Thursday, November 20, 2008

CSI NY: “My Names Is Mac Taylor” Times 100

The episode of CSI NY "My Name is Mac Taylor" was an interesting case and a creative way to celebrate the 100th episode of CSI NY. And they have reason to celebrate. The show, which is part of the successful CSI franchise, appears to have become more popular over the years. I was never much of a fan at first, but I have to admit that during this season and the last, the series has really improved its storylines and has grown on me. The chemistry of the cast has seemed to gel and they seem to act as a true team – unlike their Miami counterparts, who seem to be constantly sniping and competing against each other.

I found the episode’s references to the number 100 very creative and enjoyable. Maybe because I knew it was episode 100 going into it, the references were easy to spot. First was in the opening sequence where a man seemed to be running from something. He opens a glass door, which is clearly marked 100. He’s at the 100th floor somewhere I assume, as he continues to run down the stairs floor by floor. But sadly he ends up dead, apparently falling to his death.

The twist is that his name is Mac Taylor, and he’s the second Mac Taylor to die in less than 2 weeks. This is cause for concern for Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) who happens to share the same name. And Mac thinks the killer has already paid him a visit while he was taking a swim, as he thought someone was watching him, and his wallet and keys appear to have been tampered with during his swim.

When Mac’s team realize someone seems to be targeting Mac Taylors, they check and find there are 23 Mac Taylors within a hundred - yes 100 - mile radius. In checking them out, they rule out those that don’t have cars or don’t drive (since the killer seemed to have an interest in their car keys). They bring in several for questioning. One of the Macs - Machiavelli Taylor - is being played by Chris Daughtry of American Idol fame, and he was just OK as an actor (stick to singing, Chris). But another Mac - Mackinley Taylor - played by Scott Wolf, seems a little more uncomfortable than the rest while he’s being held, and it was clear to me that this was the Mac the killer was after.

What I really liked about this episode wasn’t so much the story as it was visually enjoyable. While all the shows in the CSI franchise seem to have the flair for color – especially the ever-orange CSI Miami with its splashed of cartoon color – this episode of CSI NY was almost artistic in how each scene was painted with color. CSI NY probably does better than any other NY-based show, either filmed completely in NY or not, in highlighting the city and its great sights. A real treat was seeing the ‘Waterfalls’ Art Installation , which is located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We also get to meet Deputy Inspector Gillian Whitmore (Julia Ormond) who I assume is Mac’s new boss. Maybe I missed something. I always see Chief Sinclair (Mykelti Williamson) but didn’t realize there could be another layer of bureaucracy between the Chief and Mac. I think I watch too many crime shows that I can’t keep them straight anymore. If someone can clue me in as to what Gillian’s role with Mac is, I would be grateful. Ormand’s performance, however, was flat. Something about her laugh when she was telling Mac about his reputation seemed forced to me. If they make her some sort of love interest for Mac, well, that would be too much for me to handle. Nothing against Gary Sinise, but I want to know how it is that average looking guys always attract beautiful women? Horatio Caine (David Caruso) is the perfect example of this phenomenon. Sinise is another. When will we get a crime show with average women who have great looking guys chasing after them? It’s a double standard, I tell you!

I thought the ending worked well, where Adam (AJ Buckley) and Stella (Melina Kanakaredes ) were looking at how many people in the area shared their name and those of their colleagues. What is the deal with only ONE Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), and having it be a 90-year-old woman? Why wasn’t Sid’s name listed, or is there something he’s not telling us? Sid’s definitely not 90 years old.

Bottom line, I enjoyed this episode. It was fun to watch. And I think I’m becoming a die-hard CSI NY fan, something I thought I would never be.

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