|Original Airdate||February 4, 2011|
|Previous Episode: Holding Cell|
|Next Episode: Smooth Criminal|
Party Down is the thirteenth episode in the seventh season of CSI: NY.
The invitation to a truck party turns deadly when the trailer crashes and ends up in the river. The team has to work out if some of the guests were the intended targets and find connections between them.
A party is in full swing inside of a tractor trailer, which is being pulled down the street. Suddenly, the truck smashes through a locked fence and plunges into the Hudson River. The Coast Guard pulls the survivors out of the water, but three party-goers didn’t make it. The main door of the truck was padlocked closed, and the hatch was spot-welded shut. Fortunately, the welding wasn’t done well, and the cold water weakened the spots enough for one of the guests, Chris Boyle, to force the hatch open so most of them could escape. Jo, Flack and Danny talk to some of the survivors, but they have no idea who might have been driving the truck.
A young woman named Jessica Thompson comes to the precinct, and she says she got an invitation in the mail a few months ago stating she was a VIP for the party. She couldn’t go, but a friend went and died when the trailer sank. The team speaks to the other survivors, locating three more people who say they got a handmade invitation in the mail: Chris, Abigail West and Neal Cooper. It looks like the killer had four specific targets. The CSIs need to figure out the connection between them to establish a motive. All of the intended targets report being harassed in the past, and it sounds like they all had a stalker. However, it’s rare for a stalker to have more than one target, and there’s no consistent pattern between these four people. For now, the only connection they have is the invitations.
There’s blood mixed with the ink on the invitations, and it leads back to the artist. Wanda Cole says a man paid her $20,000 up front to make four invitations. He barely made eye contact and seemed nervous. She draws them a vague sketch of the man, whom Neal identifies as a man he saw following him. He makes some alterations to the sketch to give a more accurate picture, and Jessica walks by and recognizes the face: it’s her ex-fiancé, John Everett. They dated off and on, and he proposed. She started to see a darker side of him, but John broke up with her.
They find John’s body in the water. He has a hole in the back of his head with a curved metal object inside, and he was dressed to impress. It looks like he was one of the guests at the party, not the killer. The rivet pattern on John’s boots matches dents on the driver’s side door of the truck, suggesting that he swam down to help the driver escape and he was killed for his trouble. The metal spike in his head is one of the horns from the ‘devil dog’ logo belonging to the party company, which is an emblem on the front of the truck. Hawkes finds an invitation in his pocket, so one of the other guests must be lying because the artist only made four.
The artist said she sold the invitations to a guy, so that eliminates Jessica and Abigail as suspects. Jo suggests that Chris wanted to be a hero, and he’ll certainly be famous when the media finds out that he saved everyone. However, Chris used to play football, and he couldn’t handle fame. Getting media attention is the last thing he wants. Mac speaks to Neal, who says his parents died last year in a car accident. Neal starts to act strange, and he freaks out when a female officer comes into the room to bring him water. He’s uncomfortable around women, and he finally snaps and reveals that he is the killer. He felt alone, so he decided to kill people from his past who made his life miserable.
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Sela Ward as Jo Danville
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Messer
- Robert Joy as Sid Hammerback
- A. J. Buckley as Adam Ross
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
- Toni Wynne as Tina Martin
- Alexa Havins as Jessica Thompson
- Henry M. Kingi Jr. as Gene
- Michael McMillian as Neal Cooper
- Carl Ciarfalio as Carlo
- Brian Collins as John Everett
- Haviland Stillwell as Akiko Haruka
- Paul Ben-Victor as Carmen Enzo
- Shannon Wada as Samantha King
- Leo J Clark as Mark Hanson
- Deja Howell as Victoria Enzo
- Carter MacIntyre as Chris Boyle
- Marla Sokoloff as Abigail West
- "I Like That" by Richard Vission & Static Revenger feat. Luciana
- Deja Howell, who plays Victoria Enzo, also appears in episode All In The Family.
- Alexa Havins, who plays Jessica Thompson, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Dude, Where's My Groom?.
- Toni Wynne, who plays Tina Martin, also appears in the CSI episode Working Stiffs and in the CSI: Miami one Down To The Wire.
- Paul Ben-Victor, who plays Carmen Enzo, also appears in the CSI episode Killer.
- Carl Ciarfalio, who plays Carlo, also appears in the CSI episode Leapin' Lizards.