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August 30, 2015

CSI: Monster in the Box

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 16th 2007 11:43AM

William Petersen as Gil Grissom.(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.

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I'm going to go with my gut on this one... but I think there's a personal connection between the miniature killer and Grissom.

With all the rumors going around that William Peterson might be leaving at the end of this season, we may find out that Grissom is the last of the miniature victims, in which the killer will be caught or killed, and Grissom might be taken out in it.

That'd be one heck of a season Finale/exit for a character, since the whole CSI franchise isn't one for killing off major characters (with the exception of Speed in CSI Miami).

February 18 2007 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just got around to watching this episode, and I'm glad you guys have picked up reviewing it. This was a great episode! I know a lot of people bitch and moan about CSI and how it ruined television blah blah blah but tonight's episode is a reminder that CSI is still great TV.

I think they handled this episode very well, I was definitely captivated for the whole thing. I kind of like that they still don't know how the killer is-- nice to know that not everything in Las Vegas is perfect when it comes to wrapping up crimes like it is in Miami. ;-)

February 17 2007 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You may laugh at me, but I think I've figured it all out: It's Hodges. Why? Beyond the fact that he fits the profile perfectly, and has always been searching for Grissom's approval... When they 'caught' Ernie Dell, wasn't it Hodges who 'recognized' the train logo as a miniature store, supposedly as just a convenient stroke of good fortune, eventually leading the cops to Dell's place? Beyond that, look at this week's episode... Hodges was hovering for no particular plot-driven reason at all, taking curious interest in the miniature. He even half-helped Grissom limit the apartment search area by tossing him that fast-food pamphlet... a lot of incidental help in these cases from the same guy, don't you think?
What finally sealed it for me was a creative piece of writing. If I'm right, then I really applaud the subtlty at work here by the writers of the show--> Hodges on seeing the doctor's brother in front of the media: "Well this will make our jobs harder." JUST the job of finding the killer... or the job of committing the murders, too?

February 17 2007 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope the serial killer sticks around for a few episodes. I'm glad the bad taste the ending of the first batch was for a reason, because Dell wasn't the killer. Now the show feels smarter, like something from the UK now. Of course, it'll go back to normal soon enough.

February 17 2007 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B.D. Ize

Louise Lombard is leaving sometime between now and the end of the season. This may mean that they are working her departure into this arc in some way. It seems as if her character has been conveniently worked into this story by having a direct connection to the 4th murder.

February 16 2007 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why did it take them 7 seasons to come up with such an awesome arc? this is definitely their best yet.

my pick is hodges too, lol. he's been acting too weird this season.

February 16 2007 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have always wanted to see a CSI story line with a CSI who uses what they have learned to commit, and get away with murder... Sara doing it makes for a good theory. I can see this story line either being the story line for the season finale, or continuing on over to the next season. I hope the next miniature is a replica of a team member, perhaps Grissom.

February 16 2007 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love all the theories about how it's someone on the team. I don't know that they'd make it Sarah or Grissom since they're such a part of the show, but Hodges would be interesting. There's been odd behavior from many of the characters on the show this season, so it really could be any of them. I can't wait to see how the whole thing turns out. I hope it is someone on the inside.

February 16 2007 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karla Germaine

In the 2/15/07 broadcast of CSI Las Vegas, the pschiatrist is playing a female jazz singer. Could you please identify?

February 16 2007 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was very happy this is still ongoing. When Ernie shot himself and everyone was all happy the case was wrapped up my entire family though it was a hellish cop-out. And then they show that delivery of the next miniature and let the anticipation stew with the great Keppler arc. Oh my, awesome stuff. Can't wait to see what happens next. If only Law and Order would do more multi-episode stories.

February 16 2007 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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