I loved this episode for so many reasons and I will tell you those later, but let’s get on to the recap of the episode.
The opening scene shows a man pacing around what may be an old hotel room or a beat up house with a sliding glass door completely shattered. We see him writing “I’m Sorry” on a note and then go to get rope. He wets the rope to cause it to constrict. At this point, I thought he was about to commit suicide. In a way, I was right, but then again nothing is ever as it seems on this show is it?
A group is touring one of the historic buildings on Ellis Island. The building is undergoing some major renovations and will be available to the public soon. As the tour group continues, a man is found dead hanging from the rafters. The CSI team finds a suicide note, but of course, it’s not really a suicide (you silly people!). After speaking with the victim’s wife, they learn that the killer had used Dario Gonzalez’s (our victim) phone to speak to the wife and was even crying when he did. Mac then finds a compass in Dario’s pocket. And this isn’t just any compass; it appears to be an antique.
Ok this next scene was probably one of my favorites of the entire episode. Danny doing the pull-ups from his chair was cute, but what was even better was what he said to Lindsay when she asked him why he was doing physical therapy when he was going to physical therapy later that day. He points out that Lucy is walking up a storm and will be running around the house pretty soon, and he wants to be able to run in the park with her on his shoulders. He says he wants to dance with her and Lindsay at her wedding (awww…he is so determined it’s adorable!).
My not-so-favorite new girl Halyn Bacall is back. This time she approaches Mac for a job with the team. Mac tells her that although he could probably use the help, he can’t afford to hire her. She says she knows that and that she had received a forensic science grant from the government, meaning that the government will pay her wages – all Mac has to do is sign off and approve her to work with the crime lab. Hesitantly, Mac says he will think about it. Flack, sporting a much more rugged and not so clean-shaven look finds out that Dario Gonzalez was involved in a little street gambling playing 3 card monty. He and Stella go to find the guy Dario played against, but he runs when he finds out that they are cops. He insists that he didn’t kill the guy; they merely had a little altercation when Gonzalez tried to steal his business by helping people win. Understandably enough, Stella doesn’t believe him and orders that he give a writing sample. While analyzing the writing samples, Lindsay discovers a watermark on the paper that the suicide note was written on. Throughout the episode, we see flashes to the man from the beginning frantically trying to write a letter.
Back at the police station, Flack gets a visit from Jessica’s father. He tells Flack that in honor of what would have been her birthday Sunday the family is having a dinner to remember her and would like Flack to join them. Reluctantly, he agrees and says he’ll see them Sunday.
At this point, it is no secret that the man from the beginning is our killer, as we now get a flashback to him messing around with a bunch of old compasses – taking them apart and putting them together. In the lab, Mac tells Hawkes that he was unable to retrieve any fingerprints off the compass from the crime scene, making it apparent that he wore gloves. Noticing that our killer scratched something off the back of the compass, Hawkes uses acid to try to restore the original inscription. Successful, he learns that the back of the compass reads, “Happy Birthday, Yours 4 Ever, C.E.” and that our “Compass Killer” had glued the needle so that it only pointed South, regardless of how it was turned.
Meanwhile, Lindsay learns that the watermark on the paper is from the company who invented the idea of pen pals back in the 1960s. Unfortunately this paper was distributed to thousands of people all across the country, making it impossible to track where or who it came from. Adam learns that Halyn has been hired and he is not too pleased. Meanwhile, Mac receives a hand-addressed package that contains yet another compass – this one pointing North. Believing this may be a clue as to a new victim, the team tries to narrow it down to a specific location in the Bronx where the second crime scene may be.
Our mystery man is back in his home, waking up to a song from 1964 on his radio. At this point I begin to realize that there is some sort of significance to the 1960s. The antique clocks, the pen pal paper, and even the decor of our killer’s home is all reminiscent of that decade. What this significance is though, we have yet to learn. A woman who appears to be a girlfriend or possible wife comes into the room with our killer to check on him, but he freaks out when she wants to open the curtains. At this point, we get our first good look at our killer’s face and playing the part is none other than “Jericho’s” Skeet Ulrich.
Meanwhile, back at the lab, Adam seems extremely threatened by the presence of the new team member, even going as far as initiating competition with her. The two of them find a substance on the surface of the second compass that is native to the Tri-Borough Conservatory located in, you guessed it, the Bronx. Because it is closed for rennovation, the team heads there in hopes of getting to a second victim before it’s too late. Unfortunately they do not make it in time, and find Carol Hillcroft, a 40-year-old widow hung to death. Flack tells Mac and Stella that he has a lot of paperwork to do back at the office, so if they don’t need him, he is going to take off. They both agree, and Stella makes a comment to Mac about Flack used to shave every day. Mac just nods and says he’ll get through this. Of course we know that Flack didn’t have paperwork, but instead had the dinner with Jessica’s family he had promised to attend.
When Lindsay analyzes a piece of material found on Hillcroft, she discovers that it was the material used to make countertops and tile back in the 1960s. We flash to our killer in his house. His girlfriend/wife begs him to stay inside but he tells her that he has to leave and has work to do. Meanwhile, we see Flack sitting in his car outside the Angel household. He sees the entire family in there and begins to have flashbacks to the first moment he realized that he saw Jessica as more than his partner. He then drives off without ever going inside. This to me said that Flack isn’t as okay with her death as he appears on the outside, and I think this will continue to effect him throughout the season.
At the end of the day Mac receives a message from Syd who apologizes for not completely the coroner’s report for the second victim. He says that Carol Hillcorft’s husband had come in to identify her body and he had gotten a little behind because of it. Remembering what Flack had said about Carol Hillcroft being a widow, Mac immediately rushes to the autopsy room. Mac explains to Syd what had happened and asked where the killer had stood when he came in. Syd points to the table and Mac finds another compass. The other ones had pointed in the direction that each victim was located. This one though was spinning uncontrolably, leading Mac to believe that this was only going to get more difficult to catch the guy. The final scene of the episode shows our Compass Killer dumping his jacket in a trash can and heading into an abandoned alley. Where he is headed and who he is headed after, we don’t know.
I have a feeling this will be the case that continues throughout the season. Season four had the 333 killer, last season was the taxi-cab killer, and I think season five’s serial case will be the Compass Killer. I’m really anxious to find out where they take this storyline. I have a lot of ideas and theories on the significance of the 1960s but I want to hear what you guys think.
On another side note, has anyone noticed that Flack’s shooting of Angel’s killer has gone unmentioned? Do you think they are merely dragging it out to bring up later in the season or will he actually get away with it? Give me your feedback.
Tags: CSI: New York