Harvest is the fourteenth episode of the second season. It was released on 27 January 2006.
A crime scene drenched in blood leads the team to a form of human trafficking, and Amita to her family history, with a glimpse of what might have been.
Charlie, Amita, Alan, and Larry are at the LA Symposium’s closing event where the Milton Prize is given out. The speaker calls Charlie, a past winner, to present the award. Alan is surprised that Charlie won before. Charlie says in his brief speech that he knows the winner personally – it’s Amita. She is taken aback.
The same night Don and David are responding to a tip about suspicious activity in a basement. They enter a hotel and the staff member they talk to is confused about the tip, but takes them to the basement. They go to a storage room where they find a lot of ice, a lot blood, and a car battery. They hear a noise in an adjoining room and investigate. There is a scared woman hiding.
At the FBI Megan is with the woman who isn’t speaking. David and Colby suspect somebody was being tortured. Don sends the boys to the hotel to and Megan tells him about the woman. Charlie and Amita arrive to give them the news about the Milton Prize. The woman starts talking to Amita in Tamil through the glass. They see crime scene photos and Charlie offers his help. Amita is preoccupied with the woman. She tells Don and Megan that she thinks the woman asked for help and Megan takes Amita in to see her. She doesn’t remember a lot of the language, but thinks she also said something about a sister. Megan leaves to get a translator and Amita stays with the woman. She finds out the woman’s name is Santi.
At the crime scene David talks to the night manager, Michale Tolchuck, who doesn’t know anything about what happened. Colby figures out that the ice isn’t from the hotel as they don’t match the type of ice found at the scene. The manager says that the room should have been locked as they don’t use it anymore. They get a schedule of the deliveries to the hotel to see if somebody could have smuggled anybody or anything in or out of the hotel.
Charlie and Larry are working on the ice problem in the dining room. They have found a time frame for when the crime happened. David and Colby talk to the baker that delivers baked goods to the hotel. The baker saw a private ambulance there the morning before when the ice and any potential victims would have been arriving.
Megan is working with a tech to go through the 911 logs. Don comes in for an update. They haven’t found anything so he sends Megan to talk to the ERs directly. She talks to Dr Jenloe at University Hospital who treated a young Jane Doe with extensive injuries the night before. The young woman didn’t survive them though. Her kidney had been removed. The blood at the scene matches the dead woman. They’re now looking for somebody harvesting organs. David didn’t think it was real, but Colby has seen people that have done it before when he was in Afghanistan. The people that do this were nicknamed ‘transplant tourists’ and get a lot of money for it. They look into the transplant list.
Megan and Amita go to see Santi. She’s staying at a local lockup. She’s not under arrest, but it was the only place they had available at the time. She asks about Prita, her sister, and Megan shows her a picture of the woman. It’s not her sister though, it’s a woman named Sonali. There were four of them there to sell a kidney each. She tells them about how they got to America, but can’t tell them who she talked to in her village, just that he was from Chennai, the large city near them. They were staying in a room at the hotel while waiting for the procedure for four days before they were taken to the basement. Santi was next after Sonali. Something went wrong and Santi ran. She didn’t know what to do so she went back for her sister, but they weren’t there. Prita and the other girl are still missing. Don sends Colby to get David so they can talk to the night manager again as he was clearly holding out on them. David found out that Benjamin Riley, who was waiting for a kidney, took himself off the list and is now in ICU with complications from a kidney transplant.
Megan goes to talk with Dr Bainsworth with a hospital lawyer. He finds out that a woman was killed and from a village near Chennai. Bainsworth tells them that he’s not surprised she was from there as a lot of donors are taken from that area. Megan wants to talk to Riley, but he’s in no condition to talk to her so she gets his medical file instead.
The night manager quit his job and ran after David and Colby talked to him earlier. They have no leads as there wasn’t even a 911 call for the ambulance to arrive. Colby realises that the driver had to have been in on it.
At CalSci Charlie and Amita talk about Santi. Amita doesn’t really see any similarities to her outside of their families being from the same area. She grew up in California, not India, and lost touch with her cultural heritage when she was a kid so she wouldn’t be teased by her classmates. She rejected her family’s past. She wants to help Santi, but doesn’t know how. Charlie suggests she talk to her grandmother. She kisses him, thanks him, and runs out of his office.
David and Colby follow up on the ambulance lead. The driver returns to the garage just as they’re talking to his manager. He sees them and speeds off. They chase after him calling it in for backup. The driver crashes into a cab and flips the ambulance. The driver appears to be dead on impact.
Amita meets with Santi again, Charlie in tow. She just wants to visit with her. Charlie gets a call and has to rush off. Amita is fine with being left alone with her. Amita gives her some necessities (clothes, shampoo, etc.). They talk about what Amita does and Santi says that she liked school when she went. Amita also gives her some items that her grandmother gave her as a touch of home. David and Colby are going over the ambulance logs for the driver. It turns out Colby called Charlie for his help with the log book. Charlie has a way he can help.
Don arrives at the Eppes’ house. Alan is home. They talk about the case. Alan tells Don that he was even willing to give up his kidney to a friend if he had matched. He gives Don some insight that he didn’t have before on organ donation. In the garage Charlie and Larry are working on the driver’s log. They find that University General (the hospital that Sonali was taken to) had the most unrecorded stops for him. They suppose the driver had a contact there. David and Colby follow up. The morgue attendant doesn’t really know the driver, but does know Tolchuck another morgue attendant. David sees that there are five bodies in the morgue when there’s only paperwork for four. She looks to be one of the four that were brought over for their organs. Don and Megan talk to the coroner. Megan confirms it’s not Prita. They decide to look into potential matches between Prita and the donor list.
The women had given blood to test them against potential matches. They run Santi’s results in hopes that the 25% chance that they would match each other pans out. No matches are found. Amita is upset. Megan joins Charlie, Amita, and Larry with a list of clients that Tolchuck had. She and Don go and follow up with Kenneth Eckworth and his daughter to see if he knows anything about buying black market organs. They decide to talk to the daughter later when she’s not with her father. Megan finds out that he has a blood disorder that stops him from being on the recipient list. She gives them a location. Tolchuck is about to cut into Prita when the team stops him.
Amita goes to see Santi, this time with Prita. At the Eppes’ house Amita has bought the Eppes family and Larry Indian food for dinner after recommendations from her grandmother. She has decided to use her prize money to pay for Santi and Prita to go back to school and for a trip to India with her grandmother. Don comes in getting his donor card. Everybody except Charlie has their donor card because he kind of wants to keep his organs. The group teases him as he puts the donor sticker on his license.
This refers not to vegetables and fruits, but to organ harvesting and the black market it supports.
David Krumholtz played a psychotic young man in an episode of ER in which he attacked people because he thought that someone wanted to take his internal organs. In this episode, Larry recounts a recurring dream of someone wanting to take his internal organs, and at the end, Charlie is reluctant to sign a donor card because he wants to "hang on to his internal organs." Lots of "internal organs" references.
Charlie's birthday, according to his driver's license, is September 5, 1975.
[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 90,582 waiting list, $75,000 brokerage fee, 8,977 miles from home, 2 sisters