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The Panty Sniffer
Panty.jpg
Season 10
Number 16
Writer Richard Catalani,
Jacqueline Hoyt
Director Louis Milito
Original Airdate April 1, 2010
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Previous Episode: Neverland
Next Episode: Irradiator

The Panty Sniffer is the sixteenth episode in season ten of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Catherine and Vartann lead the surveillance of two bratty MDMA (ecstasy) dealers who are making another batch in a hotel room. Meanwhile, the rest of the team investigates the murder of a woman whose death is connected to the underwear fetish business.

Plot

Suspects: Everett Edwards, Bellermine 'Bell' Quisk

On the case: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Jim Brass, Louis Vartann

Catherine makes her way through a casino floor, spotting Officer Mitchell undercover at a craps table with a suspect and Brass keeping tabs on another suspect. She makes her way to the 17th floor, where she silently passes Greg and Archie in the hallway and knocks on a door. Det. Vartann answers and kisses Catherine in order to fool one of their suspects who happens to be walking by. He explains their setup - two of the biggest ecstasy suppliers in the southwest, Everett Edwards and Bellermine 'Bell' Quisk, have the room next door. Based on a party the week before, it's suspected that the duo is cooks ecstasy in hotel rooms and distributes it later at parties. Greg and Archie set up cameras in the room; however, they had to get out quickly before the suspect from the hallway entered the room and were unable to set up a camera in the bathroom. Setting up the final camera appears to be difficult, as the two men have brought the party back to their room.

The following morning, the two guys wake up while the girls they are with are still asleep. Everett turns the air conditioning down to 50 degrees, indicating that they're getting ready to cook. They're startled by a knock at the door until Bell remembers that he ordered room service. After bringing the room service cart into the room, they verbally say that they're getting ready to cook, but this is still not enough confirmation for Catherine and Vartann.

As Everett and Bell prepare to cook, Vartann is already growing impatient, wondering how long it takes to make ecstasy. Catherine responds that the length of the cooking process varies based on the chemicals used and the expertise of the cookers. The police have gathered intel that the guys will be distributing their product at a rave at 10:00; however, the whereabouts are unknown. Catherine and Vartann share an intimate conversation in which Vartann reveals that he has a 21-year-old son - and that he misses being able to come home to someone at the end of a long day. Catherine stares at him in response.

Bell is seen getting more ice and bringing it into the bathroom; he dumps it into the bathtub. Catherine explains that they're probably beginning the condensate, the most dangerous part of the process. They need to keep the temperature of the mixture below 40 degrees Celsius - otherwise, the chemicals will explode.

The two guys start getting into a verbal argument once Bell starts becoming lackadaisical, while Everett is concerned that they won't be ready by the start of the rave. Bell responds by pointing his gun at Everett, but is interrupted by a knock at the door. Without his partner's knowledge, Bell has invited a friend of his up to the room to purchase some product, and he has his girlfriend, Jill, in tow. Jill, who is clearly high, starts making out with Bell, much to the anger of her boyfriend. Since the product isn't done, the boyfriend starts to leave - until Bell points his gun at him. The boyfriend responds with a gun of his own, and Everett emerges from the bathroom with another gun, also pointing it at the boyfriend. Everett hands Jill two ecstasy tabs for free in order to get the two out of the hotel room peacefully. Vartann radios another officer and orders them to detain Jill and the boyfriend until he can get there. He leaves Catherine alone in the room with a radio.

Vartann heads down to the casino floor and meets up with Greg and Brass. He's found out that the rave is being held at an abandoned building, and Greg is recruited when he admits to having past experiences in the rave circuit. A surveillance team is in place that will follow Bell and Everett once they leave the casino. Brass tells Vartann that he wants the duo arrested after they start distributing at the party because he wants to bust them for selling to minors.

Catherine gets ready to disable and process the lab, but Bell and Everett haven't left yet despite it almost being 10:00. She and Vartann watch the duo brand the pills, bag them and leave the room. After the dealers leave, Catherine and Vartann head over, with Vartann acting as her uniformed officer. Brass informs them over the radio that both suspects have left the premises. Catherine looks over the bathroom and has Vartann wait in the living room, as he's not properly suited up to be dealing with harsh chemicals. Brass radios that the suspects are now two blocks from the warehouse.

Greg enters the rave undercover and is able to score an ecstasy pill from Everett. Everett tells Bell that he's leaving the party, something Everett largely ignores. When Greg tries to relay this development to his team, he's unable to due to a low signal. Greg stalls Everett long enough to have Brass come up behind him with a gun and arrest him. However, during the confrontation, Bell has disappeared from Greg's eyesight.

This information is relayed to Vartann, who then fills Catherine in. Catherine responds that she's almost done, as she's sealed and secured the chemicals and is finishing up photographing the lab. Vartann is in the living room collecting some of the equipment when Bell suddenly enters. He tells someone on the phone that he left the rave when the police showed up and that nobody knows where he is. Vartann's police radio causes Bell to hang up his phone, draw his gun and search the room. Catherine hides unseen in the bathroom and draws her gun. With Vartann in his sights, Bell gets ready to fire, but Catherine emerges and attacks him; however, she drops her gun in the process. The two begin to fight, alerting Vartann. Vartann sees Bell on top of Catherine with his gun aimed at her. He makes a split second decision to shoot Bell, killing him. A tearful Catherine looks at Vartann in shock - she has some of Bell's blood on her forehead.

Victim: Sasha Katsaros (deceased)

On the case: Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Raymond Langston

After helping Catherine with her Archie prepares to leave the casino and head back to the lab. As he makes his way through the security corridor and down to the loading dock, he slips on something and falls down some stairs, hitting his head. In pain, he turns his head to find the body of a woman.

Finn Thomas, a coworker of the victim, identifies her as Sasha Katsaros. He tells Langston that he last saw Sasha at 10:00 PM, and that she was coordinating an event for Lon Rose, who is hosting a private lingerie show in the casino. At the scene, Nick notes the dried blood on the stairs and figures that Sasha fell down them. Archie radioed Catherine about the dead body at 11:15 PM, meaning that the CSIs have a 75-minute window to work with. Sasha's neck appears to be broken and she has marks on both of her wrists that indicate that she struggled with someone. Archie relayed some odd information to Greg - he noticed that Sasha didn't have on any underwear, a fact that David Phillips confirms. Assuming that Sasha's killer took her underwear as a souvenir, her death was no accident.

Langston tells Nick that Sasha's notes mention her kicking a guest out of the private lingerie show. They head to the show to find and speak with Lon Rose. They make their way through the models on exhibit, and Lon eventually introduces himself to Langston. When Langston says that he's from the crime lab and mentions Sasha's name, Lon figures that Clint Pudder called the police on him. Clint had gotten too close to one of the models and was ejected from the show. When he tried to sneak back in, Sasha took him downstairs to deal with him. While Lon leaves to attend to another matter, Nick is confused by a vacuum-packed $2000 pair of underwear - until he sees a guest buy a pair, open the package and take a long whiff of what's inside. Both Langston and Nick are confused and somewhat disgusted.

Clint Pudder is located and arrested. A bunch of women's panties were found in his hotel room, and he tells Langston and Nick that he bought all of them at the show. In fact, he would have bought more if he hadn't gotten kicked out. Clint says that Sasha had no right to kick him out of the show, but claims that he didn't kill her because she did so. He adds that Sasha wasn't his type, either. Clint encourages the CSIs to speak with Lon, who will confirm that he only bought from one model. He admits to pulling a pair of panties off of the model, feeling that he earned it after spending so much money on her the year before. After getting kicked out a second time, he says that he paid someone to buy up the model's entire table. Clint claims that his alibi is "blissing out" in his hotel room with the panties all around him. Langston takes Clint's fingerprints and DNA.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins shows Langston a shoe impression on Sasha's back; a corresponding impression was found on her jacket. Sasha also suffered a few fractured ribs, a broken neck and a laceration to the head. All of this indicates that she was grabbed, thrown to the ground and kicked down the stairs. Langston notes a strawberry-shaped birthmark on Sasha's clavicle.

In the layout room, Wendy tells Nick that Sasha had sex before she died with an unknown male but that she wasn't raped. As Nick goes over Sasha's personal effects, Wendy notices the bra that he's holding. Nick tells her that it's the bra Sasha was wearing when she died, and Wendy immediately knows that Clint didn't take her panties. She says that there was no underwear in Clint's collection that matches the bra and that Sasha would be wearing the matching bra and panties as a set.

Archie searches Lon's website for all of his sales over the last 24 hours. Langston spots a photo of one of the models (face unseen) and notes that she has the same strawberry-shaped birthmark as Sasha. He concludes that Sasha was a model in Lon's show, something he withheld from the police. At the hotel, Lon tells Langston and Nick that Sasha made him promise not to tell her manager, since she liked her day job. When Langston hands Lon a warrant to search Sasha's booth at the show, Lon hands them her panties from his pocket. He admits that Sasha was his best-selling model and that he needed something "fresh" to sell to the guests, so she gave him the ones she was wearing. He adds that he could "smell" that Sasha had had sex recently, something that greatly diminished the essence and price of her underwear; however, he swears that he wasn't the one she had sex with.

In the lab, Nick hands a DNA exemplar from Lon and has Wendy compare it against the male contribution from Sasha's sexual assault exam. He also hands Sasha's underwear over to Wendy and admits that she was right about her earlier hunch. Archie interrupts and informs Nick that Sasha's key card is still active and being used despite the team having a card in evidence.

In the casino, Langston and Nick approach Finn Thomas, who feigns ignorance when told that Sasha's key card is still active. Langston searches his pockets and finds the card. Finn admits that he got mad when Sasha booked the lingerie job and that he wanted her to quit, something she said she would do. However, she lied and Finn found out about it. He confronted her at the loading dock and, in a jealous rage, pushed her to the ground. As she tried to get up, he kicked her down the stairs, which resulted in her death.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Music

  • God's Gonna Cut You Down by Costanza Francavilla

Goofs

  • When Langston and Nick arrested Finn, in the flashback retelling of the crime, Sasha is wearing white sneakers. In the next shot, Sasha has high heeled stiletto shoes on as she falls down the stairs.

Notes

  • Wallace Langham (Hodges) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

Trivia

  • Ian Anthony Dale played Lon Rose in this episode. He would later go on to play Adam Noshimuri in Hawaii Five-0 from 2011 to 2020.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 10
Family AffairGhost TownWorking StiffsCoup de GraceBloodsportDeath & The MaidenThe Lost GirlsLover's LanesAppendicitementBetter Off DeadSin City BlueLong BallInternal CombustionUnshockableNeverlandThe Panty SnifferIrradiatorField MiceWorld's EndTake My Life, Please!Lost & FoundDoctor WhoMeat Jekyll
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