Shock Waves
Shock Waves
Season 11
Number 1
Writer David Weddle,
Bradley Thompson
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate September 23, 2010
Previous Episode: Meat Jekyll
Next Episode: Pool Shark

Shock Waves is the first episode in Season Eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Langston fights for his life after being stabbed by psychopath Nate Haskell, while the other CSIs attend a funeral that turns deadly.


Victims: Raymond Langston (alive), Officer Hooper and Officer Morales (both deceased)

On the case: entire team

After Langston is stabbed by Haskell (as shown in the Season Ten finale), Haskell is tased by the other cops. Langston is taken to the hospital along with Haskell, where he hallucinates that Haskell is poisoning him through his IV tube. The CSIs assure Langston that he’ll be okay.

Later, they attend the funeral of Franklin Clark, an LVPD officer that was killed by Charlie DiMasa (Dr. Jekyll). Nick wants to watch the funeral, but Brass tells him to leave because the family seems uncomfortable around him, as Nick's orders led to the officer's death. As the distraught CSI sits in his SUV, he notices some cockroaches congregated near a flower delivery van. When he searches the van, he discovers a time bomb wire attached to it. Before Nick tries to warn everyone, bombs go off in the casket and the surrounding tombstones. Everyone rushes in panic towards the street, but Nick warns them to stay away before the van explodes, knocking him and everyone else down.

News reports indicate that there were two fatalities from the bombings, both officers. When Catherine asks Nick how he knew about the bomb in the van, he explains that it’s odd for cockroaches to move around during daylight, and his curiosity led him to discover the bomb. Greg takes Nick’s suit jacket as evidence and Nick is sent to the hospital once again. Brass believes that Haskell is responsible for the bombing and goes to visit Langston, who lost a kidney due to the stabbing. They wonder how Haskell was able to pull this off, as his contact with others is either nonexistent or monitored by the prison. Langston instructs Brass to play his own game, not Haskell's. Next door, Brass interrogates Haskell about the bombing, but the questioning doesn’t get anywhere and Haskell is sent back to prison.

Nick returns to work on the scene and meets bomb specialist Kasey Monahan; together, they discover the three bomb residues along with a cell phone detonator that’s buried underground. Meanwhile, Catherine and Sara find numerous nails in the vicinity and envision the bomb coming from a flower wreath. Sara notes that the bomb was designed to maximize chaos.

Catherine, Brass, Ecklie, and Langston (by video chat) go over the evidence together. While the first two bombs were low-explosive devices that used smokeless gunpowder, the van bomb was a high-explosive containing fuel oil. Anyone could've had access to Officer Clark's casket at the funeral home (bomb #1), while the company who provided the flower arrangements (bomb #2) reported their van stolen two days ago. Langston suggests that the bombs were placed strategically—the bomb in Officer Clark’s casket was placed there to cause fear and make sure that the police took cover behind the tombstones. The tombstone bomb was placed there to injure the cops that took cover behind them, leaving them with only one direction to head in—the direction of the van. Clearly, the bomber was hoping to take out as many cops as he could. Due to his affinity for killing people intimately and slowly, Haskell is ruled out as a suspect and Catherine thinks that the bomber has a "grudge against cops".

Catherine tries to convince Nick to go home, reminding him that he got shot and nearly blown up within the last few days, but Nick insists on working on the case. She leaves him with a psychologist’s card and tells him it’s department-mandated that he should talk to someone after a shooting incident. Nick believes he would be of more value to the team if he's working the case, but Catherine tells him that she tried doing the same after Warrick was killed before realizing that no amount of work would help her through her grief.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins examines Officer Clark’s body (which was mutilated from the bombing) and discovers a SIM card that’s consistent with the cell phone detonator, as well as evidence that the bomb was small and meant only to cause panic. Sara is able to recover a phone number from the SIM card which belongs to Thomas Rand, a young military man that was killed in action a month before. When Brass talks to Thomas' widow, she tells him that she donated her husband's cell phone to a local community center.

At the community center, a group of free-thinking Americans are holding a rally where a man named Dr. Huxbee is stirring up the crowd against the government and governmental enterprises. The police arrive to break up the rally, which leads to a fight that causes the police to use force in order to contain the situation.

While in the hospital, Langston shows Sara news footage of the cemetery before and during the bombs’ detonation. He suggests that if he was the bomber, he wouldn't detonate the bombs until his targets were in the kill zone. This means that the bomber had to have had eyes on the scene. He notices a small remote-controlled plane flying over the site and sees that it starts to crash at the exact time the last two bombs go off. This leads the CSIs to believe that the bomb was radio-detonated, likely by the same controller that was flying the plane. Since remote-controlled planes have a range of about 2,500 feet, the bomber had to have been no more than half a mile away from the cemetery.

At the police station, Dr. Huxbee and the members of his rally are brought in for processing. Ecklie tells Brass that since no weapons or explosions were found in the community center, he's going to release all suspects. Brass tells him that none of the suspects have IDs due to their hiding from the government, meaning that they're in the wind once they're let go. He convinces Ecklie to give him some more time investigating the group.

Langston sends Greg to the cemetery to find the plane, which he spots crashed up in a tree. In the lab, a fingerprint is recovered from the plane. Kasey shows Nick that the ticking sound he heard from the underside of the van was from a detonator looking for a signal. This confirms that the bombs were detonated by the plane’s radio controller. The print on the plane matches 21-year-old Alex McCann, who is the older brother of 16-year-old Jason McCann, one of Dr. Huxbee’s followers that were brought into custody. Nick offers to talk to Jason, as he feels he owes Officer Clark that much.

Jason tells Nick that he had nothing to do with the bombs and that he only bought the airplane for Alex. Alex wanted revenge because their foster father was arrested for a minor infraction. Jason claims that Alex only intended to scare the police, not kill them. Nick is able to convince Jason to tell him where his brother is, but as he leaves to alert the team, Jason warns him that Alex has something bigger planned for them.

Nick and Kasey enter Alex’s house cautiously. They discover a trip wire, nine empty bomb cases, and triacetone triperoxide, an ingredient that when placed in the empty pipe bombs would create an explosion large enough to destroy a casino. There's also an empty canister of hydrochloric acid; a snapshot of the barcode reveals that it was bought from a pool supply store.

Realizing that Alex went to the store to restock, Catherine, Nick and Vartann rush to there to find Alex coming out. When Alex pulls a gun out at them, the team shoots him several times until he’s dead. Catherine calms a shaky Nick down, and they discover that Alex was planning on bombing the LVPD. Every suspect from the community center is released except for Jason, as he had prior knowledge of the bombings.

Back in the hospital, Doc Robbins visits Langston and gives him a walking stick along with some life advice. Elsewhere, Nick decides to schedule some therapy sessions for himself in order to help him move past what has happened.

Catherine gets a call about a homeless man’s murder and takes Greg with her to the scene. The homeless man died of blunt force trauma to the back of the head; a blood trail suggests that he was dragged from somewhere else by the killer. Greg and Vartann follow the blood trail while Catherine and David Phillips look over the body. Upon finding the primary crime scene, Vartann’s flashlight goes out. He borrows batteries from Greg, but drops one in the process; it rolls toward a tent set up in the room. Catherine questions why the killer would drag the body into the middle of an empty room. When David attempts to lift the homeless man's body, she spots a trip wire under it. Sensing that they've wandered into a trap, she screams at Greg and Vartann not to touch anything. The tent explodes when the battery comes in contact with it, but everyone is able to get out of the way just in time. Catherine says that the bombings aren't over yet.

The episode ends with Jason in his jail cell, smiling towards the camera before bowing his head down.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Major Events[]

  • Langston lost a kidney as a result of being stabbed by Haskell.


  • When Greg gets the SIM card from Sara, he puts it in a card reader with the chip up and only halfway in. The chip is not making contact with any of the electronics in the card reader and it wouldn't be possible to read it.


  • This storyline would be concluded in the later Season 11 episode, Targets of Obsession.
  • This episode marked series creator Anthony E. Zuiker's return to CSI on a day-to-day basis since the end of Season Four, when he left to become the show-runner of the second CSI spin-off, CSI: NY.
  • Jorja Fox (Sara) rejoins the main cast.
  • Nick is sporting a sling over his left shoulder, a result of being shot by Dr. Jekyll in the previous episode Meat Jekyll.
  • At Officer Clark's funeral, Brass tells Nick that he's been in his situation before, referring to the Season Six episode A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 2, when he accidentally shot a fellow cop in the line of duty.
  • Except for Catherine, every member of the CSI team gets injured in some way during the episode:
    • Langston is stabbed by Haskell and loses a kidney.
    • Nick, already in a sling, gets blown back from an explosion.
    • Sara injuries her right hand punching a demonstrator at the antigovernmental rally.
    • A member of the same rally punches Brass and leaves him with a black eye.
    • Greg and Vartann suffer minor scrapes from an explosion at the site of a homeless man's death.


  • Jason McCann was played by well-known Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.
  • The episode is inspired by the bombing of St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church on October 20, 1970, during the funeral of Officer Harold L. Hamilton, a patrolman who was killed during a bank shootout.
  • The technique used in the funeral bombing is inspired by the crimes of Eric Rudolph, a serial bomber and terrorist known as "The Centennial Park Bomber". Rudolph placed preliminary bombs at scenes to detonate them, then activated follow-up blasts to kill responders at the scene.

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