CSI Season 15 Review “Hero to Zero”

CSI Hero To Zero Season 15 Episode 15 01

On the second of an unexpected double dose of “CSI,” we saw what happens when a real-life superhero went from “Hero to Zero.” We started off with a scenario right out of a comic book: a defenseless man in an alley is assaulted by a gang of men with their faces obscured. Then, out of the darkness emerged a light- literally- and then a superhero to save the day. Or not. In this case, said superhero ended up dead for his troubles, so apparently this one could have used some back-up.

But was it the gang of thugs or was someone else responsible? Perhaps even the man he saved? Or someone closer to home? A backpack containing his stuff held some clues, including some comic-style illustrations of his various endeavors, such as saving a woman from a thug who looked to be abusive. From the looks of things, the mystery superhero might have done a fair amount of damage to his truck- a truck which just so happened to resemble one spotted close to the scene of the crime by the man who the superhero seemingly saved.

Also at the scene of the crime: lots of boot-prints, all of which were covered with what turned out to be burnt walnut shells. But why? A nearby chain of robberies seemed to point the way towards a potential solution, as a gang of thugs were spotted via the security cameras. At the scene of one of the crimes one had cut himself on a window, which led to a purple-mohawked suspect (Quincy Brown, “Dope”) that did indeed crop up in the fallen superhero’s illustration book. Alas, the teen claims that while he was there at the scene, his gang had nothing to do with the superhero’s death, although he admits to being aware of him.

After proving his alibi the night of the murder, it’s back to square one, where Greg and Morgan run into a new batch of superheroes- and potential suspects- in the alleyway the murder occurred in. According to them, the man in question was Brad Jeffries (Levi Fiehler, “Ray Donovan”), aka “Dominion.” The team notifies the man’s mother and stepfather, Seth (Leif Gantvoort, “The Amazing Spider-Man”), who confirm that they knew but didn’t particularly approve of Brad’s super-heroic efforts, to the point of letting him “train” in the basement, along with fellow pals, Tina (Tania Raymonde, “Lost”) and Scott (Greg Finley, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”), the superheroes from before.

According to Tina and Scott, their primary beef in town was with a gang they called the “Disciples.” They also saw the altercation with the man in the red truck, which turns out to be Tony Aggerro (Dale Pavinski, “Chicago P.D.”), who heads up a demolition crew, whose current gig was cleaning up a former pool supply company’s digs, which just so happened to have ground walnuts on the floor, which were used to clean pool tile. His red truck has clearly been assaulted, likely with the “Dominion’s” weapon of choice, a spiked bat, which had yet to be located, but was thought to be the weapon that did him in, in the end. However, someone had beaten the team to seeking justice, as Tony was very much dead, crushed in between a truck and its bed. Ouch!

Was it a vengeance-seeking Scott or Tina? Brad’s mother or stepfather? Or even the bum (Christopher May, “Lions for Lambs”) who Brad saved the night of his death? While the bum does indeed turn out to have the bat, and it was indeed the murder weapon, he’s innocent of either crime. Likewise, Tina was with Brad’s mother, keeping her company after the loss of her son. Further, Tony’s crew readily admit to beating Brad up that night, but say they left him alive, which proves to be true.

Next to alibi out is Scott, who admits to being at the scene of Tony’s death, but claims he found him that way, despite blood being found on his superhero boots. The bum tells the team he found the bat near a “golden star,” which turns out to be the logo of a local Ethiopian restaurant. There’s a camera out back, and who’s shown to be getting rid of the bat, but none other than Seth, Brad’s stepfather.

Turns out Seth hired the Tony and his guys to rough up Brad on purpose, in hopes of scaring him out of doing what he was doing, as he was convinced Brad was going to end up dead, breaking his mother’s heart. However, when he went to get Brad after the beat-down, he figured out what Seth had done and threatened to expose him to his wife. Seth reacted by hitting Brad with the bat, not intending to kill him, but hitting him in such a place as to kill him instantly. Then Tony tried to blackmail Seth for his involvement in Brad’s death, so Seth killed him as well, this time on purpose, by messing with his truck.

This was a fun episode, especially for comic book fans, with cool, clever touches, like the comic illustrations helping to solve the crime, the wacky costumes and colorful suspects (loved the purple Mohawk!), plus the in-joke of the culprit being a villain literally straight out of a comic book movie. That makes “CSI” two-for-two that evening, which makes it too bad that CBS seems to be burning through episodes at the speed of light- or should I say faster than a speeding bullet? That can’t be a good sign, nor is the fact that the network cut short the number of episodes this season to 18, instead of the usual 22 or so.

Granted, it’s partly because of the impending premiere of mid-season replacement “CSI: Cyber,” but it’s not as if there haven’t been several iterations of the show on at the same time before. That almost certainly means the show’s days are numbered, which is too bad. Sure, the show’s a bit long in the tooth at this point, and the number of old-school cast members have long since been dwindling, but you still hate to see such an institution go down with more of a whimper than a bang.

Granted, the show’s admittedly a bit long in the tooth, but I’d like the show at least get a half season or so to wrap things up with a flourish before its cancelled, perhaps with a multi-episode arc- this time hopefully uninterrupted, which I think upset a lot of people in the past when they did it, as with “The Gig Harbor Killer” or “The Miniature Killer.” We’ll see, but it doesn’t look good, fans, sad to say.

What did you think of the double dose of “CSI”? Which was your favorite? Are you sad the show seems to be on the verge of cancellation? Would you miss it if it went, or do you think it’s high time by now? Are you looking forward to “CSI: Cyber”? Or would you rather the original “CSI” stick around instead? Let me know in the comments below, and see you next time!