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I Like to Watch
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Season 6
Number 17
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker,
Richard Catalani,
Henry Alonso Myers
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate March 09, 2006
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Next Episode: The Unusual Suspect

I Like to Watch is the seventeenth episode in season six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A camera crew from a reality series follows the CSI team during the first 48 hours of an investigation involving the rape of an upscale real estate agent in her glamorous high-rise apartment. The cameras reveal the intricacies of how the CSIs piece together the case, but also delve into how each member of the team deals differently with the emotional and physical demands of their work.


Plot

Victim: Christina Hollis (alive)

A young woman staggers to her apartment and struggles to get the key in the lock. Just then, she is met by one of her neighbors, who is bleeding and hysterical. The neighbor is Christina Hollis, a victim of sexual assault.

Catherine and Grissom arrive on the scene and are met by a camera crew from the television show Hard Crime. She explains to a puzzled Grissom that the sheriff signed them up for the show thinking that it would be good PR for the department. In Christina's apartment, they look in at the bedroom and find bloody restraints tied to the bedposts and a pool of blood in the middle of the mattress.

In the hospital, Christina has no recollection of what happened to her and doesn't know why she's there. Sofia tells her that she was assaulted; it is then that Christina notices the ligature marks on her wrist bruising on her legs. She also notices that her toenails have been perfectly manicured and painted red. As she begins to panic, she notices the camera crew filming her and becomes hysterical. A nurse tells Sofia that Christina was raped within the last few hours and that her rapist didn't use a condom. As Sofia goes to process the sexual assault kit, she admonishes the camera crew for invading Christina's privacy.

In the apartment, Catherine finds burned down candles and some discarded flowers, indicating that Christina was on a date. She also spots a void in the candle wax and notices a piece of yellow fabric on the floor. Grissom takes a photo of a white flaky substance on the floor next to the bed and sees a red spot on the bed frame. The spot tests negative for blood and Catherine believes that it's nail polish.

In the building's basement, Brass talks to the maintenance man and notes that he was doing maintenance work at 5:00 AM. The worker replies that he was just clocking some overtime. When asked why he wasn't spotted on the security cameras, the worker says that he took the stairs due to the out-of-order service elevator. He doesn't recall ever fixing anything for Christina, and Brass notices that his roll of duct tape is running low.

Hodges tells Grissom that the duct tape used to tie Christina up is not the same tape the maintenance man uses. He adds that the white powder Grissom collected was primarily biological and that he sent it to DNA. Meanwhile, in the A/V lab, Archie looks over the footage from the building's elevator and finds that, in the seven hours before Christina's assault, twenty-one males rode in the elevator. However, one guy rode up and never came back down; he is shown holding flowers similar to the ones found in Christina's apartment. Another camera view is shown of the front doors to the building; the unknown male is seen using a key to enter. Catherine believes that this means that the guy could have been with Christina all night.

Nick tells the camera crew that prints recovered from the bouquet wrapper match one of the prints found on the duct tape. Because the prints weren't in the system, he explains that he had to get creative. He found out where the flowers were purchased and spoke to the clerk at the shop. The clerk recognized the guy from the elevator photo and provided a credit card receipt. From the receipt, Nick got a driver's license identifying the guy as Dwight Reynolds.

Dwight, still a little drunk from a night out, is brought in for questioning. He admits that he and Christina used to date, but that he hasn't seen her recently. When Brass asks how his prints got on the flowers, Dwight says that he stopped by the apartment to give them to Christina. When he heard Barry White playing loudly through the door, he threw the flowers down and left, taking the stairs back down. Sofia tells him that Christina was brutally assaulted and he becomes distraught knowing that he could have stopped it if he knew.

Wendy tells Catherine that the white powder from the bedroom floor came back as skin cells belonging to Christina, with morphology suggesting they came from her cuticles. Catherine wonders if Christina was giving herself a mani-pedi before the assault.

Catherine catches up with Grissom and says that the semen recovered didn't get any matches in CODIS. Grissom tells her that Dwight's prints didn't match the prints on the duct tape. Evidence suggests that Christina was raped on and off for a long time. Tox results indicate that Christina's blood tested positive for lorazepam, a hypnotic sedative that causes amnesia in large doses. Based on the low-profile entry into the apartment, the sedatives and the duct tape, Catherine believes their rapist will become a serial rapist soon, if he's not already.

Hodges, in the process of hamming it up for the camera crew, informs Sara that the red drop found on the bed frame was nail polish. More importantly, the yellow substance Catherine found is fluorescent, reflective and used exclusively in the reflective trim of firemen's turnouts.

Sara and Brass talk to the chief of the Las Vegas Fire Department. He tells them that they responded to a fire at the apartment complex the night before and found three smoke bombs on three different floors. It turns out that smoke bombs were set off at another apartment complex a few weeks ago, killing one person in the process. Sara examines the firemen's gear and sees that it contains an orange reflective stripe. The chief tells Brass that the department's color is orange and a yellow reflective stripe indicates that they are not looking for a Las Vegas fireman.

Archie goes through the elevator surveillance footage again and sees Christina arrive home at 6:19 PM. The fire department responded to the fire at approximately 7:00. However, at 6:36 PM, a fireman is shown banging on one of the doors, touching the door handle with his bare hand. This means that the fireman was at the complex nearly a half hour before the alarm went out. Grissom says that this proves that the fireman knew that the fire was coming.

Greg recaps things for the camera crew - the rapist sets off smoke bombs on three separate floors so as not to call attention to his target. He then uses the fireman's outfit to gain access to the target's apartment.

During a videotaped interview, Christina tells Sofia that she's starting to remember some things. She doesn't remember what the rapist looks like, but she knows that she was raped. What disturbs her just as much is that fact that the rapist paid special attention to her feet. Grissom later tells Catherine that the rapist would have had to see Christina's feet first before escalating.

Greg tells Sara that he was only able to recover smudges from the door in the parking garage. Sara says that between eBay, uniform shops, and national manufacturers, there are over a hundred places one can buy a yellow-striped turnout. While looking over the pictures taken at the fire station, Sara notices that the air tanks there were rigged with valves on the bottom; however, their rapist had his valve on the top. She also sees that the airline isn't rigged to his mask, it's rigged to another mask on his side. Greg figures that the rapist put something in his tank to subdue Christina and guesses that it was nitrous oxide. He adds that nitrous oxide is undetectable in the blood after a few minutes and is easy to purchase. It also explains why the valve would be on the top of the tank - if it was upside down, the liquid would spill out. He goes to search local distributors for records of purchase.

When comparing the construction and components of the smoke bombs from the two different locations, Warrick concludes that they were made by the same person. Meanwhile, Doc Robbins tells Grissom that person who died at the first scene died from smoke inhalation and sent the blood to tox to check for lorazepam.

Sofia has been able to gather the people who lived on the same floor as the arson victim from the first scene. Sara speaks to one of the girls, who recalls being alone and getting a knock on her door. When she opened it, she found a fireman standing in her doorway with smoke filling the hall. She tells Sara that the fireman just stood there looking at her before deciding to eventually leave.

Sara ends up at a dead end with the turnouts, while Greg is only able to partially narrow down the number of people who purchased nitrous oxide in the last six months. Knowing that the rapist has a foot fetish and has to see his victims' feet somewhere, Catherine wonders if the victims have anything in common. However, this proves to be somewhat of a dead end, as well. Grissom enters and says that they have a third victim who was actually the first victim - Tara Weathers claims that she was drugged at a bar a month ago and woke up in her apartment to see her toenails freshly painted. Lorazepam was also found in her system. They figure that their rapist is escalating from toenail painting to rape; the only reason his second attempt didn't work is because the building caught fire.

Catherine and Brass question Tara in her apartment. She has nothing in common with the other victims until Catherine spots a yoga mat, remembering that she found yoga mats in Christina's closet. Tara confirms that she does yoga out on her balcony; Catherine and Brass see that several apartments across the courtyard would have a good view of Tara's feet while she practiced.

The name of one of the tenants from across the courtyard matches a name from the nitrous oxide list - Richard McQueen. Catherine, Brass and some uniformed officer enter Richard's vacant apartment and find numerous photos of feet as well as a manicure kit. There are also yoga fliers on the counter. In another room, Brass finds bombmaking paraphernalia as well as an empty fireman's air tank case. Catherine finds a video camera that has some candle wax on it. She plays a video of Richard massaging Christina's ankles and feet and looking into the camera.

Catherine and Brass are called to the scene of another fire. As they run down a smoke-filled hallway, they find some firemen beating someone up, claiming that they saw him sneaking away from the smoke bombs. Richard is arrested and tells Brass that "she wouldn't let me touch her feet." Brass enters the nearby apartment and finds a woman dead on her bed from a nitrous oxide overdose. There is a pedicure set at the foot of the bed.

Brass later tells the camera crew that Richard confessed to his crimes. He ends the interview when the producer asks him about killing a fellow cop the year before. Grissom is asked by the producer if he thinks forensic shows are teaching criminals how to get away with crimes. He responds that everyone learns from science, it just depends on how you use the knowledge.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Music

  • You're the First, the Last, My Everything by Barry White

Notes

  • The producer with the camera crew asks Brass about shooting a fellow officer, referencing the episode A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2 from earlier in the season.

Trivia

  • Hodges mentions he is going to use a special technique to analyze the different tapes. Nick tells him the method would take up to six hours and the TV show the crew is filming for will only be on for an hour. Hodges then replies that they will have to cut the scenes and it will only take 30 seconds, which is kind of an Easter egg since the following 30 seconds show the analysis in about half a minute.
  • Taraji P. Henson played Christina Hollis in this episode. She would go on to be most known for her roles in the shows Person of Interest and Empire, the latter of which she won a Golden Globe for, playing Cookie Lyon.
  • Timothy Omundson played the producer of the television show Hard Crime, following the CSIs around while staying off-screen. He is perhaps most recognizable for his role in the television show Psych, playing Detective Carlton Lassiter.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 6
Bodies in MotionRoom ServiceBite MeShooting StarsGum DropsSecrets and FliesA Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2Dog Eat DogStill LifeWerewolvesDaddy's Little GirlKiss-Kiss, Bye-ByeKillerPirates of the Third ReichUp in SmokeI Like to WatchThe Unusual SuspectSpellboundPoppin' TagsRashomamaTime of your DeathBang-BangWay to Go
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