It was a fairly lighthearted affair this week, as the CSIs squared off in "Hitting for the Cycle. They actually took bets on the occurrence of a homicide, suicide, accidental, and natural death taking place all in one shift.
Episodes such as this walk a thin line and can become too campy, or lose their focus, but I really only had one problem with the story: I had to focus my suspension of disbelief to imagine that both cases could be solved in one night. CSI is notorious for playing fast and loose with the time it actually takes for crimes to be solved, but this story went a little further than it should have.
However, the writers managed to make up for that one slip by giving me a fountain of pus, lovely character interaction, and possibly the most annoying one-shot character ever created.Kevin, the new assistant M.E., opened his mouth for the first time and had me wishing for his sudden demise or disappearance. Perhaps it should have been easy to detect the writers' ploy, but they've done some funky things in the past so I almost believed Kevin was going to be around for a while. Thankfully, this character, without a shred of likability, turned out to be the elusive natural death that completed the grave shift's cycle.
The two main mysteries were pretty benign, and I think outside the greater quest of completing the cycle would have made for a mediocre episode. Bright spots did spring forth, though.
Ray's conversations with the ex-wife of the man found, presumably, murdered in a pool were brief but insightful. We learned more about feelings regarding his own failed marriage.
While cliche, the lesson of true blind love between the obese gamer and his beautiful girlfriend did not become saccharine or a mere cruel joke. Greg and Brass did not believe her grief was sincere, but the conviction in her voice certainly pulled through.
Most of the fun came from the conversations between the various CSIs and lab techs as the hunt for the natural death expanded the betting pool, offering a glimpse at how such a serious job can be coped with.
In the end, Doc Robbins walked away with victory in the betting pool for the cycle, which was a nice touch. I was actually pulling for Catherine's bet that a natural death wouldn't take place. It's always fun when this show proves me wrong.