Review: Jack Foley
FIRST up, a confession. I am a CSI virgin, but a massive Quentin
Hence, as soon as I heard that Tarantino was to direct the two-part
season finale of the fifth season of CSI I couldn't wait to see
The result was two hours of tension-packed television that will
probably go down in history as one of the all-time great episodes
of any series.
Tarantino's presence among the CSI fraternity isn't as odd as
it may seem at first.
He has long been one of the show's biggest fans and leapt at
the opportunity to direct an episode.
He is also no stranger to the small screen, having previously
helmed an episode of ER during its first season.
In both cases, he manages to embellish two already great shows
with his own unique style without sacrificing any of the enjoyment
for existing fans.
What's more, both CSI and ER provide a fitting framework for
the director's own form of macabre movie-making - both dealing
with violence and its aftermath to varying degrees.
With CSI, especially, the show provides Tarantino with the perfect
playground in which to run amok and he wastes no time in getting
The two-parter kicks off with the kidnapping of CSI member, Nick
Stokes (George Eads), while he is investigating a grisly crime
Having lost one of their own, the remaining CSI members (now
split up) reunite once more to find him, with William Petersen's
Gil Grissom leading the way.
Coming from the deliciously warped
brain of Tarantino, however, Stokes' kidnapping is no simple affair,
given that the unfortunate detective is buried alive with only
a limited amount of oxygen to keep him going.
An extra twist is that his former colleagues have been sent a
live internet link that allows them to see inside the coffin at
the press of a button, so that they can keep monitor on Stokes'
progress while attempting to find him.
But as time rapidly runs out, the situation grows increasingly
more desperate given that Stokes has been left with a handgun
to put an end to his suffering, while also being faced with the
prospect of flesh-eating ants crawling all over him as he awaits
The ensuing two hours is as gripping as it sounds and a double-edged
treat for both Tarantino and CSI fans alike.
The director's quirky humour is evident in several of the vocal
exchanges, while his penchant for the macabre is fully realised
in a surreal dream sequence during which Stokes is made to witness
his own autopsy.
The fact that he has been buried alive also brings back memories
of Kill Bill 2 and Uma
Thurman's brush with death in that movie - so perhaps it is no
coincidence that both CSI episodes have affectionately been dubbed
Volume One and Two (there are plenty of visual nods to both Kill
Bill films throughout).
Yet while Tarantino film buffs will be satisfied with many of
the director's touches, CSI fans will doubtless be pleased with
the way he integrates his vision into the show's established formula,
while simultaneously bringing a story arc to a close (involving
the team's division).
The result is a masterclass in American television; one which
has that rare ability to appeal to converts and the uninitiated
It can only broaden the show's appeal as it contemplates a sixth
5 finale - A CSI devotee writes
CSI Season 4 - review