Wow! 'CSI' has been crankin'!

Cary Ashby
Mar 29, 2010


Is it just me or has "CSI" reached a whole new level of high quality recently?

Since Grissom's departure, it seems the writers have been taking more storytelling chances and upped the ante.

Take Thursday's show. By the time it was done, I just sat there saying, "Man, that was a gooood episode."

Sure, it started off with a lot of murders. But the rest of the show didn't focus on the CSIers trying to figure out what happened (which they did, of course!), but there was more of an emphasis on the cast connecting with the victims.

And those moments really let Eric "Sanders" Szmanda and Lauren Lee "Riley" Smith shine.

How cool was it to see Sanders talking the father into releasing his son's deceased body to the deputy coroner?

Or how about when he voluntarily went to the father's house later to say the authorities knew who the shooter was?

(But did you notice it was pitch black when the team arrived at the crime scene, but the father was seen still cradling his son in the same position in broad daylight after the commercial break? Not to mention the security guard was still in the middle of the street; he wouldn't have been left there that long. No way.)

This last show really was Riley's time in the spotlight.

Smith really doesn't show that much of a range of emotion, but her character's even demeanor came to her advantage in dealing with the teen gunman.

Now that kid was truly something; he made it very believable when he was shaking as the situation he once thought was under control sprialed out of control.

Did you notice all the CSIers congratulated Langston on a job well done (as well he certainly did), but didn't seem to acknowledge Riley much at the end of the show?

After all, Riley had the foresight to turn on the walkie-talkie so the cops outside could hear what was going on inside; she talked the teen into letting her retrieve her first aid kit from the van AND then managed to pull her gun on the boy. THEN she got him to give up his gun and help Langston with his wounded cousin. She's the one who saved the day. Shees.

NICK'S EPISODE – BRIEFLY: The week before was Nick's episode.

The out-of-chronology storytelling really added a lot the story. Finding out more and more as the flashbacks continued made everything more intriguing. Sometimes that technique can fall short or seem like it's done for gimmick's sake, but not here. The writers handled it well, making me wonder what "really" was happening.

I know I overuse the word "refreshing" here, but wasn't that the case seeing one of the CSIs finally crack over seeing the fate of one of the victims?

What a moment at the end between Langston and Nick. There's no wonder why they are two of my favorite characters.



What do you think they could change to make Riley a bit more memorable? It seems they have given her a little more attention but it really ends there. Even with last night's there was no focus at the end.

They buried some alive, under a car with water creeping up water and had some held hostage. Maybe have Riley caught up in a crime that gets her family involved. It would show her personal side and life outside her job. It could help the fans get to know her better which would most likely help remember her.


I finally watched last week's episode last night. I had not read your blog until this morning and I busted out laughing. When the show was over, even though I was talking to myself, I said "wow that was gooood show"... talk about thinking on the same level..hahaha

I enjoyed the connection of CSI's and victims. It felt very genuine. Greg has taken a great turn as an actor. Langston..well, just plain excellent. His feeling of closeness to Reggie was amazing and the boy Ray really seemed to think he has some hope of turning his life around.

I didn't notice the light dark thing until you said it. What the heck? That is unlike this show to err. I have seen it in plenty of other though!

The non-recognition of Riley at the end has to be leading to something else. Although she smiled when everyone was all over Ray, she had to be feeling crappy. It was truly her save.

Is Gil doing any of the writing or directing? I am just wondering the turn around of the show since he left. Maybe there are new writers or something but definitely there is a new air in the show. And it just keeps getting better.


UPDATE: Despite my theory that the writing and cinematography has improved post-Grissom, EW's Hollywood Insider Blog says the viewing numbers have gone down: "Not surprisingly, CSI has seen a dip in viewers since star William Petersen left the show Jan. 15, but no one seems to be wringing their hands at CBS. The series has only lost 8 percent of its viewers -- from 19.9 million people down to 18.38 million -- after Laurence Fishburne (pictured) replaced Petersen."

Great minds and all, Tess! I wondered what had you busting out laughing when I first read your comment.

I didn't like Riley getting stiffed at the end; they should do more with her. The problem with her character is unforgiveable; she's forgettable and "vanilla."