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In a Dark, Dark House
In a Dark, Dark House.png
Season 11
Number 22
Writer Tom Mularz
Director Jeffrey Hunt
Original Airdate May 12, 2011
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Previous Episode: Cello and Goodbye
Next Episode: 73 Seconds

In a Dark, Dark House is the twenty-second episode and season eleven finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

In the season finale, the CSI team investigate the death of serial killer Nate Haskell at the hands of Langston in order to determine exactly what happened that night.

Plot

Victim: Nate Haskell (deceased)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Jim Brass

Picking up where the previous episode "Cello and Goodbye" left off, Langston is confronted by serial killer Nate Haskell. Langston is in disbelief that Arvin was protecting his deranged son after all this time, but Haskell says that his father had no idea until he "showed him." Haskell complains that after his last few kills, the thrill is gone. When he angrily fires at his father's dead body, Langston jumps at him and starts pummeling him, much to Haskell's delight. Langston puts flexible handcuffs on him; however, when Haskell tells Langston why Gloria is still alive, Langston cuts the flex-cuffs and the scene is cut off.

The scene returns with Brass and two officers entering the Thorpe house, where Brass finds Haskell dead on the stairs with ligature marks on his un-shackled wrists. He handcuffs Haskell's body and makes his way upstairs, where he finds Arvin's body. As Brass rounds the corner of the bedroom, he seems surprised to see Gloria still alive and Langston relatively unharmed. While Langston comforts Gloria, Brass tells him not to speak to anyone.

Greg and Sara arrive at the house. They inform Brass that Haskell's real name is Warner Thorpe, Arvin's son, and also conclude that Arvin was lying to them about knowing Haskell. Sara sees that Haskell was sent flying backwards through the second-floor railing. Before the CSIs can gather evidence, Brass states this is a of classic self-defense and that Langston needs all the help he can get.

Catherine and Nick meet Langston at the hospital. Langston says that he needs to be by Gloria's side, but Catherine tells him that things need to be done by the book. Nick process Langston, collecting blood from his bloody knuckles and finding a white trace on his palms. Langston, still somewhat out of it, claims to know nothing about the white trace. Langston removes his shirt, revealing a white undershirt with several large blood stains on it. Back at the station, Ecklie meets with Internal Affairs Detective Schultz, who rebuff's Ecklie's notion that this will be an open-and-shut case.

Back at the house, the team finds that Haskell traveled through the thick railing with a lot of force and fell 11 feet down to the landing. There's a contusion on Haskell's back that matches the width of the railing. Greg and Sara examine Arvin's body and note the amount of blood around it and on the walls. Figuring that there's also blood from Langston, Haskell and Gloria, their job now is to separate the blood and find out exactly what happened.

Catherine performs a sexual assault exam on Gloria and finds that she was raped, while Greg and Sara discover that Gloria was chained up on a mattress as well as in a closet. Greg finds the 9mm gun they assume Haskell was using, and the CSIs search the room for cartridge casings and bullet holes. Sara notices that the wallpaper is coving something up. When she and Greg remove it, they find old blood spatter, indicating that something happened in the room long ago.

Sara notes to Nick that children don't wallpaper their own rooms, meaning Arvin likely knew what Haskell was up to and covered it up. Greg processes the master bedroom and finds a lot of blood on the walls that Arvin made no effort to cover up. He tells Nick that Arvin lived in this house until 1976, but never even rented it out after moving across the road. Arvin was clearly guarding the house's secrets. Nick looks out the bedroom window at the backyard below and figures that there are bodies buried out there.

In the hospital, a doctor fills Langston in on Gloria's condition; however, she's interrupted by Gloria's mother, Nora. She blames Langston for brining Haskell into her daughter's life and demands that Langston leave the premises. As he does, he hears Nora say that she's taking her daughter with her back to Baltimore.

Greg and Sara color-code each of the blood donors from the hallway and find that almost all of the blood belongs to Haskell. Along with a piece of Haskell's scalp that was found earlier, blood spatter indicates that Langston had Haskell on his back and was pounding his head into the floor. Sara sees that Langston's shoeprints are in Haskell's blood leading to the railing; however, Haskell's shoeprints aren't present. This would seem to suggest that Langston had Haskell off his feet and drove him towards the railing. Despite some evidence to the contrary, Greg still believes his fellow CSI was acting in self-defense.

Nick and Hodges dig through the backyard and find the skeletal remains of some family pets; however, Hodges eventually digs up a human skull. Back at the station, Catherine runs into Detective Schultz, who is getting ahead of the evidence and already blaming Langston for the deaths of both Haskell and Tina Vincent.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Catherine that Haskell shows signs of physical abuse at the hands of his father. The doc tries to justify his friend's actions, but Catherine sternly tells him that they need something that will get Langston off the hook for murder. Doc Robbins says that Haskell's injuries are consistent with someone who was in a serious fist fight. Interestingly, though, Haskell has a shattered knee, which is inconsistent with how he landed. The doc also notes the ligature marks on Haskell's wrists and tells Catherine that they're inconsistent with the handcuffs Brass used.

The team continues to dig up the backyard into the night. Hodges unearths a skeleton wearing a polyester jacket with the brand name "Supra-Lux" on it. Hearing the name, Greg realizes that he's seen the brand before up in Haskell's bedroom. He shows Nick a Supra-Lux toy refrigerator with a name on the bottom - Douglas Nathan Haskell. The quick conclusion is that Douglas, a traveling salesman, was killed by a young Warner Thorpe. Warner took the toy refrigerator as a souvenir and took the salesman's name, as well.

The male skeleton from the backyard is confirmed as Douglas Nathan Haskell, and his DNA matches some of the blood found on the wall in Haskell's childhood bedroom. DNA from a female skeleton comes back to Lois Thorpe, Haskell's mother. Her injuries are consistent with having been beaten to death after a long period of abuse, and her blood matches what was found in the master bedroom. Since Haskell would have been too young to inflict that kind of damage, the guess is that Arvin killed his wife. As Warner's bedroom was on the other side of the wall, they figure he heard his mother getting beaten over and over again. At 16 years old, he met the original Douglas Nathan Haskell, killed him and stole his name.

Sara relays her findings to Catherine, telling her that blood evidence shows that Langston dominated the fight, even having Haskell off his feet at one point. Catherine points out the ligature marks on Haskell's wrists and notes that they're the same width as the department-issued flex-cuffs. Evidence shows that Langston cuffed Haskell; however, Greg and Sara didn't find any restraints at the scene. Because the railing left a continuous and unbroken contusion on Haskell's back, it proves that Haskell's hands weren't cuffed behind his back when he went through the railing. Since there were no cuffs found at the scene, Sara says that there's no proof they were used.

Catherine visits Gloria in the hospital to ask her more questions. Nora, who is at her daughter's bedside, tells Catherine that Langston is bad news, recalling that he didn't want to have a baby with Gloria because he was afraid of something bad inside of him being passed on. Catherine decides to let Gloria rest and leaves without asking any questions, much to her mother's gratitude.

Sara searches Langston's kit and finds all department-issued flex-cuffs accounted for. Catherine goes to Brass with her report and informs him of the mystery cuffs. She notes that Brass was the first responder on the scene and made no mention of the cuffs in his report. Brass proves that he knows how many pairs of flex-cuffs are supposed to be in a kit, telling Catherine that he looks out for his team. Catherine informs him that she and the whole team signed off on the report, which states that Langston acted in self-defense. She gives a copy to Detective Schultz.

Langston visits the hospital again and speaks with Nora in the hallway. She informs him that she and Gloria are heading back to Baltimore the following morning. Langston understands Nora's earlier outburst, admitting that he's responsible for bringing Haskell into their lives. He wishes to atone for everything that's happened, and Nora apologizes for what she said earlier. Before departing, Nora tells Langston that she hopes he eventually finds peace.

Langston visits the Haskell house again and is met by Brass. Brass tells him that he killed a murderer in self-defense, and Langston recounts the night's events. A flashback shows him cutting the flex-cuffs off Haskell and punching him in the kidney several times in retribution for one of their earlier encounters. He then carried Haskell to the railing and shoved him through it, leading to Haskell's death below. Brass arrived and pocketed the flex-cuffs knowing that they would implicate Langston. In the present, he tells Langston that they're the only two people that know exactly what happened and that it needs to stay that way. Otherwise, Langston could be tried for murder and put in jail. Langston remembers the white substance on his hands and finds some in the closet where Gloria was being held. She scribbled musical notes in chalk on the floor; they're the same notes she played for him on the cello on their first date.

After visiting Haskell's body in the morgue one last time, Langston sits down with Detective Schultz. He admits to killing Haskell, but the detective asks if it was self-defense or murder. The viewer is left wondering what Langston's fate is as the episode closes.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Goofs

  • When IA officer Schultz turns up, he mentions a previous investigation involving Warrick. The same actor appeared in both episodes, but his name in the first was 'Wagenbach'. Additionally, 'Detective Holland Wagenbach' was the name of the character this actor played in the L.A. crime series The Shield.

Notes

  • This is Laurence Fishburne's final contact appearance as a regular cast member. He appeared in 60 episodes.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 11
Shock WavesPool SharkBlood MoonSqweegelHouse of HoardersCold BloodedBump and GrindFrackedWild Life418/427Man UpA Kiss Before FryingThe Two Mrs. GrissomsAll That CremainsTargets of ObsessionTurn On, Tune In, Drop DeadThe ListHitting for the CycleUnleashedFather of the BrideCello and GoodbyeIn a Dark, Dark House


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