha Sergeant as Cheerleader #2
  • Paul Schackman as Wendell Andrews
  • Jeremy Glazer as Mr. Booker
  • Christina Prousalis as Jennifer Spencer
  • Robert Neary as Jack Prescott
  • Timi Prulhiere as Nora Prescott
  • Stephanie Carpentieri as CSI Tech
  • Chrissy Lawver as School Girl
  • Anna Lichty as Witness
  • Paul C. Rademacher as Student with Camera

See Also[]

CSI:NY Season 7
The 34th FloorUnfriendly ChatDamned If You DoSangre Por SangreOut of the SkyDo Not Pass GoHide SightScared StiffJustifiedShop Till You DropTo What End?Holding CellParty DownSmooth CriminalVigilanteThe UntouchableDo or DieIdentity Crisis (NY)Food for ThoughtNothing for SomethingLife SentenceExit Strategy