CSI: NY Season 9 Review “Blood Actually”

It was triptych time on “CSI: NY,” on the Valentine’s Day-themed “Blood Actually,” which I assume is a play on words on the movie “Love Actually,” which I haven’t actually seen (see what I did there?) so I can’t comment much on how much or how little it resembles this particular episode, though I’d wager to guess that it took its whole structure idea from the film. Whatever the case, it was compromised of three different cases, all of which revolved around love gone real wrong, with the expected varying quality that seems to almost be a trademark of most anthologies.

We started with three bodies in three different locations: two that appeared to be beaten down, the other who was shot down in the street. What was the story behind each of these random, unconnected murders? It was time to find out, one at a time.

First up: “Love for Sale,” a tale of a hooker with a heart of, um, silver, maybe? Not quite gold, to be sure. The victim in question was her pimp, Theodore Hart, found in a room registered to one Wayne Brown, at not St. Valentine’s place, but St. Monarch’s. The unfortunate Wayne had the bad luck to run afoul of a working girl, who went by the name of Laura Palmer. (Before you ask, alas, there were no dancing dwarfs involved.) Taking pity on the lonely-looking guy, she did her shtick and talked him up and actually liked old Wayne enough to book a room with him.

Only problem? She forgot to notify her pimp, Mr. Hart (see what they did there?), who proved himself heartless, when he burst into their room and tried to tear poor Wayne a new one. He managed to hook Theo with a corkscrew, but not fatally as he feared when the cops brought him in. Instead, it was Laura who took him out, with a champagne bottle to the back of the skull. Hey, it happens.

Wayne was left heartbroken when he discovered his love connection was somewhat imagined, but not entirely unsurprised either, given the circumstances. He was clearly still smitten with Mrs. Palmer, but what are you gonna do? Love hurts. In this case, it killed.

In tale of woe No. 2, entitled “Love is Blind,” my favorite of the bunch, we met one Ms. Chandler, a lovelorn wife who feared her hubby had been led astray by a vixen named Evelyn. Danny was having trouble wrapping his head around what a hottie like her would want with Bernie Chandler, who looked a bit like a member of the Sopranos crew, jumpsuit and all. Planning a surprise for his wife which she was convinced would be the announcement he was leaving her for another woman- on V-Day, no less, she was not amused.

It seems Ms. Chandler replaced the diabetic Bernie’s sugar-free chocolates she gave him with the real deal, triggering an attack. Then, she further replaced his insulin shot with sugar water, causing him to literally overdose of sugar shock. The problem? Well, it turns out that all those clandestine text messages and sneaky behavior were so that he could surprise his loving wife with a trip to a foreign locale she had always wanted to visit. It seems Evelyn wasn’t his lover, but his travel agent. Oops! Don’t you hate when that happens?

Danny was proven way wrong in that not only did Ms. Chandler love her husband- she loved him so much she couldn’t bear to share him with anyone else. Her insecurity led her to take the poor guy out, even though he did nothing to deserve it, as she discovered in the big reveal of Evelyn’s real identity. As horrific as her actions were, you couldn’t help but feel a bit bad for her- love’s gonna getcha, indeed.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the hilarious photograph of “Fat Sheldon,” which he revealed to Danny as evidence of how some people do like people for what they are, as he discovered when he shed the pounds, only to be told by the girl he fancied that she’d liked him just fine the way he was. Aww! Be that as it may, that pic was priceless.

Last and somewhat least was “In the Name of Love,” the tale of a CEO who also subscribed to the whole “If I can’t have them, no one can”-philosophy held by the misguided Ms. Chandler. Shot down at a meet with his estranged ex, the gang was sure who to suspect more: her or the many clients he was suspected of defrauding. Turns out it was neither of the two. The gun used in the crime was traced back to retired officer Thomas Reynolds, who worked security for the CEO in question, Jeremy Howser.

Tasked with tailing his ex for dirt so that Howser would come out on top in the divorce, Reynolds discovered she was actually one of the good ones. Reynolds told Howser as much, but he wasn’t having it, firing and even punching Reynolds, and seeming more determined than ever to get back at her. Fearing for the ex-wife’s safety, he followed them to their previously set-up meeting to “amicably talk” about ending the marriage, when Howser pulled out a gun and prepared to shoot her. Reynolds, unthinking, took matters into his own hands and shot Howser down, taking off afterwards.

Evidence backed Reynolds up, and though he did flee the scene of the crime, it looked like this good Samaritan was going to be okay in the long run, despite his having shot that poison arrow into Howser’s heart. An okay story, but not much to it, overall, so not the greatest one to end on in retrospect, which is probably why they actually ended on a montage of V-Day activities by the gang, including a guest spot by Josh Groban as himself, serenading Mac & Christine at some swanky-looking locale. We also saw Danny and Lindsay trying to steal a little frisky time to no avail, Jo’s daughter (somewhat dubiously) canceling her date with her boyfriend to spend time with the dateless Jo, and Flack getting surprisingly romantic with a rooftop dinner for two set up for he and Lovato on the sly, who decides she wants him to meet the fam, albeit not without hesitation.

All in all, a reasonably fun episode of “CSI: NY.” These multi-story things can be pretty hit or miss, but I liked two-thirds of it, and the stuff with the team was fun- especially the Sheldon bit- so I’m gonna give it a pass on the whole. I will say I liked it better than the whole two-episode crossover thing last week, which was somewhat more miss than hit overall.

What did you think of this super-sized story approach? Think “CSI: NY” should do more of this, or is three at least one too many for a single episode to be fully effective? How great was shlubby Sheldon? Let me know what you think in the comments!