CSI Season 14 Review “Take the Money and Run”

In poker, there’s something called a “tell,” which for all intents and purposes, means showing your hand in your face before you show your hand on the table. Being able to maintain a solid “poker face” can mean the difference between winning and losing, regardless of what your hand really is. Alas, on the latest “CSI,” the show’s poker face wasn’t up to snuff this time around, as it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where everything was headed.

To be sure, when you’ve been on the air for a whopping fourteen seasons, it can be tough coming up with an intriguing and clever case that’s worthy enough to fool everyone, least of all fans who have been watching this kind of thing for ages now. Unfortunately, “Take the Money and Run” was about as imaginative as its title.

So, much as with poker, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Though reasonably well-acted, particularly in terms of follow-through with Morgan and Brass after last week’s events, this was a bit of a bust, all things considered.

I admittedly saw the twists, such as they were, coming a mile away. You see, “CSI” has a tell as well, and it’s all about the way things are staged. Space doesn’t permit me to get into all the rules, but suffice it to say that long-time viewers probably know most of the tricks of the trade as well as I do by now, and I’m guessing they weren’t fooled, either. Involving a baby was a bit of a cheap shot, too, all things considered, even if it did give Morgan an excuse to vent a bit in the long run.

To be fair, the episode had its moments here and there. The cold open was fun, what with the stylish, strobe-light-ridden robbery at the beginning; followed by an exciting, if brief, motorcycle chase on the streets of Vegas that did not end well for the rider in question, to say the least. The death by snake venom was appropriately and satisfyingly gross, and the whole meds-causing-orange-sweat thing was fairly original as a tell in its own right.

However, we’ve certainly seen the convoluted inside job casino heist before and the decoy gambit as well, and I’m pretty sure that includes on this show. I might have bought the father’s story a bit more if they hadn’t so clearly posited him as a suspect early on, and I’m talking even before he was brought in for questioning, as in the scene where they first talked to him about the lights. The minute they made it a point to show certain elements so obviously (i.e. the soap, the lights app, et al.), I knew he was in on it, and even when they brought in the kidnapping element, I still thought it.

So, for me, the episode was way too obvious to be satisfying, and the bad elements simply outweighed the good ones this time out. Last episode, I pointed out how the show used elements from sources as disparate as “Sophie’s Choice” and “Se7en” to create an interesting take on a time-worn plotline. This time, there were interesting elements, but the predictability factor simply made them no longer matter. In short, a fun opening sequence does not a good episode make. (See, Zig? I can be fair! LOL:)

That brings the score to one good episode, one bad one. What will next week bring? I suppose we’ll just have to draw the cards and wait and see. I have a feeling that this old card shark might have a few hands left in it yet.

What did you think of “CSI” this week? Was it a hit or a miss? (Or should I say a draw or a pass?) Were you fooled by the twists? Did you like anything about the episode, or did it leave you wanting? Sound off below, and I’ll see if we have the luck of the draw back on our side next week!