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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - For Warrick

Gary Dourdan

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOR Warrick, the season premiere of the evergreen CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, is the most emotionally charged of all 103 episodes in the series’ long history.

It opens exactly where Season Eight left off – with Warrick (Gary Dourdan) fatally wounded by the man who framed him for mobster Lou Gedda’s murder – Undersheriff Jeffrey McKeen (Conor O’Farrell).

It is, in fact, McKeen who confidently ‘calls in’ the shooting having cleverly (though as it turns out, not quite as cleverly as he thought) set up Officer Daniel Pritchard as the perpetrator.

But it’s Grissom (William Petersen) who reaches Warrick first and pulls him from the car. It’s a scene that few will forget and for that, all credit must go to Petersen who conveys Grissom’s anguish, shock and despair with such conviction.

Even so, Warrick’s final moments, cradled in Grissom’s arms, are truly heartbreaking. For as regular viewers know, these two men, the mentor and his protege, shared a special bond – an enduring father/son relationship. Put simply, they loved one another. And how refreshing, in this age of suggestion, that their love was seen for what it really was, without being marred by sexual undertones.

But grief apart, the team pull together and, with Ecklie’s blessing, set about apprehending the killer. And in this, For Warrick has all the elements we’ve come to expect from CSI – drama, suspense and eventual closure.

However, Warrick’s loss is undeniably the key factor and brings with it the return of Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) who, you will remember, left the series in Season 8. Her reunion with Grissom is bitter/sweet and again it’s largely down to Petersen who has already proved he can convey depth of feeling without words.

And throughout, Nick (George Eads) is superb, mourning the loss of his best friend with initial disbelief, followed by a dogged determination to succeed, and finally anger. I’m just glad he didn’t pull the trigger when taunted by an unrepentent McKeen – tempting as it was. Catherine (Marj Helgenberger), often close to tears, maintains her dignity inspite of losing someone for whom, I suspect, her feelings ran deeper than mere friendship.

For Warrick cleverly combines emotion with action, and is therefore, never stifling. And for once, there are no autopsy scenes which, in the circumstances, is as it should be.

Whatever the reasons behind Dourdan’s departure, his character was certainly given the send off it so rightly deserved. As Grissom says in the final frame “I’ll miss him”. So will we all.