CSI Season 13 Review “Strip Maul” – The Sum of the Parts

CSI Season 13 Episode 9 Strip Maul (2)
This week’s episode of CSI, “Strip Maul,” harkened back to the good old days so much that it almost made up for last week’s yawn-fest. Opening with Nick and Sara out on the streets of Vegas with the mobile crime unit reminded me of an episode like “Fight Night,” only amplified to a higher degree. It was six degrees of separation in one crazy night on the Strip and it made for a surprisingly entertaining hour.

What first seemed like a half-dozen misdemeanors quickly turned into an intricate web of crime that revolved around a drug boss trying to take out the preppy white boy dealer who was nosing in on his turf. In fact, the episode’s only low moment was the city attorney’s son’s speech about being a player; it felt a teensy bit too on the nose, like a writer pretending to be a kid pretending to be a big shot.

In the end, CSI managed to nab the low-level players, but the drug boss got away, something that is probably more true to life than most other aspects of the show. For instance, I’m not entirely certain that a 3-D printer can make a workable gun; my friends have one at their gaming store (’cause while expensive, they cost nowhere near what Hodges estimated) and they’re still trying to figure out how to get it to make a set of dice.

I suppose, then, that what really made me enjoy this episode were the personal twists, in particular the continuing saga of Brass and his messed-up daughter, Ellie. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the last time we saw Ellie was when Brass got shot. Even nearly losing her father didn’t prompt her to straighten out her life; she’s back working the streets, in Vegas, to add insult to injury. While this is, again, very true to life, I do hope that someday Brass will get his daughter back. He’s lost too much already.

And then there’s Ecklie. At one time, he was the most reviled character in the CSI universe. Amazing how things can change, because now we’ve reached a point when the writers dare to make us care about this man, and actually have us wondering if he’s just going through a mid-life crisis, or if he really might leave CSI. Seven years ago, we would have gladly shown him the door. Or shoved him out it, whatever. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t love him the way I do Nick and Sara and Greg and Brass, but he’s proven his humanity and it would be a shame to lose another long-time character.

Especially if it would mean giving more air time to the new guys. Another thing I liked about this episode? DB and Finn took a backseat to our original cast, which is what I’ve been wanting all year and most of last year, too. It is not that I don’t like them; they’re fine and their actors are top-notch. But they are not the heart and soul of CSI to me. They are not what puts me in front of my TV every week.

What did you think about the episode? Let me know below! And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.