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CSI: New York, Season 4, Part 1

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

CSI: NY, Season 4, Part 1 opens in spectacular style – with a murder on the iconic Statue of Liberty. But as the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it and New York certainly does have a great deal to flaunt, not least its many famous and well loved landmarks. It’s particularly gratifying, therefore, to see them take centrestage when the bulk of filming for the series takes place elsewhere.

However, it’s interesting to note that the entire interior of the Statue of Liberty has been closed to the public since the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers but here we see the CSIs at liberty (pardon the pun) to come and go at will. What I wonder, did it take to get permission to film those scenes? But whatever, it made for some visually stunning television.

It’s an episode entitled Can You Hear Me Now? and it marks the beginning of an intriguing storyline – involving the number 333, mysterious phone calls and jigsaw puzzles – that concludes dramatically nine episodes later in The Thing About Heroes. And in a neat twist, it’s Mac (Gary Sinise), not Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) as we’re led to believe, who is the intended target.

It’s a storyline that takes Mac back to Chicago where he’s forced to confront a traumatic event from the past. It also introduces Kerr Smith (Drew Bedford) whose portrayal of a man misguidedly seeking to right a wrong evokes sympathy and outrage in equal measure.

It’s in Season 4 that Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) turns ‘hero’ – first saving Hawkes (Hill Harper) from a watery grave in The Deep – an episode, incidentally, that might well disturb sqeamish viewers with its graphic depiction of a badly decomposed body – and later, in The Thing About Heroes, by halting a runaway train with the CSIs and Flack (Eddie Cahill) on board.

Danny is also the focus of an emotional episode in which his neighbour’s 10-year-old son is killed during a robbery (Child’s Play). Although indirectly responsible for the boy’s death – ie: acting on instinct led to a fateful split second decision – Danny is distraught. And here Giovinazzo is superb, displaying guilt, sorrow and regret exactly as befits his character.

Predominantly serious, CSI: NY is not without its lighter moments and these are provided by Flack – with his witty one-liners – and, to a lesser degree, by Adam (AJ Buckley) now a regular cast member. It’s in Down the Rabbit Hole that a gleeful Adam introduces a sceptical and, for once, bewildered Mac to the online world of avatars in Second Life. The interaction of the two men is priceless.

You may be interested to know that the title Down the Rabbit Hole is an allusion to Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass in which Alice follows the rabbit down the rabbit hole. Other episodes reference The Wizard of Oz (Happily Ever After), James Bond (You Only Die Once) and Dr Who (Time’s Up).

Finally, One Wedding and a Funeral – no prizes for guessing where that came from – again features one of New York’s beautiful landmarks – Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. Just one of the reasons – along with great storylines and a convincing and engaging cast – that make CSI: NY so watchable.

More CSI: NY coverage