I am assuming that if you are reading a review about the sixth season of any TV show, you are likely to have seen some of what has come before. But, in the interests of being comprehensive, I am going to briefly recap big events towards the tail end of the last season of CSI, one of the best crime dramas on TV at the moment. Catherine Willows (Species' Marg Helgenberger) was promoted to joint shift supervisor to handle half of the team, at the behest of the new Chief of the Department, the weasel Ecklie. Ecklie has something personal against the hero of CSI, the original shift supervisor Gil Grissom (William Petersen, the star of the best of the Hannibal Lector films, Michael Mann's Manhunter) and wants to take him down. At the end of Season 5 things were a bit of a mess, with the split in the team causing internal feuds and power plays which were ruining the group. It took none other than Director Quentin Tarantino to turn things around, by directing a fantastic two-part season finale that saw Nick abducted, Grissom at his best, and the team finally reunited under his control. They are two of the best episodes in the history of this TV show and I do not know how they are going to live up to expectations after them.
Well, the sixth season of CSI kicks off with an explosive episode that initially makes you wonder whether the team is indeed back together, but don't worry - they are. Things are working much more smoothly than previously, with Ecklie less influential, Grissom more in control and the rest of the CSIs left to get on with their jobs. The cases, however, have become even darker. CSI has never exactly been a barrel of laughs - nor was it ever intended to be - but it was famous for being quirky, with some strange stories and unusual characters getting themselves into odd predicaments. Some people will miss that a little bit within these first twelve episodes of the new season, but I personally prefer the darker, more gritty and often more personal stories on offer here.
Revenge, infidelity, cult worship, fraud, jealousy, it all adds up to a whole lot of dead bodies, apparently from matricide, mass suicide, trailer park explosions, dog attacks or just decomposing in the trunk of a car. Even the slightly stranger stories, like the werewolves or the man who apparently ate himself to death, have a nicer, serious edge. And in the midst of it all we get some serious developments with respect of the ongoing character and story arcs. A shootout with some drug dealers where a cop goes down lets us see Brass' true colours, Sofia comes to Grissom for help and clashes with Sara, Warrick has some explaining to do with Catherine and, most significantly, Nick is forced to confront his demons following his kidnapping trauma. My personal favourite episode has Grissom enlisted by Ecklie to refute the testimony of a fellow entimology expert at a murder trial (echoing my all-time favourite CSI episode, season three's The Accused Is Entitled). Overall I cannot wait to see the rest of this darker and fairly eventful season, as well as the shock finale and shock premiere for season 7. Things just seem to be getting better with CSI.
1. Bodies in Motion
2. Room Service
3. Bite Me
4. Shooting Stars
5. Gum Drops
6. Secrets and Flies
7. A Bullet Runs Through It Part.1
8. A Bullet Runs Through It Part.2
9. Dog Eat Dog
10. Still Life
12. Daddy's Little Girl
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