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Early Rollout
Early
Season 4
Number 15
Writer Elizabeth Devine
Director Duane Clark
Original Airdate February 19, 2004
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Previous Episode: Paper or Plastic
Next Episode: Getting Off

Early Rollout is the fifteenth episode in Season Four of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis[]

The whole team investigates the execution-style murder of a husband and his porn star wife in a gated community. Catherine gets involved with one of the suspects, even after Grissom questioned her ethics when she told him she accepted Sam Braun's check.

Plot[]

Victim: Mike and Laurel Trent (both deceased)

On the case: Entire team

In a gated community, Laurel Trent backs out of her driveway and sees her husband, Mike, get attacked by a masked assailant. She's dragged out of the car, and both end up getting killed. Catherine and Grissom meet Brass at the Trent residence. Brass tells them that the Trents were owners of a club called the Acid Drop, along with a few other clubs. Mike also used to co-own a semi-pro hockey team. Both of them were shot execution style in the back of the head. Grissom notices that Laurel was left in the place where she was shot, but Mike appears to have been dragged down the driveway, as there's a long blood streak leading from a blood pool to Mike's body. He wonders why someone would drag a body to a place where everyone could see it.

Catherine and Warrick look at an array of photos of the Trents on a living room table, and Catherine immediately guesses that Laurel is a prototypical Vegas trophy wife. Nick and Sara arrive on the scene; Brass tells them that there are two gates in the community—one has a guard stationed at it at all times, while the other one requires punch-code access. They approach Grissom, and he has them search the perimeter of the yard to find evidence of the assailants. Greg arrives late on the scene to assist, but he's clearly unprepared. Warrick gives him a lesson in professionalism and preparedness to help him for the future.

Sara checks the side yard of the house and finds cigarette butts and orange peels on the ground. She visualizes the killer standing there waiting and smoking a cigarette. He pulled an orange from the nearby tree and ate it, as well. After meeting up with Sara, Nick discovers some bike treads in the dirt. He follows them out to the street, where he finds dirty tire tracks. As he looks around and spots a hill adjacent to the community, Nick visualizes the killers riding down from that hill on bikes to the Trent's house.

Greg joins Catherine in the house. Despite the Trents being killed outside, she's hoping to find evidence inside the house that makes the crime scene outside make sense. Catherine has Greg get on his hands and knees to look for evidence in the carpet of the master bedroom, while she looks through the closets and drawers. The jewelry box on top of one of the dressers is empty, and Catherine asks Greg to photograph it. Meanwhile, Greg has found a few blood drops in the carpet, and he also comes across a storage box that contains amateur pornographic films that star Laurel. Catherine looks at one of the video cassettes and reads that it's a "Goode/Mike T. production." She guesses that the "Mike T." is Mike Trent, who likely produced Laurel in the film and then seduced her.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Grissom that Laurel had had work done in the past, which Grissom finds uninteresting. He's more focused on the cause of death, which was two gunshots to the back of the head. The gunshot wounds are obvious for both victims, but that's not what Doc Robbins wanted to show Grissom. Mike Trent had two burn marks on the back of his neck, which Grissom immediately recognizes as stun gun burns. The doc questions why someone would get close enough to Mike to kill him, but not carry out the job immediately. Grissom wonders if the killers were biding time for something.

Nick and Warrick walk through the gated community and theorize about the order of events. Warrick guesses that the perpetrators killed the Trents and went in the house to steal the jewelry. Nick adds that they got away on bikes, which he thinks is on the low end of the transportation spectrum. Warrick points out that speeding away in a car would create a lot of noise in a neighborhood like that, but leaving quietly on bikes would make for an easier getaway. They reach the gate that requires punch-code access. After Nick mentions that one of the killers was eating an orange, they use an acid that will light up under the ALS. When the acid is applied, and they see that the numbers one, three, five, and six were punched in. The killers appear to have had the code.

Back at the lab, Grissom is doing evaluations and pulls Catherine into his office in order to complete hers. After complaining about a lack of personal life outside of work, Grissom offers to help her advance, noting that someone will need to replace him someday if/when he decides to leave. Catherine certainly has the qualifications, but Grissom questions her judgment, bringing up her use of the lab to administer a DNA test. However, he leaves this out of the evaluation, believing that the issue has been resolved. Catherine then admits that Sam Braun gave her a check and that she cashed it. A stunned Grissom says that since Sam was a murder suspect, it looks like a payoff. Despite Catherine saying she confirmed with an attorney that it wasn't, Grissom accuses her of compromising the lab in an unethical, if not illegal, way.

Catherine, still a little steamed from her meeting with Grissom, joins Sara as she's going through the evidence. Sara says that the cigarette butts and orange peels will be logged and sent to DNA. Laurel's purse contains both money and credit cards, which seems odd since she had the purse on her when she was killed. Sara tells Catherine that she found a wadded up piece of paper in the briefcase that turned out to be a release form allowing Laurel to shoot a pornographic film at the Acid Drop. The film is made by Drake the Snake productions, and the form was signed by a Drake Snow.

Catherine pays a visit to the Acid Drop and speaks privately with manager Chris Bezich. She's surprised to find out that Laurel wasn't a trophy wife; Mike genuinely cared for her and would do anything for her. Chris tells her that he has run Mike's clubs ever since Mike got out of the partner business with Kyle Goode. She asks about Drake Snow, who happens to be the club bartender and a wannabe porn director. Catherine and Chris then formally introduce themselves to each other and there appears to be a spark between them. She goes to speak to Drake; he tells her that the last thing he wanted to be was partners with Mike. Drake tells Catherine that he just needed a location to shoot his film and he gave the release form to Laurel. He admits that the last time he asked Mike for a favor involving Laurel, Mike punched him in the kitchen of the Trent's residence. Catherine gets a sample of Drake's DNA.

In the CSI garage, Warrick has rounded up the abandoned bikes found near the Trent's neighborhood. Nick applies the same acid that was applied to the keypad earlier and finds sugar on the handlebars of two bikes, similar to what was found on the keypad. He figures that finding a serial number will be difficult since they're not recorded; however, Warrick flexes his knowledge, removes one of the bike seats, and finds a piece of paper inside. The name on the paper is Ross Davis. Under interrogation from Grissom and Warrick, Ross reveals that he was jumped by two muscular guys and his bike was stolen. He has a pain in his neck, which Grissom sees is from a stun gun, similar to what was used on Mike Trent.

Greg talks to Catherine in the hallway and recaps the DNA evidence he has found—there was something foreign on the cigarette butts, so he sent them to trace. The blood he found in the bedroom belonged to Drake Snow, meaning that he told the truth about being hit, but lied about where it happened. Drake's DNA was found on three of the four cigarette butts, with the fourth butt having DNA from an unknown female. There are two additional male donors on the orange seeds, but he has yet to find a match in CODIS.

Brass interrogates Drake Snow, who admits to being in the Trent's bedroom. He claims he was begging Laurel for business for his production company. Mike walked in and punched Trent in the face. He tells Brass that he knows the business and just needed capital, which is why he approached Laurel. Drake says that he had nothing to gain from the deaths of Mike and Laurel. When confronted with the fact that his DNA was found on cigarette butts outside the Trent house, Drake says that it's not possible. He has one cigarette per day and it's by the service register at the Acid Drop.

Catherine visits Chris Bezich at the Acid Drop again, and he confirms Drake's cigarette story. She takes a sample of sand from the ashtray and bags it. Afterwards, she and Chris share a passionate moment. Meanwhile, Brass pays a visit to Sara. She had been sucking down cough drops at the crime scene earlier, and Brass is able to figure out that she was hiding alcohol breath. Sara admits to having had a few beers with breakfast, but then got called to the crime scene. She is adamant with Brass that she didn't have more than that.

Grissom has photographs of Laurel's jewelry on his desk. Brass enters and tells him the insurance company valued the jewelry at more than $2 million and that every pawn shop in town has been notified. A perplexed Grissom still wonders aloud why Mike's body was dragged down the driveway, but Laurel's wasn't. Brass informs him that Mike Trent's ex-business partner, Kyle Goode, has sued Mike.

In trace, David Hodges shows Catherine the cigarette butts under a microscope. The sand on the butts is a match to the sand from the ashtray at the Acid Drop. However, the orange seeds and orange peel found have trace amounts of soil on them, while the cigarette butts don't. Catherine wonders if the butts were taken from the Acid Drop and planted to implicate Drake. This might also explain why the DNA of an unidentified female was found on one of the butts, as well. The only suspects they may have now are the two guys on the bikes.

Kyle Goode and his son, Alex, are at a video arcade when Brass pays them a visit. Alex tells Brass that his father drove him to his grandmother's house in Laughlin, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Vegas. He fell asleep in the car, but knew it was 11:00 AM based on a TV show he watches. Kyle confirms this and says that they left town at 8 AM and stopped to pick up breakfast sandwiches from a place called Sunny Side on the way. He leaves with his son, but not before he discards one of his cigarettes. Brass picks up the butt with a cloth to preserve it as evidence. Nick pays a visit to Sunny Side and speaks to Missy Wilson, who was running the window the morning Kyle drove through with his son. She recognizes Kyle from his photo and is disgusted that Kyle hit on her in front of his son. Nick asks to see the surveillance tapes from around that time.

In the A/V lab, Grissom and Nick watch the surveillance tapes and see the incident between Kyle and Missy, confirming Kyle's alibi. Grissom notices something in the video and has Nick rewind the tape. They zoom in and see something that looks like a canteen around Alex's neck. However, in the still photo, it appears that Alex is bringing the canteen up to his eyes. Nick tells Grissom that he'll enhance the stills and see what he can make of it.

Grissom is called to a crime scene in an apartment, where a dead male victim has several stun gun marks on him and has been shot twice in the back of the head. David Phillips puts the time of death at within the last hour. Grissom notices something hanging out of the victim's pocket and pulls out a gold chain with two initials charms on it; the initials are "M" and "T" for Mike Trent. But where's the rest of the jewelry and the victim's partner? Grissom walks to the window and looks down to the ground. He's then seen walking around the outside of the residence, where he sees blood drops on a wall along with two blood drops on a piece of fiberglass. Grissom follows the trail further to find the body of another male victim. Next to the victim is a 9mm handgun and a pillowcase full of jewelry and $20,000. Brass meets up with Grissom and shows him a knife he found with blood on it. Grissom shows him the body, and Brass replies that the whole thing screams "hit-for-hire." Grissom says that this means they're still looking for someone.

In autopsy, Grissom and Doc Robbins look over the bodies. Victim #1 had several stun gun marks on him and two bullets to the back of the head, while victim #2 had a shallow knife wound to the stomach. A flashback shows victim #1 stabbing victim #2 with the knife, and victim #2 responding with the stun gun and the 9mm handgun. The two men apparently killed each other—"no honor among thieves." Catherine speaks with Brass and guesses that the jewelry heist was never part of the grand plan. Brass confirms this, relaying that the Trents were on their way to their safety deposit box at the bank the morning they were killed. It seems that Laurel cleaned out her own jewelry box and that the thieves took the jewelry as a tip after being paid to kill her and Mike.

Sara and Warrick are going over each of the $100 bills found individually. She finds a blood stain on one of the bills and has Greg run the blood against everyone in the case. Meanwhile, Nick shows Grissom the blown up still photos of Kyle Goode and his son; the item around Alex's neck was binoculars. The series of still photos show that Kyle got quite angry at his son for wearing them.

Grissom and Nick pay another visit to the Trent residence and stand outside. While positioning himself where Mike Trent's blood trail ended, Grissom looks around and notices an empty lot up on a hill. He goes to the spot, calls Nick, and has him move up the driveway until he's out of Grissom's sight. A flashback shows Mike Trent's body being dragged down the driveway while Kyle Goode watched through binoculars. This was done to prove that the murders were carried out. Grissom also notices paint transfer on a barrier in front of him and calls Brass to have him put an APB out on Kyle's vehicle.

Grissom and Brass have Kyle brought in for questioning. Grissom reveals that they tested Alex's hair and found traces of Ambien in it. Kyle drugged his own son and used him as an alibi for when the Trents were murdered. Kyle admits that he hated Mike Trent and was irate that Mike had invested their money in clubs, then kicked him out of the partnership. He denies having anything to do with Mike's death, but Brass tells him that a paper cut gave him away. A flashback shows Mike handing the $20,000 to the two thieves and cutting his finger on one of the bills in the process. The DNA on the bill was a match to the DNA Brass pulled from the cigarette in the arcade. Another flashback shows Mike Trent being hit with the stun gun so that he was alive to see his wife get killed. Mike was then killed himself and dragged down the driveway into Kyle's view to prove that the deed was done. Grissom points out that Kyle's hatred of Mike Trent was stronger than his love for his own son.

At the end of the episode, Catherine briefly visits Grissom, then leaves and says she has some "unfinished business to take care of"—presumably to spend some more one-on-one time with Chris Bezich.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Major Events[]

  • Catherine Willows and Chris Bezich start dating.

Music[]

  • Born Too Slow by The Crystal Method

Notes[]

  • During Grissom's employee evaluation of Catherine, it's brought up that she used the lab to perform a paternity test (Inside the Box) and accepted a check from Sam Braun that she cashed (Jackpot).
  • This is the first of three appearances in CSI by Oscar Goodman, who served as mayor of Las Vegas from 1999 to 2011. He played Kyle Goode's lawyer in this episode and would later appear in the episodes Sqweegel and Maid Man.

Trivia[]

  • Kim Coates, known later for his role as Alexander "Tig" Traeger in the show Sons of Anarchy, played Drake "The Snake" Snow in the episode. He would also play Ron Saris in six episodes of CSI Miami.
  • Kat Dennings played Missy Wilson in the episode. She would later become recognized for her role as Maxine "Max" Black in the show Two Broke Girls, which also aired on CBS.
  • This is the third cameo appearance of series creator Anthony E. Zuiker. He appears as a bouncer at the club.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 4
Assume NothingAll For Our CountryHomebodiesFeeling the HeatFur and LoathingJackpotInvisible EvidenceAfter the ShowGrissom Versus the VolcanoComing of RageEleven Angry JurorsButterfliedSuckersPaper or PlasticEarly RolloutGetting OffXXBad To The BoneBad WordsDead RingerTurn of the ScrewsNo More BetsBloodlines
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