The Ripple Effect
Original Air Date: Feb 10, 2012
Maria – Sr. Reviewer
The episode starts with a man walking through the streets on New York with a revved up chainsaw, cutting down a tree. In the apartment above, two men are in the middle of an exchange, then the man runs chased by the other guy. The running man ends up dead at the foot of over a hundred steps, bloody and broken. Did he fall, or was he pushed?
This episode is going to be hard to recap, because there are so many pieces that don’t make much sense until the end. The cases are intriguing, but there are some good character moments too. The first of which deservedly belongs to Sid Hammerback. The second goes to newcomer, Christine Whitney, as the chef little sister of Mac’s ex-beat cop partner.
I’m still in two minds about Christine. I appreciate the fact they’re trying to set up her character now, but I still think it’s a little too obvious. I’m not even sure what is going to happen, if a future story will involve her or her brother, but at least they’ve seeded it now. I’m still not the biggest Mac fan. The fact that he is implied to have single-handedly turned her slow restaurant business into standing room only, that doesn’t make me like her more.
Sid, however, is utterly adorable. Apparently, he’s been missing work and when he finally does arrive, he’s a nervous wreck. It’s very suspicious until he tells Jo about the Hammerback Pillow he’s told Mac about in a previous episode. He’s sold the patent to the Japanese who will be marketing it as an anti-snoring pillow. He sold the patent for 27 million dollars! It’s a pleasure to see him giggly with joy, but I hope that doesn’t mean he’ll be quitting his day job or have something tragic to him to counteract this newfound happiness! I love Sid!
Back to the case and there are two bodies. The first is the man found broken at the foot of the steps, Greg Barbera. The second is a man found in a park, strangled and with an arrow in his chest, Jimmy Philbrook . The ripple effect means that all the evidence is does not appear in a linear way, and I find it amazing how it all comes together in the end.
It’s almost not until the end of the episode when it is finally revealed what the chainsaw was used for at the beginning. The man wielding the chainsaw used it to cut down a tree Greg Barbera’s bike was attached to. Just at that moment, the guy he was selling fake drugs to, Scott Perfito, realized and started to chase him. Without his bike, Barbera had no choice but to flee on foot. It is undetermined as to whether Greg was pushed or just fell, but Perfito has an outstanding warrant for drugs possession. At least that’s some form of justice.
The second murder has two potential causes of death, meaning two possible murderers. The first explored is the shooter of the arrow. The laser pointer helps to pinpoint where the shooter was, perched up a tree. Lindsay is able to locate trace, a piece of foil with a tiny bit of medicine on. It seems the shooter has bird flu! Thankfully, the government keeps track of that kind of thing. There’s only one case in New York. A hunter. He claims he was tracking a deer, when he sneezed. By the state of him, it certainly could be true and he has no motive. It doesn’t matter either way. Hammerback has now determined that strangulation was the cause of death because the arrow didn’t create enough blood for it to be the cause of death.
I understand the medium of television, but having Hawkes try to recreate the strangle wounds using weapons that CLEARLY could not cause that pattern is a little disconcerting for me. Eventually, he does find the weapon though. A plastic zip tie. Tiny trace Sid found in the wound reveals that the zip tie was orange. Unusual! Fingerprints were also found on the victim’s collar and neck. They look like partials though.
Danny realizes that the fingerprints may be intact, just that the pads of the fingers may be scarred. The pattern looks like a partial, but he talked to a glassblower who often burned his fingertips, and would leave that kind of pattern. The glassblower, Toby Delafont , is the supervisor of a condemned building, where the victim was the landlord. The building is full of artists, including the artist who created a piece of art using the orange zip ties. Of course, she’s a suspect at first, before Danny sees the fingerprints.
Delafont was driven to murder because he had scraped together a lot of money that the landlord claimed was for a bribe. The building was condemned, not because the Philbrook hadn’t sent the bribe, just because it never got there. Barbera was the courier!
It’s a good episode, although, as you can guess, trying to linearly recap an episode all about the ripple effect is a challenge. I’ve left out a few details, but I hope you get the gist. The case has many twists and turns, but you really feel as though the CSI agents had to work for their ending, and Jo seemed so gleeful when she is finally able to explain all. I love it!
What are your continuing thoughts on Christine Whitney? What do you think the future holds in store for Sid Hammerback? Did you enjoy seeing the ripple effect of crime, or would you have preferred a more linear case? Which of the two cases was your favorite? Please, leave a comment with your TwoCents about the episode.