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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Season 7, Part 2

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AFTER what seems a very long time, Season 7, Part 2 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is available to buy on DVD.

The first of the three franchises, the Las Vegas-based CSI: Crime Scene Investigation broke new ground when it burst upon an unsuspecting public in the year 2000. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, concentrating more on the crimes than the lives of the CSIs whose job it is to solve them but who have become household names nevertheless.

Yet therein lies the secret of CSI‘s success. The crimes are varied, often appalling and frequently show a side of Vegas seldom, if ever, seen by tourists. And what little we know of the CSIs has been gleaned very gradually over a period of seven years.

A case in point is Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara’s (Jorja Fox) relationship which remained under wraps for six whole seasons, as least as far as viewers were concerned. It actually took another 24 episodes and Sara’s disappearance in Living Doll, for Catherine (Marj Helgenberger) and Co to find out.

The revelation did, in fact, come in the final episode of Season 7, in the first of a two-parter that was the culmination of an ongoing storyline involving the so-called “miniature murders”. It’s not often that Grissom is fooled (I’m referring, of course, to the confession and subsequent suicide in Loco Motive). It’s even rarer to see him with his defences down, so Living Doll was something of an eye-opener.

It also provided an annoying cliff-hanger ending to the season. I use the word annoying because we had to wait an entire year for its dramatic conclusion in the opening episode of Season 8 – the first time, incidentally, that CSI has made use of such a devious and unnecessary tactic – no doubt, a misguided ploy to maintain our interest.

Those of you watching Season 8 (currently airing on Channel Five) will know that Sara has finally left yet the seeds for her departure were sown in Empty Eyes, when she is haunted by the terrified eyes and cryptic words of a murder victim. It’s a particularly horrifying crime but one that was inspired by an actual case.

In 1996, Richard Speck killed eight student nurses in Chicago. CSI‘s victims were showgirls but just as in the Speck case, they came from different ethnic backgrounds, shared a home and a common profession, were held captive, tortured, sexually abused and stabbed – a case of art imitating life.

It was during Season 7 that Grissom took a four week sabbatical (necessitated by Petersen’s appearance in a play) and the graveyard shift was left in the competent though somewhat unorthodox hands of Michael Keppler (Liev Schreiber). Love him or loathe him, here was a man with a secret and in Law of Gravity all was revealed. The success of the episode owed as much to Schreiber’s brilliant performance as the tortured CSI as to the intricacies of the plot – without a doubt, CSI at its very best.

Lady Heather (Melinda Clarke) returned for the fourth time and ruffled Sara’s feathers (The Good, the Bad, and the Dominatrix); Greg (Eric Szmanda) was forced to confront the mother and brother of the hoodlum he killed earlier in the season (Big Shots); we learned that Warrick (Gary Dourdan) and Tina are no longer together (Leapin’ Lizards); and Brass (Paul Guilfoyle – no relation incidentally) continued to deliver amusing one-liners, such as “I’m just a phone booth away from changing into my tights and saving the world.” (Leapin’ Lizards).

All that and a great deal more, which makes it easy to see why CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is as popular today as it was way back in the year 2000. And now it’s yours to keep…….

Read the review of Law of Gravity