Means to an End
Original Air Date: Dec 02, 2011
Maria – Sr. Reviewer
Previously on CSI:NY: Jo Danville witnessed rapist John Curtis walk free because the victim, Ali Rand, lied under oath. Jo Danville previously had to undergo a similar situation. John Curtis raped Senator Matthew’s daughter, but he walked free because Frank Waters made an error when processing the DNA and tried to cover it up. Jo didn’t let him. It gets worse.
The opening trailer shows a woman thrown into a mirror, whilst another woman is lying unconscious on the ground. The bloodied woman, choking on her own blood, is Jo Danville, and I bet the manly shape walking towards her is John Curtis.
Cut back to when John Curtis was released for the second time. Jo leaves disappointed, where she discovers a man hanging outside court, upset about the verdict. We later learn that the man is actually Frank Waters. It’s nice to finally put a face to the name. It was easier to blame him when he was just a name. The flashbacks and the screen time made me realize how human Frank was. He made a human error. Despite that error, I actually end up liking the dude, even feeling a little sorry for him.
John Curtis was released on lighter bail fees due to the inconsistencies of Ali Rand’s statement. Lindsay looks for something to help her case, trying to test the age of Ali’s wounds to prove she acquired them during her time with Curtis. Unfortunately, the wounds were acquired later. Ali may not be the victim we thought she was, but she’s certainly a victim now. She’s found dead, bludgeoned to death in a park.
John Curtis willingly comes into the NYPD, yet he will only talk to Jo Danville. This can’t end well. John Curtis objects to it being called an interview. He oozes slime as he denies killing Rand. She was an escort and he slept with her, but that was all. The only purpose of that conversation is to get under Jo’s skin. Curtis certainly got under mine.
Sid gets to perform an autopsy on Ali Rand’s body. The murder weapon appears to be a rock found at the scene; however, Sid is able to pull a wood fragment from the wound. Another weapon was used to deal the initial blow. Lindsey asks Sid’s opinion about the wounds Ali tried to blame on John Curtis. Sid replies that she couldn’t have made them herself. Ali Rand was working with someone.
There’s a lot more to Ali than first appears. Trace found on her coat is actually shark skin. Ali is actually a pharmaceutical rep who has been working with shark skin for a collagen medicine. The pharmaceutical company working on the drug is actually the same company Frank Waters now works for. Now there’s a coincidence.
Don Flack and Jo storm Frank’s apartment. The place is a mess and the wall is covered with detritus from John Curtis. Frank is clearly obsessed. He’s not at home, but he calls Jo and apologizes. Frank is on his cellphone across the road. He purposely walks into traffic. Poor Jo saw everything. I didn’t even know Frank that well and still, his death affected me.
With Frank’s death, he is the greatest suspect in Ali’s death. His kitchen is set up like a drug lab and there are all the ingredients needed to make the GHB Ali was drugged with. However, Frank used to work for the crime lab. Surely he wouldn’t get the drug levels so wrong if he wanted to frame Curtis.
Frank’s cellphone is examined and it contains a taped recording of Frank confronting Ali, but he wanted to know why she lied. He was upset because Ali made it more difficult for true victims to come forward. Still, Frank let Ali go when she requested. Also, the ingredients for GHB found in Frank’s apartment have Curtis’ fingerprints on them. Frank has collected a lot of evidence. He was a good man. I still feel sad about his death.
Meanwhile, Lindsay has determined the initial murder weapon in Ali Rand’s case to be made of an extremely rare wood. The type of wood is used to make knobkerries, African clubs. As it happens, Senator Matthews has a knobkerrie that is also a discreet umbrella. Financial records put Ali and Matthews in the same hotels together abroad at the same time. Matthews confesses to Mac. In his eyes, he wanted revenge for what happened to his daughter. Ali screwed it up. Matthews just snapped. It’s Serena I feel sorry for. She was raped, saw her rapist go free, and now her father is a killer. Poor girl.
Maybe Jo can give her some piece of mind. Jo has been able to go through Frank’s records, matching a hair taken from Curtis’ car to an Amanda Tanner. Amanda is a true victim, in denial at first, but she eventually tearfully confesses what happened to her. She kept the wineglass, the sheets, everything from that night, but she never had the nerve to go to the police with them. Jo agrees to collect them from Amanda’s apartment.
John Curtis is there waiting for them. Jo is only aware of this after she finds Amanda, unconscious. Jo is beaten, thrown through the mirror, her gun taken away from her. John Curtis destroys the evidence in front of her. He empties the magazine of her gun, throwing the bullets away, taunting Jo. I honestly thought he’d defeated her for a moment, but Jo grabbed her gun, reminding him about the bullet in the chamber before firing it into John’s chest. Still, like any horror villain, it doesn’t stop him. Jo has to scramble to put another bullet in the gun, but she succeeds and Curtis dies. Amanda finally starts to stir.
An amazing CSI:NY episode! I have complained in the past about a lack of continuity, but this plot was seeded a long time ago, it was explored further last episode and was brought to an intense climax in this episode. I love Jo, so it was great to finally see Sela Ward tackle a challenging storyline. Every single person did an amazing job, especially Michael Western as Frank Waters. The script was powerful, the performances were so believable, it all pulled together to make one emotional journey. I just hope CSI:NY can keep up this high standard now that this arc is over.
Are you as impressed with this season as I am? What are your thoughts and feelings on Frank Waters, did you ever suspect him? How do you feel about Jo Danville after witnessing her ordeal and her classic comeback? Please, leave a comment with your TwoCents about this episode.