Season five of CSI: NY has always promised to be a year of amazing storylines, both character and crime-wise. After all, this is the Big Apple. Anything that can happen generally does. This week is no exception. We have a top name guest star, a cameo by one well known character actor, and a subplot which relates the hidden message without conking viewers over the head with its importance.
First to the major guest star. Ed Asner plays a jeweler with a secret. This is hardly news, since most characters who are part of a crime investigation have one. Let me back up a little. A man dies in the midst of an auction. Literally. The case leads Mac (Gary Sinise) to have a chat with Abraham, who is played by Asner.
Sinise and Asner play against each other well. The acting experience of both men is extensive, although there is not the same antagonism between the guises they assume as compared to the arrogance of Robert Dunbrook. From the first time Dunbrook (Craig T. Nelson) greets the deputy chief of detectives at a charity function ("The Party's over"), one senses immediately he is going to be trouble. So does Mac. Dunbrook isn't the one who kills the deputy mayor, nor does he purposely kill the intruder who breaks into his office ("The Past, Present, and Murder"). The word choice on the last sentence was deliberate. Dunbrook plays another role the second time. The true identity of the baddie, however, is probably not a shock to this show's fans.
Abraham is different. He shows Mac a tattoo on his arm from his days in Auschwitz. Can he be believed? Asner is potentially old enough to at least have had relatives die there, even if he didn't. The sincere overtones in Asner's voice while recalling a time of religious persecution help seal the deal. Yes, he and the victim interact. By itself, this is hardly enough to take someone into custody. A perfectly reasonable explanation is offered, as a matter of fact. Abraham wants a piece of jewelry appraised, and the victim works at the auction house where he dies. Simple enough.