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Unleashed
Unleashed.jpg
Season 11
Number 19
Writer Ed Whitmore,
Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Brad Tanenbaum
Original Airdate April 7, 2011
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Next Episode: Father of the Bride

Unleashed is the nineteenth episode in season eleven of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Langston turns to Lady Heather for help in the murder of a woman who acted like a cat, and Nick tries to figure out what caused a pregnant teen to commit suicide after he saves her baby.

Plot

Victim: Iona Vail (deceased)

On the case: Raymond Langston, Sara Sidle

A woman crawls through the woods and comes to face to face with mountain lion, which ends up mauling her to death. At the scene, Langston and Sara see that the victim is wearing a leotard, which is unusual for the terrain they're in. With no car in sight and the nearest house being ten miles away, Langston questions how the victim got there. He also takes a closer look at the victim's wounds and sees that she was restrained and attacked by a person before the mountain lion got to her. Sara finds a tooth nearby, likely from the lion.

In autopsy, Langston spots injuries consistent with a vertical drop and sees that the victim also suffered a broken jaw. The victim is missing several teeth, leading Sara to wonder if the tooth recovered at the scene is the victim's. They CSIs wonder why there's so much trace on the body until Langston spots two burn marks consistent with a stun gun. He explains that the stun gun would turn the victim into a "human lint brush." Sara runs the fingerprints and identifies the victim as Iona Vail, a social worker who worked in a shelter for battered women.

At the shelter, Sara speaks with Debra, who helped Iona run the shelter. She says that Iona had quit six weeks ago after breaking up with her boyfriend. Sara is directed to Iona's desk, which contains a box of belongings she packed up and never came back to get. In the lab, she goes through Iona's things and finds a date book that lists several appointments with a "Dr. K." A reverse lookup of the doctor's phone number leads the CSIs to Lady Heather - who now goes by Dr. Kessler.

Heather, now a licensed sex therapist, tells Langston and Sara that Iona came to her when conventional psychotherapy failed. Iona had a deep-seeded need for loving and nurturing, so Heather had her role play as a cat. However, the role-playing got out of hand, as a video shows Iona refusing to come out of it, hissing at both her boyfriend, Carter, and Heather. She also bit Carter after he tried to drag her out of the session. At the station, Carter tells Sara that he last saw Iona six weeks ago and blames Heather for what happened. When he went to Iona's apartment, he found bondage gear, which he also believes to be from Heather.

Hodges informs Sara that the tooth found at the scene is actually a fake made with the same polymethacrylate formula used by all dentists. However, this tooth has feline characteristics, and there is only one dentist in Vegas that does this kind of work - Dr. Tyrell Neth. Langston and Sara pay Dr. Neth a visit in his mansion and find numerous women there pretending to be cats. The women are wearing the same type of brace that Carter found amongst Iona's belongings. Dr. Neth tells the CSIs that Iona was living there as a cat for the last six weeks before she left with no explanation.

Outside, Langston and Sara locate the pine tree Iona liked to hang out in. They find scratch marks in the tree's bark and a human-sized disturbance in the dirt at the foot of the tree, consistent with Iona falling out of it. This would explain the compression fracture she sustained. Drag marks leading away from the tree leads Sara to hypothesize that Dr. Neth wanted affection from Iona and when he didn't get it, he broke out the stun gun and dragged her away. They find a piece of Iona's catsuit stuck to a nearby sprinkler head.

A fingerprint is able to be recovered from the piece of catsuit, while Sara discovers that Iona was burnt with the stun gun she purchased last year. The print comes back to Debra, who was running the women's shelter with Iona. Under interrogation, Debra admits that she was just trying to get Iona away from Dr. Neth for her own good. She zapped her with the stun gun, put her in the car and attempted to drive her back to the shelter. However, on the way, Iona attacked her. This led to the two fighting on the side of the road, resulting in Debra hitting Iona. She rolled down the hill and was eventually found by the hungry mountain lion.

Victim: Maria Diorio (deceased)

On the case: Nick Stokes, Jim Brass

Nick and Doc Robbins are driving through a neighborhood after having breakfast. They're stopped by a man yelling for help; he tells them he saw a dead girl through a window. When the duo enters the house, they find that a young girl has hung herself in her closet. Doc Robbins discovers that the girl is pregnant and that the fetus is still moving. They take her off and put her on the bed where they pull out the unborn baby girl. Doc Robbins starts CPR and the baby starts crying.

The deceased is identified as 17-year-old Maria Diorio. Doc Robbins finds bruises on Maria's arms, indicating that she was in a struggle no more than two hours before her death. Outside of the autopsy room, Nick meets Maria's mother, who is completely unaware that her daughter was pregnant. When Nick offers to have Maria driven to the hospital to visit her granddaughter, she simply walks away without a word.

Back in Maria's room, Nick photographs the belt she hung herself with. In the trash can, he finds a ripped up photo containing Maria and a mystery date that appears to be wearing a homecoming king sash. He and Brass are alerted to a cell phone going off; someone going by the name of "N Culver" is texting Maria incessantly. Back in the lab, Archie finds that Maria and the text sender were planning on meeting in person while keeping their parents in the dark.

In interrogation, Nathan Culver identifies himself as Maria's boyfriend and the father of her child, much to his father's dismay. Nick informs him that the baby survived and is in the hospital. Nathan admits that the belt Maria hung herself with is his belt and that he's the one who left the bruises on Maria's arms. A flashback shows the two of them arguing that morning, with Maria telling Nathan that she was going to keep the baby against his wishes. Nathan denies killing Maria; when asked who would want to kill her, he replies "everyone."

Archie finds that Maria received over a thousand hate e-mails in one day, and more than twice the amount of text messages. Furthermore, she's been receiving the hate mail for months and there's even a hate website directed at her. On the site, someone doctored a cheerleading video of her that went viral. Nick tells Ecklie that he considers Maria's death to be murder via bullying and sets out to pursue the kids at the high school that were responsible. In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Nick that Maria took no more than 15 minutes to die, which lets Nathan off the hook, as he was in school at the time.

Archie is able to put together a timeline of the events, which started 8 1/2 months ago. Nathan was supposed to go to the homecoming dance with Cathy Mackey, one of the cheerleaders; however, when Maria caught his eye, he dumped Cathy and went to the dance with her instead. Cathy and her cheerleader friends took revenge on Maria by creating the website and uploading the tryout video. The piling on eventually reached a global level. With her father dead, her mother being uncaring and her boyfriend not wanting the baby, Maria broke and hung herself.

Nick, Ecklie and some officers go to the high school and arrest the cheerleaders for murder as the other students look on. At the hospital, Nick and Doc Robbins show Nathan his baby daughter. Nathan names the girl Maria after her dead mother.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Melinda Clarke as Heather Kessler
  • Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
  • Marc Vann as Conrad Ecklie
  • Tony Curran as Dr. Tyrell Neth
  • Abby Brammell as Debra
  • Aaron Hill as Carter Grable
  • Cody Longo as Nathan Culver
  • Dylan Neal as Mr. Culver
  • Allison Smith as Mrs. Diorio
  • Mariah Bonner as Iona Vail
  • Victoria Geil as Cathy Mackey
  • Shel Rasten as Male Doberman
  • Wendy Schenker as Principal Johnston
  • Brooke Anne Smith as Maria Diorio
  • Natalie Sutherland as Susan

Goofs

  • At approximately 5:30 in Dr. Robbins tells Nick Stokes "She's going to need respiratory support." As he hands the baby to Nick, he says "Here you go, George." George Eads is the actor who plays Nick Stokes.
  • As Sara is testing the stun gun on a mannequin, the evidence sheet lists the charge as "ASSAULT/HOMOCIDE" (as opposed to "ASSAULT/HOMICIDE"). An investigator of her experience would not make such an error.

Music

  • The Garden by Mirah
  • Little by Little by Radiohead

Notes

  • Marg Helgenberger (Catherine) and Eric Szmanda (Greg) are credited but do not appear in this episode.

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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