On Survivor, you watch the scenes, gather up the clues, and at the end, someone is, shall we say, “offed.” On CSI, the process is reversed: someone meets his/her demise at the beginning, we get to look back at the clues, and in the end, we find out who did it, as well as how and why.
The episode of the forensic drama which followed the showing of Courtney’s ouster opened with a wedding scene, with the bride and groom riding in a convertible and waving to everyone. The kicker was, it soon became apparent to everyone that tied to the car was not a dummy, but rather, the body of the groom’s mother.
As with all episodes of CSI, and its namesakes, the solution to the case was very complex and detailed (for those of you who haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it). Similarly, the plot to oust Courtney was perhaps the most complex to ever actually be pulled off. Let’s see how this might play out if it were an episode of CSI.
First of all, there are five suspects. Which of them had motive, and most of all, opportunity? The investigative team could go back and look at last episode’s reward challenge to see who voted Courtney most annoying. Problem is, that doesn’t do anything to narrow the field down. So you have to start looking at the players on an individual basis.
Let’s start with Shane. He’s already had a couple of previous run-ins with Courtney, and even wanted out of an alliance with her. Then, we see in flashbacks how Courtney cut his rope twice in the previous episode’s reward challenge. Maybe she even did yoga while perched on top of his stump, and used his blackberry without permission.
And just what WAS Shane doing with that blackberry? Maybe he was hatching an elaborate plot to get rid of the fire dancer. He points out that he didn’t actually vote for her, but the investigators note that maybe he directed others to vote her out and then himself voted Danielle, so he could honestly tell Courtney, should he make final two, that he didn’t vote for her. But then the investigators realize that Shane probably couldn’t beat anybody BUT Courtney in the final two, and he knows this, so he’s eliminated as a suspect.
What about Terry? Maybe we’d see in flashbacks how he overheard Courtney commenting how she thought she could beat him, and that would obviously give him motive. Plus, she was the runner-up in the immunity challenge and almost forced him to make use of the immunity idol come Tribal Council. Maybe he saw her as perhaps tougher competition than Aras and wanted her gone. But then we see how he actually voted for Aras, and we note the surprised look on his face when Courtney was booted, so he’s now in the clear.
But wait, there’s a twist: We find out Bruce is also a suspect. Was he really sick, or did he plot with the producers and an actor posing as medical personnel to take him out of the game so he could plot against Courtney? We see clips of him expressing disgust with the way she did yoga in his rock garden. But in the end, he really was ill, and the only thing he wanted to destroy was whatever was blocking his insides.
Then there’s Danielle. She and Courtney have been pretty close most of the game, and tribemates since day one. But we see flashbacks of her talking to Terry, who says he wants to be with the two of them in the final three. Danielle tells the fighter pilot she doesn’t want to settle for third, and knows Terry probably has a better chance against Courtney than herself.
To compound the case against Danielle, we see Courtney become aggravated when Danielle insinuates someone could be getting a free ride to the finals, and Courtney isn’t exactly shy about letting Danielle know how she feels. We even see how Danielle actually voted Courtney at final Tribal Council, so she’s still a suspect.
Then there’s Aras, the biggest target in the game besides Terry, and quite possibly the next to go. He has motive, as Courtney was part of the threesome that sent him to Exile Island. She also outlasted him during the immunity challenge, so he has reason to see her as a threat. In the end, he too voted for Courtney, so like Danielle, he remains a suspect.
Finally we come to Cirie. We see clips of Danielle talking to Cirie about the two of them, plus Courtney and Terry in the final four. But Cirie says she’s no dummy; she knows that if she goes along with this, she’ll be the first one of the four ousted, and doesn’t like the idea of handing second place to Courtney. We see her say she wants Courtney gone yesterday. We also see the vote she cast against Courtney, as well as the smile on her face when Courtney was gone.
Finally, we see how it all unfolded: Cirie let Courtney think the two of them plus Danielle and Terry are voting Aras. Then she made Shane think the two of them plus Aras and Courtney were voting Danielle. Terry, meanwhile, thought he, Danielle, and Courtney were all voting for Aras.
Then, in the climactic scene, we see Cirie discussing her elaborate plan with Danielle and Aras: The three of them would vote Courtney; Terry and Courtney, thinking Danielle was with them, would vote Aras; and Shane, thinking Aras, Courtney, and Cirie were with him, would vote Danielle. And as we now know, this actually went off as planned, without a hitch, at least where Cirie was concerned.