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TV Review: CSI:NY “Fare Game”

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It has been said that Dead Men Tell No Tales. But when it comes to a crime scene, the evidence never lies. As the show begins, a man can be seen standing in front of a tombstone watching a video that a deceased man recorded before passing away. He then slumps to the ground, covered in blood.

Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) arrives on the scene to find Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) already there. With little in the way of evidence, it helps that Mac knows that the dead guy is an assistant district attorney. The medical examiner, Dr. Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), tells Stella that his preliminary verdict on cause of death is gunshot. The problem is that there were no bullets or shell casings found at the scene.

Across town Kelly Hu, returning in her recurring role as Det. Kelly Haile, summons Det. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Harper Hill) to the apartment of a dead woman. To the detectives, the blindfold over her eyes suggested a sexual encounter that went terribly wrong.

She died by suffocation. In a bizarre twist, the medical examiner found a substance that turned out to be eggs from an insect in one of her ears. Danny and Hawkes return to the crime scene and find an ad for a formal event where people consume unusual foodstuffs.

Leave it to Danny to take a trip on the wild side. The specialties are insects, so Danny, being from the Upper East Side, puts a live centipede in his mouth and eats it! Ugh. The chef in charge of the event notices the detectives eyeing the octopus tank. He makes a point of showing them how to wrap an octopus around a stick for chewing. If not done properly, one could die.

Hawkes and Danny discover that the woman was working with a lawyer in a fraud conspiracy. They would sue restaurants for poor service, and share in the settlements.

Flack heads out to find the granddaughter of the man on the cemetery video. When she notices Flack standing nearby, she runs. During the chase, she pulls out what looks like a gun. As Flack tries to catch her, he radios for backup. Flack is more than a little annoyed to discover that the gun in question was only a water pistol.

Mac talks to her and finds out that she was involved in a game known as ‘Water Gun War’. The ‘Supreme Commander’ designs the rules, contacting the players. Players are given a packet with other players’ pictures. The object is to hit people by surprise with the water, knocking them out of the game. The winner gets $100,000.

The team tracks down other people who are playing the game. The person with the A.D.A’s picture (who is also playing the game) is discovered through the process of elimination. As Stella and Mac look at the photos of the players, Mac figures out that the killing was very theatrical. This leads Mac to focus on one person’s picture, a man who used a theatre headshot as his identification.

Mac finds their suspect at an audition for Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men , running his lines with his daughter. This is another nod to the off-camera lives of the cast members. Gary Sinise starred in the movie version of this well-known play. After Mac introduces himself, he asks to inspect the man’s gun. When he sees the gun has blanks, only then does he reveal his profession.

Victim #1 was killed by one of the people playing the ‘Water Gun War’. Called to a fake audition by the ADA in order to eliminate him from the game, Matthews only meant to scare the assistant district attorney in the cemetery, but the blanks were lethal at close range.

Victim #2 was killed by the chef who created an Exotic Cuisine Experience. He recognized the woman as someone who sued him when he was working in San Francisco. They met up later at her apartment. He blindfolded her, then fed her a live octopus.

At episode’s end, Danny brings in an array of specialty ‘dishes’ for the team to try. Only Lindsay takes a bite, which was a deep fried spider. Danny has to pay Mac since they bet on whether or not Lindsay would eat. She is quick to notice. After everyone else has gone back to Mac’s office for pizza, Lindsay and Danny share a table and continue eating.

This show has returned to primetime after several weeks of hiatus. While forensic evidence is the focal point, l have enjoyed seeing the lives of the characters unfold. After Adien Burns (Vanessa Ferlito) was fired for evidence-tampering, it was a little unclear as to how much things would change in regards to the team.

However, Lindsay Monroe has proven herself to be a welcome addition. Not only can she hold her own as a detective, she is adept at handling edgy Messer. When they first met, she caught his wisecrack and let loose one of her own (“Zoo York”). Ever since then, they have formed a close bond. She taught him that coworkers had lives outside of work. (“Stuck on You”). Now, she has dared to take on his culinary challenge. Can this be the beginning of a new office romance?

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  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    I always knew there was a reason I don’t eat out on the Upper East Side! I enjoy C.S.I. NY, but missed a part of this episode. Nice review! (But stay away from living foodstuffs, please.)

  • http://blogcritics.org Joanie

    Congrats! Your article was selected for placement on Advance.net

  • DLester

    I enjoy your reviews of CSI:NY. I think you offer a good perspective that isn’t negative. I agree it is nice to see CSI shows giving viewers a glimpse into the lives of its characters.