Review: Lizzie Guilfoyle
The Season Five finale of Channel Five's ever-popular crime series,
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, certainly lived up to expectation.
In a story written and directed by cinema's Quentin Tarantino,
it saw Nick (George Eads) taken hostage, imprisoned in a glass
coffin (complete with webcam) and buried at a secret location.
So, what for the 'grave-yard shift' (and never was a name more
apt) started out as just another night, soon became a race against
time to rescue a friend and colleague from almost certain death.
Played out over two episodes, it shamelessly exploited one of
man's worst fears - being buried alive. Nick's realization of
and reaction to his plight was both chilling and piteous to watch.
And the overwhelming sense of claustrophobia, along with the deteriorating
conditions of his confinement as Grissom and Co followed one false
lead after another, was played out almost to the end.
As for motive, it wasn't money as at first appeared but love
- a father's love for a daughter convicted (by CSI evidence) and
humiliated by her experience in a penal institution. Love and
hate, always so intricately linked, were taken to extremes, with
John Saxon's father making the ultimate sacrifice which, in turn,
stretched Grissom's ingenuity to the limit. Yet strangely it was
with the daughter, not the CSIs, that the story ended - in this
respect, somewhat ambiguously I felt.
But it was good to see the team working
together again; the frictions of past episodes set aside in a
common objective. And if Grissom's power of leadership was ever
in doubt, here was proof to the contrary. As he himself said in
the concluding minutes, "I want my team back". So do
we Grissom. So do we....
As always, the cast members were totally convincing but particular
credit must go to Eads for his portrayal of a man confronted by
his worst nightmare - especially as, given the circumstances,
the role required few words and limited action. Gary Dourdan (Warrick)
also deserves a mention for his sensitive interpretation of a
man haunted by the knowledge that, but for the toss of a coin,
the roles would most certainly have been reversed.
There were, of course, lighter moments - most notably the banter
between two members of an intimate foursome that included Catherine's
father, Sam Braun. Nevertheless, a surprise cameo appearance by
two of Hollywood's 'golden oldies' could well have been missed
without reference to 'The Vikings'.
On the negative side, however, Nick's hallucinatory post-mortem
failed in its attempt to amuse, coming across instead, as ghoulish
and unnecessary - more a time-filler or an over indulgence of
Tarantino's lust for the macabre. In fact, the whole was stamped
with the Tarantino hallmark - even the temporarily shelved case
in which two young women (twins as it turned out) were shot in
the head at point-blank range.
It was, to say the least, a harrowing 100 minutes worth of TV
drama; undeniably entertaining but possibly not one destined for
5 finale - A Tarantino devotee writes
CSI Season 4 - review