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Law of Gravity
Law of Gravity.jpg
Season 7
Number 15
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Richard J. Lewis
Original Airdate February 8, 2007
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Next Episode: Monster in the Box

Law of Gravity is the fifteenth episode in season seven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

When one Trenton cop is murdered in Las Vegas hotel room, a second one threatens to expose secrets from Keppler's past if he doesn't make the case and evidence go away. Meanwhile, Grissom returns from his sabbatical and questions Keppler's methods.

Plot

Victims: Dennis Graves (deceased), Courtney Evans (deceased)

On the case: Entire team

A flashback shows a man sobbing and begging for his life while claiming his innocence. Someone shoots him three times and walks down a sidewalk holding the bloody gun. That someone is Keppler, who approaches a young woman. The woman is Amy McCarty, a past love of his. She tells him that she loves him, and Keppler reaches into her chest and pulls out her beating heart. Keppler wakes up in his apartment next to an open bottle of liquor and begins to sob.

At a diner, Keppler finds out that his meal has been paid for. Amy's father, Frank, sits in a nearby booth and invites Keppler to sit down. Keppler is clearly uncomfortable at seeing Frank and asks what he's doing in town. Frank replies that he and a friend of his, Dennis Graves, came to Vegas to blow off some steam. He asks Keppler for a favor, but Keppler refuses, telling him that he's just getting used to things in Vegas.

Keppler meets Nick at a crime scene in a hotel room. A male victim is lying on the bed having been shot twice, and a female hooker is on the floor with one shot to the back and a missing left hand. Evidence suggests that the hooker was just visiting, as none of her personal items can be located. A .45 caliber shell casing is found on the floor and the closet contains a bunch of law enforcement logo t-shirts. In the bedside table drawer, Keppler finds a 9mm gun in a leather holster; the holster is stamped "T.P.D." He removes the sheets from over the male victim's face and recognizes him. Brass tells them that the victim is Dennis Graves of the Trenton Police Department. The person who found the victims? Frank McCarty, who is out in the hall talking to the police.

After Frank recounts the evening's events to Brass, Keppler privately asks him what actually happened. Frank cryptically says that Vegas is a dangerous town, and the murders could involve a pimp and his whore or a robbery gone bad. In the room, David Phillips puts the time of death at four hours ago. Nick finds an opened bottle of mouthwash on the dresser. In the bathroom, he shows Catherine that there are hairs in the soap dish inconsistent with both victims along with a high-heeled shoe impression in the bathtub. They're able to determine that someone was hiding in there when the murders took place, but are unsure as to whether it's their killer or a witness.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Keppler and Nick that the hooker's hand was cut off postmortem using a serrated blade. There were no hits in AFIS based on the prints from the other hand. She had implants put into her rear end, meaning that the serial numbers from them could help identify her. Keppler collects the bullets recovered from the bodies (forcefully taking one bindle from the doc's hand) and heads to the ballistics lab. On the way, he meets Grissom, who is back from sabbatical.

Another flashback shows Keppler eating dinner with Amy and her father at their house. He walks down the hallway towards an open door before the flashback ends. Wendy snaps Keppler out of his fog and tells him that the blonde hair from the bathtub matches the saliva left in the bottle of mouthwash. The DNA is female, leading Keppler to believe that another hooker was in the room.

Brass questions Frank, who is surprised at the revelation that there was another woman in the room, as he says Dennis couldn't handle more than one at a time and also didn't have the money to. Elsewhere, Warrick processes the hooker's apartment; the implants led to her being identified as Courtney Evans. It's clear that the apartment has been ransacked and robbed. Grissom enters and joins in, much to Warrick's surprise and delight. Warrick hypothesizes that Courtney was the target of the murders and that Dennis was collateral. Grissom finds a stack of bills on the dinette table; Courtney's phone bill was paid on time, but her electric bill wasn't. As Warrick lifts the many prints he's coming across, he mentions "reverse forensics." This is met with an eyebrow raise from Grissom.

Back in the lab, Keppler sees Frank leave Brass's office and the two of them share a look. As they head in opposite directions down the hallway, Frank calls Keppler and mentions that there was another person in the hotel room. Keppler tells him that they don't have a name yet, and Frank tells him not to let him down.

Nick tracked down the plastic surgeon who did Courtney's implants and finds that they were paid for by her pimp, "Precious Ricky." In interrogation, Ricky doesn't recognize Courtney from her autopsy photo and rambles off a bunch of names that could be the mystery blonde they're looking for. Keppler quickly loses his patience and slams Ricky's head into the table. Ricky relents and says that all of his hookers were working a bachelor party the night before. Sofia interrupts the interrogation and tells Keppler and Nick that Courtney had a baby that she dropped off with a "babysitter." The woman, who is clearly in no shape to care for a baby, says that the baby's father is in prison and hands her off to Nick before departing.

Keppler meets Frank at a hotel bar and tells him that Courtney had a kid. When asked why he cut off Courtney's hand, Frank reveals that she scratched him across the chest and his DNA was under her nails. Frank tells Keppler that Dennis was about to indicted and that he was going take them down with him; killing him was the only way to keep his mouth shut. He reveals that, years ago, Keppler traveled over state lines from Trenton to Philadelphia and shot and killed the guy who raped Amy (shown in the opening sequence of the episode). Keppler lets Frank know that he's out of line, but Frank blackmails him and tells him that he still has the gun used to kill Amy's rapist; the gun also has Keppler's blood and prints on it. He tells Keppler that going down for murder would compromise every case he's ever worked on. Keppler's job now, he says, is finding a way to pin Dennis's murder on the pimp or the unidentified blonde in the hotel room.

Prints from Courtney's apartment come back to a P.J. Turner. In interrogation, he tells Warrick that he was dumpster diving in a dumpster behind the Palermo and found Courtney's purse. There was nobody home when he went to her apartment to return it and admits to taking the opportunity to steal some things. While P.J. is being interrogated, Keppler calls Catherine and checks in on the progress being made on the case. When told about the dumpster behind the Palermo, Keppler offers to drive there and have a look. Inside the dumpster, he finds Courtney's bloodied severed hand wrapped in a towel. When asked by Catherine later if he found anything in the dumpster, he tells her the search came up empty.

Keppler has another flashback that shows him handing over the bloody gun to Frank, who puts it in an evidence bag. The scene then rewinds and Keppler walks away from Frank backwards.

In the A/V lab, Archie goes through elevator surveillance footage from the hotel and finds that the mystery blonde was with Frank before she was in Dennis's room. Nick tells Keppler that Frank held information from the police and that they might be looking a dirty cop. Frank's phone has been going to voice mail and it's found that he never checked out of his hotel room. Keppler, Nick and Sofia head there, with Keppler barging into the room using a key card instead of following police protocol. The room is empty except for a paper bag on the bed. Inside the bag, Nick pulls out a plastic bag containing a bloody gun. The gun is the same caliber as the one that killed Courtney and Dennis. A flashback shows Frank shooting Dennis while he was laying in bed; Courtney was shot in the back when she tried to get up and run. After Nick leaves to go back to the lab to process the gun, Keppler offers to process the scene. After everyone leaves, he calls Frank, but the call goes to voice mail.

Back in the A/V lab, Archie shows Keppler that Courtney knew the mystery blonde. By matching Courtney's call logs with the surveillance video from the elevator, Archie is able to sync up the call. They see and hear that the blonde called Courtney and told her that she just left her guy. According to the blonde, the guy asked her to "call him daddy" and referred to her as "Amy." Keppler has another flashback of him walking down the hallway in Amy's house and hearing her crying. The blonde is identified as Suzy Gibbons, and it's confirmed that she was the one hiding in the bathtub. Keppler leaves the room quickly, knowing that Frank will want her dead in order to tie up loose ends.

Nick processes the bloody gun and scans the print on it into the database; the print comes back as Keppler's. He relays this information to Catherine, who is puzzled as to how Keppler's print got there. Nick insists that Keppler never handled the gun in the hotel room and because the blood on it is dry, he thinks it's not the same gun used to kill Courtney and Dennis. Catherine wonders if Keppler is being set up.

Another one of Keppler's flashbacks is shown. He enters Amy's room at the end of the hallway and finds her listless on one side of her bed with Frank sitting shirtless on the other side of it.

Catherine and Nick relay their findings to Grissom. Grissom notes that Keppler told him that he didn't know Frank, which they now know was a lie. Keppler hasn't been answering his phone and Nick brings up the fact that he knows where Suzy lives. If Keppler had something to do with the murders, Frank isn't the only one they should be concerned about. Nick tells Grissom that Keppler handled the bullets taken from both victims and it's possible he swapped them, while Warrick adds that Keppler said that he didn't find anything when he searched the dumpster. Wendy enters and says that the DNA from the bloody gun doesn't match either victim; in fact, the DNA print ancestry markers say that it's from a black male.

Greg calls Keppler, but continues to get no answer. Archie is able to track the GPS on Keppler's SUV and finds that he's near Henderson. Keppler quickly rips the antenna off the SUV's roof, disabling the GPS; however, they're able to track him using his cell phone.

Keppler tracks down Precious Ricky, demands to know where Suzy lives and confiscates his cell phone. Meanwhile, Catherine and Sara search Suzy's apartment and quickly conclude that she doesn't work out of there. Brass calls Catherine and fills her in on what he found out regarding Keppler's relationship with Frank and Amy. He adds that Keppler also new Dennis and that Dennis was about to be indicted.

After Catherine hangs up the phone, Sara shows her motel key envelopes found in Suzy's purse for the Blue Siren Motel. Catherine then gets a call from Keppler, who is sitting outside of the motel and using Ricky's phone. He tells her that he made a mistake a long time ago and that it's too late to fix it; however, every one of his cases were clean except for the Alvarez homicide in Philadelphia (the man we have seen begging for his life in parts of the episode). Keppler tells her that ballistics on the bloody gun will come back to Dennis and then hangs up. He calls Frank next and tells him to meet him at the motel. Catherine calls Grissom and says that she's on her way to the motel.

Suzy sits on the edge of a bed in the motel room. There's a knock on the door and she yells out that it's open. She's horrified to find Frank enter the room pointing a gun at her. As Frank walks towards her, however, Keppler appears and aims his gun at him. Keppler forces Frank to put his gun down. He then reveals that he knows that Frank raped his own daughter and that he killed an innocent man.

Suzy gets up and bolts for the door. Frank picks up his gun and fires at her, but Keppler steps in front and takes the bullet to his chest. When Catherine arrives and enters the room, Frank points his gun at her. Keppler, on the floor in a semi-upright position, empties his gun into Frank, killing him. As Keppler lay bleeding, he apologizes to Catherine. Keppler is wheeled into the back of an ambulance, but attempts at saving his life are unsuccessful. Grissom arrives and consoles a teary Catherine as she watches Keppler get pronounced dead.

Nick and Warrick head to the lot in Henderson where Keppler had been tracked to earlier. They eventually find a portable ice chest with a biohazard label on the side. When Nick opens the chest, he finds Keppler's cell phone along with Courtney's bloody severed hand in a plastic bag. There's a note next to it that reads "Check under the nails. You'll find Frank McCarty's DNA." Both men sigh heavily; the case is solved, but they've lost a fellow CSI.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Notes

  • This episode marks the final appearance of Liev Schreiber as Michael Keppler.
  • Warrick mentions "reverse forensics," which is met with surprise from Grissom. Catherine and Keppler helped fake a crime scene in the episode Redrum.

Trivia

  • Len Cariou played Frank McCarty. He is an accomplished actor whose most recent recognizable role is that of former police commissioner Henry Reagan in the television show Blue Bloods.
  • The character Eric "Precious Ricky" Hong later appears in the episode Bull as a suspect and, eventually, a murder victim.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 7
Built to Kill, Part 1Built to Kill, Part 2Toe TagsFannysmackin'Double CrossBurn OutPost MortemHappenstanceLiving LegendLoco MotivesLeaving Las VegasSweet JaneRedrumMeet MarketLaw of GravityMonster in the BoxFallen IdolsEmpty EyesBig ShotsLab RatsEnding HappyLeapin' LizardsThe Good, The Bad, And The DominatrixLiving Doll
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