CSI 11.20 ‘Father of the Bride’

Serial killer Nate Haskell resurfaces, pushing Langston closer to the edge.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: "Father of the Bride"

Writer: Evan Dunksky

Director: Frank Waldeck

Story:

Nick (George Eads) and Langston (Laurence Fishburne) investigate a dead body with severed hands in a barnyard. At the scene, they also find a pair of hands, which don't belong to the body.

After receiving a call from HQ, Langston races back to watch a video which has come in from serial killer, Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin), in which he taunts Langston. The video also features one of Haskell's brides, Vivian Tinsdale (Kate Blumberg), begging for her father's help. Langston questions the girl's father, Avery Tinsdale (Bruce Davison), who claims he and her mother were slow to reach out to the police regarding their estranged daughter, as Vivian only contacts them when she wants something.

Haskell calls Tinsdale, asking for ransom money in an exchange at a local park. The CSI team wires Tinsdale, but he blows the operation, revealing his ear piece. One of Haskell's other brides, Tina (Amanda Wyss) is spotted on the scene. She's taken in for questioning but only laughs in Langston's face, saying Haskell will be found when he's ready.

Meanwhile, Nick and Greg (Eric Szmanda) discover that the body in the barnyard is that of plastic surgeon, Graham Cole. After questioning his wife, Lydia (Tawny Kitaen) Nick learns that Cole has performed plastic surgery on fugitives. Ballistics evidence found at his office links Cole to Haskell, who most likely had facial altering surgery performed there.

Langston and the team soon piece together that Vivian is not a hostage but working with Haskell, who has knowledge of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. As for Mr. Tinsdale, Archie (Archie Kao) finds evidence on his computer suggesting that he's been blackmailed by Haskell, explaining his lack of cooperation.

Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) and Langston pay a visit to Tinsdale's home and find him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Meanwhile, Nick and Greg learn that Haskell's bride, Tina, is a relation to the farmer whose barnyard Cole was found inside, and has been staying at a house on the property. Inside, they find Cole and his nurse's dead bodies.

Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) suggests Haskell, now with a new face, car and a wad of cash from Tinsdale, might be in Los Angeles with Tina. 

Indeed, Haskell and Tina are in L.A., attending a cello performance by Langston's ex-wife, Gloria (Tracee Ellis Ross).

Breakdown:

"The Father of the Bride" managed to do what few serialized shows and procedurals can pull off; deliver a satisfying hour of episodic television that keeps viewers hanging on to find out where the serialized drama goes next. 

Langston's pursuit of escaped killer, Nate Haskell continued this week, but with a b-storyline that tied in nicely to the main plot. Almost every member of the CSI team got some screen time and Langston edged ever closer to taking out the demon, Haskell, as well as releasing the one inside himself. We know Langston has a dark side, but this time around, he managed to keep his impulses in check, with a little help from Catherine. 

At first, the connection between the barnyard bodies and Haskell seemed a bit contrived, but by episode's end, it all came together. Also, Tawny Kitaen playing the Collagen addicted wife of a plastic surgeon? Awesome. And it's great to see Dean Norris back on "CSI," if only for a moment.  With Langston's ex-wife now in Haskell's crosshairs, things should get very interesting, quickly.

Will Langston be able to take down Haskell, while keeping his own violent tendencies in check? Or will he forgo the proper channels and take justice into his own hands, as he plays into Haskell's? "Father of the Bride" set "CSI's" over-arcing serial killer storyline in motion, yet again, as we head into May sweeps. If the remainder of the Haskell vs. Langston saga keeps to the standard set in this hour, we're headed for a great finish to "CSI's" eleventh season.

Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.