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Identity Crisis

CSI: NY poster

Written by : published Sunday 3rd April 2011

Identity Crisis main image

The old man on the subway during rush hour attracts an unwelcome attendant on the way to Penn Station. He moves through the train car, and a young girl gets up to give him a seat. A man opposite notices the old man.

He staggers over to the man while a young girl watches. The younger man approaches him, leaning over, asking if he remembers him. Other people tell him to leave the man alone. Then he says 'it's You", and the train doors open. The crowd moves out.

When everyone gets off the train the young man is attacked by the old man and his walking stick. In the scuffle there is a gunshot and the old man falls in a pool of blood. The young man runs away, while a cellphone, a locket and a pair of glasses fall to the floor. A cellphone also falls down, as the man is motionless on the subway platform.

As Mac and Jo come upon the scene, one witness, the young girl, is still there. Flack wins  a bet with Mac when they pull off a latex mask and find the old man is really a young blonde woman. The girl is a witness, but this is actually Jo's adopted daughter, Ellie, who saw the whole thing. Jo is divorced and has one son but lives now with an adopted daughter. Jo asks why she isn't in school and finds the girl was going to see her real mother.

Ellie says the young man stank of fish and a weird smell. He seemed to be walking unevenly, possibly drunk. He leaned on the subway train car window and left a smear. The palm print on the train does not have a record so they work it for trace element chemicals. The medical examiner finds a fatal bullet injury in the victim but no bullet. Also, her wound tract and organs were frozen. The M. E. is stumped.

The weapon used to kill the woman must have used some combination of force and chemicals. The CSI lab expert Hawkes identifies a diver’s knife with a gas release mechanism as the murder weapon. This forces gas into the wound cvity and makes fish float to the surface. This knife is tested with Titanic type world war 2 ship  underwater bacteria on it.They posit only an expert diver with extreme depth experience could have had that knife on him to use on the old man/woman.

The oldman had been asked in the train whatw as in the cigar box. The witnesses on the train said nobody touched the cigar box. There’s a roll of money inside it. Why was her disguise so heavy? The CSIs posit that looking like an older person seemed nonthreatening. Why did she need to be looking like someone else? When the group are laughing over the age projection software Mac asks what progress is happening. Then the evidence box starts to vibrate.

Harvin, the husband, is calling for his wife Renee. He comes to the lab and ID's the body and speaks with Mac. He says she is a stewardess on a flight to Miami, he dropped her off at JFK this morning. He says she was an only child almost an orphan and he hadn't met any of her friends. He says they've been married for six months and knew each other for three months before. He doesn’t know any of the first names of her friends.

The CSI crew discover that the old man was a female identity thief. The name the dead woman was using, Renee Westcott, was from a  woman dead twenty years ago. Harvin Garrity. The husband, is shocked to learn his wife is actually a 68 year old black woman long dead.

Jo speaks to Mac about how she and her adopted daughter have a mess on their hands. The story Jo told the daughter painted a rosy picture and wasn't real. Mac says Jo was scared the truth would change the way Ellie felt about her. Mac doesn't let Jo off the hook. He says there is a window of opportunity to tell Ellie the truth.

This bundle of newspaper covered in cash, (from the con game in “The Sting’) in the cigar box  is what Sabrina used. She switched goods and money from people using the disguise of a harmless old man. Sabrina’s father is detailed as a master thief, and the daughter of Quincy is a master of theft and disguise. They discuss why Sabrina, the daughter of Quincy, who maybe has enough scams to retire, is posing as an old man. The FBI expert says it’s addictive being able to con people.

The FBI expert they ask is Russ Josephson, Danville's ex-husband. He says there are probably a lot of dupes out in the city who were marks of Sabrina. The CSI crew look into old complaints. One man bought concert tickets from the old man. The planted purchaser of a concert ticket gets one good seat and the rest of the crowd gave her their money and she never came back. The CSIs find many victims of the "old man".

The diving clue leads the CSI team to a shipyard, where a man runs and hides when he sees the CSIs Messer and Flack looking around. He evades them but gets the drop on them and fights using the knife. They bring him in for Mac to question.

Jo's ex-husband comes forward (played David James Elliott of "JAG") and discusses the issue of the truth about Ellie. Jo Danville tells Ellie she will take her to see her real mother but first has to tell her something. The woman she knows as the mother, Gina, is in prison in Connecticut. She is a drug addict Jo helped put away for murder. Nobody knew who her father ever was. Ellie asks if she was born an addict and Jo says she was premature. Jo says they’ll go to the prison and visit with her real mother.

Mac gets the truth out of the young diver, who was conned by his fiancee. This is the dead woman. He met her working as a bartender in the Village, and they had a whirlwind romance and engagement. Then she told him about two men trying to rob a rich old man who goes to the track every day with stuffed cash in a cigar box. They steal the box, but when he comes home she's been beaten up and needs the cash to pay the robbers.

The diver emptied his savings and borrowed money from his brother to pay the ransom, and the girl disappeared. The cash (a fake roll of newspaper) was her hallmark. When the man saw her on the train, he thought she was the old man. He thought there was money in the box. When he leaned close he could smell her and cold see a lock of blonde hair. He realized just how badly he had been conned and stabbed her.

In the prison waiting room, Ellie changes her mind. Ellie says she wanted to know what she would look like when she got older, like the girls in school look like their mothers. She doesn’t want to see her inmate mother or meet her after all. Danville comes back to the office to get closure with Mac on the parenting issue, and they go out for burgers.

Watch CSI: New York online now.

About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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