After a week off, CSI was back with an all-new episode last night. It was called “The Chick Chop Flick Shop”, and was the show’s nod to Halloween this year. It was basically a parody of bad slasher flicks, and as such, represented a departure from the usual CSI format. There was no B-plot in this one, and Gil, Sara, Greg, and Hodges only made cursory appearances while Warrick was absent altogether. Instead, we got a lot of Brass, Catherine, Nick, and Ronnie as they worked together to investigate the crime of the week. Here’s what happened.
Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Catherine, Nick, and Brass go out to a low-budget production company that specializes in putting out cheesy horror flicks. One of the company’s main actresses, Weatherly Adams, has gone missing, so that’s why the cops were called in. (Aside: why would Nick and Catherine go out on this initial call? There wasn’t a crime scene to investigate yet, right??)
After getting a rundown of what Weatherly’s job and life were like at the time of her disappearance, Nick and Catherine start snooping around for clues. Nick ends up finding Weatherly’s body — with a huge axe sticking out of her back — in a pile of mannequins, so now the murder investigation can begin in earnest.
The CSIs then start questioning all the other actors and employees at the company, after which a few suspects emerge, including the spurned ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker, the director who was currently sleeping with Weatherly, and the company owners.
After analyzing various evidence, including footage from the company’s security camera, and pinning down one of the company’s owners, the CSI team is finally able to piece together what happened to Weatherly. She actually just tripped and fell, landing on a pipe that impaled her. Stanley Vespucci (hey, it’s Artie Bucco from The Sopranos!), the production manager, thought the company would get shut down by OSHA or something, so he decided it would be in their best interest to make Weatherly’s death look like a murder.
My Reaction: I liked what the writers were trying to do here, but I think the finished product fell well short of what was intended. There were some funny moments along the way (like Dickie Jones asking Catherine if she’d ever had a man kiss her thighs while he was standing up!), but overall, the whole thing was just too campy for my tastes. This isn’t what CSI is supposed to be about, know what I mean?
I didn’t mind that we only got a little bit of Grissom, Greg, and Sara because I think the regular cast has become too bloated anyway. There are just far too many people to try to fit in week in and week out, so maybe some sort of rotation would work out better. I was hoping for more of a buildup to Sara quitting, though. That scene with Greg, and the whining about getting too much death shoved in her face, was a letdown. Surely the writers aren’t going to let Sara exit like that, are they?
I’m giving the show a pass this week because I realize this was just a lighthearted episode meant to acknowledge Halloween. But I really hope things start picking up soon. I am going to stick around to see how they handle Sara’s exit; but beyond that, who knows how much longer I’ll be tuning in.