The Big Apple is well known for its eclectic mix of people, places, and various cultures. Take Little Italy, for example. As the name implies, the focus is Italian in nature. Pizza mixes with pasta and there's plenty of garlic to top things off. Wine would be the beverage of choice to complement the cuisine. A deli with food of one nation might sit next to a bakery specializing in somewhere else on the planet. Ellis Island would be the first stop for a person who wants to enter the United States and start calling it home. For Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), this has another meaning altogether.
A simple suicide turns out to be much more, and the killer leaves behind a compass as a memento ("Lat 40 47N Long 73 58W"). The only clue to the criminal's true activity are the initials on the back. Two more deaths later, and Mac knows he must find the guilty party, and quick. Careful detective work uncovers a potential lead, one Hollis Eckhart (Skeet Ulrich, Jericho).
Although Ulrich is only under a three-episode contract, the depth to which he goes to play his character is strong. Rather than a hated villain, Ulrich portrays a multi-layered man who has problems just like anybody else. The difference is how he handles what life gives him. Would another person act the same way? Perhaps not. Then again, hard stuff can force a change for the worst in even the best people.
If anyone knows this well, it's Don Flack (Eddie Cahill). He lost his girlfriend in a violent manner ("Pay Up"). A subsequent not shaving move is not cause for concern. The drinking is an issue, although he does not show up to work intoxicated ("Cuckoos Nest"). Smart man. Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) could be on the same path, but chooses to fight back instead.
Danny and Flack team up again in this episode. The chase through the sewers and takedown of a potential suspect is a good example of just how well these two work together. I enjoyed seeing Adam (AJ Buckley) link up the NYPD surveillance system to try and help out by being eyes and ears where they could not. Watching it play out is something you'll just have to see for yourself.
Hawkes (Hill Harper) also has news of his own. He is about to move into a fresh apartment, leaving Mac's place. Money mismanagement is part of the reason ("It Happened to Me"). The place isn't furnished, which might be a good thing. Hawkes is only allowed to put in what he can afford when possible.
Once the case is closed, the gang, sans Sid (Robert Joy), goes out for dinner together. The team is held together by a strong bond, which shows in their obvious delight in one another's company. After this week, viewers will get a break. Look for a new episode in two weeks, kicking off a short run until the holiday hiatus.