CSI: NY has from the get go, said it was going to be the more relationship/character oriented of the CSIs. This episode is definitely an example of that.
Anna came back from maternity leave in this episode, in which Lindsay testifies in multiple homicide trial against the murderer of 4 of her friends. I truly missed Lindsay while she was gone, she certainly brings something different to the show.
I hadn’t thought they would start with the Montana scenes so early in the episode; however, I’m glad they did, otherwise, it would have seemed as if they had just tacked it on to the episode.
We open in Montana with Lindsay, on the phone with Stella, talking about how weird it is: she’d always testified there as an expert, not a witness. We see more of Lindsay’s and Stella’s relationship, the older sister/younger sister type. Stella gives Lindsay advice on testifying. In the middle of Stella’s advice, Lindsay spots Daniel, the killer, and is clearly spooked, so much so that she can’t pay attention to Stella’s advice. At the end of the call, she asks Stella to say hello to everyone for her. It’s refreshing to see that Stella obviously harbors no resentment towards Lindsay after the events in “Silent Night.” She’s clearly worried about Lindsay, and shares the concern with Danny.
Lindsay, on the first day of testimony, becomes upset while recounting the events, and struggles to hold it together. However, she eventually becomes so upset that she asks to stop. I think Lindsay is afraid to look weak in front of people. I don’t think Lindsay wanted to break down, for if she had, she wouldn’t have asked to stop.
Anna’s acting was spot on: I wanted to cry as Lindsay was giving her testimony. As hard as I imagine it would be to cry realistically, I would imagine it’s even harder to realistically go to the point right before crying, but not, and Anna has done both of these. Anna Belknap deserves an award for her performance in this episode as well as “Silent Night.” (Unfortunately, as long as she’s on this show, her acting skills will never be recognized by the award committees, which goes the same for all of the actors on the show.)
The past explains a lot of the questions we’ve had about Lindsay on certain cases. For example, in “Stealing Home,” Lindsay is obsessed with wanting to know why Vackner killed. I believe part is due to the fact that Lindsay never really got an explanation for why her friends were killed (although it seems that it may have been totally random), but also, as pointed out by sugah on DLC, the victim in that case was named Sara, as was the cashier in the homicide in Montana. In addition, smee (also on DLC) pointed out how the positioning of Carensa Sanders (Oedipus Hex) was similar to that of Sara: it is also similar to that of the vics in Manhattan Madhunt. In the commentaries on the S2 DVDs, it is mentioned about Lindsay’s discomfort while listening to the 911 calls. We find out that Lindsay herself has called 911, and at the end of her testimony, hear the younger Lindsay, terrified, talking to an operator about the murders. In addition, we get a maor reason for why Lindsay would have pulled away from Danny, the murderer was named Daniel, and I would bet, given that Lindsay said in “The Lying Game” that she got a call, in which she learned the suspects name, a few months earlier, that it happened right before the events of “Love Run Cold.” The killer’s name cannot be a coincidence: I have no doubts they chose that name carefully.
I don’t know who they cast to play Daniel Katums; however, I do give major props to the casting department for it. Without even saying a single word, he was able to portray a creepy killer. Did anyone else think he was laughing when Lindsay broke down in the courtroom? He is found guilty of murder in the first degree. I don’t think this could have ended in any other way: to find him not guilty would leave the story open, and it’s just not needed.
I like the Danny/Lindsay relationship, so I certainly liked those parts of the episode. Danny goes to Montana to support Lindsay during the trial, and Lindsay gains needed strength to continue her testimony when he walks into the courtroom. (I’ve heard the complaints about the timeline not being realistic. My question back: Do you expect a realistic timeline from a show in which they solve murders in one day?) From the testimony, he learns why Lindsay would have pulled back. Will Lindsay ever completely get over the trauma? No. However, she will begin to move on, and the trauma will not, and shouldn’t be, as at the forefront as it has been lately. At the end of the episode, we see Lindsay beginning to move on: with Danny. In fact, Lindsay makes the moves, rather than Danny (while Danny made a huge move by going in the first place). Although they do get interrupted by reporters… (I did have to wonder what Anna’s husband thought when he saw that scene!) Danny and Lindsay don’t say a single word on screen to each other; however, Carmine and Anna have great chemistry, and can get much across without words.
It is somewhat reminiscent of “Run Silent, Run Deep,” where Lindsay supports Danny by taking the results to him first, rather than following protocol and going straight to Mac. Lastly, she was sort of “sent off” with hugs from Mac and Stella, and welcomed back to NY with a hug from Danny, completing a circle.
The fact that this relationship was not only in the sweeps period, but also at the very end of sweeps immediately before a hiatus is important: major storylines tend to be introduced in such periods. Also, I think the entire franchise is trying to become more relationship oriented, also to help compete with other shows. The other thing is that the network was so tight lipped about it, not even hinting at it in the official press release: stuff like that tends to be large stories.
The case back in NY involved a twisted magician. Mac was clearly not impressed with him, or any of the other tricks, making sure to point out the science behind the tricks. He also allows Danny to set him on fire to prove a point, as well as performs his own trick for Stella and Danny, giving a flower to Stella.
Luke Blade has fetal alcohol syndrome (a first for the CSI show). However, I’m not sure I buy that he couldn’t reason from cause to effect. He seemed pretty cognizant of the fact that Sylvia was going to die as a result of his “illusion” with the tank. My other problem with giving Luke sympathy is that these murders were not accidental. They involved major forethought, careful planning, and even getting others to cover for him.
Luke Blade’s past has some strong parallels to Stella’s past. And I think this is what prevents Stella from being very sympathetic towards Luke. Not that we really ever see much sympathy for the killers on CSI anyway. However, in “Til Death do we Part,” we learned that Stella lived in an orphanage until she was 18, and feels that you can’t blame anything on such circumstances as that (incidentally, also with a perp who was in the foster system). To Stella (and to me), as bad as Luke’s situation is, he still has the responsibility to choose his path for himself.
I mentioned that seemed a bit off last week, like he was tired. He was even more so this week, hallucinating that he saw Lindsay in the lab, when it was actually a random tech. His lack of sleep gave some funny lines,
Stella: They say burning is the worst way to die.
Danny: I love that, how do they know, do they take a poll. 65% of dead people…
Both Mac and Stella notice his need for sleep, and Mac finally tells him to go home, and Danny can’t argue. I can’t blame Danny for getting a little whiny, for it seems that he was working almost 48 hours without sleep. Come on, even medical residents can get more sleep than that! I’d hope that in the real world CSIs wouldn’t be allowed to work that many hours straight. Being as also in the real world, they don’t solve murders in only one or two days.
Sid also seemed tired in this episode; maybe he was coming up at the end of a long night shift or something. I know he was in anaphylactic shock last week, but I’d be surprised if the effects went that long.
Yet again, Hawkes was shafted on screentime. However, he and Flack certainly had the funniest conversation of the episode, in the magic shop, about DNA, RNA and Houdini. Flack talks about the fascinating influence of Houdini on mob language: Hawkes is not excited, so Flack asks if he could talk about the differences between RNA and DNA: that it would be more interesting. Hawkes begins trying to convince him that it is, when the shop owner comes out with the magic kit, and tells them that he doesn’t want them “pulling a Houdini” on them. Flack, earlier in the scene, also asks the store owner if he has a way reduce his caseload.
I did have to laugh about Stella visiting the “knowhivaids.org” website.
Indecent Exposure- Stella: Come on. This was the LOWEST cut shirt all season, and beyond simply being unprofessional. Honestly, Stella’s chest got more screentime than Hawkes.
Overall Verdict: This episode was one of the best episodes of the series. It involved both an interesting case as well as some major character development for two different characters. I wonder if they might could have done a better job at casting the younger version of Lindsay- they didn’t really look similar, and it’s not just in the hair.
Note: I know I haven’t replied to comments before, and I’m going to make an effort to start doing so. However, I do sometimes get caught up with other issues, which makes it hard sometimes.