In “Misconceptions,” the latest episode of “CSI: NY,” it was Flack’s turn to be the focus of attention for the most part, keeping in the newfound tradition of emphasizing character more on the show. Somewhat refreshingly, his plotline had little to do with the main murder of the evening, save perhaps in the shared “misconception” that Flack’s sister had for their father, which reflected the one people had about poor Keith Milner, the main suspect in the death at hand.
We started with an adorable scene of Flack cooking a yummy-looking breakfast for a companion that turned out not to be a sexy lady, as one might expect- like newbie detective Lovato, perhaps- but his well-trained pooch. There was an ongoing storyline involving Flack’s late dad and a box of stuff his grandmother discovered in the attic. A closer look revealed a note which helped him and his sister in particular make their peace with dad, culminating in a visit to Yankee Stadium.
Though it had nothing to do with the main storyline, the producers had promised to shed a bit more light on each of the main characters this season and, in doing this, accomplished their goal independently of the other stuff going on. I can see where some might be put off by this, but I liked it overall, and it did give us the rare inside look at one of the lesser-known members of the team, in terms of background.
Meanwhile, another member of the team was more than a little put off by other people’s interests in his own background: Mac, who is still struggling with the memory loss suffered in the aftermath of his shooting. He did not take kindly to Jo’s interference, especially when she went behind his back & told his girlfriend her suspicions, resulting in a terse encounter between the two that was uncommonly intense. In short, Mac was clearly not amused by Jo’s actions- even if he knows deep down she’s right to be concerned.
The main case at hand dealt with the disappearance of a local kid Tommy twenty years ago, which just happened to be one of Mac’s earliest big cases. The main suspect was Keith Milner, a ne’er-do-well who had blood on him that was thought to be Tommy’s, but no body was ever found, so Keith got away scot-free. Everyone in the neighborhood thought he was guilty, most of all Tommy’s father, who didn’t take kindly when Keith unwisely decided to return to his stomping grounds. Needless to say, when Keith winds up dead, Tommy’s dad is the main suspect, not helped by his claim to not remember anything beyond confronting and getting into a fight.
Sadly, it turned out that Keith had long suspected local butcher Mitch Ventri, the last to see Tommy alive. Before he got to tell what he knew to anyone, Ventri killed him, but the evidence led the team to him in the end, and Ventri confessed that he’d made advances on Tommy and had panicked when he rejected him and killed the boy. Thankfully, he hadn’t repeated such behavior since (or so he claimed), but that was no excuse to let him off the hook, obviously, not in the least because he’d killed poor Keith as well, who had long since gotten his life together and had a baby on the way.
In many ways it was an alternate take on last week’s episode, in which a man was accused of a similar crime that he actually didn’t commit involving a child. That accusation drove a man to try and kill his accuser, whereas this one turned out to be true- only the killer led everyone to believe someone else had done his own dirty work in this case, ultimately leading him to be ostracized by his own neighborhood unfairly. It was kind of like the flipside to the same coin, as it were. Perhaps “CSI: NY” was cutting it a bit too close with two episodes one after another of the same bent, but I actually appreciated the dichotomy between the two.
In many ways, for the first time, the show has indeed felt like one ongoing tale with different stories intersecting throughout the main ones involving our team. I kind of like that newfound aspect of the show, even if some of it has nothing to do with the core cases of the show. There’s no shame in allowing us to get to know these characters we’ve spent over eight seasons with, after all. Isn’t that what you want, for a show to continue to evolve?
What did you think of “Misconceptions”? Did you like the stuff with Flack, or was it a big waste of time, in your opinion? What about the stuff with Mac? Is it going to get worse before it gets better? Do you think a big mistake on his part is coming soon, one that will force him to admit his problem? It seems somewhat inevitable, what with him keeping the secret from everyone. Do you mind the fact that the cases have become almost like extended metaphors for what members of the team are going through, or do you wish they’d go back to the proven, reliable formula? Let me know in the comments!