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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Descent of Man

The CSIs investigate an expert sky diver paralyzed after his chute failed to properly deploy. Several people are suspected, but when Catherine and Greg connect the skydiver to two dead people, the case becomes more complicated. Raymond looks into the death of the spiritual leader of a very small, very odd little cult while the leader was alone out in the middle of the desert on a trek.

Episode Info

Episode number: 9x19
Airdate: Thursday April 09th, 2009

Alternate Airdates:

UK (Channel 5) May 19, 2009
NL (RTL 4) Jun 29, 2009


Special Guest Stars
David BermanDavid Berman
As David Phillips
Liz VasseyLiz Vassey
As Wendy Simms

Guest Stars
Charley RossmanCharley Rossman
As Officer Beltran
Jeffrey D. StevensJeffrey D. Stevens
As Paramedic
Larry SullivanLarry Sullivan
As Officer Akers
Andrew KirsanovAndrew Kirsanov
As Holy Steven
Emmanuel DelcourEmmanuel Delcour
As Pierre Delongue
Erin DanielsErin Daniels
As Schuyler
Greg GermannGreg Germann
As George
Ivo NandiIvo Nandi
As Max Girard
Kavon KaramiKavon Karami
As Smail Javid
Lindsay HartleyLindsay Hartley
As Gretchen Javid
Michael GianelliMichael Gianelli
As Allen McKenna

Co-Guest Stars
Eric Allan KramerEric Allan Kramer
As Deputy Sheriff
Joe OchmanJoe Ochman
As Bird Watcher
Main Cast
George EadsGeorge Eads
As Nick Stokes
Eric SzmandaEric Szmanda
As Gregory "Greg" Sanders
Robert David HallRobert David Hall
As Dr. Albert "Al" Robbins
Wallace LanghamWallace Langham
As David Hodges
David BermanDavid Berman
As Dr. David Phillips
Marg HelgenbergerMarg Helgenberger
As Catherine Willows
Laurence FishburneLaurence Fishburne
As Dr. Raymond Langston
Lauren Lee SmithLauren Lee Smith
As Riley Adams
Paul Guilfoyle (1)Paul Guilfoyle (1)
As Captain Jim Brass
Episode Notes
FYI: A minor note about the listed guest stars:

Eric Allan Kramer--------played---Deputy Sheriff----------Recurring (second appearance)
Charley Rossman (1)---played---Highway Patrolman--Recurring (4th appearance)

It's actually only Eric Allan Kramer's first appearance as this character. Both of his appearances are as two unquestionably different characters, but the database does not refine control to that level.

This also may be true for Charley Rossman, who has appeared four times but this may be a different character from the previous roles -- it's unclear.

The "bit part" played by Joe Ochman (in 2003, the episode called "Got Murder?") as Man #2, was indeed the same Birdwatcher, who with 2 fellow birders discovered a human eyeball in a raven's beak. This guy may have discovered bodies (or pieces thereof) more times than anybody in CSI history. It would be rather ironic if he somehow wound up as the centerpiece to a future case, either as victim or prime suspect.

Episode Quotes
Bird Watcher: Such a lonely place to die.
Raymond: What place isn't, my friend, what place isn't?

Raymond: (reading from the tattoos on a dead man's body) Spread the word, I am come...
David: ...And you is gone!

Jim: So, according to this, you said that you struck The Steven with his Staff. "You smote him". (pauses to sip his coffee, George emulates the action) That isn't true, is it?
George: Ye--No.
Jim: What did you hit him with?
(looks at George)
Jim: Oh! It says here you hit him with a large rock.
(looks expectantly at George)
George: Yes.
Jim: No, wait a minute, a branch of a tree.
George: Yes.
Jim: No, a hockey stick.
George: Yes.
Jim: You didn't really kill Steven, did you?
George: Nnno.
Jim: So, why'd you confess to murder?
George: Well, I try to live my life according to the Seventeenth Proclamation of the Steven... from his... Second Sermon at the Starbucks
Jim: Oh, I missed that one.
George: It is better to be agreeable, than to be right.
Jim: That's not religion, that's marriage.

Jim: So you didn't kill Steven?
George: Yes. No.
Jim: You did?
George: Yes.
Jim: You killed him?
George: No.
Jim: Are you clinically insane or just incredibly annoying?
George: What would you prefer?

Deputy Sheriff: Look, I know the jumper, alright? Pierre Delongue and I served together in the French Foreign Legion. [Pause while they stop and Nick looks at him.] What? It's a real thing.

Cultural References
The title The Descent of Man is a pun on the parachuting component of the plot, contrasted against a classic work on societal evolution titled The Ascent of Man by Alfred George Fysh Machin, an early twentieth century British writer. The book advanced the theory that human mental ills were/are caused by the difference between the simple social conditions under which we evolved vs. the complex and constraining society we've created.
More generally, all the various deaths in the show devolve onto something dropping from the sky.

Episode References
Highway Patrolman: Now exactly what were you doing out here all alone, sir?
Bird Watcher: I-I'm a landscape photographer. I-I used to be a bird watcher, but I gave it up. Too much death.

This is an in-joke... Joe Ochman played "a bird watcher" (presumably the same man) in the 3rd episode of this season, Art Imitates Life. He was one of the people who found the posed bodies in that episode. In addition, he also was one of a group of three birders who found an eyeball in season 3's "Got Murder?". Dead bodies do seem to land underfoot for him.

George: It is better to be agreeable, than to be right.

In many ways, the outlook promoted by the Religion of Steven is much like that of Elwood P. Dowd in the classic Jimmy Stewart comedy, Harvey --

"Y'know, years ago, my mother used to say to me: 'In this world, Elwood, you must be Oh so smart, or Oh so pleasant.'Well, for years, I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me."

I believe it's probable that Elwood and George would get along quite well together.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorAnthony E. Zuiker
Main Title ThemeThe Who
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