‘CSI’ Fans Still Can’t Get Over the Moment Stokes Bared His Soul

by Lauren Boisvert

There was a moment on “CSI” where Nick Stokes was extremely vulnerable, and fans just can’t let it go. The episode is already notable for featuring Taylor Swift in a guest role. But it’s Nick’s breakdown at the end of the episode that stuck with fans.

The episode features murders happening at the same motel every few years, and Nick starts to connect them. Then, the teenage daughter of the owner is murdered; through flashbacks, we see how Nick investigated the other murders, and how the girl, Haley, came to trust Nick and admire the forensic work.

After Haley’s death is solved, Nick breaks down, wondering if there was anything he could have done to save her life. He knew her, interacted with her, and yet she died. He can’t help but share a bit of the blame and feel as if he could have done more. Nick is an emotional guy; he gets close to victims, makes things personal, and freely shares his feelings. He lets himself be vulnerable, sometimes to his own detriment.

But, his vulnerabilities don’t mean he’s not a strong person. On the contrary, he feels his emotions in the moment, instead of bottling them up and letting them explode later. The latter makes for a lot of drama, but the former makes for good character development.

Fans on Reddit commented on the episode, and especially Nick’s breakdown. One fan wrote that for them “Turn, Turn, Turn” is the most memorable “CSI” episode “probably because it’s an episode mainly focussed [sic] around Nick, and I always like him […] and because of the final scene, where we see Langston trying to comfort Nick […] and the final quote from Langston in that scene is beautiful: ‘Everyone keeps telling me what this job isn’t. How you feel right now tells me what it is.'”

‘CSI’ Fans Discuss ‘Most Powerful’ Episode

In another Reddit thread, some fans came together to discuss the “most powerful” episode in “CSI” history. From season 2, fans believe that to be “Alter Boys.” Apparently, it’s one of those rare episodes where the bad guys actually win.

A man is discovered burying a murder victim in the desert, and Sara, Grissom, Nick, and Ray investigate. The case seems clear-cut, but their suspect, Ben, let’s slip that there are multiple murders. Yet, they only found one body. They find another body in the desert, and Ben looks good for both murders. But things don’t add up. A priest comes by to talk to Grissom twice, pleading that Ben is a good person and wouldn’t hurt anyone, that he always tries to please people.

The CSIs find Ben’s brother, Roger, who has a violent rap sheet a mile long. Ben claims that he buried the bodies as a favor to his brother, but that Roger is now framing him for the murders. Roger is released from jail, and Ben eventually kills himself in his cell using his own teeth.

One enthusiastic fan claimed this episode was a turning point. “The first real ‘CSI’ episode where the ‘bad guy’ gets away with the crime, and we learn a hell of a lot about Grissom,” they wrote. “This was the episode back in the early 2000s where I thought ‘holy s–t, this is a great series’ and I continued on from that point.”