A murdered woman. A kidnapped daughter. Tension. Drama. And a solid hour of television all around wrapped up 2010 for CSI.
The tension and drama came from new places in the story on "418/427." Generally, an episode takes the viewer on a journey of discovering how a crime or a death occurred, but this week it was all centered in one direction. It focused on a sole outcome, and the questions I kept going back to again and again were:
Will the little girl be found, and will she be alive?
There was some great camera work going on throughout the hour. Every so often, the image of FBI Agent Danielle Moore would flicker and cause the viewer to see double. That was a clue that this character - who had just lost his wife and whose daughter was missing - was a part of the strange twists and turns of the story.
It echoed the guy's fall from lawman to criminal and the quick plummet that accompanies obsession and the fear of loss.Jason Butler Harner's portrayal of Agent Moore was well played, as were the performances of the other guest stars. Patrick Stafford did a stirring and emotionally wrenching turn as Agent Moore's schizophrenic son, while Bodhi Elfman as the pedophile Rylan Gauss was realistically scary, threatening, and genuinely creepy.
The scene between Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) and Rylan Gauss in the interrogation room sent chills up my spine. It was just one of many moments that kept me engaged.
It was nice to see a story take a different track and rediscover that suspense could be maintained outside the normal generalizations of who had committed the crime. I knew from past experience that a plot like this from the writers of CSI could go anywhere.
It could have ended with a sadder conclusion than it gave us, but it is questionable how happy or solid the ending truly was. After all, the little girl was saved, but everything else was lost.
I was left thinking: As the law is black and white, the human sense of what true justice is sinks deeply into the gray - and Agent Moore discovered how easily that gray can turn to black. It was an interesting way for the show to conclude the year.