Working Stiffs

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Drama/Crime/Mystery/Thriller, USA, 2009, 60 min.

Synopsis "CSI" - "Working Stiffs" - Oct. 8, 2009It's night in Vegas and a man walks in the woods. Another man comes up behind him screaming and bludgeons him to death with some big piece of metal shaped like a rifle.The next morning Ray and Nick investigate the scene.During the autopsy Robbins pulls an RFID out of the victim's wrist. He had one of them implanted - we see in flashback- to use as a swipe card for his office's doors.Also in the flashback we see the victim is a cocky IT guy named Jason who's a supernerd - hence the RFID- and yet also supercharming, who catches the eye of his boss, the comely Belinda, the ire of his sad sack co-worker Paulie, who is the killer, and the scorn of his other boss played by Newman from "Seinfeld." (Wayne Knight)We cut back to Paulie contemplative remembering this moment a few weeks back at his cubicle as the CSIs talk about whether the murderer skipped town or not.Paulie now in the present walks over to Jason's desk and looks it over. Newman can't open his door with his swipe card and gets grumpy. He comes over to Belinda and inappropriately touches her hair. He asks Paulie what he's looking at and he replies "a sexual harassment suit." Newman bustles off and Belinda thanks Paulie.Hodges and Ray look at metal fragment in the lab and hypothesize that it has the markings of having been in an explosion.Catherine scans the RFID and gets Jason's name, address and car info. The car info matches the tire tracks at the scene.Nick and Greg go to the apartment and find that the truck has been wiped clean except for a stain on the seat which Nick swabs. Jason's place has been trashed. Greg and Nick theorize the killer drove the truck back to the apartment and stole his computer to hide evidence. They figure this means Jason knew the killer. They notice a photo of the whole office gang with red marks over certain people's faces and figure they'll start there.Brass shows up to talk to the office. One guy confidently tells Paulie the killer that Jason was a hacker which is probably what this is about. Brass interviews Belinda about calls she made to Jason, she says she was his boss and friend and wonders what's up. Brass tells her he's dead. She's shocked.They do a search on Jason's computer and turn up a stoner guy from a nearby apartment who just robbed Jason's place after the killer left the door open.After duping Jason's hard drive they realize he was spying on all of his co-workers.Ray does a techie mumbo-jumbo thing to the print fragment on the metal and discovers RDX,a big explosive. Turns out Jason liked to blow things up as a kid and his dad owns a mining operation.We get a Paulie flashback of Jason uncovering a plot that he had to - seemingly- blow up the office after years of neglect and abuse by his co-workers. He offers to help.It turns out that this was all a red herring, however, what Paulie and Jason were really planning to do was blow up the safe in the basement and take the company money and run off. At the last minute, however, after they did a test run blowing up a safe in the woods,Paulie got cold feet and wanted to back out. Jason, who was a scumbag,freaked out on him and said he no longer needed him to pull off the heist and if Paulie breathed a word of it he would kill him. Paulie, sick of being a put upon office drone decided to kill Jason instead.When Jason's mom came in to pick up his stuff, Paulie offered to help under the pretense of swiping a flash drive in order to copy some access codes. Jason's mom basically exposits that Jason was an essentially an anti-social scumbag and apologized for her son's behavior. Later, when a shaken up Belinda offers to go for a drink with an amazed Paulie he's so happy. Then Brass shows up to arrest her because it turns out the fluid on Jason's car seat was semen mixed with her DNA. She was banging him and was planning to run off to Mexico with him for the weekend. Paulie is so bummed by this that as they lead her off he slips the flash drive in her purse.Down at the station she denies killing him.Nick and Ray figure out through various methods - internet searches, movie rentals, safe research- what Jason was planning to do and that Paulie was in on it and head off to stop him.They arrive just as Paulie is about to blow the safe door in the office basement. The door blows, Paulie frantically pockets money and shimmies out an electric conduit.He comes out beyond the security fence as the police arrive, seemingly safe. But this is just a dream because in reality, when Paulie blew the door it came flying at him and practically sliced him in half, pinning him against the wall. Ray and Nick bust through the door and try to remove the safe door from his mid-section but they can't and just before he dies Paulie says "I knew it would work."In two unrelated notes:-Hodges has apparently embarked on some kind Web series offering Forensic "how tos"-Ray was seen perusing some kind of folder with DNA info on his parents. Wendy came in and noticed a certain gene indicator over his shoulder and pointed out that particular gene meant a proclivity to violence. Ray gets all huffy and without telling her who the file is about says just because something is genetic doesn't mean it's destiny and stalks off.

Directed by Naren Shankar  

Starring Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, more...

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