Nick: Open bottle of Vodka, a used glass. What do you think; one last drink?
Greg Sanders: One last laugh.
This week’s episode, "Take My Life, Please!," had all the markings of a pretty standard installment of CSI: Two cases going at the same time, twists in each, and of course, lots of guessing until the end.
But don’t confuse “standard” with bad or boring. After 10 years, “standard episodes” on CSI still have writing well above some of the other shows out there (I am looking at you FlashForward).
Allow me to start with a Fanboy moment and say Tim Conaway still looks great and still has great comic timing. For example, when he is asked what he did after Knuckles and Nash broke up 30 years ago he makes an awesome reference to his real life career when he says: “I was on two hit TV Sshows”. (For those of you who are not long-time comedy geeks like me. He was on “The Steve Allen Show” from 1956 to 1960 followed by “The Carol Burnett Show” from 1967 to 1978).
However, my love for Tim aside, ending the mystery with “I killed him because he lost his funny” seemed more Kevorikian and really didn’t work with Tim’s style. When he sat there confessing (and telling jokes still), I had trouble finding it believable. I would have rather had some twist where Bernie died due to an accident that would also bring a laugh instead of actually being murdered.
Also, Jennifer Tilly played Terpsie Pratt, (Knuckles' wife). This was a waste of talent. Like her or hate her, Jennifer has played some awesome characters; this was not one of them. The character was barely in the episode and you could have gotten just about anyone to play a ditzy wife and the story would have worked.
Tilly didn’t bring anything extra to the role, except maybe her name in the preview.As for the rest of the episode, any story involving large caliber weapons being fired with tracer rounds is going to appeal to your average red-blooded male (or at least this red-blooded male).
However, watching Sara put “trajectory markers” in the wounds pretty much negates any desire to run out to a shooting range. The body looked like ground beef and turned into a porcupine once all the markers were put in. It almost seemed like the writers were trying to subtly show us what has happened to military personal and civilians in combat zones without giving an out and out “guns are bad” message.
For example, there were at least two different scenes showing average people shooting automatic weapons at targets at the same time. The first being a gun club that had high security and the owner was ready with her permits right away. The second was on “private land” and the range was just a bunch of broken cars and trash mixed with a few targets. So neither location gave a “guns are bad” message.
But when it turns out that the guy was killed on the second range including having his hands and feet blown off, you can’t help but cringe a little when you think about it.
As an interesting side note, I did do some research and there actually are several gun clubs in Las Vegas that offer packages of shooting automatic weapons legally. So if you are headed to Las Vegas anytime soon and you want to try out an AK-47 or M16, do some searching online before you go.
Overall, it was an entertaining hour of “who-done-it” mysteries. Maybe I am reading deeper meaning into the second story plot then others would. What do you think? Do you think there was a subtle message of “this is what can happen in war zones” in this episode?
Please comment below and tell us your thoughts on the episode.
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.