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Sqweegel
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Season 11
Number 4
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker,
Carol Mendelsohn
Director Jeffrey Hunt
Original Airdate October 14, 2010
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Previous Episode: Blood Moon
Next Episode: House of Hoarders

Sqweegel is the fourth episode in season eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

A well-known Las Vegas philanthropist is brutally slashed in her bed, and the team soon discovers that they are dealing with a killer who knows the secrets of some of the city's most prominent citizens.

Plot

Victim: Margot Wilton (alive)

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Raymond Langston, Jim Brass

In the luxurious home of Margot Wilton, a dark figure breaks in through a back door and awkwardly slinks up the stairs. The figure passes several photos of Margot, some of which include her wheelchair-bound son. Also shown is a Key to the City Margot recently received. The figure then enters Margot's room, slinks onto her bed and attacks her with a straight-edge razor.

The following morning, Margot (who is still alive), is transported into an ambulance. The CSI team arrives and Nick recognizes one of the paramedics as Ryan Fink, who recently became a hero after saving a bunch of kids from a burning building. Inside the house, Catherine and Langston make their way upstairs. Langston notices that the two photos of Margot's son have been shredded, meaning that the intruder had to have taken the photos out of their frames, slashed them and reassembled them. Catherine sees that Margot's Key to the City award has been flipped upside-down, with evidence indicating that this was also done recently.

While Nick finds the intruder's point of entry downstairs, Catherine and Langston check out Margot's bedroom. They spot the point of attack and notice two voids in the sheets, concluding that the intruder was kneeling over Margot when he attacked her. A trail of bloody handprints and footprints leads to the balcony doors, but something is odd - their suspect got off the bed one hand and one foot at a time. Outside, Greg finds evidence that someone recently crawled through a window several times, indicating that they had been in the house before the night Margot was attacked. The window is a small fit, and Greg and Nick wonder if their intruder is of small stature.

Nick fills Langston in on his findings, and Langston responds with a question - is Margot lucky to be alive or is she still alive by design? The evidence from the torn-up photos and upside-down Key to the City leads Langston to believe that the attack was personal and that the attacker didn't approve of Margot's accolades. The team's one main piece of evidence is what the attacker left behind - Margot Wilton.

In the hospital, Margot tells Langston that she believes her attacker was black. He was slippery, and she believes that he was wearing gloves. She also says that the attacker and black eyes and might have been wearing braces. The attacker also never said anything. Margot identifies the boy in the wheelchair as her son from her first marriage. Her son, Robbie, was sick and died at a young age. She tells Langston that she started her work in philanthropy to have Robbie's spirit live on.

Back in Margot's house, Catherine dusts the bedroom for prints but is unable to recover a single one. Greg tells her that during his search of the perimeter, he noticed that the house has an attic. Since they know the attacker was in the house several times, Greg figures that the attic could have been his hiding spot. Up there, Greg finds a hole in the floor along with a lipstick camera. The bottom drawer of a nearby dresser is full of orange peels; the intruder has been living in the attic. Nick tells Catherine that the intruder has also been reading Margot's mail, as her envelopes have been steamed open. Catherine spots a mark under the bed; when she and Nick lift it, they find a dust void in the shape of a person. Their intruder has actually been lying under the bed.

In the lab, Catherine tells the team that she found no trace of any kind from the intruder. Langston convinces them that their lack of evidence is evidence. What they know is this: their intruder is small in stature, agile and manically patient, as he invaded Margot's life for weeks or months without her ever knowing.

Nick and Hodges take a look at the carpet that was under Margot's bed. The stain on it looks like urine; however, it has no smell and isn't even in the right anatomical region. Hodges notes that both urine and sweat fluoresce the same, so they could be looking at sweat. This is confirmed when Hodges runs the carpet for DNA. Although he's unable to recover any DNA, he tells Nick that the sweat was mixed with components that make up latex fetish sprays. The sprays' primary uses are on latex body suits. Nick remembers Margot's description of her attacker and guesses that he was wearing latex with a zipper up the back, which would explain why his spine was sweating.

Catherine and Nick visit the local sex shop and talk to the owner, Joey. He tells them that someone bought a few bottles of silicone spray six months back and that the same person custom-ordered two latex "head-to-toes" - full-body suits that cover everything but the eyes, nose and mouth. Joey even has a record of the purchase, as well as photos of the buyer. However, the photos only show their suspect wearing the suit, as most customers in the shop value their privacy. Catherine and Nick notice that their suspect has heterochromia, one blue eye and one brown. The buyer paid for the suits in cash and didn't leave an address; however, he did leave a name - Ian Moone. In the lab, Langston runs Ian Moone through the database, but gets no hits. When he writes the name down and rearranges the letters, he finds that Ian Moone is an anagram for "I AM NO ONE."

Across town, Carrie Jones goes through a car wash with her daughter, Alise, in the back seat. While Alise puts her headphones on and watches the car wash with her doll, Carrie calls someone and starts flirting with them over the phone. Suddenly, the man in the latex suit slinks his way through the car to the front seat and violently attacks Carrie with another straight-edge razor, killing her. He then draws the letter 'A' in her blood on the windshield. Between the music in her headphones and the noise from the car wash, Alise doesn't hear anything. She only turns around to find the latex man staring at her, and she screams in horror.

Catherine and Greg are on the scene. They confirm that only Carrie and Alise were in the car when it started to go through the car wash. There's blood all over the inside of the car, but evidence indicates that there was no blood on the killer when he made his way through the car initially. Greg finds blood on the hatch release; when they open it, they find a spare tire compartment with no tire. They wonder if the same person who fit through Margot's window could also fit himself in the compartment. When Catherine asks where their suspect went, she realizes that he may still be on the premises; however, a search turns up nothing.

In the police station, Brass talks with a still-frightened Alise. She eventually opens up and silently conveys that there was nobody else in the car, but that she was watching the car wash with her doll. When Brass asks for more information, the girl chillingly calls the killer "Sqweegel." The questioning ends when Alise's father, Jason, comes by to pick her up.

Jason tells Brass that his wife had just been appointed to the county's Family Values Committee because of her stance against violent video games. He adds that not only did Carrie receive death threats, but she was also violently attacked in their house, which landed her in the hospital. This is confirmed in autopsy when Doc Robbins and David Phillips see that Carrie has two different sets of cuts on her body, one old and one new. Langston enters and compares Carrie's cuts with Margot's. He concludes that both women were attacked by the same person.

In the Jones' house, Langston and Nick examine the bedroom. They find a dust void under the bed similar to the one at Margot's house. In fact, everything in the house mirrors the first crime scene - including a hole in the ceiling. There's a hole in the mattress that contains a DVD with a red letter 'A' on it, similar to the car wash. Brass tells the CSIs about "Sqweegel," guessing that Alise chose that name because of the sound the mops made at the car wash when they went across the windshield.

When the DVD is viewed, it's revealed that Carrie was having an affair - and that someone was recording it privately. Langston shows the video to Jason, who says that he was unaware that this was going on. Jason suddenly comes to a realization, telling Langston that when Carrie was attacked the first time, she claimed that her attacker kept saying "I know. Confess." He believes that this is what the attacker was referring to.

In the hallway, Langston fills Brass in and guesses that the scarlet letter on the windshield and DVD can only stand for one thing - adultery. Carrie was cheating on her husband without his knowledge, but Sqweegel knew. Sqweegel gave Carrie a chance to repent after the first attack, but when she didn't, she ended up dead. Langston guesses that Margot has also been given a chance to repent and if she hasn't, her life is still in danger.

In the hospital, Margot is discharged and refuses to be put up in a hotel with protection. Her desire is to go back home with the belief that her attacker will not strike again. When Langston and Brass inform her that it's not a good idea, Mayor Oscar Goodman steps in on her behalf. After Brass pulls the mayor away, Langston talks to Margot privately. He utters the words "I know. Confess." Langston says that he knows Sqweegel uttered those words when he attacked Margot the first time and asks her if her attack has something to do with her son or the Key to the City. Margot refuses to answer the questions and heads back home.

Mayor Goodman takes Margot home and tells Brass to leave her alone. Inside the house, a frightened Margot locks her doors and runs upstairs. She goes to the attic and frantically opens the doors to the dresser, upset that there's nothing in them. As she curiously finds orange peels in the bottom drawer, her attention is diverted to a sound behind her. Sqweegel appears and asks Margot if she's looking for her letters, which he has in his hand. He then pulls out his straight-edge razor.

Margot is able to briefly escape from Sqweegel and falls down the attic stairs. Meanwhile, Nick is called to the scene of an abandoned vehicle. The car is registered to Ryan Fink, the hero paramedic, and it was an award from the city for his heroism. Nick sees some blood on a sheet and breaks the front driver's side window to gain access to the locked car. When the sheet is rolled back, he finds that the driver's seat is covered in blood.

A knocked out Margot comes to and barely escapes another attack from Sqweegel. As she runs from him, she falls down the stairs into the house's main foyer, once again briefly incapacitating her. Nick arrives at the house and informs Brass about Ryan's car. There's a connection - Ryan, Carrie and Margot were all recently honored by the city. Carrie is dead and it's presumed Ryan is, as well. Nick figures that Margot is next.

Back inside, Margot tries to crawl away from Sqweegel. Sqweegel tells her that he knows everything - he read her letters, heard her phone calls and watched her while she slept. The latex-wearing intruder gets Margot to confess that Robbie was in pain and that her son's death was not an accident; she killed him by pushing his wheelchair into their pool. As Margot confesses, she pulls a gun out of a drawer and fires at Sqweegel. This gets the attention of the CSIs and the police outside and they storm into the house. Sqweegel is nowhere to be found and Nick discovers that the gun was loaded with blanks - Sqweegel thought of everything. Margot is frantically escorted out of the house by Officer Mitchell; in the process, she yells out about her letters.

Langston heads to Margot's bedroom and catches a glimpse of a latex-wearing figure under the bed. When he flips the bed over, he reveals a motionless body. Hearing the commotion, Catherine and Nick enter the room. Langston notes that their victim has been dead for at least a few hours. When the mask is removed, the CSIs find that the victim is Ryan. They also discover that Ryan has both old scars and fresh cuts, similar to Carrie. With the doors to the balcony open, the team figures that Sqweegel is once again in the wind.

Back in the lab, Greg steams Margot's letters open. The letters are written to Robbie's father; in them, Margot confesses to pushing her son into the pool at his request. A flashback shows her doing so and standing at the edge of the pool as she watched Robbie drown. Sqweegel knew this, which is why he attacked her and forced her to confess.

Catherine and Langston figure that Margot's desperation to return home was because she needed to get the letters. That was her secret, but what was Ryan's? Brass reveals that Ryan was apparently setting fires to make himself look like a hero when he rescued people from them. The question of who "Ian Moone" is still remains. In a final shot, Sqweegel is shown zipping up his latex suit and uttering the words "I am no one."

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Larry M. Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Larry Sullivan as Officer Akers
  • Daniel Browning Smith as Sqweegel
  • Ann-Margret as Margot Wilton
  • Mitchell Fink as Ryan Fink
  • Laurie Fortier as Carrie Jones
  • Oscar Goodman as Oscar B. Goodman
  • David Julian Hirsh as Jason Jones
  • Anne Leighton as Younger Margot Wilton
  • Kris Lemche as Joey
  • Bryce Robinson as Robbie Wilton
  • Rino Romano as Sqweegel (voice)
  • Emily Skinner as Alise Jones

Music

  • Waiting for the End by Linkin Park

Goofs

  • When "Ian Moone" descends from the attic towards the end of the episode, he is holding some of Margot's letters. However, when he moves through the house, spider-like, he doesn't have them. Soon after, he has them again, as he throws them into the air.

Notes

  • Jorja Fox (Sara) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • Catherine tells Nick that he and Margot have something in common - a stalker. This is in reference to the season two episode Stalker, where Nick was stalked and eventually attacked by Nigel Crane.

Trivia

  • Sqweegel originated in the novel Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony E. Zuiker with Duane Swierczynki, and had been played by Daniel Browning Smith in it's "cyberbridge" companion videos. The car wash sequence is also from the book. The episode's broadcast date coincides with the release date of its sequel, Level 26: Dark Prophecy.
  • Daniel Browning Smith, who plays Sqweegel, is one the most flexible people in the world. His most famous trick is getting into a small plexi-box. Smith was also the co-host to Stan Lee's Superhumans.
  • This is one episode where the criminal does not get apprehended.

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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