CSI Season 14 Review “Dead in His Tracks”

Dead in His Tracks

In the season finale of “CSI,” we got a tale that spanned some twenty-five years, in “Dead in His Tracks.” We started with a flashback to three kids- or was it four?- who stumble upon what, at first glance, appears to be the right place at the right time, but soon proves to be the wrong one. Gathering at a local hang-out, an old shack by the train tracks, they discover a man bleeding to death from a gunshot wound, with a bag filled with money and an odd statue. One wants to turn it over to the cops, another wants to keep it, tempers flare and the latter clocks the former with the statue. But did he kill the boy in question, or was there more to it?

Well, this is “CSI,” so of course there is. Flash-forward to the present and a man is found dead, also by gunshot wound, by the very same tracks, and this man just so happens to be one of the survivors of that fateful day long ago. As the stolen money or the statue were never recovered, locals are convinced it has something to do with it, including the sheriff, who might be corrupt. Also involved is a wanna-be forensic detective and former deputy Sam Bishop (Treat Williams), who’s been working on the case for all this time to an obsessive degree.

In the end, it was sort of a “Stand By Me” gone horribly awry. Only this dead body had money with it and, as money is wont to do, it caused some trouble. Turns out there was indeed another kid present, a late arrival in the form of Bishop’s own daughter (genre regular Gina Holden, beautiful but deadly). When the dead man’s brother showed up, in an effort to keep the kid who was suffering from a blow to the head quiet, she accidentally smothered him so as to not get them all killed.

As bad as this would have been, she also pulled the trigger on the dead adult by the train tracks who sought her out for help finding the statue, which was worth way more than the money formerly at hand. When he tried to snake a lion’s share of the profits, she went all viper on him (see what I did there?) and took him out, keeping the statue for herself. She would have gotten away with it, but her father put the pieces together finally and sought out her secret hiding place, hoping he wouldn’t find what he thought he would, but turning it over to the CSI crew anyway- the gun and the statue, evidence of both her past and current crimes.

This was a pretty solid episode all around, between the twisty plot and the surprise twist of it being the daughter of the very guy who had been searching for the truth all this time turning out to be the culprit. He finally got the answer he was searching for, but at the cost of his own daughter, a bittersweet ending if there ever was one.

This story also served as a nice parallel to what was going on with Brass’ daughter, Ellie, who had tried to commit suicide, an event which belatedly led to her making peace with her long-suffering dad and owning up to her crimes. It also is likely to serve as the last episode we’ll be seeing Brass in for a while, as Paul Guilfoyle is leaving the show. With his character not being killed off like some of the past characters, the window will still be open for him to return, but it’s likely to be in a diminished capacity at best. Who can blame him, as long as this show’s been on?

I suppose overall this was a somewhat muted episode, without the big fireworks we sometimes get on a typical bombastic “CSI” finale, i.e. the one last season with the serial killer directly terrorizing members of the gang. But that said, I didn’t mind it being down tempo for a change, as the cliffhanger thing can get a bit old every time. This was nicely self-contained, and I can live with that. It was also well-acted throughout- especially Williams and Holden- and if one of the culprits was somewhat obvious, I don’t know that I saw the big twist coming of it being the daughter who actually did the most damage, which nicely underscored the business with Brass. All in all, not a bad way to end the season.

What did you think of “CSI” this season? Did you like the finale? Glad it’s coming back? Are you pulling for another spin-off? Do you think they should go with the Patricia Arquette thing or something else? (Update: “CSI: Cyber” has indeed been picked up to series, so good on PA and company.) Sound off below, and maybe I’ll see you next season!