Thursday, December 18, 2008

CSI NY ‘Forbidden Fruit”: Sweet!

CSI NY is becoming one of those shows that I look forward to watching, which is quite a switch for me, seeing that I used to abhor this show. But, unlike its campy and corny sister show CSI Miami, CSI NY actually provides some believable stories with believable characters and believable acting.

Last night’s episode, “Forbidden Fruit” seemed to seamlessly weave several ongoing story lines over new murder cases. Lindsay (Anna Belknap) and Danny’s (Carmine Giovinazzo) relationship is moving to a new level with Lindsay’s pregnancy, and it’s nice to see them headed in a somewhat stable direction, at least for now. Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) is becoming a tad obsessed with busting Sebastian, finding another murder that seems to fit the pattern of the murder of the Rat Fisher and some involvement in rare coins. She’s taking steps to solve the case that have caused Mac (Gary Sinise) some grief, and he wants her to stop working on it, but Stella doesn’t heed his advice. And if this isn’t enough for you, Mac is now the subject of someone else’s obsession, when Ella McBride (Casey LaBow), who became acquainted with Mac during his investigation of the murder of her father, now seems to be fixated on Mac, stalking him in a grocery store, faking evidence, and a questionable suicide attempt.

The murder of Isabelle Vaughn (Kristin Cavallari), which opened the show, served as an interesting backdrop to all the other drama going on. It seems that Vaughn was given a” miracle berry” which, when eaten, allows a person to taste sweet instead of bitter. The murderer - her former boss Marina (Morgan Hewitt) who just so happened to be in a legal battle with Vaughn – used the berry to help disguise a drink made of drain cleaner which literally liquefied Vaughn's internal organs. In the meantime, Mac finds that Ella faked some evidence in that case in order to get his attention and he is furious with her. But, she continues to string him along by calling him and sounding desperate, causing him to burst into her apartment where he finds her bloody from her self inflicted wrist slitting. Problem is, she didn’t cut deep enough to kill herself, something that should have been another clue to Mac that she was just trying to get his affection. As he carries her out to take her to the hospital, the camera focuses on one postcard on her wall of postcard confessions, which says, “I Will Make Him Love Me.” We are being led to presume that Ella wrote that card herself.

The real grabbers in this episode weren’t the murder cases, but all the behind the scenes drama with the CSIs. I think CSI NY has done the best job in all the CSI franchise of bringing in the personal lives of its main characters than the others in the franchise. It’s something that the original CSI had already done but I don’t think as well, and CSI Miami’s attempts at it are weak and laughable.

What I really liked about this episode is that it left me very interested – and very invested – in what happens next. I think that with Stella continuing to work on a case she was told not to can only spell trouble. Danny and Lindsay’s once rocky relationship seems to have leveled off with a child on the way, but will it last? Needless to say, Mac seems to be headed for problems as he seems to be getting more involved with Ella, whether he likes it or not. The show is putting out some good stuff as of late, and despite my deep and endearing love for Law & Order, I am almost ashamed to say that CSI NY is the best show in that 10:00 PM Wednesday time slot. Hopefully when Leno moves to that slot for NBC next fall, that my beloved and much improved Law & Order will move to an earlier time slot where it can get noticed for its new energy and actually have a fighting chance.

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