CSI: NY Season 7, episode 4: “Sangre por Sangre”
So far season 7 of CSI: NY is off to an amazing start, and this week was no different! Just when you thought the season couldn’t get any better, boy did CSI: NY deliver. Especially with a special guest star of none other than Edward James Olmos! For those of you not familiar with Mr. Olmos’ work, he is most well known for his role as Admiral William Adama in Battlestar Galactica.
This week’s episode started off with a wounded Mac Taylor in a dark and damp building, complete with dripping pipes. He maneuvered his way around, obviously in search of someone. Enter Edward James Olmos. The scene then cuts to Edward James Olmos’ character aiming his gun at Mac Taylor. As he pulls the trigger, the opening credits begin. Talk about a cliff hanger there, and the show just started!
Once the opening credits have rolled, the episode clearly starts from the beginning. Mac is called to a hotel where the leader of the Puerto Rican street gang El Puño, Panthro Torres, is found impaled on the awning of the hotel. As the CSI’s investigate Panthro Torres’ hotel room, they find that Panthro was not alone. On the mirror in the room they find smeared pink lipstick. While investigating they also find two glasses, and a bottle of mescal complete with some kind of crazy looking fish floating in the bottom of the bottle.
Back at the office, Jo Danville has put up photos of all of the El Puño members, while Adam Ross is hard at work investigating the mescal bottle and the fish inside. Sheldon Hawkes comes into Adam’s lab and Adam informs him that the manufacturer does not put anything in the bottle, coming to the conclusion that the bottle has been tampered with.
With all the gang violence going on, Mac Taylor heads out to meet up with a gang leader he put behind bars, Luther Devarro. We come to find out that the man who appeared to be shooting Mac in the opening of the show is Luther. We learn that Luther was arrested and put behind bars by Mac because he had beaten a rival gang member. Before being put in prison, Luther was also the leader of El Puño. Mac talks to Luther, sharing his concern about a possible gang war. He then asks for Luther’s assurance that a gang war is not in the making, but Luther would not make that assurance.
Back at the lab, Lindsay and Danny Messer find that the lipstick print is from a woman named Hazel Ortega. Hazel is now an escort under the name “Purple Hazel”, but used to be a member of El Puño’s rival gang. She was in the hotel with Panthro Torres before he died, so Flack heads out to pick her up for questioning.
Flack finds Hazel Ortega and, as they are driving back to the precinct for questioning, they get shot up because Hazel Ortega had a hit on her. Hazel is taken to the hospital for a gunshot wound in her arm and Flack escaped unschaethed. After the shooting, the team finds out that the ammo shells are labeled with a “P” for El Puño.
At the lab, Adam looks further into the fish found in the mescal bottle. He learns that they are called snakehead fish, also nicknamed “Fishzilla.” While they are illegal in the United States, they do get smuggled in from time to time. He also finds out that they eat their own kind. Do you feel a message or hint coming on?
While the CSI’s continue to investigate, there is a hostage situation at the hospital Hazel Ortega is being treated at. Jo Danville responds and, upon arriving in the hospital ward, she finds that Hazel has taken an officer at gun point. Hazel is still afraid that someone will show up to kill her and she tells Jo that she didn’t kill Panthro. Jo believes her and manages to calm her down. She asks what Hazel saw at the hotel when she was leaving Panthro. Hazel advises that after she was done, she got her things together and left. All she wanted to do was get out of there, she didn’t see anything when she left.
Mac decided to pay another visit to Luther. Luther Devarro is walking down the street with his brother Rick Devarro and gang members Fernando Flores and Lisa Brigosa. Mac tells Luther that he is upset with the increase in violence and about the signature on the ammo shells. Mac also tells Luther that it can’t be a coincidence that he was just released from prison a week before all of the violence began. Luther assures Mac that he also wants to find who is responsible for these deaths.
The CSI’s then realize that the murder of the El Puño gang members is an inside job. Now you get the message from the “Fishzilla” right? They eat their own… So Mac sends the team out to round up the power players in the gang Luther Devarro, Rick Devarro, and Lisa Brigosa. They go to find Luther, Rick, and Lisa and realize they are gone, so they start searching for Fernando Flores.
Mac comes across Fernando Flores as he is leaving the restaurant that El Puno frequents. Fernando sees Mac and takes off running. As Mac begins to chase Fernando, the restaurant explodes with Lisa Brigosa inside. As the CSI’s go through the wreckage, they find the signature mescal bottle with fishzilla, along with two glasses. They also find that the gas line behind one of the stoves was severed and that a molotov cocktail was used to ignite the explosion.
We are then back to Adam Ross who informs Hawkes that he was able to get in contact with a source that told him that a smuggler was just arrested for smuggling in snakehead fish. Adam was told that the smuggler had received a very specific request for three snakehead fish. With two snakeheads already left at the crime scenes, they realize that one more member from El Puño will be targeted, but who?
At the restaurant crime scene, Lindsay finds a palm print on one of the walls. They take part of the wall back to the lab for fingerprint analysis. In the meantime, Mac is called to the precinct by Flack who has Fernando Flores in custody. Fernando tells Flack that he wants to confess, but will only speak with Mac. Meanwhile, Lindsay contacts Mac to tell him that the print they found matches one of the Devarro brothers.
With that information, Mac goes out to search for Luther and Rick Devarro. Both brothers are in their hideout reminiscing when Mac shows up. Rick pulls his gun on Mac and Mac tells him that he is pulling his gun on the wrong person. Rick voices his confusion and Mac tells him that they found Luther’s print behind the stove at the restaurant and that Luther is the one that has been killing the El Puño members.
Luther comes out and says that he is upset about what El Puño has become in his absense. Luther then opens fire. Mac gets shot, as does Rick Devarro. Luther than takes off running, with Mac right behind him after calling for backup. When Mac catches up with Luther, Luther explains that El Puño has become all about drugs, guns, and money in his absense. When he started the gang, it was all about protecting your neighborhood and your “family.” Now El Puño is just a criminal enterprise. He goes on to say that when he was in prison, other prisoner’s would come over and show him respect because El Puño was becoming one of the most feared and violent gangs in New York. Mac tells Luther that they are aiming for the same goal, that they both want the violence to end.
As Luther is saying that it all ends here and that he will end the violence, everything goes back to the starting scene of the episode. Rick Devarro enters the room and we see Luther aim his gun at and shoot his own brother. In the crossfire, it becomes apparent that Luther has also been shot and he drops to the ground. Mac walks over to Luther and prepares to call for medical assistance, but Luther tells Mac not to. As Luther is dying, he tells Mac that, “He started this, and it all ends here. He just wanted to make things right.”
And that is where the episode ends. I’ve read a some other re-caps that have been on the fence about this episode, but I thought it was rather fantastic. It’s not every day that you get to see such a well rounded episode from both the “good guys” and “bad guys.” So I hope that you all enjoyed this week’s episode and re-cap. Tune in every Friday for more CSI: NY on CBS at 9/8 central.