With a place like New York for a location, it stands to reason things local would be wrapped into an episode from time to time. Imagining Ellis Island as a crime scene is a stroke of genius. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye.
For example, the deceased works the night shift at Ellis Island. He supposedly talked to his wife before he passed away. According to Hawkes (Hill Harper), the notion is impossible. Why? Since Hawkes is a former medical examiner, he can tell about how long the dead guy has been in that state. It's a guess, but usually some sort of evidence exits to at least give a proper range. Plus, despite the hanging corpse, prints indicate another person was there too. Homicide! This leads Mac (Gary Sinse) to think the killer might have answered. This is a voice mail, so no need to audibly respond.
A race is on to find whodunit. Having a second corpse doesn't help. The two victims are vastly different, which makes a connection between them unlikely. However, there may be one promising lead. Sid (Robert Joy), the current medical examiner, leaves Mac a message about the second victim's husband stopping by the morgue.
Every season has the potential for a storyline which runs over most of the season. While it doesn't have to air week to week, it takes some time to finish. Perhaps the latest long running plot should be called The Compass Culprit. Despite some terrible lighting issues, I think Skeet Ulrich (Jericho) was in several scenes as a man who wants to get the attention of Mac and his team. Done. Here's the problem — is he there because he's breaking the law and wants to get caught, OR is he attempting to draw attention to someone else who is? I cannot be entirely sure either way.
A new set of eyes is not a bad idea. Good thing Mac hires Haylen Becall (Sarah Carter), the crime scene cleanup tech, to work in the lab part time. Smart lady, she figures out a way to make him notice her — apply for a grant so her salary is paid for a year. Mac doesn't have to let Adam (AJ Buckley) go. She certainly has the background for the job – biology undergrad and forensics masters. Those degrees are perfect.
Adam and Haylen actually make a decent team. They are both dedicated to the job at hand, and have the quirkiness down pat. Competing for the same job? Not exactly. Haylen just wants to be in the lab she loves. Adam is smart enough to recognize her talents, but someone should tip him off about the grant. And soon, so he knows his job is secure.
What an improvement over Kendall, the last lab technician! Halen is eager to learn and resourceful in her quest when she wants something. Becall makes watching a joy. Halen steps on other's toes inadvertently. She also senses when she goes too far and clarifies. Would I trust her in an interrogation? Probably not. Someone tougher is needed when it ocems to questioning suspects.
Speaking of, Flack (Eddie Cahill) is grieving still over the death of his girlfriend, Det. Jess Angell. He is holding on, but barely. The beard of stubble seen this week is solid evidence. It's not a bad look, but I've always preferred Eddie Cahill clean shaven. Even after Jess's dad asks Flack to come by for a pot roast dinner, Flack cannot bring himself to walk in the Angell front door. Guilt as the reason makes little sense. After all, Flack is not responsible for Jess being dead. A set of crazed kidnappers is ("Pay Up"). Perhaps Flack is troubled over something else. What, if anything, has not yet been revealed. Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) is worried, and rightly so. Flack self-destructs, and somebody could get hurt. Or worse.
Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) is eager to leave his wheelchair, so he is pushing himself to work hard and achieve this. I'm not sure how chin-ups help, but the important part is a man not willing to sit around and feel sorry for himself. Lindsay (Anna Belknap), his wife and colleague, is prepared to stand at his side with their daughter to cheer him on.