CSI Review: Kicking It Old School

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I have to give credit to to the writers of CSI. The concept behind "CSI Unplugged" - the power is out, the team must actually use its brains over its technology - was brilliant.

If you ignored the fact that most city and state building (especially those housing evidence or refrigeration areas like a coroner/morgue) usually have generator backups, or portable gas generators could have been brought in for equipment that needed it, the story was a lot of fun. Watching Morgan and Greg do the blood testing reminded me of high school chemistry when we determined our own blood type.

Do high schools students still do that in chemistry these days? 

D.B. and Julie

Even without all the gadgets they normally possess, everyone was as clever as ever. I loved David's chemical "mood light" he made for Doc Robbins. Although I'm curious why Hodges thinks Morgan has a grudge against him. Either I'm forgetting an episode or I missed one early on this season because his comment to DB about omitting he was in the elevator with Henry made no sense to me.

Did anyone else think the mother-in-law was involved because they had Bess Armstrong (from My So Called Life) portraying her? Using a well-known star as the killer is one of the classic blunders that many crime shows make. Nicely done. I totally fell for it! However, when Finn suspected her, I knew she wasn't involved and it had to be the medium, Karen, seeing as the other mistake crime shows commit is that the killer is always someone we have seen several times - and Karen was the only one remaining.

I had a little trouble with the father, TC Riordan (Jeffrey Pierce). He was really flat through most of the episode, I couldn’t tell if he was missing Harper or not until he told DB and Brass that he was a father who wanted them to find his son. I saw Pierce previously in The Sarah Connor Chronicles when he played a cyborg. It's pretty clear his emotional range is better suited for a robot over that of a worried father.  

But the only wet blanket was Finn and her pessimistic attitude towards kidnapping cases. I’m betting there is some history there (DB made one reference to her history of forgiveness) where she lost a child in Seattle because it went over the three-hour rule. But, if there was, I wish they would have given us more info on it so that we could sympathize with Finn instead of feeling like she was being a snarky bitch. 

So far, in three episodes Elisabeth Shue has been in, we have seen three different versions of her. I hope that she can nail the character down a little bit more and figure out how she wants to portray Finn to be a bit more consistent. Personally, I liked the first incantation we met: confident but not obnoxious or rude. Which Finn have you liked so far?


Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Great video Mark, thanks!A coplue of things worth noting not all studio strobes have their fastest flash duration at the lowest power setting. Alienbees, for instance, are just the opposite.Also, speedlights get their name from the fact that they are extremely fast. A Nikon SB-900 has a flash duration of 1/38500 at it's lowest power setting. You'd be limited to a small guide number, so it's perfect for capturing crystal clear pictures of small things in motion, like water splashes.


I agree with Jessica! I like Finn and DB....first time since Grissom left have I been enjoying CSI again!!


Was it just me or did the house in the csi episode 282: Unplugged, look an awful lot like the Walsh house from the set of the original "Beverley Hills 90210"??? Maybe i'm just imagining things! Lol


I like Elisabeth Shue/Julie Finlay period. Ray Langston was a gloomy cloud hanging over the show and never gelled with Catherine. Catherine and D.B. were ok, but now there's finally an interesting relationship between partners again. She's made the show much better and more entertaining. I'm loving it again. D.B. is certainly no Grissom, but this is the best it's been for me since Grissom left.


Lilli, "Red Hat" was hired by Karen, he had the metal fibers they found that matched the custom car-rim shop across the street from the wire transfer location. He did the calling.


I'm sorry but how is it that Finn arrives and becomes the ass't night supervisor over CSI level 3 Stokes who has been with the show for it's entire run? Do we really need a catalyst for D.B. so soon in his run?


At best a "so-so" episode. Needed more Hodges and Henry in the elevator. More Nick, Sara, and Greg and less less less of Ms Shue/Fin. Her character isn't settling in with the others at all--shades of amazin' Ray.
Why the generators were not working is beyond me! This story would have been better if the lab had lost power due to a storm, not all of Vegas.
Missing kid--it is pretty predictable and as Sara and Nick found the boy, why didn't they take him to the father? Oh, forgot, new CSI and its all about DB and Fin now.


So, who was the man who made the call to set up the meeting in the parking garage? It couldn't have been Karen, but I didn't see any mention of her working with someone else.


DCB, Mistake may have been the wrong word, I actually like the cohesion that is created when the killer is someone we know. having someone pop out of no where and be the killer feels less satisfying than nailing someone we have been watching lie to us. I will think on the choice for "mistake" and see if I can come up with something better.


". . .the killer is always someone we have seen several times. . ."
Hmmm, a conundrum. Yes we almost always see the real killer several times, but the alternative is too much like 'deus ex machina', where the caper is solved by the revelation of someone we've NOT seen at all and just suddenly pops out of nowhere to provide a resolve for the plot.
Yes, I've often guessed who the killer is, but I don't see that as a problem. The engaging part of the show is the character interaction and their ability to create a case and methodically resolve the crime. That we already are pretty sure who it is does not detract from that experience. It's not just a 'whodunnit' it's also a 'howdunnit'. You know, like 'Banacek' or 'Columbo.'

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CSI Season 12 Episode 16 Quotes

Finn: You know the rule, if we don't find this kid in 3hrs, he's dead
DB: If the lights don't come back on, we'll find the kid in the dark.

Hodges: What part of "Hold the door" did you not understand?
Henry: I understood all of it.