Apr 292022
 

Aired April 7, 2011 IMDB

“Unleashed” is the first Lady Heather episode without William Peterson as Gil Grissom, after the actor’s departure from the show. It also retreads some of the same ground as the notorious “Fur and Loathing in Las Vegas” episode (to be discussed). 

This time, the dead body is a woman in a leotard who got mauled to death by a mountain lion in the woods. The woman shows signs of having been beaten and restrained. 

Further examination reveals feline dental prosthetics and signs of being hit by a stun gun. ID’d as Iona Vail, who ran a battered women’s shelter. The co-manager of the shelter, Debra, says Iona left weeks ago.

Examining the victim’s address book reveals she was seeing “Dr. K”, which turns out to be Dr. Heather Kessler, formerly “Lady Heather”. She now has a PhD, a certificate in sex therapy, and an office that shows her taste for Victorian furnishings. 

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Apr 272022
 

CSI S09E05 “Leave Out All The Rest” IMDB Aired November 6, 2008

The discovery of a dead body (what else?) with the marks of S&M leads Grissom back to Heather Kessler. 

In this case, it’s a set of markings from needle play around the man’s nipples, out of place next to all the corpse’s other injuries. 

Grissom: “S and M?”

Willows: “Gone very, very wrong.”

ME: “These stab wounds are brutal, random and postmortem”, 

Willows: “Which is inconsistent with S&M.”

ME: “Well, it’s hard to take pleasure in someone’s pain once they’re dead.”

Willows: “Which is the ‘gone wrong’ part.”

After the low point of the last episode, in which Heather was offering herself up to be murdered for money to provide for her grand-daughter, she’s somewhat recovered. No longer a dominatrix, she’s finished a Masters in psychology and is a practising therapist. 

Heather’s transition to therapist from dominatrix who acts like a therapist makes a degree of sense. It’s consistent with the trope of pro-dominatrix-as-caregiver that turns up so often in mainstream media. (E.g. Going Under, Personal Services). It further desexualizes an already desexualized character. In this episode, Grissom is grieving his beakup with Sara Sidle, and his emotionally stunted interactions with Heather are with her as a caregiver, not a lover.

Also note that after being much more mobile and active in the previous two episodes, Heather reverts to being stationary in her home. 

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Apr 152022
 

“The Good, the Bad and the Dominatrix” Aired May 10, 2007, IMDB

In Lady Heather’s previous appearance, we learn that her deceased daughter Zoe may have had a child. The fourth Lady Heather episode follows up on that plot thread. 

This time, Lady Heather meets an unknown person in a Wild West theme park. The man strangles her, and she passes out. The night watchmen finds her unconscious and calls the police. 

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Apr 132022
 

“Pirates of the Third Reich” aired February 9, 2006, IMDB

Jerry Stahl returns as co-writer for the third chapter in the Lady Heather saga. The director, Richard J Lewis, also directed “Lady Heather’s Box”.

“Slaves of Las Vegas” normalized Lady Heather in her conversation with Catherine Willows, as a business owner, career woman, and single mother. This episode throws that into ruin. Zoe Kessler, said to be going to Harvard in Lady Heather’s first episode, is found dead in the desert: emaciated, poisoned, shaved bald, branded with a number, and missing her hand. This marks the fifth person in Lady Heather’s immediate circle who is murdered.

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Apr 122022
 

IMDB Aired February 13, 2003

Melinda Clarke returns as Lady Heather. (Also features a cameo of Elizabeth Berkley of Showgirls infamy.) Note that this episode’s story was co-written by Josh Berman, who also wrote the episode of Bones focusing on ponyplay, “Death in the Saddle” (S03E03).

A pair of male sex workers murdered by injections of insulin lead the CSI team back to Lady Heather’s house. It appears they got the same house for interiors and exteriors as the previous episode

Just as before, Lady Heather is completely cooperative with the authorities, and readily acknowledges the men were on her payroll. It isn’t clear what they did, however. Also, the staff and clients are completely unconcerned with police officers walking around. 

Detective Brass astutely points out that these are the second and third people in Lady Heather’s employ to end up dead in suspicious circumstances. 

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Apr 042022
 

IMDB Aired November 15, 2001. 

Co-writer Jerry Stahl also wrote the notorious CSI episodes “Fur and Loathing in Las Vegas” (2003) (dealing with furry culture) and “King Baby” (2005) (dealing with infantilism). He also co-wrote the screenplays for the cult porn films Nightdreams (1981) and Café Flesh (1982), under the pseudonym Herbert W. Day. 

Melinda Clarke makes her first appearance as Lady Heather. She also played a brothel madam in the Firefly episode “Heart of Gold” (2003) and the body-modified zombie lead of Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993).

As so many of these types of episodes, it begins with the discovery of a dead sex worker. In this case, it’s a nude young woman found buried in a sandbox. Also typical, the victim’s body is treated as a puzzle to be solved that will lead to the discovery of their true identity. 

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Jan 112022
 

Episode S03E02 “When the Battle is Over” Aired 22 Sep 2017

Jiz Lee returns as Pony, having regular domination sessions with Sarah.

Sara struggles with joining the board of her Jewish temple, and says some slut-shaming things about her ex-husband’s Millennial girlfriend. She’s insecure about being a wife and mother with her ex-husband in all ways except sexually.

In session with Pony, Sara is miles away. She’s on a St. Andrew’s cross, in her underwear, being spanked by Pony, rambling about flyers for her temple. Shot of her face in the cross. 

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Jan 032022
 

Transparent Episode S02E09 “Man on the Land”, aired Dec 11, 2015. 

In this episode, mainly set at a women’s festival in the woods, Maura, a transwoman, has a difficult experience when she finds that the festival is supposed to be for “women-born-women” only, and her adult daughter Sarah hooks up with a kinky woman named Pony (played by Jiz Lee). 

Pony (Jiz Lee) meets with Sarah (Amy Landecker)
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Dec 122021
 

Shooting of season 5 of Billions was interrupted by COVID, and the second half of the season didn’t air until 2021. Of the various plot threads picked up, the only one that concerns us is Chuck’s sex life. We last saw him involved with the sexually adventurous Cat, but as of S05E08 “Copenhagen”, it’s over.

Chuck: “I liked it. Of course I liked it. Give me pistachio ice cream, I’ll eat it and smile, as Diamond David Lee Roth would say. But it was uncomfortable. Just too many limbs. Too many questions. Oh, what to do? Give me rum raisin, on the other hand, I’ll inhale the whole point and root around the fridge to find another one. Then that’s what I was missing.”

Other guy: “Cat seems pretty liberated. Have you broached the subject of what you really want?”

Chuck: “As you said, she’s smart and she’s sensitive and she saw, she saw that it would never work, not all the for me, not without, you know… [clicks tongue] And so she said something along the lines of, ‘We’ll always have Paris.’ Only the words she used were harsher, and all about wasting her time.”

Earlier seasons of Billions made Chuck’s masochism a major part of both his personality and his relationship with Wendy. Now it’s been demoted to the same importance as his taste in ice cream. Apart from snide comments from other people, Chuck’s sex life doesn’t come up again.

Note that trailers for season 6 suggest that Chuck will continue to practice kink and he may even see Troy the pro-domme again.

Nov 232021
 

“Twenty-Five Acts”, aired October 10, 2012 IMDB

The Law & Order franchise often fictionalizes real-world events. In this case, it alludes to the publication and popularity of the Fifty Shades trilogy, in an episode aired only 6 months after the trilogy was re-released by Vintage. (FSOG was first published May 25, 2011 by Writers Coffee Shop, and the trilogy was re-released by Vintage in April 2012.)

I thought that this episode also referenced the case of Jian Ghomeshi, a Persian-Canadian radio host and interviewer who allegedly strangled his girlfriend and excused it as consensual BDSM. However, in an odd moment of life imitating art, I found that this episode actually aired 2 years before the allegations about Ghomeshi went public in 2014. 

The author of the hot new erotic novel Twenty-Five Acts, Jocelyn Paley, appears on a talk show. The host, Adam Cain, meets her for dinner, and she secretly gives him her panties under the table. They go back to his place. After some sex she initiates, he crosses the line, throws her on the bed and chokes her with a belt.

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