|Flag on the Play|
|Original Airdate||January 20, 2010|
|Previous Episode: Criminal Justice|
|Next Episode: Sanguine Love|
Flag on the Play is the thirteenth episode in the sixth season of CSI: NY.
When a beautiful star quarterback of the Lingerie Football League is found murdered in the locker room hot tub with traces of lidocaine in her system, the CSIs are called in to find out who wanted her dead.
A triumphant celebration for lingerie football team Manhattan Rapture is cut short when one of the players finds the star quarterback, a no-show for the game, dead in a whirlpool bath. Flack tells Mac the girl’s name is Kristen Melvoy, while Sid determines she was killed between 7 and 10am that morning—and that she was already dead when she hit the water. The team’s trainer, Alex Martin, tells Stella and Danny that Kristen didn’t have any enemies—just normal rivalries with the other girls on the team. Stella is skeptical of that after she finds a crumpled photo of Kristen that was clearly hanging in her locker. She also finds Kristen’s wallet and clothes, indicating she was killed in the locker room. In the morgue, Sid tells Mac that Kristen died of anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction. Sid also tells Mac that he was approached by Leanne Baldwin, the mother of another player on the team, six months ago. Leanne’s daughter Natalie was only 22 when she died of a heart attack, and her mother was certain something was amiss about her death. The girl’s father refused to allow an autopsy, and Sid looked over the case results and found them sound. He’s now having second thoughts about that determination. Lindsay goes over a fleck of metallic paint from Kristen’s sports bra while Hawkes finds DNA from Kristen on a syringe from the trash in the locker room. He discovered traces of lidocaine and another substance in the syringe. Sid looks at Kristen’s medical records and finds the girl was allergic to lidocaine, confirming that the injection was what killed her. Sid and Hawkes find the injection site just above her left breast. Sid meets with Leanne Baldwin and gets her permission to exhume her daughter’s body.
Stella gets prints from the photo from Kristen’s locker and matches them to the second string quarterback on the team, Meredith Muir. Mac questions Meredith, who works part time as a dental hygienist and has access to lidocaine. Meredith admits to a rivalry with Kristen; she was jealous of the other girl because she was a phony and prone to bragging. Meredith denies killing her, but Mac has his doubts, especially when Meredith tells him she hated Natalie Baldwin, too, because Natalie was sleeping with her boyfriend. When Hawkes identifies the other substance in the syringe as human growth hormone, the CSIs’ suspicions turn to Alex Martin, the trainer, whose career in professional football ended because of steroid use. Flack and Danny question the trainer, but he insists he learned his lesson and isn’t doling out drugs to the women on the team. Lindsay follows up on the paint trace while Flack tells Mac that Meredith’s alibi checks out, and Alex Martin also has one, though his is his four-year-old daughter. Danny finds a picture online of Kristen wearing someone else’s triathlon medal, leading him and Flack to a pawnshop where Kristen bought the medal. They learn Kristen pawned her engagement ring for ten grand recently, but that a week later it was reported stolen, to the pawnshop owner’s dismay. Danny finds another stolen item among the wares at the shop: his grandfather’s Korean war dog tags. Flack immediately asks him what’s going on, and Danny admits his wallet and badge were stolen a week ago after acupuncture. Flack gets upset when he finds out Danny hasn’t reported the theft.
Stella and Lindsay learn that Scott Coleman, Kristen’s former fiancé, is the one who reported the ring stolen. Stella and Lindsay question Scott, who tells them that his engagement to Kristen broke up when they moved to New York and she started drastically changing her appearance with cosmetic surgery. Wondering if the connection between the two women’s deaths is cosmetic surgery rather than football, Sid begins the autopsy of Natalie and finds that there are massive amounts of silicone in her body, which is what caused her death. The silicon got into her blood stream and caused a clot, which caused the heart attack. Sid and Stella break the news to a shocked Mrs. Baldwin, who agrees to turn over Natalie’s cell phone. Hawkes finds the number of a “Dr. Alphonse Portero” in the recent calls list, and Lindsay traces the metallic paint to a plastic surgery clinic in Brooklyn. When Mac and Flack go to the clinic, the receptionist says she’s never heard of a Dr. Alphonse Portero, saying the only Al there is Allen Greenway, who works on the cleaning crew. When Allen sees Mac and Flack coming, he runs but Flack catches him in a tackle. In interrogation, Allen denies having anything to do with the deaths, but Mac mentions stolen Botox and Restylane packages found in his apartment, as well as the recycled syringe which has a print on it—which Mac is certain will match Allen. Allen finally gives up and insists Kristen’s death was an accident, that he had no idea she was allergic to lidocaine, but Mac has no sympathy for him. Leanne Baldwin thanks Sid for giving her closure, and offers him a football signed by the Manhattan Rapture players that belonged to Natalie. In the lab, Danny runs the prints he finds on his stolen dog tags and is shocked to find they match Shane Casey, a serial killer Danny helped bring to justice several years ago.
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Melina Kanakaredes as Stella Bonasera
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Messer
- Robert Joy as Sid Hammerback
- AJ Buckley as Adam Ross
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
Guest Cast Edit
- Nicole Taylor as Kristen Melvoy
- Lauren Cohan as Meredith Muir
- Brittany Perry-Russell as Lisa (Tight End)
- Tom Parker as Allen Greenway
- Katherine Ann McGregor as Leanne Baldwin
- Nynno Ahli as Alex Martin
- Tasso Feldman as Scott Coleman
- JB Blanc as Tripp Walker
- Morgan Snyder as Clinic Receptionist
- Jennifer Bock as Natalie Baldwin
- Kevin Navayne as Detective Ray Jackson
- Manel Souza as Pro Driver
- Tara Darby as Patient
- Giovanni V. Giusti as LFL Fan
- Mark Anthony Lopez as LFL Fan
- The Lingerie Football League shown in the episode is in fact a real league formed in 2009, a spinoff of the hugely popular Lingerie Bowl. Rebranded in 2013 as the Legends Football League, it is the fastest growing sports league in the world.