This week’s “CSI: NY,” entitled “Late Admissions,” was one of my favorite kinds of “CSI” episodes- the ones that make no sense on the surface and only get crazier as the episode progresses. Though they’d be hard-pressed to top that one “CSI” involving cannibalistic cheerleaders, this was a pretty solid entry, nicely juxtaposed with another sort of mystery: the reason behind Lindsay’s mysterious visit back home out of the blue, and why she won’t talk to anyone about it.
We opened with a montage of a kid doing drugs before taking his standardized tests. As he looked around the classroom, it seemed like maybe he wasn’t the only one doing so. Was it some weird hazing stunt of some kind? Some sort of brain-enhancing drug, like in that movie “Limitless”? These bath salts I keep hearing about? Smarties? More importantly, would cannibalism be involved? Fingers crossed!
Alas, there was no zombie activity this time out- guess I’ll have to wait until Sunday’s new episode of “The Walking Dead” for that. Instead, we got a kid found dead in the library. Was it Professor Plum with the candlestick? Oh wait, that was last week. Moving on…
To add insult to injury, drugs were found in the kid’s backpack…but not in his system, as it turned out. Further, his father was an acquaintance of Mac’s, and not above taking the law into his own hands. After a few hazy moments over the last few weeks, Mac was on top of his game here- no brain farts to speak of. He was determined to get to the bottom of things, for better or worse.
Eventually, the clues led to Billy, a classmate of Luke’s, aka the dead boy in question. Although they were able to trace the pills- which turned out to be ADHD meds- back to Billy, there was no evidence linking him to the murder itself. In the end, it turned out to be a teacher that was the culprit, scared that the fact he knew what was going on and didn’t do anything about it would ruin his career.
For those keeping track at home, this is at least the third teacher somehow involved in the main crime at hand this season- and we’re only on the eighth episode! Not sure what the people at “CSI: NY” have against teachers, but cut them some slack, you guys! (Sorry, I’m studying for an education degree on the side- it’s hard not to take umbrage with all this teacher-themed crime…)
Meanwhile, the Lindsay stuff was genuinely poignant, as it dealt with the crime she herself was at the center of as a child. Barely escaping with her life, she had to watch in horror as her sister and friends were killed in cold blood- an experience that directly led to her becoming a CSI. It turned out that her hidden agenda was that she was there to bear witness to the killer’s death sentence being carried out. Strong stuff, to be sure.
While they’ve alluded to these events before on the show, it was illuminating to get things from Lindsay’s point-of-view and see flashbacks of her sister and friends and their hopes and dreams, all of which they had no idea were about to be taken away. It was confronting these buried memories that allowed Lindsay to make her peace with everything that happened, as well as to solidify what she’d always known: they got the right guy, and he was finally paying the price. In the end, he confessed- not that she needed verification. You don’t forget things like that, ever.
I’m really digging all these character-driven touches they’re emphasizing this season. When they picked “CSI: NY” over “CSI: Miami” to keep, I was a little disappointed, as I leaned towards the latter in my preference, but I must say, the former has really stepped up their game this season. Sure the main crimes have been a mixed bag, but the character stuff is golden, and when you’ve got a cast this good, that accounts for a lot of good will in viewers. As anyone will tell you that watches some of the more formulaic shows out there, it’s not so much about the plot; it’s how our beloved cast at hand handles it. And “CSI: NY” is doing it right. Now if we could just get them to lay off the teachers!
What did you think? Did you find Lindsay’s back-story as touching as I did? Are you digging the details of our team that are unfolding each week? Or do you prefer the more stunt-driven plotlines, a la last week’s “Clue”-themed episode? Let me know in the comments!