CSI Season 14 Review “Love for Sale”

In the latest episode of “CSI,” the gang tackled a case of “Love for Sale.” Or did they? Was it actually love for sale, or was it more like love taken, and against one’s will? Definitely the latter, as it turned out, though I’m not sure I’d classify it as love. And boy, oh boy, did things get pretty twisted, with some clever casting along the way.

It all started with a girl turning up dead in her car in an isolated locale in the desert. She was a minister’s daughter, but the gang traced her back to the actual crime scene, which turned out to be a legal brothel, run by none other than Sherilyn Fenn, of “Twin Peaks” fame. This was great casting, as fans of that show no doubt remember a memorable scene in which Fenn, investigating the death of a classmate, goes undercover at a Canadian brothel, only to almost end up having her first client be (spoilers on a over 20-year-old show) her own father!

Well, this was a similar situation, as it turned out the deceased father was also at said brothel, and was seemingly a regular- but not for the reasons one might think. Neither a customer nor someone on the trail of a wayward daughter, dear old dad was actually there to visit his other daughter, who he was paying for her time, in hopes of trying to get her to quit her decidedly dubious job. The dead daughter knew about it, too, and came looking for her father at the brothel, after she was jumped by a sleazy councilman, who thought she was a hooker.

But wait, there’s more. As if that weren’t bad enough, it was actually the girl’s adoptive mother and the preacher’s wife that set her up! And she was also the one who got the other daughter hooking in the first place, and a former hooker herself! Yikes. I guess having religion in their lives didn’t do much for this bunch. Although, to be fair, the father seemed like a good guy, but boy, did he pick the wrong hooker to try and reform with the wife. Ick.

Despite the appalling nature of the crime, for the most part this was a relatively fun episode until the big reveal. It was amusing seeing Nick and Greg infiltrating the brothel, and their subsequent flirtatious harassment at the hands of some of the ladies. It’s always nice to see Fenn, and the casting intentions with her was much appreciated, as was the nod to “Peaks” via the infamous “Red Room.”

In fact, I liked the idea of a “themed” brothel, what with the “Western,” “Asian,” “Jungle” and “School” rooms, like some sort of porno Disneyland. I would have liked to see the “Jungle” room in particular! (The “Western” room was pretty nifty, though.) I also liked the notion of the guys picking their poison, with Greg going Western and Nick going back to school, I think. Or did he head into the “Red Room”? Maybe he was going in search of Agent Cooper…

Also nice to see John Heard, always solid, as a sleazy political type, and casting former “Heroes” dad Jack Coleman as a dad with secrets was inspired, given the many secrets he had to keep on that show, including any number of things involving his daughter. As such, it was easy to think that either one of them might be guilty of the crime at hand, but instead, it was actually the wife, which was fairly unexpected.

Granted, the show tipped its hand a bit when it had Danson’s character mention that the mom seemed to react to her daughter’s death without the sort of reaction one might expect, but even so, I highly doubt anyone saw the reasons coming behind her doing what she did. What a piece of work that character was.

All in all, a pretty clever episode, with some great twists and some fairly complex plotting overall. I would have to say, it was one of my favorite episodes thus far this season, though I’ll allow a lot of it had to do with the casting and the fond memories it brought about for two shows I used to love, “Twin Peaks” and “Heroes.” That said, it was cleverly staged and the brothel was an interesting locale, to say the least. Good stuff all around, as icky as the situation may have turned out to be in the end.

What did you think of the latest “CSI”? Did you enjoy seeing Fenn again, assuming you knew who she was? Or Coleman or Heard for that matter? What did you make of the brothel themes? Which room would you have gone for? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next episode!