With only two more episodes left in the season past this, one would think the scripts would be potent, but this week's episode is a little lackluster. Yes, there were some guest stars who are well known. They only partially make up for the writing. Personally, I thought the sub-story was better viewing. There is a lighthearted feel to it which helps the show not be heavy handed.
Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) is not a police officer who can simply let a matter go, even if it appears to be not a matter for his concern. Take the case of Adam Ross (AJ Buckley), for example. A long-lasting budget crunch means some of the department are simply going to have to find other work. Since Adam is one of those who was hired last, he is on the short list for termination. Mac could have another month or so before he seeks out a new hire. Does this work? Of course not! He intervenes with the chief detective, Sinclair, played well by Mykelti Williamson, and buys time. So far, so good.
When a young woman is killed in a biking accident, the case looks pretty much cut and dried. Talmadge Neville (Charles S. Dutton) confesses, and all evidence points to his guilt. Eighteen months later, Mac finds him and thinks someone else might be responsible. Here's where the storyline runs into problems – only after Neville gets out of prison is when Mac decides he has the wrong guy? Time is skewed on television, I realize, but this is hard to swallow.
Mac is easily considered by plenty of others to be a workaholic. He is charming every so often. Few are strong enough to call him out when he's wrong, but I like the way Det. Flack does. With a pointed barb, Eddie Cahill shows off just how good he is when portraying Don Flack, the homicide detective who teams up with the crime lab week after week. For the sake of clarity, I probably should mention Flack (or any other homicide person) is most likely the one who confirms a death is suspicious. He then makes a request to have the crime lab team sent out. Mac knows which people are available for a fresh assignment. Only Flack could mention the insanity of Mac trying to resurrect a case on his day off. He says it in such a way that his head is not bitten off the way another person's might be.
Mare Winningham guest stars as the mother of the girl who died. While she may appear one way at first, the transformation she goes through by the end of the episode is a huge difference. Okay, it might be overdone in a few places, but it works nonetheless.
Oh yeah, Lindsay (Anna Belknap) has her baby! This might be an afterthought except for a good bit of sense towards the comic relief. When her water breaks, at work no less, poor Adam is forced into getting her to the hospital, quick. The horrified expression on Buckley's face as he realizes just how desperate the situation is makes me smile. I really enjoyed the bit as he runs the wrong way to get keys for a vehicle.
Carmine Giovinazzo also steps up to the plate as he plays Danny Messer, the husband and father who has life happening too fast. At least he has enough sense to let Hawkes (Hill Harper) drive straight to the emergency room. Actually, I think Hawkes grabbed the keys out of Danny's hand before two people got in trouble. Wise move.
By the time labor kicks to high gear, the entire gang is in the room. This illustrates well just how much this is a family, despite not being related in a genetic way. Although Adam and Hawkes were not at the wedding of Danny and Lindsay a short time ago, they make it this time. So does Flack. The most touching moment of the episode is when Mac is asked to be the godfather. Of course, he agrees.
I get the feeling the last two episodes are going to try and be edge of one's seat thrilling. Since there is a confirmed sixth season of CSI:NY, the pressure is off a little. The biggest moments will be in the finale, but there is already Internet speculation with regard to a potential character change come fall. While I tend to agree with what most are saying, I also think a few have jumped the gun. Therefore, I am holding off on assuming anything prior to airtime. With cop shows, it's possible for lots of different scenarios — crime and otherwise.
The last episodes this season will air May 13 and May 14 at 10pm. Although the finale is on the same day as the Vegas version of CSI, this also gives CBS time to wrap up one of their popular hits before the next presidential news conference. At least they won't be competing with the American Idol finale as they did last season.