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CSI Season 9 Episode 19: The Descent Of Man

CSI Episode 919 The Descent of ManThis week CSI is back on track after the hideous aberration that was last week’s episode. The team investigates three cases, two of which converge. As for the third, it’s got an ending straight out of a Greek tragedy comedy.

Episode Summary

Nick and Riley investigate the case of a man, Pierre, who was almost killed when his parachute failed to deploy while he was skydiving. They determine the chute was tampered with but after questioning Pierre’s female companions and business partner, Max, they come up with no sure suspect.

Meanwhile, Catherine and Greg are on the case of two businessmen who died of apparent heart attacks at the same time. When the responding officer and the wife of one of the businessmen fall ill with heart problems, they realize the men must’ve died from a poison. An investigation proves digitoxin was spread over the area from a light glider, which would’ve been silent.

Archie looks into the FAA flight plan and is able to track the flight path back to a private airstrip, which happens to be owned by Pierre and Max. Brass goes to the hospital to question Max and a paralyzed Pierre, who tells Brass that they were hired to photograph the area. They didn’t realize until later that they were releasing poison, not taking photos. Unable to live with what he’d done, Pierre tampered with his own parachute to kill himself.

On another case is Langston, who finds a dead self-styled holy man in the desert. The victim, who called himself The Holy Steve, was killed by a blow on top of his bald head. Brass and Langston talk to Steve’s disciple and successor, The Holy George, who admits to bashing Steve over the head with his staff. But upon further interrogation George admits he just said he killed Steve because he was following Steve’s tenet about always being agreeable.

After a discussion about Aeschylus with Nick, Greg, and Riley, Langston gets an idea. He goes back to the desert and under a rock he finds a dead tortoise. He tells Catherine his theory that a raptor picked up the tortoise and dropped it to break the shell and get at the meat. From the air, Steve’s bald head must’ve looked like a rock. Catherine boggles at the odds of that happening but Langston says the tortoise tested positive for Steve’s DNA. Catherine wonders if she needs to start worrying about random things falling from the sky.

High Points

The comedic performances this week were brilliant, from Charisma Carpenter (Angel) and Erin Daniels (The L Word) as Mink and Schuyler, Pierre’s ditzy and jealous girlfriends to Greg Germann (Ally McBeal) as the, as Brass wondered, “clinically insane or just really annoying” Holy George.

Credit must also go to George Eads and Jim Guilfoyle, whose straight man reactions to the aforementioned wacky characters were comedy gold.

It was adorable seeing Langston trying to have a philosophical discussion about Aeschylus with Nick, Greg, and Riley, who only wanted to get breakfast. You could practically see him thinking, “Kids these days.”

Low Points

Langston has been a CSI for about five minutes. Why is he working cases solo?

The cases, while entertaining and humorous, were rather poorly plotted. It might have been better to focus the episode on the skydiving and poison plots and save the Holy Steve subplot for another episode.

Max’s French accent was so thick it was really hard to understand. While it was a humorous point in one scene (“Oars? Oh, whores!”), for the most part it was distracting. Since I couldn’t find the remote that turns on my closed-captioning, I had a difficult time figuring out what was going on in his scenes.

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