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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Season 7, Part 1

CSI: Season 7

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

“I TEND not to believe people; they lie. The evidence never lies.” The words of Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and the premise of the evergreen crime series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Now, with Season 7, Episodes 1 to 12 available for the first time on DVD, fans can turn back the clock and revisit the Vegas crime scenes.

Season 6, you may remember, ended with the relationship between Grissom and Sara (Jorja Fox) finally revealed – at least to us, the viewers – but if you expect a sudden escalation of passion in Season 7, you’ll be disappointed. There is, of course, the occasional intimacy – a fleeting smile, a momentary eye contact but blink and you might miss it. Even when Grissom announces his impending sabbatical, Sara remains inscrutable.

However, it’s in Season 7 that Grissom faces his biggest challenge to date – a serial killer who creates precise miniature replicas of the crime scenes – the so-called “miniature murders”. The recurring storyline surfaces in Episode 2, Built to Kill (Part 2) when the victim is an ageing rock star. Interestingly, Sean Young (No Way Out, A Kiss Before Dying) who starred alongside Petersen in the delightful “chick flick” Cousins (in which, incidentally, they were lovers!) makes a guest appearance.

In Episode 7 (Post Mortem), the second victim, an elderly cancer patient, is summarily dispatched through a glass window, followed in Episode 10 (Loco Motives) by a death at a poultry processing plant. However, a confession foils Grissom into believing the case is closed.

Season 7 also sees what is possibly the most violent episode to date – Fannysmackin’. A sobering episode in many ways, not least because the violence is totally mindless. Greg (Eric Szmanda) too, becomes a victim of a particularly graphic assault and later, sees the gang member he unwittingly ran down with his car, flatline in the hospital room next to his. An unlikely situation, it’s included, no doubt, solely for dramatic effect. But it works.

This is an episode in which American rapper (or Britney Spears ex-husband as he’s probably better known) Kevin Federline guest stars as teenager Cole Tritt. An odd choice you may think, considering Federline was 28 years old at the time of filming….

Another guest appearance of note is that of legendary rock star Roger Daltrey who turns up in Episode 9, Living Legend, as mobster Mikey Dunn who returns to Las Vegas to settle old scores. You could, however, be forgiven for not recognizing him as initially he appears in a number of clever disguises. Fans will, of course, know that Daltrey was the founder and lead singer of The Who, the rock band that performs all three CSI theme songs.

In the same episode, Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) learns more about her father, the recently deceased Sam Braun (Scott Wilson) whose death was played out in the second episode, Built to Kill Part 2. But it’s in Living Legend that we learn more about the young Catherine (Amy Scott), in particular, of her involement with Dunn.

Finally, in Episode 12, Sweet Jane, we meet Michael Keppler (Liev Schreiber) who more than adequately fills Grissom’s shoes though probably for all the wrong reasons! What is certain is that Keppler has a past – one he can’t forget; one that sooner or later, will catch up with him – and Schreiber’s performance as the tortured CSI is superb.

It’s sometimes hard to believe that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been around so long. The storylines are as fresh now as they were at the very beginning, and still we know relatively little about the CSIs themselves. Sadly, nothing lasts but hopefully, CSI will continue to grace our screens for a very long time.

Read the review of Fannysmackin’