Gil asks Lady Heather for help on a case, but it's help processing his loss that he really needs

By Lynette Rice
Updated November 07, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST

‘CSI’ recap: Tie me up, tie me down

Last night’s episode reminded me of a letter that we received a month or so back, in which a rabid CSI fan said that I was delusional for suggesting in our Fall Preview issue that Gil has always been hot for Lady Heather — to which I replied, “Seriously, you must be high.” You had to have been a Sin City corpse to not feel the heat between these two characters over the last few years (I’m convinced they’ve done the nasty), though rekindling the old flame was clearly not his motive last night. Gil needed a sympathetic shoulder to cry on regarding his strained relationship with Sara, and Lady Heather said what he needed to hear: that not making a decision is, in effect, making a decision. “I didn’t say our relationship is over,” said a defensive Gil. Then, clearly, he’s alone in this thought or Sara wouldn’t have sent a cheery audio file from Puerto wherever (I futilely tried to Google it; I’ll let you kids figure it out) on which she says “he was right” and “if a relationship can’t move forward, then it withers.” Boy did she look happy and lovely on that slow boat below the equator — a stark contrast to the way she looked when she came back to close the book on Warrick’s death. “For the first time in a really long time, I am happy,” she said, smiling for the computer camera. Uh-oh…did Gil blow it for good? Clearly, this harsh reality is weighing heavily on Gil’s mind, or we wouldn’t have been treated to moments like Gil looking distant while crouching over a corpse with a “hamburger face,” or his missing an important call from dispatch, which resulted in Catherine excoriating him at the scene. Then again, maybe his lack of attention has something to do with his bad hearing; we know that Gil inherited his mother’s otosclerosis and had, in fact, suffered some hearing loss a few seasons back. Surgery seemed to have corrected that. Or did it? Could the character’s health end up playing a key role in Billy Petersen’s departure come January?

Gee, I dug how deftly the producers set up the episode to accommodate Lady Heather’s comeback: the grotesque death of a young man who obviously liked his sex violent and painful. (Pierced nipples. Fried tongues. The only thing worse than this kind of baffling behavior on TV is the fact there are real people out there who enjoy this kind of sexcapade.) Ian Wallace had himself quite a row with a sexy dominatrix before someone tied him to the bottom of an SUV and dragged him to his death. But by the hour’s end, we still didn’t know who was responsible for his murder, much less the fatal (and icky) torching of his innocent girlfriend, Justine. That could mean that we haven’t seen the last of Lady Heather, now a legitimate working girl with a license to perform therapy (“You are not my therapist,” fired back Gil, when asked by Heather whether “she was his secret”). Ultimately, Heather’s home and hearth seems to provide a welcome respite for a dead-tired Gil — though I don’t believe anything diirrrrty happened behind that closed door at the end of the episode. I only pictured Heather lying next to Gil, her arm wrapped around his chest as he drifts off to sleep. Dream of Sara sipping margaritas with her hombres below the equator, big guy; it looks like she’s having the time of her life without you.

A few other moments worth noting from this highly personal episode: Catherine finally acknowledged that she’s aware of Gil’s troubles by asking Al whether his cold and distant behavior was normal. “Grissom being social awkward?” Gil replies. “Yeah, that’s normal.” (In fact, Al had a couple of great lines last night, including one when he was inspecting Ian’s tarred head. “I can see his brains through his nasal cavity. That’s cool.”)

And I have to suspect the producers are setting up a potential love connection between Riley and Greg, judging by the not-so-subtle flirting going on at Ian’s house. But clearly, the highlight was the insight into the Sara-Gil relationship and how it doesn’t appear these two are destined for a happy ending. Being the romantic, I truly jones for these kind of small-screen moments (I still remember the great ER episode when Julianna Margulies’ Carol met George Clooney’s Doug on a small dock somewhere in Seattle, far from the job that had previously taken a toll on their relationship). But it’s not looking like it’s in the cards for these two — and I’m starting to think I’m okay with it.

What was your take on Sara’s video message? Is she really looking like she’s over Grissom? And what do you think of the budding Riley-Greg romance?