CSI: NY Season 9 Review “Seth & Apep”

CSI: NY Season 9 Episode 15 Seth and Apep (7)

The second half of a crossover episode with sister show “CSI,” this week’s “CSI: NY” picked up where the action left off on the former, with Mac returning to New York after a whirlwind turn of events in Las Vegas, where he was supposed to meet up with girlfriend Christine for- oh, the horror!- a Celine Dion show. This only goes to show what getting Dion tickets gets you- in this case, kidnapped. Okay, so there’s a little more to it, but still.

In the front end of “Seth & Apep,” the oddly-titled twofer, Mac went to Christine’s hotel room to meet up for the show, only to find her gone and the room ransacked, with blood trace scattered about the room. Then, her phone shows up at, of all things, the site of a jewelry robbery. Has Christine gone rogue? This would be a left-of-center development, to be sure, but all signs point to yes, which on “CSI” means that all signs are likely wrong.

The team also finds prints that belong to Jimmy Boyd, a New Yorker that ran Christine’s restaurant, along with sexytime texts from Christine to Boyd. The evidence also seems to indicate that Christine was going into business with an extremely shady character by the name of Sadat, who wanted to invest in another restaurant, this one located in Vegas. That won’t be happening, regardless, as he’s found dead.

The bodies keep piling up when an unidentified female is found in the trunk of Sadat’s car, who eventually turns out to be Boyd’s girlfriend. Boyd himself is on the run in another car when he is picked up and interrogated by a decidedly irate Mac. Boyd confesses that he owes money to a loan shark back in NYC and was running a scam to pay him off, by having his GF pose as Christine and fleece Sadat for the investment money. Christine isn’t even in Vegas- she never was.

Instead, Boyd’s brother had her and was holding her in NYC until the deal was done, lest she cause any issues. The new problem: the loan shark got wind of it and has kidnapped both Boyd’s brother and Christine, unaware that she’s the GF of a cop. Oops!

Boyd, forced to cooperate for obvious reasons, is wired up and sent to the meet, only for it to go south when Kalim, the loan shark figures out it’s a set-up and a gun fight ensues. Boyd and several others are killed in the melee, but Mac captures Kalim, and its interrogation time yet again. The actor playing Kalim, Navid Negahban- who was also Abu Nazir on “Homeland”– must be used to this sort of thing, because he isn’t caving for anything, despite Mac’s (literal) strong-arm tactics.
Hey, once you’ve gone toe-to-toe with Carrie’s crazy ass, anything else must seem like a picnic in Central Park.

A tattoo on the arm of one of Kalim’s henchman features a tattoo that leads us to an explanation of the title, a reference to Seth, the Egyptian God of Chaos (Really, Egypt? Seth?) and Apep, the God of Evil, who battled until the former killed the latter, according to legend. The gang suspect, well, a gang, likely with Egyptian ties, given the relative obscurity of the mythological tattoo.

Meanwhile, Mac gets a special delivery no one wants: it’s a tongue in a box! (Easy, now dear readers, this ain’t Skinemax…) The question is: whose tongue is it? A search of the neighborhood that seems to have local Egyptian ties reveals that Kalim was shaking down local businesses, including a dry-cleaning shop run by a gorgeous Egyptian woman I’d like to know more about, but found zero on the internet in regards to. (Let me know if you know more below in the comments…)

The gang gets a ransom call and traces the phone to a trashcan, where it has been dumped. Turns out it was a subterfuge to keep the cops occupied while Mac went to meet with Kalim’s people in regards to Christine’s ransom. Though DB (“CSI”-guest star Ted Danson) tails Mac on the way, Mac spots him and insists he let him go in alone to the meet, lest anything happen to Christine. As DB went through a similar ordeal with his own family on the season finale/opener of the last/current season, he relents, and it’s a good thing he does, because the meet was a test to find out if Mac was willing to go rogue himself.

Mac discovers Boyd’s brother there, dead, sans tongue, and is contacted with a proposition- get Kalim out of jail and Mac can trade him for Christine. This time Mac needs help, so he gets Flack and DB to stall while he poses as the officer in charge of transferring Kalim and sneaks him out. In the meantime, the gang figures out that a message left in blood on Boyd’s brother’s body was an indication of her holding place. They are able to track it down as being across the street from the dry-cleaners seen earlier, and further, that the aforementioned hottie was none other than Kalim’s sister.

Mac goes to the meet, but shoots most everyone there, save Kalim’s brother, who he does a little “Deer Hunter”-style fake-out, aka known as Russian Roulette, only this is a fixed game on Mac’s end to get him to confess. He does, and directs Mac to the location, where he knocks out the guard and finally is able to rescue Christine. So, all’s well that ends well, what with Kalim’s entire family busted practically in one fell swoop.

All in all, this was a decent episode, I suppose, but, as with most of these crossover stunts, the means by which the writers connect the two shows is dubious at best. If I recall correctly, they also did a three-episode crossover with all three CSI’s, back when the “Miami” one was still in production. That one was a bit of a stretch, too, but this time was really pushing it, especially once it’s revealed that Christine was never even in Vegas in the first place. You’d think a two-show crossover would be easier, and yet…

Don’t get me wrong, the plots on both shows were interesting, with “CSI: NY” faring slightly better than the original flavor, thanks in no small part to the novelty of seeing the actor-formerly-known-as-Nazir. (The Egyptian hottie didn’t hurt matters, either.) Still, the whole bit with Mac kidnapping Kalim right under the noses of most everyone, and then the whole gun fake-out gambit seemed a bit out of character, to say nothing of the borderline torture tactics he employed on both episodes. I get that his girlfriend’s life is at stake, but it still seemed a bit much.

What did you think of the big “CSI”-palooza? Did you enjoy the original recipe “CSI” or “CSI: NY” better? What of Mac’s uncharacteristic behavior? Did the writers go too far with his actions, or did it make sense under the circumstances? Did you enjoy seeing Sinise on “CSI” and Danson on “CSI: NY,” or should they stick to their own shows? Let me know in the comments!