II. You may not be aware that I've been mainlining CSI like a crazy person over the past few days, steadfastly chronicling reactions in backdated posts (attitude going from bad to worse until at the last minute it started to course-correct), which is why I'm suddenly talking about this:
10x19, World's End: The only Lindsey Willows I will ever accept is the petulant blonde 12-year-old hitch-hiking to Fremont Street; this new teenager always feels like a cheap stand-in (to be honest? I've all but forgotten Catherine is a mother; everybody else seems to have better kid empathy these days). And I deeply wish they'd picked a less annoying musical than "Cabaret," whose yowling songs make me want to scratch out eyes.
That said, I REALLY enjoyed all aspects of this case, and was so thoroughly taken by the Rwandan janitor that even when he betrayed our collective trust with his true and murderous identity, I hardly minded. That is how you craft compelling guest characters, show! I also really like that they took the "neo Nazi classmate" part of the summary and immediately turned it on its head to portray him as somebody turning his attitude around - refreshing.
20: Take My Life, Please!: Oh, good, it's the annual Vegas history episode. Which I find deathly boring, try as I might to share Greg's enthusiasm for it, so it's mostly an excuse to fawn over how much I adore Greg and should really stop accidentally leaving him off my lists of TV boyfriends, because he's rather ideal. The other case - murderered abortion clinic bomber? - is even less interesting; I gave up on the hour halfway through.
21. Lost and Found: Okay, now THIS is my new favorite episode, largely because I was so enthralled with the twisty-turny storyline - even #17 didn't hook me half as well as this one. Family stories: the way to go! Mummified corpses hidden in houses, a truly grieving mother (turned a little crazy by the end, too bad), and the height of accidental tragedy all over the place. Reminded me a bit of "Gentle, Gentle," where the kid smothered his baby brother.
Um, as referenced about five episodes ago, NICK PLUS KIDS = A HEART FULL OF LOVE. If he could just walk around with a kid on his hip every few episodes, I think that would vastly improve the show. Maybe he could find a way to visit Warrick's son at some point (remember how that randomly happened? I bet you forgot. I forget all the time). Fine, I'll just continue to enjoy him connecting with three-year-olds in a case-related context. I think I have watched those scenes like 20 times, and I just keep falling harder in love. Remind me again how DANNY is the lone CSI parent? *shakes head* Since he finally made it a whole year without succumbing to bad hair, I think it's time Nick started appearing on my TV boyfriend lists too.
And I've gotta learn that older patrol cop's name, because with his droll, nonplussed attitude he's my new favorite minor character. "You got a whole desert here." But Drunk Girl wouldn't be a cliched drunk if she didn't aim directly for your shoes, silly man!
III. And now that I'm here, let's tackle the write-up of one last NY episode so that I can tackle the final four of the two series all at once next time.
CSI: NY, 6x21, "Unusual Suspects"
You know how sometimes the first 5 minutes of an episode are so good, you think you might actually die of happiness?
I will ignore the fact that Mac & Aubrey pretty much took over a paramedic rescue (in their downtime, no less) for the following pieces of joy:
-Mac, Aubrey, out on a date and debating New York's best pizza place. It's so cute when he tries to show off, and gets smacked down.
-Mac holding onto a crying little kid falls into that "favorite things ever" category.
-My eyes do not deal in "context." They see a scenario in which I can briefly pretend the two of them are the kid's parents.
-I don't mind Mac & Aubrey taking over as much as I should. See how doctor/cop comes in handy? Fantastic partnership!
And then before you know it we cut to Flack kneeling beside Sam at the sink, helping him wash the blood off his hands, and this is the point at which I passed out from hyperventilation, unaware that the entire episode would be one long festival of this awesomeness. Remind me again why Danny's the one who accidentally knocked someone up? Because, I mean, wow. I appreciate that they eventually got Danny & Lindsay involved in the crime scene revisit, and Lindsay was surprisingly maternal, but nobody holds a candle to Flack on this one. The dim recesses of my memory think we've been told before that he volunteers with kids, but seeing it in action is mind-boggling.
This space reserved for Future Self to kick and scream and throw fits as to why I am not detailing every instance of Flack being adorable, preferably with quotes and/or pictures, "but at least mention them, for God's sakes! I have no idea what happened in those scenes!" To which I say, not knowing the specifics will make it more exciting when you look it up on YouTube like it's the first time, won't it?"
Future Self just punched me through the space-time continuum, so FINE, HERE: listening to the rest of Sam's explanation about the watch, displaying an NYPD shirt to replace his bloody one, teasing a smile out of him, his everlasting patience and positive attitude despite the failed photo ID attempt ("Come on, that's like the fourth guy you've identified"), pointing out that he just called the hospital like ten minutes ago, awesome snarky look when Sam anxiously asks if he told their mom about the watch, the composite sketch creation ("oh they ain't, huh?"), general protectiveness of his mental well-being during the lineup/field walkthrough/interview even when it means butting head with, oh, everybody**, and the heartwarming family hospital moment at the end.
**Favorite moment: "The truth? So far, everything I'm hearing from the science guys is based on speculation." GET YOUR BOOTH ON, FLACK. I like it v. much. I just...also wish his gut had been right.
-I declare a new moratorium on using the pig corpses. One per season, maximum screen time of nine seconds.
-Remember when Mac & Aubrey darted through traffic, flashing their badges to magically repel traffic? They're lucky there weren't any buses around, is the lesson we learned today from our dead and mangled suspect. Who at least left a fascinating corpse.
-I'm really bothered by the fact that a 14-year-old kid can successfully rob a bank, even for a 3-figure amount. Also...does the public know about the bank robbing? Because. I am not certain I'd reward that with an outpouring of charitable donations. I kinda think the whole "not pressing charges" thing is gift enough.
-"AUGH, AUBREY, H0R. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO JUMP ON THIS UNTIL THE FINALE. WHICH I LIKE TO PRETEND TAKES PLACE HALFWAY THROUGH SUMMER." ...was my visceral reaction to her suggestion of "my place" for dinner tonight, and I had this whole paragraph typed out about unfairly speed-warping my sweet and blushing courting 'ship, until I realized I had paused the episode at that point and never heard the qualifying addition of her favorite pizza place.
Ah.. Right. Okay, that is both a giant relief and makes Mac's raised eyebrows all the more adorable. Also adorable: self-conscious smiling. And a hand-to-back maneuver to guide her out. Aaaand, that is where my brain will be for a while.
IV. Now is probably a good place to mention how I am reacting to Melina being replaced by Sela Ward:
1. *rent with woe & grief* Half because I adore Stella more this year than I ever have before, even though she's been among my favorites for a while anyway, and half because yes, I was harboring the secret hope that at series-finale time there would still be no canon contradicting the possibility of Mac/Stella*
2. I HATE SELA WARD. No idea why. I only know her from House, and I vaguely remember enjoying Stacey's presence and/or shipping her & House when I couldn't stomach anything else, but I also remember a lot of TWoP references to her Botox face, and that's winning out. The end result is that I find the sight of her extremely off-putting and nettlesome. She will of course be given the customary probation episode to see if she can make the character likable (the Laurence Fishburne principle, although that's been waning), but she goes in with a handicap and we all know how that worked out for Lauren Lee Smith.