CSI 11.14 ‘All That Cremains’

Langston faces a personal crossroads as the team investigates a grizzly thrift store donation.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

CSI 11.14 'All That Cremains'

Episode Title: "All That Crremains"

Writer: Dustin Lee Abraham

Director: Jeffrey Hunt

Story:

The CSI team is called in to investigate body parts found in boxes dropped off a thrift store. The body is that of Ron Pose, a widowed lawyer, with the cremains of his late wife and a death row inmate, stuffed into his mouth.

At the lab, Langston’s (Laurence Fishburne) ex-wife Gloria (Tracee Ellis Ross) pays him a surprise visit to inform him that she’s getting married. She invites him to meet her fiancee over drinks. He agrees to consider the invitation.

The team determines that the crematorium where the body was burned must have been doing two at a time, as there are bone fragments mixed in with the cremains, suggested the bodies weren’t thoroughly cremated.

Langston meets Gloria and her fiancee, Phil (Dean Norris), who asks him to come to the wedding. Langston agrees, not wanting to miss the occasion after almost missing his own nuptials with Gloria.

After investigating the crematorium, the team pays a visit to the victim’s house. They pull key evidence from the bedroom where he was murdered and break the news to his teenage daughter, Camryn (Madison Davenport) when she arrives home after school.

Langston brings the victim’s ex-girlfriend, Sydney (Christina Milian) in for questioning. She denies any involvement in the murder. While casing the house, Greg (Eric Szmanda) finds a vault containing video tapes. It turns out the victim was auditioning women to be his girlfriend, at the suggestion of his sleazy producer friend. 

After finding Sydney’s belongings in the basement, several of appear to be tied to the murder, Langston takes her in again, along with Camryn. The evidence suggests one of the two, if not both women, are responsible for the murder. After Sydney applies some pressure, Camryn confesses, claiming her absentee father drove her to murder him after he broke up with Sydney, with whom she had a motherly connection. Frankie (Katee Sackhoff) takes Camryn away, where she’ll do time in the juvenile detention until she’s of age. Then it’s up the court.

As for Langston, he prepares to attend Gloria’s wedding in the locker room. When Nick (George Eads) sees him dressed up, he asks where he’s going. Langston explains the situation and Nick advises him to remove his wedding ring before leaving.

Breakdown:

A couple of quick, knee-jerk reactions here. I did not know that "Cremains" was actually a word and thus spend a portion of the episode feeling annoyed by the constant use of it. I now know that it is a real word and not some cutesy made-up "CSI" slang, so I’m much less irritated.

Also, I love Katee Sackhoff but the red hair, not so much. As a "Battlestar Galactica" fan, I sometimes feel like her appearances on "CSI" are mostly fan service, particularly in episodes with titles like "Fracked" (completely ignoring the fact that Katee is a working actress). 

But in "All That Cremains," we got to see a few more shades of her character, in the scene where Camryn comes home, seemingly unaware of her father’s murder.  Frankie is visibly uncomfortable with the task at hand, which usually defaults to the more touchy, feely female cop. We know Frankie’s a tough cookie and this scene built on that premise nicely.

I was looking forward to Dean Norris’ role in the episode and although he only had one scene, it was fun to watch. Norris’ may be a bit type cast as the everyman with his head up his ass but he’s so damn good at playing the role, I can’t blame the "CSI" folks for casting him. 

It was also great to get another window into Langston’s mysterious personal life. The fact that he has his co-workers thinking he’s still happily married is revealing, to say the least. 

Story wise, this hour was one of the darkest we’ve seen in a while. No one wants to imagine a teenage girl shoving the cremains of her mother down her father’s throat but given the circumstances, it wasn’t unfathomable in this episode. And Christina Milian and Madison Davenport did a nice job with that one.

"All That Cremains" was one the stronger episodes in "CSI’s" sweeps run. We got a compelling case with a shocking conclusion, hit on a few personal notes with Langston and were treated to a number of great guest stars. But will anything be able to top the triumphant return of Justin Bieber? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.