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The Nick Stokes Scene That Went Too Far On CSI

As a fiber specialist and OG member of CSI crew, Nick Stokes (George Eades) went through the wringer in Las Vegas. Present for the show's entire 15-season run, he nailed the art of crouching around dead bodies while hyper-stylized reenactments took place, and he looked cool doing it. Nevertheless, some cases undoubtedly left a mark on Stokes, with one in particular going down as one of the show's most beloved moments ... that is, if you like that sort of thing, as all of us "CSI"-loving sickos apparently do.

"Grave Danger" was a two-part storyline in the show's fifth season, guest directed by a die-hard fan, Quentin Tarantino. It saw Stokes at the center of a deadly race against time after being kidnapped and buried alive in a coffin with time and air running out. With only a loaded gun to keep him company, Stokes' attacker gives him a choice to either wait it out for his last puff of air or finish himself off altogether. Thankfully, his colleagues managed to get to him in time, but not before he battled with his sanity throughout his close dance with death. 

Of course, as if being buried alive wasn't bad enough, Stokes' quiet time came with one particular highlight (if you can call it that), which added a hefty layer of nightmare fuel to an already traumatic time: As the countdown continued, he had to endure an unexpected bit of company that guaranteed a ... well, let's just say "skin-crawling" experience.

The fire ants in Grave Danger pushed Stokes and audiences over the edge

Being buried alive is bad enough, but if there's one thing that could make it even worse, it would be getting an army of fire ants in your coffin, arriving to turn up the heat. 

Stokes encounters precisely this issue when — after shooting out the lights in the coffin he's buried in — a swarm of the aforementioned creepy crawlies begins to tumble in and flood it, attacking him as they do so. While it might be a blessing in disguise that this helps the team determine Nick's whereabouts (they're present in only two nurseries in Nevada), it doesn't help the poor captured CSI member handle the situation any better.

The ants fiercely nibble on their new neighbor, which causes Nick to go into shock and even hallucinate his own autopsy. The whole sequence is incredibly traumatic and intense, given how close the team is to finding him and how close he is to running out of air. Given this cocktail of chaos he's forced to endure, the ant attack in "Grave Danger" isn't just one of Nick's most testing scenes in the series, but one that stands as a series highlight in regard to pushing the bar further than it had ever gone before. Not bad for a guy who eventually became the team's resident "bug guy" in the show's twelfth season.