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Forever
Forever.jpg
Season 3
Number 21
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker,
Sarah Goldfinger
Director David Grossman
Original Airdate May 1, 2003
Navigation
Previous Episode: Last Laugh
Next Episode: Play with Fire

Forever is the twenty-first episode in season three of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Grissom, Catherine and Nick investigate when a horse trainer is found dead in the cargo bay of a private jet. At first it looks like the victim is trampled by the horse, but Grissom and his team soon discover the situation is more complex. Meanwhile, Warrick and Sara investigate how two teens could have committed suicide in the middle of the desert.

Plot

Victim: Lori Hutchins (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Nick Stokes, Jim Brass

On a fancy private jet, a group of people are partying and drinking. The plane goes through turbulence forcing everyone to sit down and put their seat belts on. A deck below in the cargo hold, a horse is in it's private stable with a woman dead at its feet.

Catherine and Grissom meets Brass in the airplane hangar, where he tells them that the victim's name is Lori Hutchins. Lori, the horse's trainer, had chaperoned the horse on airplane trips all the time; her body was found after the passengers had disembarked. Grissom says that they're going to need to process everyone that was on the plane, starting with the first witness and suspect—the horse.

Catherine speaks to the flight crew who says that Lori was a polite, quiet woman who always traveled with the horse. One of the crew checked in on her and the horse twice, and dinner had been brought to Lori three hours into the flight. The crew mentions the turbulence to Catherine and tells her that there was an emergency button down where Lori was, but Lori never used it.

In the stable, Grissom photographs blood and finds a pair of scissors with blood on them buried in the hay. He also finds a tranquilizer gun and several tranquilizer darts buried. In the cargo hold, Catherine finds brown shavings on the ground and another tranquilizer dart embedded in the ceiling. A flashback shows the horse acting wildly during the turbulence and Lori trying to sedate it. When she missed with the shot, she fell and the horse trampled her. Nick enters and notes that someone stepped in horse poop, leaving behind a well-defined shoe print. Catherine notices the print as being from a high-grade driving loafer.

On the plane where most of the passengers were, Brass tells Catherine that there 12 people on board with no assigned seating. Apparently, they could do whatever they wanted. Catherine and Nick spot a bed in the corner with several semen stains on it, as well as a used condon. There are also bloody paper towels in a nearby waste basket.

Catherine and Grissom enter the airplane hangar where the veterinarian, Dr. Stevens, is tending to the horse. A woman is outside talking to the police and demanding to see her horse; she walks away in a huff when she is denied. Dr. Stevens tells Catherine and Grissom that the horse is still spooked, as horses do not adapt to change well. Losing her trainer is also having an effect. With the doctor's help, they are able to process the horse and find some evidence. Dr. Stevens tells Grissom that the horse is prone to serious uterine infections, which is why the horse is stapled up. The doctor also pulls something from between the horse's teeth. Catherine asks for a blood sample from the horse and tells Dr. Stevens that they found a tranquilizer gun. He tells her that you don't use tranquilizer guns on horses, as the impact energy would cause an immediate adrenaline response and make the horse more agitated.

In the lab, Catherine is testing the brown shavings she found earlier. Nick enters and tells her that all of the shoes were collected from the passengers. Catherine was right—the shoe print belonged to a loafer and it had horse poop in the treads. The suspect, Harper Fitzgerald, is brought into the station.

In the morgue, Doc Robbins tells Grissom that Lori had perimortem bruising and scarring, both minor and major. They are all consistent with being trampled, except that she has tiny pupils, indicating an opioid overdose. Lori overdosed on the tranquilizer and has an puncture wound in one of her bruises the size of the tranquilizer dart. Grissom notes that one can't shoot themselves in the shoulder with a tranquilizer rifle, meaning someone else shot her and pinned the death on the horse.

In the interrogation room, Nick tells Harper that her shoe print was found was found in the cargo hold where Lori's body was found. Harper tells them that she owns the plane and can go wherever she wants. She admits to being down in the cargo hold trying to buy the horse, but that Lori is no use to her dead. Nick takes a DNA sample from her.

Grissom informs Catherine that the tranquilizer gun has been wiped clean and that there were no prints on the dart she found in the cargo hold's ceiling. There is a partial palm print in the dart in the container, but not enough for a comparison. However, Grissom tells her that there three different matches for prints on the railing leading down to the cargo hold—Harper Fitzgerald (owner of the plane), Jason Banks (the steward who brought Lori her dinner), and Rhone Confer (formerly a concierge at the Orpheus hotel). Catherine says that this is interesting, as the brown shavings found earlier in the cargo hold and the horse's teeth came back as tobacco. The tobacco is from a Cuban cigar, and Catherine notes that if you want to find where to buy a Cuban cigar, you ask a concierge.

In interrogation, Catherine and Brass question Rhone Confer. He says he was on the plane because he was friendly with Harper. Catherine mentions Cuban cigars, which Rhone says should be legal. He claims he never went near Lori Hutchins, but Catherine tells him his print was found on the railing. Rhone admits to planning a party a year before for Harper and they hit it off. He started getting invited to parties, and this was his first time on the jet. Despite being told not to go down to the cargo hold, he went down anyway. He got too close to the horse, which started chewing on his cigar. Rhone saw Lori's body and fled the scene, keeping his mouth shut. He claims he didn't want to be a buzzkill and get himself kicked out of Harper's inner circle. Catherine gets a sample of his DNA.

Greg tells Catherine that the blood on the paper towels belonged to Lori. However, there were two donors on another part of the towel—one belonging to Lori and the other to an unknown source. The other source did not match the DNA of Harper or Rhone; more suspects need to be rounded up. Catherine then gets a call. She and Grissom head back out to the airplane hangar, where Dr. Stevens tells them that he tried to save the horse, but the horse died from uterine infections. Grissom tells him that he found suture scissors near Lori's body on the plane and asks the doctor if it's possible Lori tried to relieve the horse's infection on the plane. Dr. Stevens tells him that it would have to be critical for Lori to try emergency surgery in the air.

An autopsy is performed on the horse and a pouch is found inside the animal's uterus. Grissom cuts open the bag and pours it out to reveal uncut diamonds. In Dr. Stevens' office, Grissom tells Catherine that, according to the receptionist, Dr. Stevens left town unexpectedly. Catherine finds diamond dust on the table and a lot of red lentils, which are supposed to prevent diamonds from chipping. Grissom tells Catherine that a horse's uterus is the size of a football, meaning there could have been a lot more diamonds inside of the horse. He guesses that Dr. Stevens left one bag behind because he couldn't reach it. However, the doctor wasn't on the plane, so he couldn't be guilty of murder. He must have had a partner.

In the lab, Catherine performs some measurements and deduces that they are looking for approximately four more pouches of diamonds. Grissom runs tests on the diamonds and the results show that they are coming from central or south Africa. Catherine believes they are conflict diamonds that finance warlords and support child slavery. They are banned by the United Nations, which is why they had to be smuggled into the country. Additionally, by bypassing customs, the smuggler wouldn't have to pay a tax on the diamonds. Catherine surmises that Lori may have been killed because she discovered what her horse was being used for.

Brass interviews Jason Banks, the steward. He is the only person on the plane whose passport was stamped in Sierra Leone. Jason claims he traveled the world because the Fitzgeralds wanted him to pick things up for them. He compares it to being a messenger boy. Jason claims he would usually pick up art or antiques and that the packages would be wrapped up. Brass informs Jason that he was the other contributor on the bloody paper towels found in the waste basket on the plane. He replies that when he brought Lori her dinner, she handed him the bloody towels, as the horse had been acting up. Brass doesn't seem to believe Jason's story.

Grissom tells Catherine that he found traces of carrots on the diamonds, meaning that Lori probably packed the diamonds herself after feeding the horse. Catherine surmises that Dr. Stevens didn't have one partner, he had two. Lori was the only one who knew that there were five packages of diamonds; Dr. Stevens purposely left one behind to incriminate her.

In the A/V lab, Grissom notes that the diamonds are worthless if you don't have a buyer. Nick wonders if Dr. Stevens smuggled the diamonds to the Cayman Islands, but Catherine asks why someone would go to all the trouble to smuggle the diamonds into the country, then smuggle them out. Grissom says that Jason's story checks out; Lori had a antemortem gash on her forearm. When Rhone Confer's name comes up on the screen, it comes up as Rhone Kinsey-Confer. Catherine recognizes the name "Kinsey," and says she's going to find out what Rhone's mother's maiden name was. She tells Grissom and Nick that she bought her engagement ring from Kinsey Diamonds. Brass and the police raid the jewelry store and seize all of the diamonds. When Mrs. Kinsey objects, Brass tells her to think—did her son really mine the diamonds himself?

In the interrogation room, Grissom and Brass interview Rhone. They tell him that he had a good plan, but he got caught. Brass guesses that Lori's death was an accident and Grissom wonders if Lori cared more about the horse than the diamonds. They use a warrant to get Rhone to remove his shirt, and he reveals a large black and blue bruise on his chest. Grissom notes that high-powered pneumatic guns don't need to be loaded to leave a mark.

In a flashback, the horse is acting erratically while Lori and Rhone argue. Lori tells him she's going to take the diamonds out against Rhone's wishes. He points the gun at her and they struggle, with one tranquilizer dart ending up in the ceiling. Lori wrestles the gun away and fires it into Rhone's chest, leaving the mark. Rhone grabbed a tranquilizer dart and stuck in Lori's arm. As she collapsed to the ground, the frightened horse trampled her to death. Confronted with the evidence, Rhone calls Lori a "freakin' pony lover."

Victims: Toby Wellstone (deceased), Jill Frommer (deceased)

On the case: Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Cyrus Lockwood

In Death Valley, a body of a young man is found on a blanket "coffin ready," wearing a black suit and laying flat on his back with arms crossed over his chest. Sara notices a white patch on the blanket and thinks it might be bird poop. Warrick finds the victim's wallet, revealing the man to be Toby Wellstone, a student at McKinley High School. On Toby's left hand is a transdermal patch containing fentanyl, allowing it to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It appears to be an intentional overdose. Sara wonders how the victim got this far out into the desert with no mode of transportation in sight. Warrick sees some tire treads that Sara photographs.

Warrick informs Sara that Toby didn't have any parents and that he had been through seven foster homes in seven years. Sara says that the high school told her Toby was out of school more than he was in it. Doc Robbins tells them that Toby's last meal was a hamburger, fries, and shake. He also added fentanyl in patch and pill form. Sara notes that there is cisapride on the toxicology report, and Doc Robbins tells her that this is an agent that speeds up the body's absorption of fentanyl and it keeps the stomach acids from going into reflux. With no vomiting, there is no chance for survival. There are two scars on Toby's right wrist, indicating that he had tried to kill himself twice before.

Later on, Sara and Warrick meet Det. Lockwood back out in the desert where another body has been found. This time, the victim is a teenage girl wearing a black prom dress. There is no scarring on the victim's wrist, but she is wearing the same transdermal patch that Toby was wearing. There is also a white mark on the victim's body, which Sara believes could have been transferred from Toby's blanket. They may be looking at a Romeo and Juliet scenario. Sara believes that something is off, however, as the victim's dress is too big for her.

Sara processes the dress and comes to the conclusion that the girl made her own dress, but didn't know her own measurements. Warrick tells her that the sexual assault kit on the girl came back negative. However, the girl's stomach contents were the same as Toby's, even down to the same dosages of fentanyl and cisapride. He finds it weird that the girl's fingerprints were on Toby's fentanyl patch and Toby's were on hers. Sara wonders why didn't find any trash at the crime scenes or any suicide notes. They also question why, if this was a suicide pact, the girl's body was found far away from Toby's. Det. Lockwood interrupts them and says that the girl has been identified as Jill Frommer and that her mother is coming in to identify the body.

Sara and Det. Lockwood talk to Mrs. Frommer, who says she does not recognize the dress Jill was found in. Mrs. Frommer rebuffs the idea that Jill sewed her own dress, as she wasn't that domesticated. It is revealed that Mrs. Frommer was foster parent to Toby for a year before she sent him back. Jill's father had died and she couldn't handle Toby on her own as he was too much work. She took Toby back in when Jill showed her that Toby was being abused at another foster house. Mrs. Frommer ignores the question as to whether Jill and Toby were romantically involved and she tells Sara that she doesn't think Jill had ever attempted suicide before. However, with Toby around, she's not so sure. Mrs. Frommer had called social services to rid herself of Toby, but she claims that nobody wants to adopt teenagers, just children. Sara believes the kids had help, but when she asks Mrs. Frommer for the names of Sara's friends, Mrs. Frommer laughs and says that her daughter's life was way out of her hands.

Sara and Warrick interview three shallow teenage girls at the high school who tell the CSIs that Jill hadn't attended school all year. When Sara shows them a picture of the dress, they recognize it as belonging to Alyssa Jameson, who had worn the dress to homecoming the year before. According to the girls, Alyssa is a goody two shoes who spends her time saving the planet or helping the sick at the hospital.

Sara and Warrick visit Alyssa at the hospital and she confirms that she gave her dress to Jill. When asked if she gave Jill fentanyl and cisapride, Alyssa immediately knows that Jill killed herself. Jill had also given Alyssa a necklace; according to her, giving away prized possessions means someone is going to commit suicide. Alyssa admits trading the dress to Jill for the necklace, as Jill had told her she had a special occasion to wear the dress to. Alyssa said Jill had been depressed, but she was hoping she was turning the corner. Sara again asks if she provided the drugs to Jill or allowed her access to them, but Alyssa points to a security camera and says that she couldn't even if she wanted to, which she didn't.

Greg informs Sara and Warrick that the hospital hadn't dispensed cisapride in over three years. Interestingly, he tells them that white substance found on the blanket and Jill's dress came back as baby spittle. The DNA from the spittle came back to Toby and Jill—it was their baby in the desert. While the police comb the desert for signs of the baby, Sara, Warrick, and Det. Lockwood visit Mrs. Frommer's house. Her credit card bill shows a purchase for a young man's suit. They enter the house with a search warrant. Warrick finds some greeting cards in a drawer. In the kitchen, Mrs. Frommer nervously looks on as Sara and Warrick search the cabinets. Sara finds a bunch of pill bottles, as well as fentanyl and cisapride. Mrs. Frommer responds that her husband had gone through chemotherapy, while the fentanyl is for her back pain. When asked why she didn't tell authorities that Toby and Jill had access to these medications, Mrs. Frommer simply replies that nobody asked.

Just then, they hear crying coming from the refrigerator. Warrick opens the refrigerator door to reveal a baby monitor. They locate the baby in another part of the house; Mrs. Frommer replies that she's the baby's only chance. When Sara challenges this, Mrs. Frommer replies that it's not against the law in Nevada to watch people kill themselves. A flashback shows her admonishing Toby and Jill for ruining her life. She drove the kids out to Death Valley then took the baby with her as they committed suicide. The tire tracks found earlier were from a baby carriage. Jill had a change of heart and tried following her mother, which is why she was found in a separate location than Toby. Mrs. Frommer tells the CSIs that the kids were beyond help.

Sara believes that they can convince a jury that Mrs. Frommer did more than just watch the suicides. She replies that not helping a child in danger is a misdemeanor. Sara threatens to write Mrs. Frommer up for murder and call Child Services on her, but Mrs. Frommer confidently replies that she is next of kin and has no criminal record. She is sure she will get the baby back. Sara asks Warrick if they stand a chance at making the charges stick, and Warrick tells her no.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Jeffrey D. Sams as Cyrus Lockwood
  • Lee Garlington as Mrs. Frommer
  • Patrick Fabian as Rhone Kinsey-Confer
  • Elaine Hendrix as Harper Fitzgerald
  • Susan Walters as Merrit
  • Jonathan Slavin as Jason Banks
  • Michael Mantell as Dr. Stevens
  • Olivia Friedman as Alyssa Jameson
  • Nigel Gibbs as Captain
  • Lisa Wilhoit as Left Teen
  • Arielle Kebbel as Right Teen
  • Christinna Chauncey as Lori Hutchins
  • Kara Houston as Middle Teen
  • Michael Lawson as Toby Wellstone
  • Doan Ly as Jessie Menken
  • Keith MacKechnie as Co-Pilot
  • Cheryl McWilliams as Mrs. Kinsey-Confer
  • Jill Noel as Jill Frommer

Episode Title

  • The episode title is taken from one of the letters that Warrick and Sara uncover on Mrs. Frommer's house.

Music

  • Sit Down, Stand Up by Ed O'Brien.

Goofs

  • While investigating the crime scene, Sara uses a compact digital camera. However, the point-of-view shots, with the ISO and the aperture shown, and with a typical black crosshair resembles a digital SLR camera.

Trivia

  • A young Patrick Fabian plays Rhone Confer in this episode. He is now perhaps most recognized for his role as Howard Hamlin in the AMC show Better Call Saul.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 3
Revenge is Best Served ColdThe Accused is EntitledLet the Seller BewareA Little MurderAbra-CadaverThe Execution of Catherine WillowsFight NightSnuffBlood LustHigh and LowRecipe for MurderGot Murder?Random Acts of ViolenceOne Hit WonderLady Heather's BoxLucky StrikeCrash & BurnPrecious MetalA Night at the MoviesLast LaughForeverPlay with FireInside the Box
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