It’s a busy day down at the old cafe, where a waitress is preparing some bananas foster, best known as the dish that explodes into flame. It proves an appropriate choice when, moments after it’s served, someone throws a grenade through the window! That’s not the end of the carnage, though – after getting the corpses back to the morgue there’s a second blast! It seems that a second grenade’s trigger had failed to release, and been blown up someone’s pant leg. It wasn’t until it fell out onto the floor of the morgue that it finally went off.
Neither grenade proves to have been that deadly – only two of the six people at the diner are killed, and no one’s hurt in the morgue. Apparently that’s a common thing for grenades: Not being deadly. Especially when dealing with homemade ones, as the team is this week. The only real damage done in the morgue is to New ME’s reputation. After the blast goes off she desperately scoots across the floor grabbing her illegal prescription pills.
Horatio starts by interviewing the restaurant’s owner, who has a suspicious bruis on his face that he claims is unrelated to the explosion. He then talks to the waitress who was working the table when the grenade exploded. She explains that she has important information, but can’t give it because then she’ll never get her children back for Child Protective Services, who nabbed her kids one week ago.
Looks like Horatio’s got one of those humanitarian quests going on! He checks with CPS, and they announce that there was a complaint about neglect, and they felt the woman was lying about hiring a nanny. Horatio states his plan to find the nanny, and get those kids back! He interviews the kids, but the 3 and 5-year-olds don’t prove to have much useful information about the nanny’s name or address.
Horatio interviews the son, who performed the suspicious act of reserving a table by the window. As if someone would set up their father for a grenade murder that required him to be sitting five feet away from the grenade. The interview’s a bust, except for the fact that the mother happened to see a yellow car out the window right after the explosion. Another clue comes in the form of the grenade pieces, one of which comes from a digital camera, which smuggy thinks he can identify!
Horatio continues his quest to track down the missing nanny while the rest of the team works on the acutal case. Back at the restaurant they come across an imprint of the license plate where the car ran into a mailbox. Luckily they’re faithful devotees of science, so science is able to pull the license plate for them. That license plate leads to a suburban house whose occupant starts firing on Frank the moment he’s seen. The shooter is unable to escape, though, and is promplty identified as a crook involved in credit card counterfeitting! He claims to have no idea about the grenade, though.
Ready for the twist? The shooter’s partner in the fake credit card business is the son! Yikes! They’re still not related to the grenade, though. It seems they were getting the credit card information from the restaurant owner, and that’s probably what led to the beating and grenade. The only clue they have is a threatening photo taken of the conspiritors that was sent to the son with no message attached. Yet somehow he didn’t take that as a threat. Huh. How else could you possibly take a photo of you and your illegal conspiritors gathered together, caught in the act of planning a crime?
Wondering what all this has to do with the custody case? Yeah, me too. But the waitress shows up at the police station looking for her kids, and claims not to know about the credit card forgery. Horatio does manage to track down the nanny, so that’s something.
Callie and random lab guy pray at the altar of science for a while, and science rewards them by conclusively proving that the person who took the picture of the conspiritors is the same photographer from the bulletproof clothing episode. Even though there’s no evidence against him, he admits to taking the photos, but, in a surprising twist for the show, when presented with the barest sliver of evidence that he’d built the grenades, he doesn’t confess! Although now we finally learn what happens to people who don’t immediately confess to the team – they get murdered by their bosses.
Finally the nanny story is wrapping up – after locating the nanny, she tells Horatio that the restaurant owner put her up to watching, then abandoning the waitress’ kids. That’s right, it was all the evil restauranteur’s scheme! When the waitress refused to take part in his credit-card stealing scheme, he had her kids stolen so that she wouldn’t risk losing her job. It was the most convoluted, pointless crime ever. With that confession, Horatio’s able to get the kids back to their mother, and the show wraps up happily.
Wait a minute, hold on - how did this episode become about a woman getting her kids back? Why does no one seem concerned that they never caught the guy who threw the grenades, or the guy who hired him to do so?
This isn’t Judging Amy, people. The resolution of an episode of CSI needs to be about the murderer being caught. If you want to put in a coda about a family being reunited, that’s fine – but it’s not why we’re watching.
Also, I don’t know how comfortable David Caruso is around children. Weirdly, this episode features a few examples of him saying things he clearly doesn’t mean, and most of them are to a kid.