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Face Lift
WriterJosh Berman
DirectorLou Antonio
Original AirdateMarch 8, 2001
Previous Episode: Too Tough to Die
Next Episode: $35K O.B.O.

Face Lift is the seventeenth episode in season one of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


Grissom, Catherine and Nick handle a case in which the fingerprints of a victim in an old kidnapping case turn up at the scene of a murder. Meanwhile, Warrick and Sara investigate the case of a woman who was incinerated in her easy chair; Sara suspects it's a case of spontaneous human combustion.


Grissom, Catherine and Nick have to investigate a robbery at The Cracked Kiln pottery store, which proves to be more complicated than it first appears when the body of the apparent robber, Joseph Felton, is discovered by the safe he apparently burned open. In the morgue, Doc Robbins determines Felton was killed by three blows to the head, and died instantaneously.

Nick recovers yellow, glittery transfer from the head wound and sends it to trace, while Catherine finds spores in Felton’s hair from fern plants outside the shop. Grissom gets a hit on a print from the pottery store, not to a suspect but a little girl who went missing twenty-one years ago named Melissa Marlowe. Dust on the print indicates Melissa was in the shop weeks before the murder, and Grissom decides to take the lead on tracking her down. Nick matches the method used to rob the safe to a robbery from 1999, perpetrated by Felton and a man named Darin Hason, who Felton testified against in exchange for immunity.

The CSIs question Hason, but he denies seeing Felton since his incarceration, and has receipts to prove he was in Barstow at the time of the murder. Catherine brings Felton’s daughter,Tammy, to see the body of her father, and is surprised to notice fern spores on the young woman’s sweater. Tammy admits she was at the shop with her father, but tells Catherine she was trying to talk him out of robbing the store. Catherine is shocked when she finds Grissom and Teri Miller doing an age progression on a photo of four-year-old Melissa Marlowe and recognizes the aged up photo as Tammy Felton. Grissom and Catherine consult with a psychologist named Philip Kane, who cautions them that children who have been abducted often display sociopathic tendencies and will do whatever it takes to survive. Greg identifies the yellow glittery trace from Felton’s head wound as paint laced with uranium, and Nick returns to the shop and discovers a yellow troll painted with the uranium paint with blood and hair on the bottom.

Grissom mistakenly allows the Marlowes to see Tammy through the glass as Catherine questions her, and Mrs. Marlowe runs up to Tammy as she’s leaving and hugs her, calling her Melissa. Confused, Tammy runs off. The CSIs obtain a warrant for Tammy’s house and discover a pair of gloves with yellow paint on them inside. Though Tammy claims the gloves belonged to her mother, her prints are found on the gloves. Tammy claims Melissa killed her father, and intimates that she has multiple personality disorder. Though Dr. Kane confirms it’s a possibility, the CSIs are skeptical, and Catherine catches Tammy in a lie, confirming it’s a ruse. The Marlowes rush to Tammy’s aid, bailing her out of jail and buying multiple bus tickets out of town so that the CSIs won’t be able to track her. Brass arrests them for abetting a fugitive, while Tammy escapes—and meets up with Darin Hason, who told her the truth about Joseph Felton, knowing Tammy would kill him.

Meanwhile, Warrick and Sara investigate the death of Nadine Winston, who burned up while sitting in an armchair. Sara posits that it could be spontaneous combustion, which Warrick dismisses as science fiction. All that’s left of Nadine is a foot, and David confirms that it was severed by the fire, not cut off her body. Warrick has Sara bring him a nightgown, and he dresses a pig carcass in it. He injects sedatives like the ones Nadine took into the carcass and lights the end of the nightgown on fire. Sure enough, the pig burns up just like Nadine did. Grissom is impressed with their work, pointing out that a big of the nightgown that didn’t get badly burnt is the “wick”—the origin of the fire. Sara recalls finding a similar piece at the crime scene. When Grissom asks if they really thought Nadine spontaneously combusted, Warrick says they didn't, covering for Sara.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • Grissom mentions to Nick that Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Man in the 50s. Spider-Man's first appearance was in 1962 in Marvel Comics' "Amazing Fantasy #15".


  • Sara stopped eating meat since Grissom used one to estimate postmortem insect growth.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 1
PilotCool ChangeCrate 'n BurialPledging Mr. JohnsonFriends & LoversWho Are You?Blood DropsAnonymousUnfriendly SkiesSex, Lies and LarvaeI-15 MurdersFahrenheit 932BoomTo Halve and to HoldTable StakesToo Tough to DieFace Lift$35K O.B.O.Gentle, GentleSounds of SilenceJustice is ServedEvaluation DayStrip Strangler