|Down the Rabbit Hole|
Peter M. Lenkov
|Original Airdate||October 24, 2007|
|Previous Episode: Time's Up|
|Next Episode: Boo|
Down the Rabbit Hole is the fifth episode in season four of CSI: NY.
A murder victim bears a striking resemblance to a well-known avatar in the online role-playing game "Second Life." Mac is forced to enter the game himself to solve the mystery surrounding her death.
The dead body of a young woman dressed in a leather outfit and a bright green wig is found slain in a mannequin warehouse, a gunshot wound to her head. Sid Hammerback notes that several knife wounds to her neck indicate she was tortured, and that she's had extensive cosmetic surgery, including a facelift. The CSIs begin to process evidence from the scene: a male customized doll wearing a shirt with the name Johnny on it, a wood shaving and a tick. Adam finds a Google image match for the woman: a popular avatar named Venus from the online meta-world Second Life. Through Second Life's records, the CSIs are able to identify their victim as Cheryl Miller, but Mac has to enter the world of Second Life to find Don Juan 2-3, aka Johnny O'Dell, whom Cheryl was involved with. With Adam as his guide and intervention from Stella, Mac is able to find Johnny and Adam traces his IP address to his location. When Danny and Flack go to pick him up, he tries to run, and they are surprised to discover he has a gun.
Johnny admits he and Cheryl were involved and that he had plans to meet up with her that night, but that he stood her up because he suffers from acute multiple sclerosis and is dying. He's shocked to learn Venus is dead since he saw her avatar online only a few hours before. His gun, which he bought because of his degenerative illness, is not a match to the bullet that killed Cheryl. Mac goes back into Second Life looking for Venus and with Adam's help is able to jump through the hoops to track her down, only to find another avatar pursuing her, accusing her of being a fake. Adam is able to get the other avatar's address just before his connection is lost. The CSIs rush to the address only to discover Johnny O'Dell dead at the kitchen table, shot execution-style just like Cheryl. Based on striation markings, Hawkes confirms that the bullet came from the same gun that killed Cheryl, and also ties the gun to another crime: the murder of a one Judge McHenry in the woods of New Jersey a week ago.
While Stella and Danny visit the real Gearhead shoe designer who Venus purchased trendy shoes online from for a date with an avatar named Mr. TCB, Mac tracks her online, but she infects the lab computers with a virus, forcing them to shut down. The CSIs turn to Mr. TCB--a congressional aide named David King, but he admits to them that it's his boss, Congressman Devane, who uses the Mr. TCB avatar in Second Life. Mac puts it together: the killer is a paid assassin who killed Cheryl to gain access to her avatar and arrange a date with the congressman. Johnny was killed when he got in the way. The CSIs rush to the New York hotel where Devane is staying, but they're seconds too late. Mac catches up with the assassin--a young blonde woman--but she shoots a man she's taken hostage in order to escape, and though Mac pursues her, she slips away through a trash chute.
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Melina Kanakaredes as Stella Bonasera
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Monroe
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
Guest Cast Edit
- Robert Joy as Sid Hammerback
- Kam Heskin as Suspect X
- Peter Gannon as Doorman
- Lindsay Pulsipher as Cheryl Duncan
- Hank Harris as Johnny O'Dell
- Jonno Roberts as Samson Rowe
- David Burtka as David King
- Jonathan Palmer as Congressman Devane
- Dylan Bruce as Young Man (Hostage)