On ''CSI'' this week, New York tried too hard to be hip; Vegas strained to be sexy; and Miami seemed awfully familiar. What did you think?

By Ann Hodgman
November 02, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Gary Sinise: Timothy White

This week on ”CSI”: Rate the cases

I’m not feeling too CSI-ish this week. The New York episode had a lot of cringers. The Vegas episode had too many identical characters. And Tim Speedle got killed again in a rerun of Miami’s season premiere. I hope he doesn’t come back to life in the next new episode — he would hate to find out how cute Ryan, his replacement, is. Here’s the rundown on the two new offerings:


Big crime A participant in a DJ contest is stabbed to death. He has some icky bruises from being hung by the ankles from a window, and there are several shredded contracts lying around. Has this story line been ripped from the gangsta-rap headlines? Nah.

Little crime Blowfish poison kills a fashion designer in her living-room lap pool.

Show-offiest line ”I used to climb over a velvet rope to get into this place,” snarls Aiden as she stalks into a nightclub, her lips so pooched out that a hawk could perch on them. ”Now I climb under a crime-scene tape.” You’re so hip, Aiden! Would that velvet rope be from your Studio 54 days?

Best evidence that you’re watching CSI: NY There is no sunlight. It’s always 2 a.m.

Cringe-iest conversation Mac drops Queen Latifah’s name. ”How do you know about Queen Latifah?” asks the coroner, apparently unaware that the actress-rapper won an Oscar nomination for the not exactly obscure Chicago in 2002. Mac replies solemnly, ”It’s my job to know a little about everything.” (Was Queen Latifah was being mentioned as product placement because of her movie Taxi or because 49-and-overs would recognize her name?) By the way, Mac sure learns fast. In the previous scene, Aiden had to explain to him what grandmaster means.

Best stash That closet where Mac stores his weapon samples is quite impressive — sort of like the ”everything drawer” in my kitchen, except that in this case ”everything” has been used to kill someone. Who knew that salad tongs make a good murder weapon?

Oldest trick Come on. Blowfish poisoning? Remember when Homer Simpson thought he might die from eating fugu? That was 13 years ago.



Big crime Hey, there’s a mixer at the Bradys’ house! But not the Brady Bunch — oh, no, no. This is a wife swap in a rich gated community, and one of the wives turns up dead in someone’s backyard fountain.

Little crime Warrick and Nick find a girl’s body rotting inside a video game.

Most shuddery moment The coroner making ”chubby cheeks” on the rotting girl’s face so he can swab the inside of her mouth.

Most distracting casting decision All the women in the wife-swapping story line look exactly the same: same height, same age, same hair. All shoot the CSIs the same challenging ,”I’m so hot” glances when explaining their lifestyle. I know they’re all rich, but is there a Stepford modeling agency where the CSI casting director rents extras?

Biggest letdown Nick and Warrick promise that a landlord has been sawed up into ”deli meat.” In fact, he’s just had his neck cut open. Don’t exaggerate, fellas! When you say ”deli meat,” I want to see the guy in slices.

Character I most want to hire but also hope never to see again Marty Gleason, a hefty worker in ”bio-recovery services.” (Translation: he’ll scrape the dead landlord off the walls so you can set up shop again.) Marty, who appears to be the son of Randy Quaid and John Goodman, becomes tiresome after ten seconds — his Southern mannerisms and good-natured hustle are major symptoms of Spin-off Syndrome — but I wish he’d been around when that mouse died in our heating duct last winter.

Weapon of the week I’m a housewife. When I saw those puncture wounds in that wife’s back, I knew right away that they came from a barbecue fork. It’s funny that the perp left the fork hanging up on the barbecue instead of hiding it. I mean, this is a crowd that puts dildos in the dishwasher!

Rating B

What did you think were this week’s best and worst CSI moments?