CSI: NY “Smooth Criminal” Review

CSI: NY "Smooth Criminal"

CSI: NY “Smooth Criminal” Season 7 Episode 14 – Hip-hop singer Ne-yo guest starred on this week’s episode of CSI: NY, “Smooth Criminal”. Right off the bat, his guest appearance bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he was a fine actor, and I was impressed that he was willing to play a character that was such a cold-blood killer.

What bothered me though is that he walks into a bar that is playing his song, “Beautiful Monster”! It’s not clear whether or not the song was playing in the bar, or if it was just playing as the soundtrack of the scene, but either way I found it far too self-referential. It isn’t like when Justin Bieber guest stars on CSI they start playing “Baby” at all the crime scenes. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, or maybe you didn’t even notice, but it bothers me.

Anyway, when I got over this pet peeve I was able to quite enjoy the rest of the episode. I think contract killers are always intriguing to watch, and Ne-Yo’s interpretation was no different. I was even more interested when it seemed like he was some kind of vigilante, “Dexter-like” killer who only killed people who deserved it. However, I’m not sure I buy him falling for some girl and going soft. There wasn’t enough build up in their relationship to make us believe that he would want to leave her alive and risk her being able to ID him. He really just saw her look hot in a dress he bought for her, and decided “Hm, maybe I should let her live…”

This was a pretty strong episode, anchored by an entertaining guest appearance, some fun character interaction, and pretty good suspense. One selfish soundtrack decision held this episode back from greatness for me.

Random Thoughts:

– Another instance of self-referential TV shows bothering me: Last season on Glee, Rachel and Kurt sang a duet of “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked”. The original “Wicked” production starred actress Kristin Chenoweth, who then guest starred on Glee as somebody else! Wouldn’t the Glee kids see Kristin’s character and say “Hey, you look a lot like the girl from ‘Wicked’!”?

– Ne-yo reminded me a lot of Tom Cruise’s character Lance from Collateral. He hangs out at fancy bars, talks to his soon-to-be victims about music, and then shoots them in the chest and head. There was even a shoot-out in a crowded night club!

– “I know a few things about hats.” What a weird thing to say to somebody, but not quite as weird as knowing the exact circumference of the hat size for most men.