CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Remembering the Best Episodes of All Time


The twin towers of New York are still standing, that of Madonna Music topping the charts and Meet the parents had just opened in cinemas, when CSI: Crime Scene Investigation made his debut on American television.

Three hundred thirty-36 episodes and 15 seasons later, it ended with a two-hour finale in 2015 that brought back all your favorite characters.

Once the most-watched television series in the world (allegedly 73.8 million viewers worldwide tuned in to the 2009 season), it spawned three spin-off series, books, video games, and an exhibit.
Celebrities rushed to be on the show, with the likes of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Dita von Teese, Black Sabbath, Lindsay Davenport, Gene Simmons and Wolfgang Puck all making appearances.

To commemorate the arrival of all episodes on TVNZ OnDemand, a special two-night countdown from longtime executive producer Carol Mendelsohn favorite on TVNZ 2 this weekend and the start of the sequel series Expert: Vegas next Tuesday, Things to look at returned to select our own favorite episodes from the original show.

A team of forensic investigators must welcome back former employees and deploy new techniques to serve justice in CSI: Vegas.

The key original cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


The key original cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Scuba Doobie-Doo (Season 2, Episode 5)

One of the episodes that everyone remembers. While the main action involved a mundane apartment spattered with blood, it’s the “secondary” crime of Catherine (Marge Helgenberger) and Nick (George Eads) that sticks in the mind. They are confronted by a scuba diver nestled in the top of a tree after a forest fire.

Slaves of Las Vegas (Season 2, Episode 8)

Before Janet Jackson’s 2004 Superbowl “wardrobe malfunction” led to a crackdown on USA Network TV, ITUC used to get away with some pretty hot stuff. Exhibit A: This episode of a fetish club, which becomes the focus of an investigation after the discovery of a naked body in a sandbox at a playground. It also marked the arrival of Lady Heather (Melinda Clarke) – Catwoman to Gil Grissom’s (William Petersen) Batman.

Fur and Loathing (Season 4, Episode 5)

Furries, Plushies – call them what you will – it was the episode that brought the subculture of dressing up as furry animals out of the underground and perhaps even helped to invent the onesie. When Grissom and Catherine discover a dead man disguised as a raccoon, they naturally have to investigate.

Quentin Tarantino directed both episodes of Grave Danger in the fifth season.


Quentin Tarantino directed both episodes of Grave Danger in the fifth season.

Grave Danger (Season 5, Episodes 24/25)

One of the series’ first cliffhangers, this two-part film was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Nick is kidnapped while investigating a crime scene and buried alive in a glass coffin. To complicate matters, the kidnapper isn’t sure what he wants – first to demand a ransom, then to blow himself up.

Built to Kill (Season 7, Episode 1)

Another two-part episode, this season opener features most of the Las Vegas backdrops – a Cirque Du Soleil show. Pretty much a promo for Cirque Ka show, it forces the CSIs to study its inner workings to find out how a woman died on set. An episode which also saw the arrival of the infamous “miniature killer”.

Living Legend (Season 7, Episode 9)

CSI went meta for its 150th episode, enlisting the services of The Who’s Roger Daltrey (lead singer on the show’s theme Who are you?) to play an infamous mob boss whose Cadillac is found in a lake, years after he apparently “disappeared”.

Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) had to deal with a lot of dead bodies during her time in CSI.


Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) had to deal with a lot of dead bodies during her time in CSI.

Two and a Half Dead (Season 8, Episode 16)

Although not quite a crossover with another CBS stablemate two and a half men (although Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer make an appearance), comedy creators Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn penned the script for this episode, featuring the murder of a tough TV sitcom star (Katey Sagal). The CSI producers eventually returned the script’s favor in the half men episode Fish in a drawer.

Fried and Fresh Mint (Season 9, Episode 13)

With Laurence Fishburne’s Dr. Ray Langston now part of the crime lab, a trio of investigators go to a fast food joint to collect evidence for a murder investigation. The only problem is that most of it is covered in cooking oil. Meanwhile, Catherine and Greg (Eric Szmanda) investigate the bizarre death of a woman killed by ingesting two tubes of toothpaste.

A Space Oddity (Season 9, Episode 20)

One of the few “funny” episodes, and a pretty brilliant showcase for two of the show’s minor lights, this sees CSI techs Hodges (Wallace Langham) and Wendy (Liz Vassey) stumble over the body of a dead producer while that he was at a sci-fi convention. If only the show had let the couple’s romance play out as well, instead of dumping Wendy almost immediately afterwards.

William Petersen's Gil Grissom was one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's most beloved characters.

William Petersen’s Gil Grissom was one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s most beloved characters.

Meat Jekyll (Season 10, Episode 23)

Good preparation for his later role in Hannibal, Fishburne had spent much of the season trying to capture the elusive Dr. Jekyll. But, in a perhaps reckless move, he here decides to enlist the help of another serial killer – Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin). Obviously he hadn’t looked at any Dexter.

Seasons 1 to 15 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation are now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand. CSI: The 10 best cases of all time begins at 8.40pm tonight (Friday 11 February) on TVNZ 2, continuing tomorrow (Saturday) from 8.35pm. The version of this article first appeared in September 2015.


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