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CSI – S12E12 – “Willows in the Wind”

CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CSI – S12E12 – “Willows in the Wind”

Spoilers from previous episodes.

After being shot and chased, Catherine and D.B. are on the run from an elite assassin team whose motives remain murky. Finding help from some unlikely friends, Catherine and the team are able to sort out fact from fiction, but is the truth really what she wants to hear? Given an offer she could refuse, Catherine Willows has to decide if she’s going to leave the Las Vegas Crime Lab behind.

Score: 3 of 5

>Spoilers<

CSI – S12E12 – “Willows in the Wind”

Catherine gets emotional as she says goodbye.

CSI is a show I rarely watch first run because there is always something I’d rather watch, usually a show on USA or SyFy. While CSI has some arcs, it’s not a long arc show and almost every episode is a Villain of the Week style making it the perfect pickup series. I catch episodes during the off times when other shows are on breaks and CSI is re-airing on about six other channels. Although, I did catch up with “Willows in the Wind” via the CBS website because I was a bit more interested in this episode than others.

Catherine Willows is probably my second favorite character after Nick Stokes so I was interested in seeing how they were going to send her off.

Dummy me didn’t pay attention and didn’t watch the first half of this two-part episode but the catch up was more than enough to figure out what was going on. Mostly I needed to know that Catherine had been shot and is on the run with D.B. after she was working on a case involving an old friend of hers.

The whole of this episode was typical CSI fare with a bit of a greatest hits vibe but that is to be expected when a character is leaving, especially one that’s been there twelve years. Perhaps kudos that they didn’t go overboard but for the most part it was a ‘nothing special’ episode. The last ten minutes is where it was all going to be and what everyone was waiting for anyway, Catherine’s goodbye, and boy was it a bit dodgy.

I’d seen enough of the twelfth season (first eight episodes) to know that they had been playing the demotion card a lot to give her a reason for leaving. Then there was the ‘daughter moved out, empty nest syndrome’ as well. All this is valid characterization for her leaving but the whole scene was poorly executed.

  • CSI – S12E12 – “Willows in the Wind”
    Cathrine says goodbye to her team.

    Catherine is told by FBI she could have a future in the FBI, okay, sure.

  • Catherine sees her ex-friend and has a soul searching moment, good.
  • Catherine turns around and quits, effectively immediately. Erm, what? She hasn’t even had time to fill out and application let alone go through all the red-tape it takes to get accepted into the FBI academy. And what’s all this effective immediately crap? Why is it people in tv shows can just quit while if I tried that I’d lose my last paycheck and get a bad reference?
  • Catherine then gives a speech extolling the virtues of the CSI team, they are so great, family, blah blah, but doesn’t really say why she’s leaving other than she wants to move on. She touches on this at the beginning but her over-emotional speech practically cancels out everything she just said. Not the worse goodbye speech ever but it definitely leaves you scratching your head. If she loves them so much and has no real reason to leave except she’s pissed and bored then wha..??

At least they didn’t kill her off meaning she can pop up later as a guest star but at the same time I don’t think I want her back after the attitude in which she left. Not quite as bad as Padme’s death scene but it did feel like a major F-U moment. Or, who knows, maybe that is what they were going for in the first place?

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Television

 

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Finder – S01E02 – “Bullets”

FOX's The Finder

Finder – S01E02 – “Bullets”

Taking a page from NCIS, Bones regular Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) visits the Finder to recertify Walter to work on federal cases. Sweets rides shot gun as Walter attempts to locate evidence to at least stay the execution of a cop accused of killing another cop. A couple of Miami Vice homage’s with Sweets being adorable later and Walter has his man. Well, he’s pretty sure. The B-plot with Willa is kind of dumb but at least shows some character development which isn’t as cliché as the pilot. With the inclusion of several wonderful scenes and The Finder shows marked improvements and a steady gait.

Score: 3 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

We begin with a rather zealous warden who believes X-Files’ Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) is an innocent man on death row. There’s a reminder that Leo is a full fledge lawyer, in case anyone missed that between the backdoor pilot and first episode, and we’re also treated to an interesting spin on Walter’s irreverence. Walter wears a suit, an honest to goodness suit, with no arguments, no jacket over a shirt, etc. It’s an interesting touch, which may or may not have been deliberate, but it is subtle character development. Of course, as soon as he’s back at the bar he strips down to his usual polo and shorts in front of Sweets.

Finder – S01E02 – “Bullets”

Dr. Lance Sweets accompanies Walter.

Another nice touch is we learn that the bar is actually Leo’s and it runs on the honor system… which is a nice way to address and lampshade the fact that if they are always off finding things then who is watching the bar?

Walter then sets out in search of evidence in the form of a bullet, Sweets in tow. Sweets is a fun character and Bones fans will enjoy this crossover and I think the same is true for non-Bones viewers. Sweets has a certain cute charm which is pretty endearing. His cameo does serve a purpose though, and that is to be the fulcrum in which the missed exposition and background from the first episode is finally lifted out of the way.

Sweets inadvertently gets Leo to admit that his wife and daughter have been killed and that sent him into a very angsty and dark depression. One can guess it was the murderer which Walter stopped Leo from killing, or maybe who Leo thought was the killer. Hopefully we’ll get a little more here and there about this before the inevitable flashback episode because we know one is coming.

Also, best line of the series so far comes from Sweets asking if Walter ever considered committing suicide. His answer: “I can think of at least ten people I’d kill before I’d kill myself.” This really locks in the tone of the series, sharp, witty, and blunt.

Finder – S01E02 – “Bullets”

Possibly one of the funniest gun battles... ever.

The rest of the episode is either a lampoon of 80s cop shows or an overly sardonic and sarcastic treatise on 80s cop shows. I’m not entirely sure what that means but it feels right. Under the obvious Miami Vice pot shots there is the now classic comment “it was a different time in the 80s, a simpler time”. This refers to the concept that before cops became more accountable for their actions, civil liberties were really championed, and a public became more aware of their ability to fight back via video, internet, etc, cops tended to rule as they saw fit. It was the wild west without the tumble weeds in the 80s and cops were on the take, roughed up anyone, and generally acted as seen on tv about the 80s. (How much of this is true and Hollywood hyperbole I really need to look into.) This idea of the 80s has become a fixture in modern procedurals like CSI, Castle, and Cold Case, anytime the leads look into an old case which took place in the 80s.

Walter gets tired of the constant over use of the phrase “it was a different/simpler time” and I’m left wondering just how deliberate this was. Is it a comment on an overused trope or about the misconception of the 80s or a reflection of what the writers think of such an excuse? I might shrug it off it not for Sweet’s later proclaims that the actual murder wasn’t that interesting, it was the finding of the bullet that was fascinating and fun. Could this be reference to the fact that most people don’t watch murder mysteries for the murders themselves but the process in which the detective figures out who the killer is? It’s all about clues that need to be found and pieces together… and what does the Finder do?

Could I be giving the writers too much credit here? Only time will tell.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Television

 

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