CSI: New York: Season 3 Part 2 Review
Lindsay and Danny wake up together in bed in this half-season. In any other series within the CSI franchise, this would be big news. It might, like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, be held out to us as an end-of-season treat, like the dressing-gown-and-Hawaiin-shirt moment that ended season six. It could, like CSI: Miami, end with every woman that Horatio Caine has ever expressed an interest in dead. Were he not so closely involved with the Miami Dade PD, someone, though not the hopelessly dim Frank, would have sprung him as a serial killer and discovered half-a-dozen young girls in his basement, all of them dressed in their underwear the skinds of past Mrs Caines. Or, worse, this relationship could have resembled the interminable footling about between Warwick and Catherine that lasted for five years without either of them doing so much as sharing a kiss. It took one of them to get married to someone else to drag that nonsense to an end.
Instead, Danny and Lindsay wake up in bed together in the opening minutes of Snow Day and not very much is made of it. They're grown-ups and that's what grown-ups do...sleep with one another. Unfortunately, in my own case, not quite enough but Danny and Lindsay are both attractive and are clearly very fond of one another so it's not surprising how things turn out between them. And that's just one of the many moments that leave this as the second half of the best season out of any of the CSI shows.
This half-season still offers the viewer the frequent scenes of gore and bloodshed that's the trademark of CSI: New York. It is, by a country mile, the most bloody of the three shows. There are also some completely mad storylines, including one with a murdering double of John McEnroe, who appears as himself and, with a prosthetic nose, a killer. But where CSI: New York stands head and shoulders above its two brothers, Las Vegas and Miami, is with a cast of likeable characters, a run of good storylines and the kind of everyday situations that wouldn't be at all remarkable anywhere other than CSI. Flack and Danny, for example, go for a beer and to shoot pool. Sid does a crossword while standing outside of the CSI offices and offers to buy Peyton a coffee. Mac and Peyton arrive together at a crime scene and make nothing of it. After seven years of watching the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation lot bumbling around one another, it's quite the turn up.
However, better comes with the stories that drive the second half of this third season, chief amongst them one in which Mac is suspected of murdering a serial killer, after which Internal Affairs, driven by politics within the police department, launch an investigation. He's on the front page of every New York paper and is without a witness. Flack, at the time, was several stories below, his arrival interrupted by the killer's body crashing through the windscreen of his squad car of Mac staring down at the bloody scene below. The action plays out from several points of view, including one with Mac as cold-blooded killer, with it not being until near the end of the season that the story is resolved. Elsewhere, Stella picks up a sharps injury from a piece of glass stained with HIV-infected blood, Lindsay takes a break from New York to return home to testify against a man accused of killing four of her friends and Sid, in amongst his typical sexually-frank banter, eats something that disagrees with him and almost dies of anaphylactic shock.
For most viewers, the highlight of the season remains the relationship between Mac and Peyton and it ends in style with a gang of Irish terrorists storming the CSI building in search of their weapons and 900kg of cocaine. Danny (and Adam) is being held hostage by the terrorists at their hideout, Mac has remained within the CSI building to prevent the raid being a success while, separated, Peyton and Lindsay wait for news. It's a terrific end to the season and one of the strongest episodes of CSI: New York. However, my own personal favourite comes at the end of the episode before, ...Comes Around, with Mac being joined by Stella for a coffee and for her to remind him, after the investigation into the death of Clay Dobson, why it was they first joined the police. Like old friends, they walk off, Stella touching Mac lightly on the shoulder as if to say it'll be alright. No other CSI could do that moment justice and only a few other television shows would do it so naturally and without fuss but CSI: New York carries it off. It's just one example of why I like this one show so much but, like this entire season, it's a good one.
Obsession: It's snowing in New York and a gang of kids are playing football. But when the a stray forward pass crashes in through an apartment window, the kids scarper, running from the sight of blood on the body within. "You've killed someone, Bryce!" As they run through Central Park, the snow barely has time to cover their footprints before a guy dressed only in shorts rolls down the hill in a shopping trolley, his body as cold as the snow falling on the park.
The Lying Game: "What's a woman doing in the men's bathroom?" "Oh...I could think of a few reasons, all with happier endings!" Stella and Flack are investigating the death of a showgirl in a hotel, with her body having been discovered in a stall in the toilets. No ID, no purse and no handbag...but with suspiciously large feet and hands. "Better make that a John Doe!" Flack tells the CSIs. Meanwhile, Danny and Mac check out the find of a body in a salt sprayer while Lindsay goes back to Montona as witness in the trial of a man who killed four of her friends.
Some Buried Bones: The discovery of a body in a maze suggests a cult murder. The stab wound in his back came from a statue in the grounds while that which severed his carotid artery was as a result of an absinthe spoon, etched into which is a map through the maze. Hallucinogenics, a fountain pen filled with blood and radioactive isotopes lead Mac to a secret society, the Kings And Shadows, who would do anything to remain secret. Meanwhile, Stella and Danny look into the criminal world's take on a personal shopper...a personal shoplifter.
Heart of Glass: Mac and Peyton arrive at the scene of the murder of a young woman found dead in a bathtub. The water's still warm and she's bathing in red roses. The note written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror suggests she was expecting company but there's no clear cause of death. But Danny is more concerned about Mac and Peyton. "Am I the last to know?" Meanwhile, Stellas investigate the death of a music executive who, contrary to the glamourous life of his business, lives quietly at home with his sister. In amongst the shattered glass and bloodstains, Stella picks up a sharps injury...only that the victim, whose blood smears the apartment, is HIV positive.
The Ride-In: Danny arrives at a crime scene to find that Mac and Flack are already there. The body is cold but is surrounded by dollar bills and in an apartment on which are written passages from the Bible and the Qu'ran. But Mac tells him to save his film. Outside the apartment sits a boat, built of wood and containing not only two animals of every kind but eight people who claim, in spite of it not having rained for eight days, that the flood is coming. "Our boy had some serious end of the world issues!" Meanwhile, Hawkes and Stella investigate the death of a man dressed as a giant cigarette, last seen running through the streets of New York on fire.
Sleight Out Of Hand: On the same night that street magician Luke Blade performs the first night of three stunts in New York a young woman is sawn in half in an abandoned theatre. Only the trick didn't work, she was no volunteer and Mac and Stella are having to bag the bloodstained saw from the crime scene. Is there a coincidence between this murder and the presence of Luke Blade? Mac thinks there might well be. In Montana, Lindsay takes to the stand but finds that she has an old friend has come from New York to support her.
A Daze Of Wine And Roaches: A fundraising event at the UN entertains its guests with the theme of the French Revolution. Of course, there's a problem with the guillotine and a guest dies, it appears, by the falling blade. Only the truth isn't quite so simple and in spite of being beset by diplomatic obstacles, Mac and Stella investigate. Meanwhile, back in New York, Lindsay and Danny hear something scuttling away from a murder in a wine cellar, finding that a jewel-encrusted cockroach creeping out of the mouth of the victim is leading them to a suspect.
What Schemes May Come: A knight is found dead on the streets of New York, a sword in his chest and a lance through his gut. A trail of flowers leads away from the body and into the trees. "Maybe our Lancelot had a rendezvous with Guinevere in the park?" Across the city, Hawkes and Lindsay investigate a perfect night that ended in murder while Peyton picks up a head injury when a body is stolen from HQ, one that is later fished out of the harbour still breathing. Mac isn't happy.
Past Imperfect: CSI are called to a crime scene downtown, finding the body of a young woman whose head is wrapped in packing tape but they're interrupted when a man stumbles through the crowd and the police line. "I need to report a murder...I am the victim!" While Danny and Hawkes track the dead man to the Russian mob in Brighton Beach and to a bearded woman, Mac and Flack discover the gruesome signature of a serial killer when Sid removes the tape off the body of the woman...her eyelids have been cut off! Mac has seen this before, five years ago when he put away Clay Dobson. But when Mac brought down Officer Truby, Dobson was set free and it looks, thanks to Mac, that he's struck again.
Cold Reveal: Two altar boys make a gruesome discovery...an angel lying dead on the floor of a church having fallen through a stained glass window. "It's tough to make it in Manhattan...Heaven must be brutal!" Meanwhile, Internal Affairs open a file on Mac after what happened on the rooftop with Clay Dobson and with the press suggesting that Taylor had a vendetta against the serial killer, they're starting to gather around the NYPD. With Mac the only witness, it's up to him to clear his name. But he's not the only one. When a cold case turns up in Philadelphia, a detective travels to New York to interview his one suspect...Stella Bonasera.
...Comes Around: John McEnroe guilty of murder? "I mean...how dangerous can a tennis player?" It would certainly seem to be the case as multiple witnesses point to the tennis legend as the suspect in a murder. "He's a killer...best that ever stepped foot on the tennis court!" And now, it would seem, into a nightclub bathroom to impale a man onto a condom machine. Meanwhile, the Internal Affairs investigation into the death of Clay Dobson gathers pace with Mac walking out of his trial after being accused of murder. But the trial carries on and Mac finds that he must play those who have accused him, not on their terms but on his.
Snow Day: "Let's do this!" Flack makes a major drugs bust, shutting down a drugs gang led by ex-IRA men. Mac takes all of the evidence back to the lab and Flack makes the most of the space there to store the drugs. But the gang want their military hardware and 900kg of cocaine back and set about infiltrating the building at gunpoint to do so. A deliberate gas leak sets off alarms and causes the building to be evacuated, leaving it free for the gang to raid HQ. But they're not counting on Hawkes, Stella and Mac still being in the building, one of whom is leaving for London the next day with Peyton and doesn't want to miss out on a much needed holiday. "What are we going to do?" asks Stella. "Stop 'em!"
This is largely a reprint of the same section in the Season 1 and 2 reviews of CSI: New York from previous years. In truth, little has changed between this and earlier seasons other than to say that David Fincher's Seven is not much less of an obvious influence on the show any more although CSI: New York, after the hiccup of Season 2 has now settled into looking as good as it did on the Season 1 release. There are still many moments when one will be screwing one's eyes up at the screen to peer through the gloom but this third season, like the second before it, is much brighter than the first. Regular viewers of CSI on DVD will know, then, exactly what to expect of CSI: New York and to not be surprised that its a fine transfer with few faults - colours are good, it flatters the series with a sharp picture and there are few flaws in the image. As much as that was first written for the Region 1 release, it's just as relevant here as Momentum have always done sterling work with their CSI releases. This is no different and, given how good CSI: New York looks, might be amongst the best-looking of the CSI releases.
Similarly, the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track is also a tradition with CSI on DVD and this one is as good as any of the previous ones. The surround channels are used infrequently for both dialogue and action but are used much more often for ambient effects and the score. It is, though, a complementary audio track and whilst one never notices anything standing out, as such, there are also no obvious faults with it. All of the episodes feature English subtitles and though there are a few mistakes scattered throughout the episodes - I tend to watch CSI with the subtitles on - they are most evidence of Momentum doing a very good job by CSI.
The Body Farm (22m12s): How do CSIs learn their trade? On a body farm that's where, a place where 172 bodies are lying in various stages of decomposition for future CSI investigators to sift for clues around and to study what happens to the body as the environment around it begins to act upon it. Maggots feature quite heavily. They're not all John Does. Some people, or their relatives, even request a place on a body farm, leaving their body to forensic science as another might do for medical, nursing and dental undergraduates and, as our guide, Hill Harper pokes about amongst the dead bodies, including one sitting in a soup of proteins, carbohydrates and body fluids in a bin, to find out what it is that people do on a body farm. This is all fascinating stuff with Harper having the same kind of questions as everyone else would have when faced with decomposing bodies. "What is that?" "Why does that happen?" "What kind of insect is that?" A great little extra and probably the best CSI extra on any of the boxsets that I have watched to date, which is good as there's nothing else on the set.