CSI definitely started out with a bang in 2010. After 10 years as CBS’s #1 show the heat keeps coming along with original story lines. The staple cast of Laurence Fishburn, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads and Paul Guilfoyle has also included, as of late, the return of Jorge Fox aka Sara Sidle or should I say Sara Grissom? While I was not particularly sad to see her go in the first place, the writers have kept her plot lines minimal and in the background.
Every season we have a ‘special case’ that pulls through the entire season. Previous years have been the bathtub killer, miniature killer, and recently the 2009-2010 season had the Dr. Jackel plot. This year we have two! The first was launched (literally) in the premiere episode when Nick, and the rest of the LVPD were pretty close to being blown to bits at the funeral of the flat foot killed in last year's cliff-hanger. The episode went on to reveal plans to bomb the LVPD building, and it was all connected to a right wing ‘anti-government’ group. The twist in this was that the bomber was unknowingly freed in the end of the episode.
Okay I am going to be blunt. The guest star of the premiere was Justin Bieber. I have to say my eyes rolled, and I shook my head in dismay when I saw the preview. However, my lack of enthusiasm for the young entertainer cannot dimish his better than expected performance. He came off as believable, although I would suggest a smidge more time with the acting coach. The ending shot of his eyes was chilling. So despite my reservations of the shows casting, the reality was a well played career move by Mr. Beiber.
Our other hook for the year was revealed in the fourth episode, “Sqweegel”. I have to say the CSI writers are definitely going for the creep factor this year. Guest starring Ann-Margaret, the team is looking for a latex covered stalker who is apparently on the look out for ‘noble liars’. The three victims are all public heroes with major skeletons. Like an adulteress named as the president of the Family Morals League and a paramedic who selflessly rescued a victim from a raging fire, that he started.
This avenger stalks his victims for weeks before attacking them with a warning, “I know what you’ve done, confess”. He lets them live, but if the victim doesn’t take his advice he returns to kill them. The creepy part came when during the investigation, they lifted one of the victim’s beds and found an outline of this freak’s body in dust beneath the bed! Agghhh, yeah I am still getting chills. The other creep factor comes in when you see the “Sqweegel”. The character is covered head to toe in black shiny latex, complete with zipper hood. They only resemblance of humanity being his different colored eyes staring you down. The movement of the character is something out of a Tales From the Crypt comic. He doesn’t walk, he hovers on all fours moving foot, hand, opposite foot and opposite hand. The actor portraying the “Sqweegel” uses his/her astounding muscle control to add an inhuman quality to the perfomance making it unforgettable.
These two stories alone make the show worth watching for me. The refresh of the cast two years ago has added new dynamics and complex pasts, to offer an abundance of fresh ideas.
While CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is now in its eleventh season, it is not slowing down with the push of originality that made the show great. I will add one little note. Can we ease off the CGI a little? I understand the effects are a part of the mystique of the show. However, I would rather the writers focus on the awesome cast of characters and spend a little less on explosions and micro-cellular magnification. Besides that I will continue to watch CSI this season, and for those of you who have taken a break from the show, now is a terrific time to come back and get reacquainted.