The two-part season five finale “Grave Danger” saw Nick trapped in a horrific situation while the rest of the CSI crew engaged in a high-voltage, desperate race to save him. Regularly making Best of ‘CSI’ lists, Grave Danger Parts I and II are notable for being directed and co-written by Hollywood legend Quentin Tarantino and starring legendary actor Tony Curtis.
While investigating a crime scene, Nick is caught from behind and knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he finds himself buried in a glass coffin with a gun, some glowsticks, and a tape recorder. The tape plays a spooky message informing Nick that “you’re going to die here” and offering him a chance to end things quickly by using the gun on himself. Back at the lab, the team receives an anonymous courier package containing a flash drive with a ransom note and a link to a live video feed from Nick. Grissom struggles to make the million dollar ransom payment while a terrified Nick’s air supply runs out, but the trail goes cold when the kidnapper detonates a suicide vest without revealing Nick’s whereabouts. In the coffin, Nick experiences a range of emotions from pure panic to despair, even holding the gun to his head for a moment. The “CSI” team uses all their investigative skills to race against the clock and finally save Nick at the last moment.
Playing on the universal fear of being buried alive, along with Nick’s characteristic tendency to be emotionally swayed by the cases he works on, Grave Danger is a harrowing ordeal for the character and the audience. A heart-pounding “CSI” episode for Nick fans, George Eads was forced to demonstrate a range of heightened emotions under difficult physical conditions, making it one of the most memorable Nick stories of his entire “CSI” tenure.