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CSI: New York - Snow Day

Carmine Giovinazzo

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the season finale of CSI: New York in season three, an episode entitled Snow Day.

What’s the story? Following a drugs bust in a Brooklyn Warehouse led by Flack (Eddie Cahill), Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Adam Ross (AJ Buckley), there to process the scene, are taken hostage by members of the gang.

At the same time, Mack Taylor (Gary Sinise), Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) and Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper) are trapped inside the crime lab with gang members masquerading as workers responding to a phoney gas leak, who will stop at nothing to retrieve the 900 kilos of cocaine siezed during the raid.

Why so good? Although high on tension, Snow Day also reveals more about the characters, in particular, Danny and Lindsay (Anna Belknap) who, after weeks of will-they-won’t-they, finally get together. And here, I think I’m right in saying, we have the first intimate scene between CSIs in the entire history of the series.

More importantly perhaps, the fact that it should really have been Lindsay helping Adam at the warehouse and not Danny, makes it all the more compelling, not least because of the brutality of the captors. Could Lindsay have coped with the situation?

Digging a little deeper: With just three locations – the warehouse, the CSI building and Danny’s flat – there’s a definite sense of claustrophobia; while at times, it’s hard to imagine a positive outcome. After all, intrepid though they are, the CSIs are well and truly outnumbered, and even Flack can’t possibly be in two places at the same time. Which made me wonder if New York’s season finale was heading in the same direction as its Vegas counterpart’s – a cliffhanger ending.

Fortunately, it didn’t. The sole purpose of cliffhanger endings is to keep viewers’ interest alive and that’s something none of the CSI franchises need, quite simply because storylines are enough in themselves. So shame on you CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

But I digress. Snow Day also gives AJ Buckley chance to shine as a man tormented by his failure to withstand torture – and here the scenes of Adam receiving cigarette burns to his hand are shockingly graphic – and therefore providing the gang with vital access to the lab. He does, however, acquit himself admirably by saving the lives of two of Flack’s officers at risk of his own.

Mack too, gets the girl – Dr Peyton Driscoll (Claire Forlani) – and he doesn’t care who knows. As the pair head into the sunset (well, to London to be precise), Flack’s expression says it all. But it took a close encounter with death for the dedicated CSI to see his life in its true perspective.

And the title Snow Day – it could be because cocaine is often referred to as “snow”. However, I prefer to think it’s because, in his note to Lindsay explaining that he was working her shift, Danny wrote “Enjoy your snow day.” The term snow day is American and derived from the unexpected days off enjoyed by pupils when schools close following heavy snow falls. A snow day is, therefore, a bonus day off which is exactly what Lindsay has.

As always with CSI, nothing is as straightforward as it seems and in this, Snow Day excels. You could, however, argue that much of the action stretches credibility to the limit but do we really care when the end result is as powerful and entertaining as this most certainly is?

Read our review of the first half of season 3