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Weeping Willows
Weeping.jpg
Season 5
Number 22
Writer Areanne Lloyd
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate May 5, 2005
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Previous Episode: Committed
Next Episode: Iced

Weeping Willows is the twenty-second episode in season five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

After a tough day on the job, Catherine heads to a bar to unwind and has a brief romantic encounter with a stranger, Adam Novak. When a woman from the same bar turns up dead later that night, evidence points to Novak as the lead suspect in the murder investigation. Friction arises between Grissom and Catherine when she fails to disclose her knowledge of the suspect. Meanwhile, Mia deals with cross contamination of evidence in the DNA lab.

Plot

Victim: Alice Granger (deceased)

On the case: Entire team

In the lab, Catherine hands Mia Dickerson two DNA samples from a husband and wife who got into it with each other, resulting in the husband killing the wife. After a long shift, she asks Nick and Warrick if they want to go out for a drink, but they both take rain checks. Catherine goes to the Highball bar, where she meets Adam Novak. The two share some drinks and small talk before Catherine calls it a night. Adam writes his phone number down on a matchbook and gives it to Catherine. He then walks Catherine to her car, but doesn't take it well when she gets ready to leave, holding her car door shut. He finally lets go when she pulls it and the door hits her in the face and tells her that she's not worth the trouble.

Catherine, now at home, gets a call to go to a crime scene, as she is backing up the grave shift. She meets Grissom at the murder scene of Alice Granger, who has been shot with a small caliber weapon. Her face is covered with a jacket, indicating that the killer was familiar with the victim. Alice's car is gone, pointing to a possible carjacking. Det. Vartann arrives and tells them that the car has been found; Catherine follows Vartann to the location. Much to Catherine's surprise, the car has been found in the parking lot of the Highball. She searches the car and finds a gun under one of the seats. Grissom wonders if the perpetrator killed Alice, stole the car and stopped off for a drink. Catherine seems less than enthusiastic about stepping foot back inside the bar.

An officer tells Vartann that all of the cars in the lot are accounted for except for Alice's. The bartender recognizes Alice from the photo Vartann shows her and says that she had been in the bar a few times, including the night before. Catherine walks up and the bartender seems to remember her; however, Catherine gives her the signal to keep it quiet. Alice got drunk and had the bartender call her a cab; the bartender did so and called Lucky Cab. This explains why the car is still in the parking lot, but it doesn't explain the gun. Catherine thanks the bartender for her discretion.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins pulls a .25 caliber bullet from Alice. Grissom is disappointed, as this rules out the .22 caliber gun found in the car. It is determined that Alice was shot at close range; scrapes on her knees indicate that she might have been kneeling and begging for her life.

Catherine and Sara process Alice's clothes and personal effects. Under a magnifying glass, Catherine finds something on the jacket and says that she'll collect it and send it to Hodges. Sara, meanwhile, goes through Alice's personal effects and finds a matchbook with a phone number on it. Catherine asks to see it and her mind immediately goes to her encounter with Adam. She excuses herself under the guise of going to pick up Lindsey and goes home to search frantically for the matchbook; however, the she threw it away and the garbage has already been picked up. While looking for the matchbook, a frantic Catherine gets a lecture from her mother about always working and not spending time with Lindsey.

Hodges tells Grissom that the material recovered from Alice's jacket was balls of metal consistent with automotive sheet metal. The metallic balls would have been released into the air during the welding process. The killer could be someone who worked with cars and Hodges notes that Alice worked in a car dealership.

Greg relays the information to Catherine that the bullet recovered from Alice was a .25 caliber, ruling out the gun found in the car. Catherine already knew this, but Greg adds that Alice's gun was registered to her brother, Douglas.

Douglas is brought in for interrogation and tells Catherine and Vartann that his sister had a stalker named Jeff Simon. Alice had changed her phone number several times, changed jobs and moved half a dozen times; however, Jeff was always able to find her. He gave Alice the .22 caliber the week before in order to protect herself and helped her file a restraining order against Jeff.

Catherine and Vartann visit Jeff at his job in a junkyard where he is a welder. He insists that he isn't bothering Alice and that he just wants to get back with her. When told that Alice is dead, Jeff staggers around and sits down in shock, claiming that he hasn't been near her since the restraining order. Catherine searches Jeff's truck and finds a laptop that has a map and a tracking location. The location turns out to be the lab; Catherine calls Grissom with the information and he finds a GPS tracker under the rear bumper of Alice's car.

In interrogation, Vartann tells Jeff that his fingerprints are all over the GPS tracker. Jeff again says that he loved Alice and that he was following her because he was worried about her. Alice, he claims, was a partier with a drinking problem who needed to be looked after. When told that Alice took a cab home, Jeff denies this and says that she got into a dark-colored Chrysler or Buick. He followed them but lost track of them after getting pulled over for speeding. When confronted with the evidence of automotive sheet metal on Alice's jacket, Jeff says that they spent every moment together before the restraining order was issued. Jeff tells Catherine and Vartann that their concern should be about the guy Alice got into the car with. He describes the driver as a sleazy guy with a slight build, dark hair and a leather jacket. Catherine immediately flashes back to the bar and remembers that Adam was wearing a leather jacket.

Catherine tries to talk to Grissom about her possible involvement in the case, but there are bigger matters to attend to. Mia tells them that the same unknown male DNA has been found in three different cases including the Alice Granger case and the husband/wife case Catherine was working at the very beginning of the episode. There appears to be cross contamination and all of the DNA evidence collected over the last two days has to be resubmitted and retested.

Catherine sits in her office contemplating everything going on. Greg interrupts her train of thought and tells her that Jeff has been released from custody. The cop that pulled Jeff over for speeding confirmed his alibi, meaning that they can only get Jeff for stalking. Sara also comes in and tells Catherine that they got a hit off of the phone number found on the matchbook and that the person has been brought in for questioning.

That person is Adam Novak, who sits across the interrogation table from Grissom and Vartann. He recognizes Alice from her photo and remembers that he bought her a drink the night before. They have Adam recount the events of the night and he starts off by saying that he had dinner and went to the Highball, where he met a redhead. Just then, Catherine comes in and introduces herself. Adam stops his telling his story and tells Grissom and Vartann to ask "the redhead" what happened next. They both look at Catherine in disbelief.

Catherine and Grissom watch the rest of the interrogation from behind the two-way glass. Adam recounts his evening with Catherine up to and including sharing a kiss and getting rejected. Grissom asks Catherine about this and she tells him that Adam is speaking truthfully. She explains that the mark on her face was an accident and that Adam isn't the guy she thought he was when they first met. Grissom is understandably upset that he was kept out of the loop regarding her potential involvement in the case. He tells her that she needs to recuse herself from the case; since Adam is a lawyer, he could claim prejudicial treatment. Meanwhile, Adam refuses to tell Vartann what kind of car he drives and states that he will remain silent until he retains counsel.

Next, it's Ecklie's turn to hear Catherine's recollection of her evening. Despite having received a memo from Catherine outlining the events, he wants a firsthand account. She defiantly says that she only had one drink and that she didn't have sex with Adam. Adam did not handle her rejection well and went back inside the bar. A flashback shows Adam going back into the Highball and finding a drunk Alice at the bar. Catherine theorizes to Ecklie that Adam walked a complaint Alice outside and offered to drive her home. They are interrupted by Warrick, who says that there is a crime scene in Seven Hills they need to head to.

At the scene, they find a female victim with a jacket over her head, similar to Alice's crime scene. The victim, Holly Pearson, lived across the street. There was no sexual assault and all of her personal belongings have been accounted for. David Phillips removes the jacket and finds that Holly also died from a single gunshot wound to the head, only this time, the angle is different. Warrick finds a shell casing nearby and, based on footprints, Catherine surmises that both Holly and her killer were running. A keycard for the Clark County Courthouse is found, as well, and Catherine notes that Adam is a public defender. She fills Det. Vega in on Alice's case and has him check to see if Holly went to the Highball the night before; he is later able to confirm that this was the case.

Holly's coworkers tell Catherine and Vega that they went to the Highball to celebrate Holly's recent promotion. After Holly called it a night, she took a cab home while her friends continued to have a good time. Catherine shows them a set of six photos and the girls recognize Adam from his photo. They remember that Adam brought them a round of drinks and tried to get friendly. However, after Holly left, they don't remember seeing Adam for the rest of the night.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins tells Catherine that Holly's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Lack of gunpowder and stippling suggests that she was not shot at close range. The bullet recovered from her body was a .25 caliber - the same caliber used in Alice's murder. Holly's stomach contents contained only two things: a small amount of wine and human flesh. Doc Robbins says that the flesh has taste buds on it, indicating that Holly bit her attacker's tongue when he tried to make a move.

Warrick processes the bullets from both cases and finds that they were fired from the same gun. Nick enters and tells him that the keycard found belonged to Adam Novak and that the only prints on the card were Adam's.

Catherine drives home and is horrified to see Adam in front of her house talking to her mother and Lindsey. She dials 911, sets the phone down and steps out of the car. While Adam continues to be cordial, Catherine signals her to mother to take Lindsey and head into the house immediately. When they are alone, Adam accuses Catherine of trying to set him up for murder just because he came on too strong at the bar. As the sound of police sirens grows louder, Adam takes a step towards Catherine, causing her to draw her gun. The police arrive and Adam curses at Catherine; she replies that he showed up to her house.

Adam is brought in for interrogation again. Grissom has him stick out his tongue; when he does, he reveals some teeth marks on it. Adam admits that he gave Alice a ride home the night of her murder and that things got "hot and heavy." Afterwards, she got out of the car and he drove off. He then went to the Highball again the next night, got drunk and came on to Holly; however, he came on too strong (again), tried to kiss her and got bitten on the tongue instead. Adam's lawyer is able to back up his claim that Holly took a cab and was dropped off at her home alone. When told that his keycard was found at the crime scene, Adam claims that his never left his car and should still be in his center console. The car is at CSI for processing.

In the garage, Nick tells Catherine that he checked the center console and didn't find a keycard. She believes Adam is lying again, but Nick shows her evidence that Adam's car was recently broken into. It seems possible that someone broke in, stole the keycard and locked the car back up without Adam noticing. Nick says that he found some smudges and partials both inside and outside of the car.

The prints come back to Jeff Simon, Alice's stalker. Catherine and Vartann go to talk to him again at the junkyard. Jeff again claims he has an alibi since he got pulled over by the cops for speeding, but Catherine says that he still knew where Alice lived. A flashback shows an angry and distraught Jeff watching Adam and Alice making out; when she got out of the car and Adam drove off, he approached her and shot her as she tried to run away. He then went back to the Highball the following night knowing that Adam frequented the place. While Adam was trying to hit on Holly, Jeff broke into his car and stole the keycard. He then followed Holly to her house, shot her and planted the keycard to incriminate Adam.

Mia informs Grissom that the evidence contamination occurred because someone at the manufacturer coughed or sneezed on what was supposed to be a sterile product and got their DNA everywhere. Meanwhile, Catherine jokingly asks Grissom out for a drink, but he continues to give her the cold shoulder. She asks if it's a crime to go out after work and have a little human contact. Grissom replies that this is why he doesn't go out.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 5
Viva Las VegasDown the DrainHarvestCrow's FeetSwap MeetWhat's Eating Gilbert Grissom?FormalitiesCh-Ch-ChangesMea CulpaNo Humans InvolvedWho Shot Sherlock?SnakesNesting DollsUnbearableKing BabyBig MiddleCompulsionSpark of Life4 x 4Hollywood BrassCommittedWeeping WillowsIcedGrave Danger, Part 1Grave Danger, Part 2
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