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Ending Happy
Ending
Season 7
Number 21
Writer Evan Dunsky
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate April 26, 2007
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Ending Happy is the twenty-first episode in Season Seven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis[]

A washed up former boxer is found dead in a brothel's swimming pool with numerous injuries, leaving it up to the CSIs and Doc Robbins to figure out exactly what killed him.

Plot[]

Victim: Lorenzo 'Happy' Morales (deceased)

On the case: entire team

At Sugar Cane Ranch, located in a remote part of Nevada, the body of boxer Lorenzo 'Happy' Morales is found dead floating in a pool. The place is actually a brothel crawling with scantily clad women, one of whom pulled the body out of the pool and called the police. As Grissom and Sara head towards the body, an elderly man, Milton, tells them that somebody shot his wife. Sheriff Ned Bastille tells the CSIs that Milton's wife died ten years ago from a stroke. Upon reaching Happy's body, Sara sees that there are two holes in the neck, possibly from gunshot wounds. He also has a contusion over his right eye, which could possibly be from a previous fight. A broken lawn chair sits at the pool's edge.

Brass talks to the brothel's owner, Binky, and his wife, Doris. Binky tells him Happy had fallen on hard times from sex, drugs, and partying, so he brought him to the brothel and built a boxing ring he could train in. Brass points out the irony of bringing a party addict to a whorehouse, something that wasn't a very good idea in retrospect. Neither Binky nor Doris know anyone who would want to hurt Happy.

Sara pulls a rather disgusting filter from the pool that contains everything from candy wrappers to cigarettes. Nick observes the beat-up lawn chair and sees a lone cigarette in an ash tray on the ground next to the chair. The cigarette has a red mark on it, which Nick guesses is either blood or lipstick. Sara notes that there's no blood spatter around the pool and guesses that, based on the bloodstains on Happy's shirt, he was shot elsewhere and dumped in.

Brass gets the honor of questioning the girls of the brothel, or the "pleasure providers." None of them remember hearing anything unusual the night before and each have nice things to say about Happy....until Brass tells them that they'll be arrested for lying in a homicide investigation. They each change their tune and say Happy was a horrible person who thought he could get everything for free, much to Binky's anger and frustration.

Grissom takes Doris' DNA and finds out that all security feeds are live, nothing taped. Each of the rooms are wired for sound for the girls' protection (and so Doris can tell if she's getting short-changed on the financial transactions). Doris says that she didn't hear anything unusual the night before and adds that Happy was a "child in a man's body," scared that his comeback attempt was going nowhere.

Grissom and Sara search Happy's living quarters. There are pill bottles all over the place, all of which appear to have come from south of the border, as they have no prescription labels and are written in Spanish. Sara finds blood drops on the floor and blood smears on the cabinets, leading them to think that Happy's troubles started there.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins shows Catherine and Warrick that Happy had several problems with his privates. Happy also has a likely fracture to his head. There are linear markings on the contusion that turn out to be the letters "IN CH." At the brothel, Nick searches the room of "pleasure provider" Dreama Little and finds numerous weapons, one of which is a crowbar that has "MADE IN CHINA" engraved on it. There's blood in the grooves of the engraving.

Dreama Little is brought to the station for interrogation. Brass informs her that she wiped the fingerprints off the crowbar, but not Happy's blood. She tells Brass that Happy was obsessed with her and always coming to her room, whether she was in the mood or not. Happy would punch her just for fun, and she shows Brass the bruises to prove it. Dreama admits to Brass that Happy came into her room the night before and advanced on her. In self defense, she grabbed the crowbar from under the bed and rapped him in the head with it, causing him to stagger out of the room. Brass tells her that she's just admitted to murder and is under arrest. As he has her write her statement, he gets a call from Doc Robbins and is told that the blow to the head didn't kill Happy.

Doc Robbins shows Catherine that the blow to Happy's head caused bruising to his frontal lobe; however, the hit by itself wasn't lethal. He adds that, in addition to the brain trauma and the holes in his throat, Happy also had needle marks all over his body. Catherine notes that Happy was found in a pool and asks if there's any evidence of drowning. The doc replies that there was water and blood in Happy's lungs; however, his neck wound transected the trachea, which could've allowed water to entered the lungs postmortem. Catherine sees that the neck wounds don't look like bullet wounds. Doc Robbins confirms this and says that it seems more like a straight-through puncture. Evidence indicates that the neck wound occurred before the blow to the head.

At the brothel, Sara marks some blood evidence found on the ground and tells Nick that there are blood drops heading towards Happy's trailer. They're soon approached by Milton, who shows them a framed photo of his late wife with an arrow sticking out of it. "I told you, somebody shot my wife!" he exclaims. In Milton's trailer, Nick hangs the photo back on the wall and sees that there's blood on the arrow's shaft. He then goes outside and follows a blood trail to a nearby toolshed. There, he finds another arrow in the ground and sees that he has a clear shot from his location to the window in Milton's trailer. A flashback shows the arrow transecting Happy's neck and crashing through the window into the picture of Milton's late wife. A print from the arrow comes back to Connor Foster, a bartender at the brothel. The drunk Connor is brought to the station, but not before collapsing behind the bar.

At the station, Connor tells Brass that he hated Happy and shot him in self-defense, as he was trying to protect the girls. Connor claims that Happy was a "monster," and a black-and-white flashback shows him staggering around the grounds of the brothel. Connor shot Happy with the crossbow, but it didn't do the trick. Happy realized where the shot came from and chased Connor away before he could get off another shot. Connor is insistent that he didn't kill Happy, but claims that he would shoot him again if he had the chance. However, when confronted with the fact that he likely murdered someone, Connor beings to sob. Just then, Brass gets another call from Doc Robbins and is told that the arrow isn't the murder weapon. Connor isn't their guy.

Doc Robbins informs Catherine and Brass that Happy was going into anaphylactic shock; the arrow piercing his neck actually prolonged his life, reopening his airway and, in essence, performing a tracheotomy. However, the cause of death isn't anaphylactic shock, as evidence shows the anaphylaxis had enough time to subside. David Phillips enters and reports that the anaphylactic shock was caused by shellfish. Doc Robbins finds this odd, as there was no shellfish found in Happy's stomach contents.

Greg and Hodges go through all of the garbage from the brothel and eventually find a partially eaten shrimp tail with lipstick on it. It's found that Binky's fingerprints are on the shrimp tails along with Doris' lipstick; he was feeding the shrimp to her. Doc Robbins finds out that the point of entry for Happy's anaphylaxis was through his urethra. Brass relays to Grissom that the girls at the brothel told him that Doris and Happy had a thing going on the side; adding Binky to the mix makes for a nasty love triangle.

Grissom and Brass visit the brothel again and talk to Binky and Doris. Brass mentions that Happy had a severe allergic reaction to shellfish that was introduced to his system through oral-genital contact. Binky has no idea what Brass is talking about, but Doris does. Her eyes widen and she starts hyperventilating with anger. Binky takes her into one of the rooms to calm her down, and Grissom tells Brass that the rooms are wired for sound. Brass tells him that listening in on the conversation can't be used as evidence in court, but Grissom says that Binky and Doris are the ones who wired the rooms. As they watch and listen, Doris accuses Binky of feeding her shrimp on purpose because he knew Happy was allergic and that he was having a fling with her. Once they remember that the room is wired for sound, they stop arguing and recant their statements, but Brass enters and arrests them both.

In the lab, Grissom tells Catherine that Binky used Doris to induce Happy's allergic reaction as a test of her fidelity. Catherine asks who Brass is going to charge for murder, but Doc Robbins stops them and says that neither one can be charged. He informs Catherine and Grissom that he found a bite of some kind on Happy's calf. The bite tested positive for snake venom; however, upon further investigating, the injections were straight and uneven, while a rattlesnake's bite is curved from the fangs. Grissom notes that Greg found a syringe in Dreama Little's room.

In interrogation, Brass tells Dreama that her blow with the crowbar didn't kill Happy, but injecting him with snake venom did. The syringe found in her room contained snake venom and it had her DNA on it. While the crowbar hit may have been self-defense, this was premediated. Brass figures that she and Connor cooked up the scheme together and tells her that Connor gave her up; however, she seems to see through the lie. She admits to milking the rattlesnake and coming up with the idea herself. Brass then interrogates Connor, who says that Dreama thought up the plan, but he was the one who stuck the syringe into Happy. He then carried the body and dumped it in a culvert, thinking Happy was dead.

Catherine, Grissom and Nick lay out the crime scene photos and try to create an accurate timeline of the night's events. It's determined that the snake venom was entered into Happy's system first, a few hours before his death (attempted murder with conspiracy to commit). Happy then awoke in the culvert and went to look for Dreama. He found Doris instead, which led to shellfish getting introduced into his system (intent on Binky's part). Heading into anaphylactic shock, Happy then staggered into the night, presumably on his way to his trailer to get epinephrine. There, Connor shot Happy with a crossbow, partially curing him and giving him time to get the epinephrine from the trailer (assault with a deadly weapon). Happy then realized what Dreama did to him (or just wanted some action) and went to confront her. She responded by hitting him with the crowbar. Happy then staggered over to the pool, sat in the lawn chair, puffed on a cigarette, and collapsed into the water when the chair leg underneath him gave out. Despite all of this, Nick believes the defense attorney is going to come to one, crafty conclusion: "the lawn chair did it."

In the morgue, Doc Robbins is shown typing up the autopsy report, listing every single thing that Happy went through.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Wallace Langham as David Hodges
  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Peter Stormare as George 'Binky' Babinkian
  • Kurt Fuller as Sheriff Ned Bastille
  • Luis Antonio Ramos as Lorenzo 'Happy' Morales
  • Vince Vieluf as Connor Foster
  • Wendy Makkena as Doris Babinkian
  • Ashley Johnson as Dreama Little
  • Marnette Patterson as Aimee
  • James Whitmore as Milton
  • Terry Tiandra Bookhart as Lulu
  • Audrey Siegel as Tiff
  • Amber Stevens as Tanya (uncredited)

Notes[]

  • Louise Lombard (Sofia) is credited, but does not appear in this episode.

Trivia[]

  • The episode is inspired by the suspicious death of Stuart Lubbock.
  • Luis Antonio Ramos, who played Lorenzo 'Happy Morales, also appeared in the Season Three episode Play with Fire as Jesus Cardenas.
  • Grissom mentions that he saw 'Happy' Morales fight LaRoi Steele a few years back. Steele's death in the boxing ring was investigated in the Season Three episode Fight Night.
  • Vince Vieluf played Connor Foster in this episode. He also appeared in the Season Four episode Homebodies as the same character, and the Season Nine episode Disarmed and Dangerous, where he played a different character.
  • Kurt Fuller, who played Sheriff Ned Bastille, is perhaps recognizable from is role as coroner Woody Strode in the tv show Psych.
  • In a rare occurrence, Brass visits the morgue in one part of the episode.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 7
Built to Kill, Part 1Built to Kill, Part 2Toe TagsFannysmackin'Double CrossBurn OutPost MortemHappenstanceLiving LegendLoco MotivesLeaving Las VegasSweet JaneRedrumMeet MarketLaw of GravityMonster in the BoxFallen IdolsEmpty EyesBig ShotsLab RatsEnding HappyLeapin' LizardsThe Good, The Bad, And The DominatrixLiving Doll
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