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Ellie
Ellie.jpg
Season 2
Number 10
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Charlie Correll
Original Airdate December 6, 2001
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Previous Episode: And Then There Were None
Next Episode: Organ Grinder

Ellie is the tenth episode in season two of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

When Grissom has to go to a conference and Catherine is off to Reno, Grissom leaves Warrick in charge of the graveyard shift's investigation of the murder of a con man. Things get personal for Brass when he learns his estranged daughter Ellie is one of the suspects.

Plot

Victim: Vincent Avery (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Jim Brass, Sam Vega

A distressed man stops a vacationing couple, Matt and Cindy Orton, on the Vegas strip. He claims he's been banned from the casino, but has $10,000 in chips he needs to cash in. The couple offers to go in and cash the chips for him, saying that they're honest people; they'll even give him a $2,000 deposit in good faith. The man with the chips insists that he'll give them the money back plus another $1,000 when they cash the chips in. However, the cashier in the casino informs Matt that the chips are fakes. As they run out of the casino and find the scammer nowhere in sight, the Ortons hear a gunshot from the nearby parking garage and a car speeding away.

Grissom arrives on the scene and Brass informs him that the deceased was running one of the oldest scams in Vegas, which he would've gotten away with if the getaway driver didn't shoot him in the head and speed off. There are no surveillance cameras in the garage, but Grissom spots fresh tire marks and an oil slick on the garage floor. The deceased also has the Ortons' money, which is now evidence.

In the lab, Grissom informs Catherine that he's heading to a conference in Duluth along with his cockroaches, which he'll race for fun. Catherine is named the temporary supervisor, but she's heading to Reno to be Sam Braun's date at the opening of a new casino. Grissom names Warrick the temporary supervisor, as his knowledge of gambling would be best utilized on the murder at the casino. He's unhappy with the assignment, especially after finding out that Grissom didn't let Nick and Sara know that Warrick would be in charge.

At the crime scene in the parking garage, Nick photographs the tire treads, while Sara finds a small film canister under a car; the canister is filled with mysterious pill-sized black capsules. Warrick arrives, making sure everything is running smoothly. Sara reacts negatively when she finds out Warrick has been named supervisor for the night.

Warrick speaks to Doc Robbins, who has identified the victim as Vincent Thomas Avery. Vincent was shot through the left ear; Warrick surmises that he knew the driver and was shot right after he got in the car to get away. X-rays show the bullet lodged in Vincent's skull, but they also show something in his stomach. Doc Robbins opens him up to find about 50 balloons filled with cocaine and covered in a green substance, which is likely jello. The jello was used to make it easier to swallow the drugs. Warrick questions why someone acting as a drug mule would be wasting their time on a small-time scam involving fake casino chips.

Brass informs Nick that Thomas Avery had a long rap sheet that includes petty larceny. Nick looks over the photos of the tire tracks and notices a void in one of them, possibly from a nail. Greg runs a test on the pills Sara found; the result comes back as coal, wood, and coconut shells. The pills are basically charcoal pills that are used to absorb impurities in the body; these would help prevent a drug mule from overdosing on the drugs they were transporting. Sara lets Warrick know she found airline stubs in Vincent's shirt pocket, one for Vincent and one for an Ellie Rebecca. Warrick is unhappy she did this without letting him know; since he's in charge, he's responsible for processing the evidence. Greg makes up an excuse to leave the room, as the two CSIs get into a minor argument about protocol for the evening.

Warrick runs the prints from the airline ticket and is shocked to find that one comes back as Ellie Rebecca Brass, Jim's daughter. He lets Brass know and says he has to bring her in for questioning. Brass replies that that's the job of the police and assigns Det. Vega to bring Ellie in. In the police station, Ellie spots her father. Instead of walking up him and greeting him warmly, she spits on his badge. Brass asks her if they're going to pick up where they left off.

Sara is running prints on every bill Vincent had on him when he died. She notices a lack of engraving on Ben Franklin's collar on one of the $100 bills. With help from Ronnie Litre, she finds out that one of the bills the Ortons handed to Vincent was a fake—the words "United States of America" are blurred out around Ben Franklin's collar and the ink is black, not green. Ronnie advises her to contact the Secret Service, who has a field office in Vegas.

In the interrogation room, Ellie claims that she barely knew Vincent, but was willing to fly to Baja with him for the weekend. As she goes to take cigarettes out of her purse, a fake $500 chip falls out. Despite the evidence implicating her with the scam and Vincent's murder, she claims she was at home when it happened. As she gets up to leave, Det. Vega yells at her to sit back down. Warrick tells Ellie that they need to take x-rays of her, to which she responds by flirting with him. She also says she lent her car to her boyfriend, Keith Driscoll.

Warrick lets Brass know that the evidence is piling up against Ellie, but Brass denies her involvement in the murder. He says he knows his daughter well enough to know that the shooter is probably Keith. Ellie's x-rays come back clean and she celebrates by flirting with Warrick more.

Warrick doesn't think he can handle the case and wants to call Grissom, but Nick stops him. Meanwhile, Catherine calls Brass and has knowledge of what's going on. She tells Brass to be careful and to not go at it alone. As their call ends, a red Camaro speeds out in front of Brass' patrol car; its plates match Ellie's. After a short chase, Brass uses the P.I.T. maneuver to stop the Camaro. He busts the driver's side window and asks the two men in the car which one is Keith Driscoll. The passenger says he was just hitchhiking and Brass tells him to get lost. When pressed by Brass, Keith says Ellie is the one who turned him onto cocaine and drug trafficking. Brass pulls out his gun but puts it back in his holster as the cops arrive for backup. Det. Vega approaches Keith, who says that Brass pulled a gun on him. Keith refuses to drive to the police station with Brass; Vega agrees. As he walks to his car, Vega stares at Brass, and Brass does the same in return.

Sara meets with the Ortons at their hotel pool. Matt Orton admits to knowing one of the bills was fake. He tried using it at a gas station and exchanging it and his local bank branch, but couldn't get rid of it in either case. Sara informs Matt that it's a federal law that knowingly passing along bad money is punishable to up to 15 years in prison. She shows the Ortons a $20 bill and notes the shadow of Andrew Jackson's portrait on the right side of the bill; the government embeds the images to protect against forgery. Before leaving, she also lets them know that a Secret Service agent will be coming to speak to them, as well.

In the police station, Warrick meets Special Agent Beckman from the Treasury Department. He's surprised to learn that there's a federal counterfeiting case at play that Sara never informed him about. Sara arrives, introduces herself to Special Agent Beckman, and privately tells Warrick that she didn't want to interrupt his case with Ellie. She adds that she runs with cases all the time when Grissom is in charge, but Warrick snaps back that he isn't Grissom. An angered Warrick has Sara brief Special Agent Beckman on the counterfeit money, while he'll go to the garage with Nick. They have Keith's car ready for processing and only a half hour to do it in before Keith is allowed to walk.

In the garage, Nick and Warrick find that the tire treads on Ellie's car match the treads found in the casino parking garage. The rear left tire has a plug in it matching the void Nick found earlier, proving that Ellie's car was the getaway car used in the murder. In the interrogation room, Det. Vega tells Keith that the car he was driving was present at Vincent's murder twelve hours before. It is also revealed that Keith's credit card was the one used to buy the airline tickets to Baja for Vincent and Ellie. Keith's lawyer responds by asking about Brass pulling his gun on Keith, much to the surprise of Warrick. Vega replies that it was done as a safety precaution. With no other evidence, Keith and his lawyer are allowed to leave.

Sara tells Special Agent Beckman that the Ortons are running a high-end counterfeiting operation. Instead of using the same serial number on each counterfeit bill, they're printing bills but engraving different serial numbers on them to avoid detection. Special Agent Beckman informs Sara that the Ortons real identities are the Duffys. The couple is actually from Las Vegas County and they have both spent time for interstate fraud and high-end counterfeiting. Special Agent Beckman takes the fake money and vows to shut down the counterfeiting operation. Sara says the investigation isn't done and tags along with the agent.

Warrick informs Brass that the tire tracks on Ellie's car match the ones from the crime scene. Brass continues to maintain that Keith Driscoll is the murderer, but Warrick tells him they had to let him go after it was revealed Brass pulled his gun on him. Warrick says that Vega thinks Ellie will eventually rat out Keith, but Brass tells him that it will never happen, as he knows his daughter too well.

Brass returns to his office to find Ellie there. When she asks if she's under arrest, Brass says that he'll bail her out and offers her a place to stay. She replies that she already shares a place with Keith. When Brass tells his daughter that she's better than all of this, she replies that she really isn't.

Warrick is in Grissom's office going over paperwork when he gets a call from Det. Vega. He informs Warrick that there has been a 444—an officer-involved shooting, and he gives Warrick one guess as to who's involved. When Nick and Warrick arrive at Keith and Ellie's apartment, Brass is sitting outside holding an ice pack to the back of his head. A "dedicated" Ecklie is at the scene, and he informs Warrick that Brass got Ellie a "get out of jail free card." Now, Ellie is in the wind, while Keith has been shot in the throat and killed. Det. Vega tells Nick and Warrick that the first responding officer found Brass in the apartment, woozy. Warrick checks Brass' gun and finds that there's one round missing.

Det. Vega interviews Brass off the record. Brass admits going to the apartment and says dispatch wasn't notified, as it was a personal visit. He went there looking for Ellie, not Keith. A flashback shows Brass entering the apartment looking for her when Keith hit him the head with a baseball bat. Brass says everything is a blur after that and he doesn't recall drawing his gun. Det. Vega believes Brass is leaving something out, figuring that Ellie probably saw what happened and split. He tells Brass that they're going to pick Ellie up eventually.

Warrick is printing Brass' gun when Nick enters. Nick states that the gun's magazine wasn't emptied and that police officers are trained to shoot to kill. Warrick finds blood on the back of the gun's grip and Nick remarks that novice shooters get their hands pinched in the slide, or "slide bite." Warrick concludes that Brass didn't shoot Keith. In the interrogation room, Warrick asks Brass to show him his hands and sees that they're clean. Despite this, he asks Brass for his badge; Brass eventually complies.

In the Duffy's basement, Sara and Special Agent Beckman marvel at the Duffy's counterfeiting process—high-end printers, multiple inks, heavy paper, burn plates, etc. Everything is in place except for where the money is. Cindy replies that there's no money, which Special Agent Beckman surprisingly confirms. He informs Sara that "Duffy" is a code name, and that both Matt and Cindy are undercover federal agents. The sting was to put bait money in the hands of criminals and see how it leads to law enforcement. Special Agent Beckman tells Sara that she passed the test and she should feel very proud, but she doesn't.

Greg tells Warrick that he ran Ellie's DNA from Brass' badge from when she spit on him. She has no markers in common with Brass, proving that she isn't Brass' biological daughter. Furthermore, the blood on Brass' gun didn't come back to Brass, Ellie, or Keith, meaning that there's still a shooter out there with a cut on his hand.

Warrick looks over the Baja flight manifest again and sees that Keith's credit card was used to purchase another ticket on the flight for a Marty Gilmore. When Warrick and Brass arrive at Marty's place, he's unsuccessfully trying to start his dirt bike for an escape. Brass recognizes him as the hitchhiker he let get away when he originally pulled Keith over. Warrick congratulates Marty for pulling one over on Brass and offers to shake his hand. When Marty shakes his hand, Warrick sees a cut. Warrick concludes that Marty shot Keith with Brass' gun, and Brass surmises that Marty was in the other room when he entered Keith's apartment. In a flashback, Brass is seen knocked out on the floor by Keith, who is worried he killed him. Marty negatively replies and shoots Marty with Brass' gun. Marty caught his hand in the gun's slide, then put the gun back in Brass's hand. He killed Keith to take over his drug operation.

Warrick asks Marty about Ellie, and Marty replies that Ellie should be in jail for shooting Vincent. Suddenly, Marty starts to get sick and tells Warrick he took a laxative. Warrick realizes that Marty is about to overdose and tells Brass to call for a medic. Instead, Brass stands silently and watches Marty double over in pain. After being told again, Brass comes to and radios for a medic. Marty fears that he's going to die, but Brass says it's worse—he's going to live.

In the hospital, Warrick returns Brass badge to him, telling him he only took the badge to get Ellie's DNA off of it. Warrick tells Brass that the DNA results showed Ellie isn't his biological daughter, and Brass hints at the fact that his ex-wife had an affair with their mailman. Ellie, however, has been kept in the dark and is under the impression that Brass is her biological father.

Brass tracks down Ellie outside of a casino. He tells her he found out she never went to Keith's apartment that night, despite thinking he heard her in the other room. She denies ever being there. Brass says he's been doing that his whole life—thinking Ellie is there even when she's not. Through tears, Brass encourages Ellie to come back to him, but she says it's too late for her. She's hopping a flight to New Jersey to stay with her mother.

In the lab, Warrick asks Sara to lend him some cash, giving her a ribbing for the counterfeiting case. She says that's funny, but replies that the shift is over and Warrick is now a regular CSI again like her. Grissom arrives back from his conference and tells Warrick the conference was fine, but his roaches got stage fright when it came to racing. Warrick tells Grissom his case went fine, but dealing with the different personalities was difficult. When asked why he put Warrick in charge, Grissom replies that whenever he leaves CSI, he'll be a ghost; he wanted to see if Warrick could seamlessly step in. Grissom asks for a recap of the case and Warrick begins to tell his tale.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Major Events

  • Due to Grissom leaving to attend a conference and with Catherine in Reno, Warrick becomes the temporary head of the graveyard shift.
  • Ellie Brass, Brass' daughter, is introduced for the first time.
  • It's revealed that Ellie is not Brass' biological daughter; it's implied that she might be the product of an affair his wife had.

Music

  • Set It Off by P.O.D..
  • Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers

Trivia

  • William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger only make cameo appearances in this episode, as it was filmed concurrently with Caged.
  • This was the first CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode to hit number one in the weekly ratings.
  • This is the first cameo appearance of series creator Anthony E. Zuiker. He appears briefly as the casino clerk.
  • Nicki Aycox made her a special guest as Ellie Brass (first appearance) in this episode, but later it was replaced by Teal Redmann from episode "Hollywood Brass" onwards.
  • Daniel Dae Kim made a special guest appearance as Special Agent Beckman. He would go on to star in Hawaii Five-0 from September 2010 to June 2017.
  • At the end of the episode, Grissom brings up that he was a ghost in high school, something he recollected in the Season 2 episode Bully for You.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 2
BurkedChaos TheoryOverloadBully for YouScuba Doobie-DooAlter BoysCagedSlaves of Las VegasAnd Then There Were NoneEllieOrgan GrinderYou've Got MaleIdentity CrisisThe FingerBurden of ProofPrimum Non NocereFelonious MonkChasing The BusStalkerCats in the CradleAnatomy of a LyeCross JurisdictionsThe Hunger Artist
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