CSI Season 14 Review “The Fallen”

On the latest episode of “CSI,” we got a warped one, as the LVPD found themselves under fire from an unexpected source: a teenage boy with some serious issues, in “The Fallen.” As DB was questioning Jacob Baker, the young man who found himself in trouble for pointing one of those laser pens at a landing airplane a few episodes back, the teen in question, Mark Powell, laid siege to the precinct, shooting several cops and innocent bystanders in the process. Among them was the suspect, Jacob, who caught a stray bullet in the process. I guess that’s one way to scare a younger criminal straight!

This was an intense episode and essentially well-staged, save for the inherent Achilles’ heel that is standard for most crime procedurals: if you draw a lot of attention to a character we either haven’t seen before or in a decidedly limited fashion previously- in other words, a bit player- then chances are, they’re in on it somehow. Now, I’ll allow that I thought it was the gun-happy Nolan that was involved, which wasn’t entirely wrong, but you better believe I noticed the overt way the episode drew attention to reconciled couple and fellow officers, the Hughes.

In this case, though, I figured that meant one of them was about to get killed, which proved to be true, so I didn’t see the final twist of the wife being involved, but I can’t say I was that surprised, either. When a heretofore minor character gets a lot of dialogue all of the sudden, they’re either about to be a criminal or a victim. That’s just how these shows work, like it or not.

That said, though the actress playing the wife, Scottie Thompson, was pretty easy on the eyes, her acting was a bit stagy in a way that drew a bit too much attention to itself, so you kind of knew something was up. In this case, I thought it was because her husband was about to get killed, which wasn’t wrong, but as it turned out, she was also the impetus to the crime as well, having egged on the young shooter via a computer in the building that belonged to the aforementioned Dolan, hoping to pin the crime on him instead. (Cue the slasher movie-esque trope of the texts coming from inside the…um, precinct, in this case.)

Faring better was the young assailant, who, from the previews, I thought might be Chandler Riggs (aka Carl, from “The Walking Dead”), which would have been awesome, but was actually up-and-comer Brendan Meyer, of R.L. Stine’s “The Haunting Hour” fame. Never less than believable as a teen on the edge of a complete mental breakdown, Meyer helped elevate this episode to a much more intense level than it would have been otherwise.

On a certain level, you knew he wasn’t going to outright kill Danson’s character, but you definitely had to wonder if he might shoot him one good time- if not himself. In the end, he didn’t have to, as trigger-happy Dolan and his antsy crew took care of that, killing Powell in the process.

All in all, it was a decent episode, definitely watchable, if not one of my favorites this season. Certainly nothing to be embarrassed by, mind you, but neither was it up to the standards of some of the best episodes this season, like “Girls Gone Wild” or “Killer Moves” or as fun as “The Lost Reindeer” or “Check In and Check Out.” In the grand scheme of things, it was just okay, I suppose. I will say that Danson was in fine form, and that Meyer may well be one to watch in the future, so there’s that.

What did you think of the latest “CSI”? Did you see the twists coming? What did you think of the guest cast? Were you sad to hear Paul Guilfoyle (aka Captain Brass) is leaving this season? Any thoughts on who they should get to replace him? Sound off below and I’ll see you next time!