CSI “Unleashed” Review

CSI “Unleashed”, Season 11 Episode 19 – In the interest of full-disclosure, I actually watched “127 Hours” earlier on tonight, so I thought I would be able to handle whatever gruesome depravity CSI threw at me. However, I was not prepared for one of the first scenes of “Unleashed”. I’ve normally got a pretty strong stomach for violence on TV shows and movies (Hey, I made it through “127 Hours”, right?) but I’ve got a weakness for babies. Anything having to do with childbearing, especially cutting into pregnant people’s stomachs, I can not handle. Reaching in to a dead girl’s stomach to resurrect her dying fetus is one of the darkest things I’ve seen on CSI, so I guess having the guts to show that scene on TV is commendable. Plus I’m all about Dr. Al being in the field more often! That guy’s pretty awesome!

Long-time CSI fans got another scene with Lady Heather, although she now goes by Dr. Kessler. This is Melinda Clarke’s sixth turn as Lady Heather/Dr. Kessler on CSI, her five previous appearances coming in ’01, ’03, ’06, ’07, and ’08. This is yet another example this season of CSI bringing back recurring characters to the show. I’ve mentioned on previous episode reviews of this season how much I enjoy this trend of bringing back old characters, and I hope CSI continues to do this for the rest of the season and into next.

The end of the episode didn’t quite live up to the intense opening. When I first saw Maria hanging in her closet, my very first thought was “Oh, she just committed suicide”. Why Nick was so convinced that she was murdered was beyond me. Finding out that my very first guess ended up being correct is not why I watch CSI.

When Laurence Fishburne was first hired to this show, he was originally advertised as a “Killer who doesn’t kill people, but just solves crimes instead”. He was kind of like Dexter, except he doesn’t actually kill people. Well, it was pretty obvious that they gave up that idea as they have basically made his character a boilerplate good guy. That’s why I love what they’ve been doing with his character recently. The feud with Nate Haskell is driving him to realizations about himself and about who he is that are scaring him, and that is some serious character development for a CSI character. I really hope we get more of this from Fishburne’s character in the future, although it would seem that they are writing themselves into a corner here. It looks like they’re finding a way to write him off the show by giving him an ultimate enemy in Nate Haskell, and that’s really disappointing since I feel like they’re just now making his character interesting. Laurence Fishburne’s contract is only through the end of this season (four more episodes), but I’m sure he’s not going to be able to wrap up his Nate Haskell situation that quickly. Hopefully we get at least one more season of this newly discovered character arc.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I like how the baby in the first scene, or all newborn babies in movies and TV shows for that matter, looks like it’s already several months old as opposed to being two weeks premature like it’s supposed to be.

– How come nobody at the pet party pretends to be dogs?

– IMDb says that Christina Ricci starred in this episode as a character named “Carrie”. Did anybody else see her?