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Family Affair
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Season 10
Number 1
Writer Bradley Thompson
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate September 24, 2009
Navigation
Previous Episode: All In
Next Episode: Ghost Town

Family Affair is the first episode in season ten of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A young and beautiful Hollywood actress is killed in what appears to be a simple drunk driving collision, but the team soon suspects that there is more to the case than meets the eye, and a shootout in the crime lab may confirm their suspicions.

Plot

Victim: Olivia Hamilton (deceased)

On the case: entire team

A stop motion scene shows the various members of the lab engaged in a dramatic shootout in the lab; guys in black suits and sunglasses are the shooters. The scene ends with a firefight in the street - and Sara fending off the perps with Nick.

Forty-eight hours earlier, a harried Catherine is dealing with an understaffed lab in the wake of Riley's sudden departure, while Langston is promoted to CSI 2 by Ecklie, who is impressed by the number of courses Langston has taken. The team gets a call from Brass: a car crash on a Las Vegas street has resulted in the death of starlet Olivia Hamilton. Her devastated boyfriend, Danny Ocampo, tries to get to her, but the officers prevent him. The driver of the SUV that hit Olivia’s car, Richard Wilkes, is pulled from his vehicle and revived. Langston spots pulverized rubber (or tire dust) on the pavement indicating that Richard kept his foot on the gas after crashing into Olivia's car. There are also no horizontal scrape marks on either car; Olivia was stopped when she was t-boned. Based on the tire marks, it also seems that Richard accelerated rather than trying to brake just before hitting Olivia’s car.

Catherine gets a call about another murder, a man found dead in a fleabag motel, and sends a disgruntled Greg off to take the case. Back at the station, Brass speaks with a crushed Danny, who comes to the station with Tom O’Neill, a security guard who works for his father’s casino. Danny asks Brass to put a bullet in the man responsible for Olivia’s death, leading Brass to tell him not to make statements like that in public and make things worse. In the morgue, Doc Robbins determines Olivia died of internal hemorrhaging and discovers that the actress was eight weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

Across town in the rundown motel, Greg photographs the body of a bloodied victim lying on a bed; there's no identification anywhere on the victim. Both Greg and the accompanying officer are unhappy with their assignments, but Greg notes that their job is to get a killer off the streets no matter the circumstances. Greg recovers two of the victim's front teeth, which have a black thread wedged between them.

A doctor in the hospital tells Langston that he could smell alcohol on Richard's clothes when he was brought in. Richard's C-2 vertebra was crushed in the accident due to his not wearing a seat belt and getting propelled into the airbag. Henry finds that Richard's blood alcohol was .18 and that he had GHB in his system. Langston and Nick go through his things from the SUV and find a scrapbook filled with pictures of Olivia - as well as rope, duct tape and a knife. It seems that the accident wasn't random - Richard was stalking her.

A call sheet was found in Olivia's car indicating the time she was due on the movie set she was heading to along with a map with directions from her hotel. It's discovered that Richard had the same information on his computer, likely from hacking into the film company's virtual production office. While Nick believes that Richard ambushed Olivia, Langston isn't so sure. Langston believes that based on rope, duct tape and knife found, Richard wanted to kidnap Olivia and that his not wearing a seat belt makes it seem like he was suicidal. The two CSIs differ on their opinions as to whether or not the accident was intentional.

In the hospital, a semi-lucid Richard tells Brass that he remembers killing Olivia. He had gone by the movie set the day before to see Olivia, but had gotten kicked out. Richard recites what Olivia wrote to him in a signed picture and claims that she only loved herself.

Langston and Nick look at surveillance footage of the intersection and notice the light Olivia stopped for shouldn’t have been red - someone used an override signal to get it to change, leaving Olivia a sitting duck. Nick confirms that an illegal infrared transmitter was used to change the signal, but no such device was found at the scene. Langston leaves with a theory, one he'll only divulge to Nick if he can prove it.

In the hospital, Langston pays Richard a visit and discovers he has subcutaneous bruising in the form of a seat belt; however, it's one from the passenger side rather than the driver’s side. Langston suspects the real killer crashed into Olivia, moved an intoxicated Richard into the driver's seat and snapped his neck to make it look like the injury occurred in the accident. Since the headlines are saying that a stalker killed Olivia, the theory is that the real killer knew Richard was a stalker. Ecklie enters, infuriated that the tabloids are reporting that Olivia's stalker confessed to murder, something Hodges let slip earlier to security guard Tom O'Neill (unbeknownst to the rest of the team). As an irate Ecklie leaves questioning Catherine's leadership skills, Sara appears - she is the CSI who has been brought on to help alleviate the caseload. The newlywed admits she misses her old team - while Grissom is in France giving a series of lectures, she agreed to sign on to help.

In her office, Catherine reviews Riley’s exit interview and is surprised to find Riley criticized her leadership and found there to be a lack of team cohesiveness. Hodges enters and confesses that he told Tom that Richard had confessed to Oliva’s murder. Catherine lets him off with a strict warning and peruses the tabloids, reading that Danny owned child support payments and was part of a multimillion dollar paternity suit.

The team views surveillance footage from Danny's father’s casino after learning that Richard stayed there recently and spot Tom speaking with Richard on camera a little more than three hours before Olivia died. They wonder if Tom was actually the one driving the car despite having no airbag burns on his face. Suspicious of Danny, Catherine questions him and learns he didn’t ride to the set with Olivia on the night of her death because he was planning on arriving later and proposing.

Langston peruses Tom's website and finds a picture of him in full driving gear holding a helmet. In interrogation, Tom admits to Brass that he put a tail on Richard because a threat to Olivia was also a threat to Danny. A flashback shows Tom confronting Richard at the casino bar and threatening to have him fired from his job and jailed if he didn't leave Olivia alone. He claims that he followed Richard until he was sure he was leaving town. Brass questions Tom about a duffel bag seen in the surveillance photo, which Tom says is workout clothing. However, Langston soon enters with the bag and reveals that the bag contains a helmet - and that the helmet has white dust on it that's likely airbag dust. Langston and Brass theorize that Tom was hired by Danny's father to kill Olivia as a way to prevent Danny from going through another expensive paternity lawsuit. Tom denies this and asks for a lawyer. Later, the white powder in the helmet is confirmed to be airbag talc.

Catherine turns to Sara for leadership advice, and Sara tells her the only thing she’s missing is a great second-in-command. Suddenly, the lab is besieged by men in suits with guns, who steal a body and make a break for it, shooting two people in the process. Several of the assailants are captured, and Sara recognizes Russian mafia tattoos on the hand of one of the attackers killed in the shootout. The team assumes it was Olivia’s body that was taken until Doc Robbins tells them it was the dead man from the hotel room.

Wendy has the answer: the man’s DNA links him to Olivia - he was her father, James. James was a diagnosed schizophrenic whom Olivia had little contact with. The team thinks Danny's father got wind of Olivia’s pregnancy and paid Tom to dig up dirt on her. When he caught her talking to her father, Tom confronted the man to find out who he was, only to find himself in a fight with the unbalanced schizophrenic. It seems that Tom killed him accidentally. Catherine likes the theory, but wants proof - something Langston thinks must exist if Tom had the body stolen. The team wonders why Tom didn't have the body stolen right then and there, and Catherine guesses that Tom spotted James' body and his X-ray when he went to the morgue to see Olivia's body.

The remains of James’ body are found by a wood chipper, completely cut up. The CSIs retrieve them, and Langston looks at the X-rays taken before the body was stolen and finds the key piece of evidence that Tom stole the body for: a cuff link James bit off when he and Tom fought. Nick finds it among the cut up remains, and Tom is arrested for James' murder; however, the team didn't have get enough evidence to pin Olivia's murder on him, as well.

Her thoughts still on Sara’s advice, Catherine promotes Nick to Assistant Supervisor on the grave shift. Doc Robbins summons Langston to the morgue to show him the body of Joseph Bigelow, a homeless man who spent most of his time in the streets. When the doc opens the body up, both men gasp and question what they're looking at.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Quotes

Dr. Al Robbins (shady guys with guns are stealing the bum): What the hell is going on here?
Nick Stokes and Sara Sidle (after shooting at the Russians, who broke in the lab and drive away with the bum): You okay?
Greg Sanders (after the Russians break into the lab and take the bum): They took my bum?

Goofs

  • In the opening freeze frame scene, the female lab tech who gets shot and goes through a glass plane is bare handed. Later in the episode, when the scene plays out, she is wearing gloves.
  • In the opening freeze frame scene, Nick is seen firing his usual sidearm at the escape vehicle, the Smith & Wesson SW99. Later, when the scene plays out, he is instead seen firing a Glock 17.
  • When Catherine approaches David Phillips in the hallway of the morgue as Tom O'Neal is following Catherine in, David has both hands on an x-ray but in the next shot, he only has one hand.
  • The doctor states that the driver with the broken neck broke his second vertebra. But the recreation shows the fourth vertebra being broken.

Notes

  • Both Liz Vassey (Wendy) and David Berman (David Phillips) are promoted to the main cast and appear in the opening credit sequence.
  • Langston is cleared by the review board for his shooting of Walter Ellis in the previous episode All In.

Trivia

  • This is the first time an episode opened on a freeze frame in which the scene soon takes place later on.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 10
Family AffairGhost TownWorking StiffsCoup de GraceBloodsportDeath & The MaidenThe Lost GirlsLover's LanesAppendicitementBetter Off DeadSin City BlueLong BallInternal CombustionUnshockableNeverlandThe Panty SnifferIrradiatorField MiceWorld's EndTake My Life, Please!Lost & FoundDoctor WhoMeat Jekyll


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