What the hell was that?
I mean, when Tarantino grabbed the reins at C.S.I., the show got a little goofy and an extra dab creepy, but at least it kept a pinkie toe within the bounds of believability. And most importantly, it was still great fun, and completely engrossing, to watch.
Last night, after having a plot thread that promised the reunion of the team plus a tasty side dish of Sara/Grissom romance dangled in our eager faces, what we got instead was an endlessly tasteless mishmash that appeared to be penned by a gang of frat boys with posters of Hugh Hefner, Julia Child and Stanley Kubrick on their walls.
Thing is, everything started out promisingly enough, with a banged-up Sara strolling through the CSI offices on her way to Ecklies’ office to confess her on-the-job affair. Asked when the romance first began, she says she’s been lovin’ up Grissom for two years and loves him still. But since her wistful expression is hardly one you’d expect of a woman snatched from the jaws of death and returned to her man, I don’t think Catherine needs to worry about what Sara’s taste in bridesmaid dresses entails anytime soon.
And then just like that, we’re watching what seems to be a flashback of something bowling-ball-sized bouncing down a winding road — instantly sending my family into noisy paroxysms trying to figure out what it is.
“It’s a head!”
“It’s not a head — it would be leaving chunks on the road.”
“It is too a head.”
“There’s no blood. A head has blood.”
“You make me throw up.”
“It’s a can.”
“It’s not a can — a can wouldn’t bounce.”
“Cans can bounce.” [Goes in search of a can to test this theory.]
“IT’S A HEAD.”
Yep, it’s a head. And the reason it isn’t leaving chunks or having blood is because it is safely ensconced in a football helmet, which kept it nicely intact, but didn’t do much in the way of keeping it attached to a body.
Heads happen. This is good. This could be a fun little love-laced mystery from the days when Gris first became more interested in Sara’s DNA than some dead guy’s. Or something super-dreamy like that.
Oooorrrrrr this could be a largely neglected side story (and not a flashback at all) usurped by some utterly, painfully, ferociously ridiculous deal that involves a restaurant called “blind” wherein you dine in the dark — we see this demonstrated by some spotlit, disembodied, albeit living, heads relishing figs and kebabs — and the murder of a Hugh Hefner knockoff so lazily crafted that he’s named Hampton Huxley and travels with an entourage of “Kitties.” These ones are brunette, though — that’s how you know they’re not bunnies. Kitties. Not Bunnies. Huxley. Not Hefner.
Bad. Not good.
But it gets worse, courtesy of suspects ranging from a group of crass businessmen laughing so hysterically you’d swear they ordered nitrous oxide for an appetizer; a husband who brought night-vision goggles along to bust his wife making out with a fellow diner (apparently the cartoonish mmmm-smack-ohhh-mmmm noises they make as they make out were not evidence enough); and a newly affianced woman who opts to thank her intended for the kick-ass rock by helping herself to his cocktail wiener, bonking her noggin in the process.
Bleaaaah. Fleeeeahhh. If they ever come up with a real restaurant like this, I am NOT going. No matter how artfully prepared the figs.
Once in a while, we return to Helmet Headless who, rather uneventfully, turns out to be a go-kart enthusiast who ended up on the wrong side of a blown steel-belted radial. What we learn here is that if you’d care to take your go-karts out of those confining little tire-lined tracks and onto the Las Vegas highway, just make friends with the gum-smacking girl behind the counter. And stay a good zillion feet behind a semi. Even if it means you lose the race. Losing face is way better than losing your whole head, I promise.
If you’re thinking all those suspect candidates sounded far too dense (and otherwise occupied) to pull off a murder, you’d be right. After a bit of Colonel-Mustard-in-the-ballroom-type detective work, Warrick and Catherine deduce that one of blind’s blind waiters did the deed, spurred into a rage by the fact the eatery’s seductive owner — a long-ago Kitty tuned foodie — stole his restaurant idea, his recipes, his dream, damn it!, when he lost his eyesight in some sort of tragic mishap that I can no longer recall.
Why not just kill her, wonders Brass. (Or, like, work for someone else, wonders me.) Because by killing a high-profile guy in her restaurant, he can kill her dream, just like she killed his.
Um, yeah, dude, but it’s you going to prison. She’ll probably open a restaurant where you eat underwater in a matter of months. But whatever.
Back to Sara and Grissom, now chatting in a parked car like a couple of smitten teenagers, except that he’s wearing some sort of grandpa hat-beret hybrid which is either intended to disguise their age difference or accentuate it — I’m not entirely sure. (Either way, it is a vast improvement over the grandma-gardening hat he was wearing during parts of the headless go-karter investigation, so that’s nice.)
I believe what we learn here is that they met at a conference nine years ago and he fell in love immediately. Most specifically with her ponytail. She, on other hand — like most chicks will — appears to be measuring their romance from first kiss on. Or, as far as we the viewers know, from first conversation with their bathrobes on, on. Two years to his nine. Also, she will be moving to the swing shift, so the team — and their luuuurve — can survive.
But, oh, there’s that pensive expression again when they’re inside the go-kart track where the CSIs have gathered to blow off steam — and demonstrate that responsible karting can be good, blood-free fun. And … are those tears?
No detective, I, but these here are clearly clues — that it’s contract-renewal time once again.