CSI: Monster in the Box
(S07E16) I'm glad I got back into this show (I'm going to start reviewing it weekly in place of Numb3rs) because it's good again. After the great four episode story arc with Keppler, Grissom is back on track hunting down his latest arch-nemesis -- The Miniature Replica Killer.
They thought they had him with the death of Ernie Dell, but no. The CSI writers have crafted quite the story here, possibly one of the best multi-episode arcs this show has seen yet.
Grissom finally got around to opening the large cardboard box that was delivered to his office right before he left on sabbatical. We knew what was inside of it though since we got a sneak peek right before he left. It's another replica. The only problem? The murder hadn't occurred... yet.
At first, going into this, I thought they whole mystery was going to be wrapped up. Not so. Now I can only hope that this is something that plays out over the course of the rest of the season.
It started off with a revelation when Grissom found the hidden message spread across all the replicas ("YOU WERE WRONG") and it ended with a shock and more questions. Every episode should be this good.
First off, I love how intelligent our killer has become. He (she?) actually set up a meticulous timer programmed to open and close the fireplace flue of the latest victim, and the effect was that it slowly released carbon monoxide into the apartment. I'm surprised no one caught on to that though when they tried to stage the scene. I know carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, but neither Sofia nor Brass noticed that the undercover female cop had stopped talking or taking their commands? That was the only part that was a bit of a stretch for me.
Tying the case to Ernie's biological son was smart but I loved the twist when we found out that the Dell's had been caregivers to dozens of foster children over the years. The killer, whom Ernie had shot himself for, could be any of those kids. As Sara pointed out, it'll take forever to subpoena all those social services records. The real question is why has the killer now targeted Grissom as a connection to the LVPD?
The end of the episode caught me completely off guard too. I honestly thought the killer had come back to finish the job. That made perfect sense. Throwing the doctor's brother into the mess as her own Dr. Kevorkian was just plain disturbing. However, now it's just one more piece of the puzzle because what would have been a huge help in finding the killer quickly became another dead end. A nice finishing touch to a great episode.