Targets of Obsession
Targets of Obsession
Season 11
Number 15
Writer David Weddle,
Bradley Thompson
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate February 17, 2011
Previous Episode: All That Cremains
Next Episode: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead

Targets of Obsession is the fifteenth episode in Season Eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


While Langston testifies against Nate Haskell, Nick is warned by Jason McCann that he's in danger, which makes the CSIs suspect that Jason might be responsible.


Victim: Nick Stokes (alive)

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

Nick pulls into the driveway of his house and hears his cell phone ring as he walks toward his front door. The caller is Jason McCann, the young man that Nick met after several bombs exploded at a police officer’s funeral. Jason admonishes Nick for letting his brother, Alex, die at the hands of the police. Before he hangs up, Jason tells Nick that "they're coming" and warns him not to go home. Nick stops just in time to avoid tripping a wire connected to a grenade. He calls the bomb squad, and bomb tech Kip Woodman is able to cut the wire and deactivate the device.

Nick is upset that someone tried to attack him at his own home; furthermore, Jason somehow got his private number. He recalls seeing a maroon van parked down the street, and Catherine says it's no coincidence that Jason called him when he did. Catherine and Det. Vartann believe that Jason must be involved in this somehow, and Det. Vartann sets off to find him and bring him in for questioning.

Sara and Greg determine that whoever made the bomb was left-handed and tied it with a half hitch. They note that the bomb is the same signature that Alex McCann used on the bombs at the police funeral. Nick speaks to Jason, who tells him that the black eye he has is from a fall. Jason picks up a soda can with his left hand and tells Nick he can’t help him because someone will kill him if he says anything. Dr. Huxbee arrives and identifies himself as Jason's legal guardian. Brass holds the man off for a minute, and he learns Dr. Huxbee is also left-handed when he signs the release form to take Jason away. Furthermore, he previously served in the Coast Guard, which would give him the knowledge to tie the bomb with a half hitch. Dr. Huxbee ends Jason's interview with Nick and takes him home.

Hodges finds that the grenade was filled with acetone, the same explosive used in the bombs at the officer’s funeral. The team is able to find a credit card opened in Dr. Huxbee’s name that was used to buy supplies, including acetone and pool acid. They also find a lease for a building in his name. Nick, Catherine, Vartann and Kip go to the building and find Dr. Huxbee’s dead body on the ground inside, having been beaten over the head. There's a trap under the body along with a laser; the laser arms a bomb nearby that's surrounded by more lasers. The group heads back toward the only door, but they find that the way is blocked by more lasers that will trip the bomb. When they try to radio for assistance, they find that phone and radio signals have been jammed—they're on their own and the timer is running down.

Nick spots a security camera, which Catherine fries with a laser pointer of her own. Jason, who has been watching everything unfold on his laptop, slams it closed in frustration. The group figures that the only way to the bomb is over the lasers, and they set out to pile up crates and lumber. As Vartann goes to get some materials, he steps on a booby trap, which shoots him in the thigh and nicks an artery. Catherine stays with him and puts pressure on the wound, while Nick and Kip take care of the bomb. They make a pile of crates, and Kip jumps down into the laser cage surrounding the bomb. Catherine and Vartann wait behind a plywood barrier while Nick kneels next to the laser cage and watches Kip work. Kip is able to disarm the bomb, and Nick runs over to hug Catherine. Suddenly, the bomb rearms and Kip barely has time to tell everyone else to get down before throwing himself over the bomb as it explodes.

Nick, Catherine and Vartann are found alive by firefighters and taken to the hospital; Kip, unfortunately, wasn't so lucky. In the lab, Doc Robbins tells Sara that Dr. Huxbee was shot execution style in the head after he was bludgeoned. The bullet was a 9mm hollow point that traces back to a gun used in a break-in at a National Guard armory in Salt Lake City nine months ago. Among the items stolen was 20 pounds of C-4. Sara also discovers that the security camera in the warehouse was purchased at an Army PX in Virginia two years ago. Meanwhile, Greg finds a surveillance video of Jason buying bomb-making supplies with a someone wearing an Army field jacket with the name "Johnson" on it. The CSIs theorize that Dr. Huxbee was the one who gave Jason the black eye; when he told Jason that he was a threat to their movement and needed to stop, Jason responded by killing him.

Jason's accomplice is identified as Timothy Johnson, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist who was dishonorably discharged from the Army two years ago. As it turns out, Timothy owns a maroon van. Nick realizes that Jason has been playing him by eventually getting he, Catherine and Vartann into the booby-trapped warehouse at the same time; Sara points out they were the three who killed Jason’s brother. Timothy's DMV address is a dead end, but Nick remembers that Jason called him earlier. He calls Jason back and keeps him on the line long enough for Greg to trace his location.

The cops set up a roadblock and stop the van containing Jason and Timothy as they try to escape to California. Timothy would rather give up than die, but Jason has other ideas. After Timothy exits the vehicle, Jason yells that Timothy has a bomb on his body. While Timothy attempts to disprove this, Jason pulls out a gun and shoots one of the cops. Nick and the others return fire, and Jason is shot multiple times, killing him.

On trial: Nate Haskell

On the stand: Raymond Langston

Serial killer Nate Haskell is on trial, and Langston goes to court to testify against him. In the courtroom, Haskell, who is secluded from everyone in a clear glass box, gets rid of his lawyer and decides to represent himself, while Langston and some of Haskell's "brides" (or groupies) look on.

With Langston on the stand, Haskell asks him how it felt when he was stabbed. Langston describes the sensation along with the fact that he thought he was going to die, which Haskell says is a normal reaction. Haskell, however, says that he feels nothing, which is abnormal and speaks to his state of mind.

Haskell brings a doctor onto the witness stand, who testifies that Haskell has a rare MAO-A “warrior gene” that makes him predisposed to violence, especially given that he grew up in an abusive household. His defense is that he can’t control his genes, and he had no control over the violent things he has done.

As Langston gets a drink of water, Haskell's fiancée, Vivian, introduces herself to him. She tells Langston that he should have more compassion for Haskell, especially after hearing his testimony. Langston sees the Star of David pendant around her neck and fills her in on Haskell's first two victims, who wore pendants identical to this one. As Brass walks up, Langston shows concern with how the trial is going, as the jury seemed to be persuaded by the doctor's testimony.

Langston gets back on the stand and says he believes that the doctor's theory—and Haskell's defense—are nonsense, as Haskell possesses the ability to tell right from wrong. Furthermore, the fact that he tried to cover up his crimes is evidence of his consciousness of guilt. When Haskell asks Langston for his qualifications. Langston replies that he has personal experience: he has the same “warrior gene” and also had an abusive childhood. However, the difference is that Langston chooses to track down guys like Haskell rather than becoming someone like him. The jury agrees with Langston, and Haskell is found guilty of attempted murder.

Langston goes to see Haskell, pleased with the outcome, but Haskell says he wants freedom more than anything else and is confident that he’ll get it. As Langston walks out to his car in the parking garage, he sees some of Haskell’s groupies lingering nearby. When Langston remembers Haskell making a strange gesture to Vivian in the courtroom, he rushes back inside and demands to see Haskell, only to discover that Haskell has switched wristbands with another prisoner and has been transferred in a minimum security van. A car crashes into the van, and the female occupants, Vivian and another Haskell groupie, shoot and kill the two corrections officers. Vivian then frees Haskell and shoots the groupie, allowing them to elope together.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Alex Carter as Detective Lou Vartann
  • Bill Irwin as Nate Haskell
  • Justin Bieber as Jason McCann
  • Jude Ciccolella as Dr. Huxbee
  • Josh Dallas as Kip Woodman
  • Larry Poindexter as D.A. Claude Melvoy
  • Megan Gallagher as Judge Francis Granston
  • Robert Pine as Dr. Corey
  • Kate Blumberg as Vivian Tinsdale
  • Derek Ray as Lead Fireman
  • Falk Hentschel as Timothy Johnson
  • Ambrit Millhouse as Jury Foreperson
  • Jason Sweat as Bailiff
  • Gabriel Salvador as Officer Casey
  • Amanda Wyss as Tina
  • Annie Little as Robin

Major Events[]

  • Jason McCann's rampage finally comes to an end when he's shot dead during a stand-off with the CSIs, as well as various members of the Las Vegas Police Department.
  • Greg is seen using a gun in the field for the first time.
  • Nate Haskell is found guilty of his crimes but manages to escape from being transported to prison with the help of some of his groupies and his fiancée, Vivian.


  • Pop star Justin Bieber reprised his role as Jason McCann, having previously appeared in the Season 11 premiere Shock Waves.
  • Josh Dallas played bomb tech Kip Woodman. Starting in 2019, he's played protagonist Ben Stone in the television show Manifest.
  • After shooting Jason McCann you can see a "stovepipe" malfunction of Stokes' pistol.

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