|Writer||Aaron Rahsaan Thomas|
|Original Airdate||October 21, 2011|
|Previous Episode: Officer Involved|
|Next Episode: Get Me Out of Here!|
Air Apparent is the fifth episode in the eighth season of CSI: NY.
When a young woman is stabbed to death, the junkie brother of a high school basketball phenom is accused, The CSIs investigate when the recently paroled brother of a young basketball prodigy is implicated in a murder.
As Riley Frazier plays basketball, his brother Hank listens to the game in prison. When he’s released the next day, Hank promises Riley that he’s clean and that he’s going to stay that way. The things that kept him sane in jail were the thought of seeing his brother and his girlfriend Angela again. When Angela turns up dead, the team finds Hank’s name written in blood on the wall. They bring Hank in, revealing that they found cocaine in her apartment, and he has cocaine in his system. He says he didn’t kill Angela because he was elsewhere getting high. Flack doesn’t believe Hank, so Hank promises that he’ll tell them whatever they want to hear as long as he can see his brother first.
Angela was stabbed 10 times, and she has a lot of defensive wounds. However, some of the stab wounds have hilt marks while others don’t; to add to the confusion, the deepest wounds are the ones without hilt marks. Sid also reveals that the stab wound in Angela’s back incapacitated the left side of her body, but Hank’s name was written with her left index finger—the evidence was staged.
Riley comes to see Hank but throws the table over on him. He’s angry at his brother, and he throws a crumpled paper on the floor before he storms out of the interrogation. It’s an agreement he signed with Hank when he was seven, a promise not to let anything stand in his way of becoming a big basketball star. Hank used to be great too, Riley says, but he tore his Achilles tendon and ended up getting into drugs. Angela stayed by him through thick and thin.
Hawkes recreates the stab wounds, discovering that the three stab wounds with hilt marks were delivered with force. The other seven were pressed in slowly, not leaving a bruise but creating a deeper wound. Whoever killed Angela stabbed her three times, then added the other wounds to make it look like a crime of passion.
Adam tests a piece of plastic found in the victim’s body, which is a piece of a hologram depicting the Asantewaa Living logo. The company recently teamed up with the Wyandotte Sports company to make exclusive, expensive bracelets for athletes. Flack and Lindsay match epithelials under Angela’s nails to Nick Blount, who worked at the same hair salon. He has priors for drugs, but he says the skin under her nails got there when she gave him a head massage while shampooing his hair. However, he’s wearing one of the athletic bracelets, and the hologram is missing. They put the man into the back of the patrol car, but he manages to get free—and immediately gets hit by a passing cab. Blount is put into an induced coma, but the murder weapon is found in the dumpster outside his apartment and has his fingerprints on it. He also has a kit to make a key mold. It’s obvious that he killed Angela, but there’s still a mystery to be solved: a drop of blood in Angela’s apartment doesn’t belong to Blount. There’s another person involved.
Jo reassembles a torn letter from the crime scene. It’s a love letter from Hank to Angela, which mentions Riley and their mother. The letter says that Riley is going to sign with Kansas, which isn’t what Hawkes thought. Blount’s bracelet was a gift from Gavin, Riley’s coach. Gavin has a reason to want Hank out of the picture. Kansas was Hank’s choice when he was a player in the past, so Riley had his heart set on that school. He changed his mind after Hank started making mistakes, and Gavin worried that Riley might go for Kansas now that Hank was turning his life around. Gavin hired Blount to plant some cocaine in Angela’s apartment so they could send Hank back to prison and ensure that Riley would make the “right” college choice—there were millions of dollars in it for Gavin if he delivered Riley to the right school. Unfortunately, Angela came home and caught Blount in the act, and he killed her. He called Gavin to come to the scene, and Blount punched the coach during an argument and gave him a bloody nose—leaving the blood drop on the floor. Left with few options, they staged the scene in an attempt to pin the murder on Hank.
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Sela Ward as Jo Danville
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Messer
- Robert Joy as Sid Hammerback
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- AJ Buckley as Adam Ross
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
- Robbie Amell as Riley Frazier
- Annie Boon as Superfan
- Justin Bruening as Hank Fraizer
- Bonnie Burroughs as Linda Fraizer
- Christie Ann Burson as Angela Kelly
- Jarod Einsohn as Nick Blount
- Scott Lowell as Coach Dwight Gavin
- Matt Medrano as Prison Guard
- Kathleen Munroe as Samantha Flack
- Naomi Peters as Barber Shop Hostage
- Kodi Baker as Lavin #43