CSI “Genetic Disorder” Review


CSI hit close to home in “Genetic Disorder,” when a dead body was found in Doc Robbins’ bed and the only person at home was his wife. Ruh-roh.

In all seriousness, it was a good episode, despite the lack of Nick and Sara, and the one minute of screen time given to Catherine. Greg took center stage, and after eleven years, he’s earned it. I had a thought while watching him lead us into the credits with a line that would have made Gil Grissom proud…out of all the characters still on the show (because I think the ultimate title for this goes to Grissom himself), Greg has changed the most.

He started off as a slightly obnoxious, but utterly adorable lab puppy, smart as hell, but naive and nerdy, always trying just a touch too hard. He became a CSI; he got beat-up by a group of thugs and had to kill one of them; he survived the humiliation of a civil trial; he watched his mentors disappear, one by one. Over the past few years, perhaps owing to the decreased presence of the older characters, but also perhaps owing to the fact that he’s earned his stripes, he’s been allowed to grow up. No longer does he hang on anyone’s coat tails…now he’s at crime scenes, schooling police officers about jumping to conclusions. And while I realize that these are fictional characters, not actual people, I was proud of him in that moment, too.

As for the story, it was a nice little mystery, even if I had to stretch my disbelief just a touch to imagine that a killer, even an inbred killer, would murder someone in broad daylight, in a stranger’s house, just because he didn’t realize that unraveling a family’s history had revealed a horrible, incestuous secret. But it was better than the alternative. I certainly didn’t want to believe that Doc Robbins’ wife was having an affair with the man she hired to research the family tree.

I liked the whole genealogy aspect of the plot, especially how it touched Greg. If you’re an avid fan of the show like me, you know that Greg has consistently talked about his Norwegian roots, particularly the Hojems. His Papa Olaf stories have been a running joke, so this was a nice nod to that for the long-time viewers.

It was also good to see some of the characters who get overlooked take center stage this week. Greg, obviously, but also Brass and and Hodges and Henry. Two of my favorite episodes of all time are the lab rats episodes, where the main cast took a break and the techs took over. While this certainly wasn’t one of those, we did get to see more of them than usual. Even SuperDave got some great moments as he tried to console and defend his boss/mentor.

With Catherine leaving in a few weeks and with Sara popping in and out sporadically (I choose to believe she spends her off weeks wherever her husband happens to be, but would it kill the writers to verify that with one or two lines of dialogue?), Nick and Greg (and Brass) will be the last of the full-time, main cast. I hope the CSI writers realize that, again, after eleven years, those are the guys we want to see the most. No disrespect to Ted Danson, who has done a great job, but I think I liked this episode because it mostly involved the people I’ve been watching for much, much longer than three months.

What did you think? Let me know below!

  • Jana

    I agree with everything you said in your post. Greg was awesome and the story fit him so well. As a Sara fan I definitely missed her, but I also assume she and Gil are enjoying some quality time together. Like you, though, I would love to actually hear about it!