|Fur and Loathing|
|Director||Richard J. Lewis|
|Original Airdate||October 30, 2003|
|Previous Episode: Feeling the Heat|
|Next Episode: Jackpot|
Fur and Loathing is fifth episode in season 4 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
A grisly collision between a car and an eighteen-wheeler leads to a murder investigation at a furry convention. Meanwhile, a man is found dead in a freezer in an apparent robbery-homicide.
The episode opens with a woman, Linda Jones, driving along a road at night. She looks around on the road for something, and suddenly collides with something, with a loud thud. As she looks back to see what she hit, she swerves into oncoming traffic, and collides with an 18-wheeler truck. Later that night, while officers investigate the truck driver, Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows inspect Jones' car. They follow a set of extremely large animal paw prints off the road, and find another victim: a man in a raccoon fursuit.
The next day, Grissom and Willows further investigate the "raccoon". Willows reveals that she once dated a Detroit Lions mascot, while David Phillips is reminded of a children's show he once loved that starred a raccoon character. Grissom determines that the raccoon's cause of death was trauma by motor vehicle, implying that he was the "thud" that Linda Jones hit before her death. They also find a piece of blue fur in the raccoon's mouth.
At the Big & Best warehouse, a man, Al Sesto, is dead and frozen to the freezer floor. Nick Stokes and Sara Sidle are investigating, and they determine the victim died trying to escape and was hit with a shotgun blast. In the next room, Sam Vega is investigating Petey, the night security guard at Big & Best. Caught in a lie about his whereabouts that night, he confesses to an extended time away from his post. He states that a man named George came by looking for Sesto before Petey left, and he ate an In-n-Out burger when he returned. George's car remains in the parking lot, and Vega investigates.
The raccoon-man is revealed to be an Alcoholics Anonymous participant. While cutting the man out of his costume, a great deal of blood spills out, as it had nowhere else to escape; the forensics team finds a high-velocity bullet wound, thus adding to the man's injuries.
At the warehouse, Al Robbins helps remove Sisto from the freezer floor. Stokes looks at the blood spatter at the scene and takes some pellet samples, then finds an unidentified black object and collects it.
Back in forensics, the blue fur found in the mouth is confirmed synthetic, and the raccoon is identified as Robert Pitt, who was court-ordered to join AA after being arrested for driving under the influence. A sample of Pitt's digestive system reveals he had no alcohol in him, but rather ipecac (an emetic) and civet oil (an aphrodisiac).
Captain Brass and Willows investigate Pitt's residence, where they find a bedroom full of raccoon stuffed animals, as well as a calendar with October 29-November 1, 2003, marked as a "PAF-Con" meeting at the Kings River Hotel. Willows and Grissom go to this PAF-Con - the Plushies and Furries Convention - looking for a "plushie" conventiongoer in bright blue fur to match the sample in the costume's mouth. Willows is perplexed at the sight of the furries in the hotel lobby, while the fascinated Grissom looks at the situation philosophically and psychologically; the two continue this contrast throughout the episode. Grissom decides to attend a lecture.
The black object in the Big & Best freezer is identified as a fragment of a shotgun stock. A gray substance on the fragment is identified as adhesive; the conclusion is that the shotgun owner attempted a very inexpensive repair of the gun's stock. Meanwhile, a man, George Bartell, enters the police department with blood on his hands, reporting a crime. Upon interrogation, Bartell reveals that he sells expired ice cream for cash, and was going to let Sesto in on the scheme when they found someone smashing the candy machine. The gunman then shot Sesto, knocks out Bartell and locks him in the trunk of his car. When he comes to, he twists a tire iron loose and opened the trunk to escape. George becomes a suspect, however, when a drop of blood is found on his jeans; he is held for further questioning.
At the convention, Grissom takes in the lecture, which centers on concepts of the difference between one's form and one's inner spirit or totem, and, during intermission, asks the person next to him if he recognizes Pitt, which he doesn't. Willows has similar bad luck with a man in the lobby clutching a stuffed dog. Finally, both gain leads. After Grissom buys a picture of "Rocky" (Pitt) with another furry from a photo vendor, he finds two girls in blue costumes; Willows sees a third blue cat walking down a catwalk during a fashion show. Although this cat - "Sexy" - shows some initial playful resistance, hissing at her, all five (the three furries and the two scientists) meet in the lobby.
"Sexy" is brought in for questioning, and he reveals his real name to be Bud Simmons. Grissom recognizes the scent of civet oil on Simmons' cat suit, and tells Simmons that the costume may have had a part in Pitt's death. Simmons admits that he and "Rocky" did partake in "scritching" - in this context, quasi-sexual caressing - and his costume is taken in for analysis. Pitt's semen is found on the costume, as well as ipecac and civet oil.
Looking over the situation in the warehouse and the single drop of blood on Bartell's pants, Stokes and Sidle initiate an experiment, showing that although blood spatter at room temperature will stay largely adherent to the surface it hits, spatter in a freezer tends to freeze immediately and bounce off as a number of pellets. They surmise, then, that such a pellet hit Bartell's pants, and given the angles George could not be the shooter. While pondering the identity of the man behind the murder, they get word that George's clothing also had a number of paint chips on it, all dual layered - factory-applied burgundy car paint topped with cheap blue house paint. This, combined with the cheap adhesive found on the gun fragment, lower Sidle's and Stokes' opinion of the killer.
In the interview room, Bud Simmons reluctantly admits that his actions that night led to a "furpile" and some "yiffing" - in short, an orgy - but denies that he was the one to apply the ipecac and civet oil to his fursuit. Grissom and Willows make their way to a room at the convention where one such "furpile" is still going strong, and enter with a search warrant. Investigation of the fursuits of the participants reveals a wolf costume with ipecac and civet oil on its paws.
The suit's owner, Mr. Lee, is brought in for questioning. Through a number of animal metaphors, Lee explains his actions, first admitting that he indeed applied the mixture to Simmons' "Sexy" costume. He reveals that "Rocky" couldn't get enough of "Sexy", and that apparently "Rocky" was a very promiscuous individual, as he believes all raccoons (or raccoon characters) to be. In fact, Pitt stole "Linda Lamb", Lee's girlfriend and the woman who brought him into the furry fandom, from him at the previous year's convention. Mr. Lee then reveals the lamb's real name - the collision victim, Linda Jones. Grissom and Willows check the wrecked car and indeed see the Linda Lamb costume, and form a new conclusion about Pitt's death - that Linda, tired of Pitt's philandering with other fursuiters, shot him and left him for dead.
After mulling over the known facts, Willows and Grissom determine that Pitt was on the side of the road because of a lover's quarrel or "car fight" - because of the affair, either Linda kicked him out or he insisted on her letting him out of the car. The fact that Jones' car was heading back toward the hotel suggests to Catherine that she was looking for Pitt again to make up. Although the gunshot wound is still unexplained, Willows finds a valet ticket that might prove valuable.
The adhesive on the gunstock fragment is identified as granite surface adhesive. As there are few granite specialists in the area, this narrows the search for the gunman down considerably.
At the hotel, the valet identifies Jones and Pitt, noting that Jones was angry and Pitt was "hammered". Flashbacks reveal the new hypothesis. Pitt, still in costume, enters the car, sick from the ipecac. Jones believes he's gone back on alcohol, and the combination of this and his attendance in the furpile makes her extremely angry. Later on, Jones is mad because Pitt is still too delirious or stubborn to remove the mask, and he insists on being let out to vomit. The gunshot still remains unexplained.
A man named Virgil is brought in for questioning after being found in connection with both the car and the granite company. Despite the evidence, Virgil denies knowing Al Sesto, remains quiet and demands a lawyer.
Back at the location of Pitt's death, Willows and Grissom find the bullet, which struck from a very steep trajectory. They figure out that Pitt was probably on all fours, and when they see a ranger truck driving along a cliff that would be the perfect location for the trajectory of the bullet, they consider the fact that Pitt was not killed as a man but as an animal.
George Bartell and Virgil see each other in the halls of the police department. Virgil, forgetting himself (and proving himself as dimwitted as the scientists believed) explicitly admits to the murder by saying he "should have shot [George] in that freezer". George realizes his absentmindedness when he remembers everything he'd innocently told Virgil, including the vending machines and Petey's lax attendance on duty.
Grissom and Willows identify the driver of the ranger truck, who, in recounting his night around the time of Jones' vehicle collision, states that he saw a "coyote" - Pitt - at the side of the road and shot it to protect his own dogs.
The episode ends with Grissom and Willows incredulous at the full scope of Pitt's murder. A final flashback recounts the time after Pitt left the car - doubled over in sickness, Pitt is still throwing up when the ranger sees him and fires. Jones turns around to pick Pitt up, and hits him as he crawls across the road. Willows sums the incident up as a simple "domestic dispute gone mad," while Grissom calls it "Fur and Loathing in Las Vegas".
The title, as well as Grissom's last line and an earlier line by Willows ("I think I'm having Hunter Thompson's flashbacks"), reference Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. When questioning a suspect, Nick refers to a special style of burger, Animal Style, from the Secret Menu of In-N-Out. Later, Nick and Sara make a bet in which the loser buys the winner an In-N-Out Double-Double burger, Animal Style. Catherine mentions the name Bill W., the man formally known as William Griffith Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Greg refers to Robert Pitt as a “manimal”, a possible reference to the short-lived television series, Manimal, from the 1980s.
This episode has been criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of furries. It has even caused some to discourage others from dressing up in fursuits. A report defending furries was broadcast in response to this episode.