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Hollywood Brass
Hollywood.jpg
Season 5
Number 20
Writer Sarah Goldfinger,
Carol Mendelsohn
Director Bill Eagles
Original Airdate April 21, 2005
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Next Episode: Committed

Hollywood Brass is the twentieth episode in Season Five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Synopsis

Jim Brass travels to Los Angeles, California when his estranged daughter Ellie calls for help after her friend turns up missing.

Plot

Victim: Sasha "Dakota" Reynolds (missing)

On the case: Jim Brass, Warrick Brown, Annie Kramer, Matt Glazer (LAPD), Albert Robbins, Nick Stokes

On the streets of Los Angeles, two prostitutes, "Dakota" and "Jersey," are walking along looking for business. A car drives up and "Dakota" proclaims that it's her "knight in shining German armor." "Jersey" asks her if the guy has room for two; this is not the case, though, and "Dakota" gets in the car and it drives away.

The following morning, "Jersey" is at the police station telling an officer that her friend is missing. They have a system where they call each other and she has not received a call. The officer brushes her aside and tells her to eat something and gets some sleep. In act of desperation, "Jersey" calls her father on the phone asking for help. The man on the other end of the line is Brass, revealing "Jersey" to be his daughter, Ellie.

Brass convinces the new sheriff to give him some time off and he heads to L.A. There, he speaks with LAPD Captain and old friend Annie Kramer. She hands him the rap sheets of both Sasha "Dakota" Reynolds and Ellie and says that she'll run the partial license plate Ellie was able to provide. The captain also gives Brass Ellie's last known address.

Brass pulls up outside of Ellie's apartment and sees her walking around inside; however, she doesn't see him. He tells her that LAPD is looking into her friend's disappearance. Meanwhile, she lies about how great her life is and Brass watches her take a hit off a crack pipe with a shady looking guy.

In Koreatown, the car in question is found with broken windows. Two young gangbangers tell Capt. Kramer that they found the car that way and that the engine wouldn't even start. Despite their pleas of innocence, they are arrested. Brass walks over to the car and finds a "B.H.G.C." decal on the windshield; Capt. Kramer doesn't recognize what it could mean. They pop the trunk and find that it has been wiped clean except for a spot of blood.

While at the HIDTA conference, Matt Glazer, a member of the L.A. crime lab, receives a call from Capt. Kramer asking him to come to the scene. He asks a member of the Vegas crime lab if he knows a Jim Brass; the person happens to be Warrick. They head to the scene to process it; there, Warrick talks to Brass and finds out Ellie may be involved. Warrick and Matt look closely at the trunk and find a hole in it. Based on the markings around the hole, it seems that it was made by a tool and not a bullet.

Brass drives down the street that he knows Ellie works on and pulls over to the curb. She walks up to the car thinking she's got another client, but is horrified to find out it's her father. As she yells at him and threatens to walk away, Brass asks her to get in the car because he has information on Sasha. He relays the findings from the trunk and asks if Ellie has anything that has Sasha's DNA on it, such as a hairbrush or pillowcase. Ellie eventually remembers that they got tested at the free clinic the week before and that the clinic may have kept their blood. Brass invites her to dinner, but she's still mad that he left her long ago. She gets out of the car and storms away.

Brass and Capt. Kramer are able to get Sasha's blood from the clinic after convincing the doctor that they need it for DNA in a homicide and don't care about the positive or negative test result. Meanwhile, Capt. Kramer gets a call and is told that the registered owner of the car is Todd Piccone, Assistant City Attorney. They pay Todd a visit and ask him about his missing car. He eventually comes clean and admits that while he was in the company of a prostitute, he got carjacked. Todd avoids the questions asking why he didn't report the theft. He also guesses where the car was found stripped, telling Brass that certain places in L.A. are where good cars go to die. Capt. Kramer asks to take a look around the house, but Todd denies the request and closes the door.

Capt. Kramer tells Brass that they don't have enough evidence to get a warrant to search Todd's house; however, she has a plan up her sleeve. They visit a restaurant that she knows is frequented by some powerful people, including Judge Silvio Peters. As she introduces everyone to Brass, she quietly fills the judge in on their predicament. He sees right through her and denies her request for a warrant. Meanwhile, Brass talks with Vic 'The Eagle' Patterson, an actor turned mayoral candidate. Vic signs an autograph for Brass and Brass notices that Vic's tie clip has the initials "B.H.G.C." on it.

Brass and Capt. Kramer pay Ellie a visit and ask her about Sasha's private life. Ellie reveals that Sasha has a guy in her life named Ronnie that is kind of like a boyfriend and that he lives in the apartment above them. They head upstairs and Brass breaks down the door. Inside, they find all of the ingredients for a meth lab. Warrick is called in to process the scene and confirms that this is the case. Capt. Kramer wonders if Ronnie and Sasha were looking for a quick score and decided carjacking would be the answer. There is nothing in plain sight linking Ronnie to Sasha' disappearance. Just then, Ronnie appears in the hallway brandishing a gun and waving it from side to side. He points the gun at Brass and Capt. Kramer, convinced that he is being robbed by cops. Eventually, he starts to cry and puts the gun down.

A jogger finds a dead body in a lake that matches Sasha's description. The coroner puts the time of death at three and a half hours before and there are signs that Sasha was hit in the face several times. Ellie tearfully identifies the body and runs away before she gets sick. Brass receives a call from the sheriff of the Vegas Police Department and gets reprimanded for having his "family business" be the investigation of a crime outside of his jurisdiction. As he watches Ellie cry, Brass tells the sheriff to write him for insubordination and says that he can't come back just yet.

Capt. Kramer interrogates Ronnie, who is still high on drugs. He admits to having a relationship with Sasha and also getting some pleasure from Ellie, but denies having anything to do with murder. Capt. Kramer tells Ronnie that she believes he is the one that carjacked Todd Piccone and that he hit Sasha and killed her after he found out what she was doing. Ronnie continues to deny this and wonders aloud why he would admit to murder just to get a lesser sentence on his drug charge. Brass is watching this exchange from behind the two-way glass. As he leaves the station, he admits to Ellie that he shouldn't have come to L.A. and that he wishes she would try to be a better person.

At the impound yard, Warrick and Matt process Todd's stripped car. They note the presence of bullet holes in the trunk along with Sasha's blood; however, the autopsy report says that she wasn't shot. Warrick searches under the car and finds two bullet holes, with one of them being in the gas tank. He figures that the killer fired the into the gas tank in an effort to clean up the scene and blow up the car. Blood-stained gasoline is poured from the gas tank; in there, Matt finds a .45 caliber bullet. He notes that Ronnie's gun is a 9mm.

Brass calls Doc Robbins and asks him to explain the autopsy report to him. Sasha suffered a broken nose and had a fractured sternal clavicle. She also had lacerations and subdermal hematomas on her head. Doc Robbins says that the cause of death was exsanguination. Tool marks found on the body indicate that Sasha was hit repeatedly with the same weapon and left to die. Green wax was found under her fingernails and chunks of concrete were also found tied to her waist; Brass guesses that the concrete was used to weigh the body down in the lake.

At Todd's house, Brass looks at some concrete blocks lining the lawn next to the driveway. Inside, Warrick touches the shag carpeting and finds that it's wet; when the carpet is rolled back, a large blood pool is discovered underneath. Matt searches for castoff, but they find that the metal surface next to the television is giving them a false positive. After having the television set to a blue screen, Warrick finds a crack in the screen along with some blood. In the kitchen, Warrick and Brass curiously spot three trash cans; one of the cans contains several bottles of alcohol. There is green wax on the neck of one of the bottles along with some fingernail marks, and Warrick notes that green wax was found under Sasha's fingernails.

Todd is brought to the station for questioning. With Brass watching from behind the two-way glass, Todd admits to Capt. Kramer that he paid Sasha $60 and brought her back to his house to meet a friend of his. He claims that he has no knowledge of what happened after that. Todd refuses to say who his friend is, only that the friend is a very important person. He asks Capt. Kramer to turn off the microphone; when she does, he invokes his right to remain silent.

As Brass is walking somewhere in the night, Warrick pulls up in his car alongside of him. He tells Brass that before getting escorted out of the lab, he got a look at the fingerprint results from the bottles collected from Todd's house. It seems that the Vegas guys are starting to outstay their welcome. Warrick says that Ellie is the only one that can identify Todd as the driver that picked up Sasha, but Brass doesn't think that he is the guilty party.

In Brass' motel room, Warrick and Brass discuss the case further. Warrick believes that the fingernail marks on the bottle weren't from pouring, but from self defense. There are a list of six suspects whose prints were taken off of the bottles—Silvio Peters, Joe Cohen, Daniel Reichmann, Vic Patterson, Todd Piccone and Parker Smythe. Brass recognizes some of the high-powered names on the list and is surprised that all of those names are in AFIS. Warrick notes that anyone that has a permit to carry a concealed weapon would also be registered in AFIS. He then gets an idea.

Warrick calls Nick and asks him to run the six names and to check if any of them have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. It turns out that Vic Patterson does and that it's a Colt .45. Nick runs the serial number and finds that Colt sold the gun to the Beverly Hills Gun Club, who in turn sold it to Vic in 1983. Quick flashbacks show the "B.H.G.C" decal from the car windshield as well as from Vic's tie clip. Brass guesses that if Vic bought the gun from the club, he probably shoots there, as well.

Warrick and Brass head to the gun club and are able to confirm that Vic shoots there. They are also told that Vic is a fine shot and has won several of the club's competitions. Warrick looks at a display case that contains Vic's award, gun and bullets. Meanwhile, Brass asks to shoot with the same ammo that Vic shoots with and is escorted to the firing range.

Back in the motel room, Brass is on the phone with Nick. He confirms that the bullet Brass sent him is a match to a bullet from a current investigation; the report says that it's a match to the bullet that was recovered from the gas tank. Warrick enters the room and tells Brass that they can't prove that Vic is the killer since Sasha was beaten to death and not shot; the only thing they can prove is that Vic helped clean up the scene. They still need a murder weapon. Warrick then shows Brass some publicity photos he bought of Vic posing with his gun. The pistol grip has an insignia of an eagle, and Warrick notes the oddly shaped contusions that were found on Sasha's face. The contusions seem to match up with the grip. The gun is the murder weapon after all, only Vic hit Sasha with it instead of firing it.

Brass and Capt. Kramer sit at a bar and talk about the case. She says that sixth months ago, a strung-out hooker came into the police department claiming that she has been assaulted by Vic and that her wounds looked like the ones found on Sasha. Capt. Kramer admits that she ignored the accusation, figuring that the hooker's pimp hit her and that she was trying to get a settlement from Vic. Brass tells her that the only record of the investigation is in the envelope she has and that half of the evidence won't hold up in court. Capt. Kramer knows that if she pursues the matter and loses, her career in the department is finished. Brass tells her that she has to do the job right, the same way he did when he made the decision to take down dirty cops back in New Jersey.

Brass walks to Ellie's apartment and places a gift down in front of her door and attaches a business card for a rehabilitation facility to it. He stands up, looks at the door and walks away.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Teal Redmann as Ellie Brass
  • Nick Searcy as Sheriff Burdick
  • Dionna Murphy as Captain Annie Kramer
  • Michael K. Williams as Ronnie
  • Matthew Glave as Officer Matt Glazer
  • Johnny Sneed as Todd Piccone
  • Karina Logue as Dr. Supulveda
  • Brian Leckner as Earl
  • Joel Polis as Judge Silvio Peters
  • Eric Allan Kramer as Vic 'The Eagle' Patterson
  • John Wynn as David Kim
  • Lindsay Beamish as Sasha 'Dakota' Reynolds
  • Richard Gross as Officer Kirk

Episode Title

  • Hollywood Brass refers to Captain Jim Brass' work on a case in Los Angeles (the location of Hollywood) that involves his daughter, Ellie. It could also be a reference to an orchestra formed by Jerry Fielding.

Music

  • Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

Notes

  • Teal Redmann's first appearance as Ellie Brass in this episode after she replaced Nicki Aycox.
  • Only Nick, Warrick, Brass and Doc Robbins appear in this episode.
  • William Petersen (Grissom), Marg Helgenberger (Catherine), Jorja Fox (Sara) and Eric Szmanda (Greg) are credited, but do not appear in this episode. This is the first episode where Gil Grissom doesn't appear.
  • When talking to Capt. Kramer, Brass brings up the name Mike O'Toole, who was a dirty cop from their days working in New Jersey. Brass tells her that O'Toole broke up his marriage to his wife, Nancy. Later in the series, it is revealed that O'Toole is Ellie's biological father.

Trivia

  • Michael K. Williams played Ronnie in this episode. He is an accomplished actor most recognized for his role as Omar Little in the show The Wire. Williams also appeared in the episode World's End (Season 10) playing a different character, and appeared in the CSI: NY episode The Box.
  • Eric Allan Kramer, who played Vic 'The Eagle' Patterson, also appeared in the Season 9 episode The Descent of Man playing the Deputy Sheriff.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 5
Viva Las VegasDown the DrainHarvestCrow's FeetSwap MeetWhat's Eating Gilbert Grissom?FormalitiesCh-Ch-ChangesMea CulpaNo Humans InvolvedWho Shot Sherlock?SnakesNesting DollsUnbearableKing BabyBig MiddleCompulsionSpark of Life4 x 4Hollywood BrassCommittedWeeping WillowsIcedGrave Danger, Part 1Grave Danger, Part 2
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