|Original Airdate||February 22, 2007|
Fallen Idols is the seventeenth episode of season seven of CSI:Crime Scene Investigation.
A star high school basketball star and his girlfriend, a cheerleader, disappear and the investigation reveals that he gave STDs to a number of girls he slept with.
Two high school students and lovers, Ryan Lansco, the school's top basketball player, and Megan Cooper, a cheerleader, have disappeared. The parents, who quickly turn against each other, figure they have run away together. Grissom checks a stain on Ryan's personal parking space and determines that it is blood. Grissom and Nick follow a trail of seat stuffing and find a large amount of blood, apparently arterial spray, on a practice dummy and on the lawn in front of it. They spot that the equipment storage room door is open and go to it. Outside, they find some kind of broken glass. Inside, they find a leather jacket which could belong to Ryan and rope tied to a piece of workout machinery.
Sofia questions Sheila Latham, a friend of Megan. She claims not to know anything useful about Ryan and Megan's whereabouts and is let go. Ryan's call records show that his last call was to Diane Kentner, the school's photography teacher. Hodges processes the broken glass and determines that it's from an advanced professional camera. Warrick questions Kentner, who comments that Charlie Kellerman, a photography student, is a friend of Megan's has a crush on her, though she doesn't reciprocate. He asks her about her camera and Ryan's phone call, but she has valid answers and he believes her.
Back at the football field, Greg theorizes that Ryan and Megan went to the storage room to make out, but he tried to tie her up with the ropes and rape her, so he killed her in order to protect himself from an attempted rape charge, which could jeopardize his scholarship. The theory is invalidated, however, when Nick gets a call from Wendy informing him that all the blood is Ryan's. The investigators check the whole field. Nick and Greg find pieces of a shattered turn signal light and a bloody shoe which matches the description of the ones Megan wears. Close to them is acceleration marks in the direction of the evidence. Nick suggests that Megan may have been hit by the car and knocked away. As they search in that direction, they find Megan, alive but seriously injured.
Megan is taken to Desert Palms' Hospital, followed by her parents. Not long afterwards, Ryan's van is found by a police patrol. There is no blood or any signs of an accident on the front, suggesting that he wasn't the one who hit Megan. In the back, they find blood close to the door and more blood inside on a matress. At the hospital, Megan's parents are comforted by Charlie. He is questioned by Nick and tells him that Ryan frequently cheated on her, but she wouldn't believe her. When Catherine, Warrick and Sara process the van, they find a pink cell phone inside. The battery is dead, but they figure it doesn't belong to Ryan.
The driver's seat has been adjusted for someone shorter than Ryan. They also find a collection of panties from girls he has slept with inside the car. Catherine (who is processing the mattress found inside) concludes from the blood stains that the body was carried inside it. She finds semen and Pthirus Pubis, crabs, on it. Grissom tells her that the crabs should contain DNA from both parties. The cell phone is recharged and turns out to belong to Sheila. Sheila is brought in for questioning again. When Brass and her mother try to wake her up, she falls down from the couch.
The doctors arrive, attempting to revive her, but it was too late. Sheila was already dead. The autopsy reveals that she died from epidural hemorrhaging caused by blunt force trauma to the head. When Sheila was hit, blood started gathering around the injury, eventually causing her to stop breathing because her brain stopped sending her signals to do so. Inside her stomach, Doc Robbins finds a memory card from a camera and had crabs. Archie processes the memory card, which is in a good enough condition to be viewed. On it is a video of a shirtless Ryan in the equipment storage, tied up with the ropes. The word "DANGER" is painted on his chest along with an arrow pointing at his crotch, referencing him spreading crabs around.
When the guy behind the camera opens the door making Ryan complain that it's cold, Ryan is forced to read a sign: "I, Ryan Lansco, am a diseased subhuman sex pervert. If you do me, you'll go home with a souvenir: your own little crab colony." A female voice taunts him that the video will be posted on YouTube. The voice is matched to that of Sheila. Nick interviews Megan at the hospital. She is in stable condition, but is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. She doesn't remember anything concrete after the game the day she disappeared.
Warrick and Grissom take a look at Ryan's Friend Agenda page. They find a "hit list" unlocked by the obvious password "Megan". The list is of the women Ryan has slept with. Among them are Diane Kentner, who left a fingerprint on the car. When she is questioned, she claims the fingerprint was left from when he helped her move a photo enlarger to his car, since her car which is the same kind as the make that hit Megan, was too small. She dismisses her mention on the hit list as a mere fantasy and denies having sex with Ryan.
Even though she won't allow the CSIs to search her home or her car, she gives up a DNA sample. When Archie continues processing the video, he finds Charlie in the background, next to Sheila. Nick interrogates Charlie, suggesting that he (in revenge for the way Ryan treated Megan) recruited Sheila, who had been given crabs by him and staged the video together, but things went bad and he killed Ryan and hit Megan with the car. Charlie tells the truth: he and Sheila stripped Ryan off his clothes and tied him up, knowing that he would be there with Megan, and made him read the speech on camera, after which he broke loose.
Outside, Charlie and Sheila began passing the camera between each other to mock him. Ryan wasn't able to retrieve the camera from Charlie since Charlie was taller than Ryan. When Sheila tossed it away (which is when the lens broke), Ryan picked it up and found the memory card had been removed. Taunting him, Sheila placed in her mouth. Ryan angrily threw the camera at her head, causing her to swallow the memory card and causing the trauma which later killed her.
In retaliation, she pushed him against the practice dummy, which led to his throat being cut on a sharp edge, killing him. Charlie shows a great deal of remorse for what happened and tells Nick that he and Sheila dragged the body into his van and she drove away with it. After that, he has no idea what happened to the body. When asked about Megan, Charlie claims she freaked out and ran away when Ryan was tied up. Nick shows him enhanced screenshots from the video (which is not possible in real life). On it, Sheila holds the camera, Charlie holds the cue cards with the speech and someone holds a lamp. Charlie claims he held both the cue cards and the lamp and that it was only him and Sheila.
When the DNA from the crabs has been extracted and processed, the only common contributor is, not unexpectedly, Ryan. The others are Megan, Sheila, a number of unknowns and Diane Kentner. Since it proves that Diane's had sex with a minor, it is enough for a search warrant of her house. Inside, Brass finds a copy of a rental agreement for a storage facility and a key to it.
Outside the address, the LVPD find Diane's car, which shows signs of an accident in the front and has a missing turn signal light. When they enter, they find a huge photography setup devoted to Ryan. The pictures that flash by are those Diane took of Ryan at the school and also a recording she made herself of his death on the football field. In the center is a bed with Ryan's cleaned-up dead body. Next to him, is the body of Diane who has killed herself by overdosing on her lithium which she was prescribed for bipolar disorder.
Grissom and Warrick watch screenshots from her recording of Ryan's death, which clearly shows Megan pushing him to his death, not Sheila. Charlie lied to protect her (it is implied that Diane hit Megan with her car as revenge for her killing Ryan with whom Diane was visibly obsessed).
Nick questions Megan at the hospital. She makes a half-hearted attempt at feigning amnesia, but is unsuccessful.She argues hypothetically that if she killed Ryan, she has been punished enough as she is paralyzed from the waist down and will never be able to continue cheerleading or even walk again.
In the next scene, Ryan's parents are arguing with Brass for not prosecuting Megan for killing Ryan. According to Brass, the DA chose not to press charges, likely but because he didn't think he would be able to secure a conviction, especially not with her injuries. When Ryan's mother asks where the justice in that is, Brass argues that everyone involved in the mess have been punished in some way, with Sheila and Diane dead, Charlie likely going to jail and Megan paralyzed.However, Ryan's parents are not satisfied and feels that Megan only got away with murder. At the school (where a shrine has been erected in front of Ryan and Megan's portraits) a school official comes and takes down Charlie's portrait.
- William Petersen as Gil Grissom
- Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows
- Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown
- George Eads as Nick Stokes
- Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle
- Eric Szmanda as Greg Sanders
- Robert David Hall as Dr. Al Robbins
- Louise Lombard as Detective Sofia Curtis
- Paul Guilfoyle as Captain Jim Brass
- Wallace Langham as David Hodges
- Archie Kao as Archie Johnson
- David Berman as David Phillips
- Liz Vassey as Wendy Simms
- Matt Lanter ... Ryan Lansco
- Lyndsy Fonseca ... Megan Cooper
- Reiley McClendon ... Charlie Kellerman
- Yaani King ... Sheila Latham
- Bridget White ... Brenda Cooper
- Todd Allen ... Eddie Lansco
- Matt Roth ... Sam Cooper
- Timi Prulhiere ... Linda Lansco
- Valarie Pettiford ... Susan Latham
- Laura Harris ... Diane Kentner
- Larry Mitchell ... Officer Mitchell
- Eden Marie James ... Civilian Employee
- Daniel Colletti ... Mike Lansco (uncredited)