|Original Airdate||September 22, 2004|
Blink is the first episode of the first season of CSI: NY.
The team finds three young women, all of whom appear to have been brutalized in the same way. With a possible serial killer on hand, the only witness they have is the one of the women who survived, but she can only communicate through blinking. Photographs found at one of the crime scenes lead the team to a couple that had sponsored one of the victims, the boyfriend who claims he hasn't spoken to her in weeks, and the owner of one of the buildings a photo was taken from.
Mac Taylor is in a church when his pager goes off, calling him to a crime scene in Central Park. He meets up with Detective Don Flack who shows him the body of a young blonde woman. Mac instantly notices that she's been dumped--she wasn't killed in the park. He also notices that it appears she's been re-dressed by the killer. Then he spies a wedding ring on her ring finger on her left hand. "Someone out there is missing a wife," Mac says quietly.
Stella Bonasera arrives at the C.S.I New York offices, having heard about the murder on the radio. She approaches Mac, who has been up all night with this case. Stella offers to go over the missing persons files while Mac wakes Dr. Hawkes, who is sleeping in a room next to the morgue. Hawkes shows Mac contusions on the woman's neck, and points out the horizontal lividity marks on her back. Hawkes tells Mac that two hemorrhagic strokes killed her. He also notes that she inhaled something just prior to her death. Stella IDs the victim as Leann Goodman, and the C.S.I's brings her husband in to identify her body. Stricken, he tells them that the last time he saw her was several days ago at lunch. He put her into a cab after they finished eating and that was the last he saw of her.
Aiden Burn and Danny Messer identify the substance Leann Goodman inhaled as a fire stick, which Danny notes is the new date rape drug. Mac is puzzled because the rape kit came back negative, but before he gets any further, he's called to another crime scene. A young, dark-haired woman was discovered in a dumpster with similar neck contusions and horizontal lividity. "We've got a serial," Mac realizes. Hawkes notes that this victim was strangled to death, and then the killer broke her neck postmortem. As with the other victim, the rape kit comes back negative. Mac notes that the woman has gold teeth, and comes to the conclusion that she's of Russian decent.
Mac seeks out an old mentor, Dr. Giles, to get a medical bust to examine the nerves and arteries that the killer would have pressed on to kill his victims. As he explores the bust, C.S.I shots reveal where the killer pressed to murder Leann Goodman. Back at the dumpster where the second victim was found, Danny finds a camera with film still in it. Aiden and he go back to the lab to develop it. The film is filled with pictures of the victim in some of New York's touristy locations; in some of the photos she poses with a young man who appears to be her boyfriend. The final photo is taken outside a house with the city in the background. In the photo, the woman blows a kiss to the photographer.
A missing persons report once again supplies the identity of the victim: Zoya Pavlova, a young Russian immigrant living with a sponsor family, the Ivanovs. Mac and Stella visit them to share the news and ask why they waited so long to report Zoya's disappearance. They tells the C.S.Is that Zoya had disappeared for days and returned before. They also point Mac and Stella in the direction of Jason Parnell, Zoya's boyfriend. Jason Parnell, a vendor in Manhattan, identifies Zoya as his girlfriend from the pictures Mac shows him, but he says he hasn't seen her in four or five days. He doesn't recognize the final picture of Zoya at the house. Suspicious, Flack has him carted away anyway.
Mac and Stella use the skyscrapers in the distant background in the photo of Zoya by the house to pinpoint the location of the house. Once they've located it in Queens, they go to the house with Flack. There they find another victim in the basement, on a slab and hooked up to a ventilator, who is still alive. The C.S.Is pour over the house. Danny can't find any fingerprints, but Aiden finds some semen. The woman has been taken to the hospital, and the doctor tells Mac that she isn't responding to painful stimuli. Mac starts to process her, talking to her as he does, explaining what he's doing and why. After he photographs the bruises on her neck, she blinks. Flack has tracked down the owner of the house, a Mr. Silo, and brought him back to the C.S.I offices for questioning. Flack tells Silo that he can't find any proof that he rented the house, and Silo tries to refuse a mouth swab.
Mac takes his evidence to Dr. Giles, who shares his theory with Mac. Giles believes the latest victim is suffering from "locked in" syndrome, and her condition is no accident. The killer is performing a bizarre science experiment: he's sedating his subjects, locating certain pressure points, and literally "locking" them in their own bodies by pressing on the nerves. His first two victims were failures--he was perfecting his technique. The final victim was a success. Mac realizes she's seen the killer, but she can't talk. Locked in syndrome is irreversible.
Mac decides to question the victim using a blinking system and pictures of the other victims and potential suspects. Mac tells her to blink twice for yes and once for no. She doesn't recognize either of the other women or Leann's husband or Zoya's boyfriend, but when Mac shows her a picture of Mr. Silo she blinks twice and starts to convulse. She appears to be going into cardiac arrest. The doctors rush in. The doctor tells Mac that the woman suffered a severe stroke, which has left her brain-dead. A stricken Mac returns to her bedside and tries to talk to her, but she is completely unresponsive. Stella finds Mac at her bedside; she tells him that the DNA from the semen matches neither Silo nor Jason Parnell.
Mac talks the case out with Stella, trying to find out why this man is doing this to these women. Stella characterizes the killer's acts as diabolical, calculated and personal. Mac sees them as intimate acts as well. He decides they need to go back to the evidence from the house. In the reconstruction room, the C.S.Is use powerful chemicals on the medical equipment. On one piece, they discover the initials B.I. in Russian letters. Mac realizes they overlooked Zoya's sponsor family: namely the husband, Bogdan Ivanov. Mac brings Ivanov to C.S.I. Ivanov admits to a relationship with Zoya, but Mac knows there's more to it than that. He says Ivanov killed Zoya trying to lock her in her own body. He pulls Ivanov's taxi license, claiming that Ivanov found his other victims driving his taxi. Ivanov asks Mac if he knows what Bogdan means in Russian--"gift from God." He claims the women he killed wanted to be free from their cares and free to let their minds wander. He says Zoya wanted to be taken care of, and that he was freeing her and the others. Mac counters that this wasn't about freeing them but controlling them. He tells Ivanov that he left the final woman alive because he couldn't bear to kill his one success. Mac muses that the women died for the same reason Ivanov got caught: "you didn't know how to let go."
Mac goes back to visit Ivanov's final victim. He tells her about his wife, Claire, who died on 9/11. He says that while he got rid of most of Claire's things because it was too painful for him to have those reminders, he still has a beach ball she blew up because "her breath is still in there." After he leaves, he takes a taxi to the site of the World Trade Center.
- Gary Sinise as Det. Mack "Mac" Taylor
- Melina Kanakaredes as Det. Stella Bonasera
- Hill Harper as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Det. Don Flack
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Sgt. Danny Messer
- Vanessa Ferlito as Det. Aiden Burn
- Grant Albrecht as Dr. Leonard Giles
- Jennifer Jackson as LeAnn Goodman
- Jewel Christian as Jane Doe
- Ana K. Alexander as Zoya Pavlova
- Ajay Mehta as Dr. Smythe
- Arsha Darbinyan as Nadia Ivanov
- Andy Comeau as Carson Silo
- Conor Dubin as Jason Parnell
- Michael Hagerty (II) as Tim Goodman
- Vitali Baganov as Dr. Bogdhan Ivanov
- Ajay Mehta, who plays Dr. Smythe, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Bad Seed.
- "Duettino: Sull' Aria" by Deutsch Oper Berlin, Edith Mathis, & Gundula Janowitz
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