Eye For Film >> Movies >> CSI: NY - Season 3, Part 1 (2006) Film Review
As the grittier cousin of Las Vegas and Miami returns for a third season, all those who thought lab chief Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) only used his bed for sleeping are in for a shock - since the series opener sees him in bed with new character, medical examiner Peyton Driscoll (Claire Forliani - soon to be seen back on the big screen in Hallam Foe). Despite her American sounding first name, Peyton is as English as cream tea and, like the rest of the supporting cast of the crime drama, impossibly good looking - all aqualine features and flawless skin.
It is, in fact, the private lives of the characters, that mark a weather change in this season of the drama - with the feisty Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and shy-but-sure Lindsay "Montana" Monroe (Anna Belknap) also on course for something less than work-related.
Notching up the sex quotient of the cast even further, is Emmanuelle Vaugier, who plays a recurring role as hard-nosed homicide 'tec Jennifer Angell.
The new characters fit in well with the old, with the sparring between Mac and Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) still intact. Stella, however, was put through the mill during the latter half of Season 2, allowing the writers to bring a new fragility to her personality, exacerbated by what she believes to be a stalker midway through this series. Cracks are beginning to show all round, in fact. Despite his new found buoyancy, thanks to Peyton, Mac also has to contend with memories of his dead wife after a figure from her past resurfaces unexpectedly and even Lindsay gets to show emotional trauma by the midway point of the season - hinting, yet again, at a secret from her past.
Despite this new-found element of the touchy-feelies, the clever, cryptic plotlines which mark this series out are still in place. It is in this way that CSI New York often feels stronger than its sunnier brethren, with the writers managing to weave in the back stories gradually over a period of episodes, rather than dumping it all on the doorstop in a great big heap, then forgetting about it again for weeks - or even seasons - as they do over in Vegas. And Here's To You, Mrs Azrael, is good example of this, neatly giving Hill Harper's Dr Sheldon Hawkes a back story - how he came to drop surgery for morgue duty - while still incorporating an excellent plotline about a girl murdered in her hospital bed, with a gut-punch twist. Other stand-out episodes for puzzle fans include the very creepy Hung Out To Dry, which sees a killer tracked by coded clues found in T-shirt designs.
The devil is in the detail of this season and praise must go to the rest of the supporting characters in the cast, who all play their part in making this one of the most well-acted television shows on the box. Eddie Cahill continues to impress as Detective Donald Flack, deftly handling both comic and tragic moments. Robert Joy also continues to put in a great turn as the eccentric Dr Sidney Hammerback.
The direction continues to be slick, with its quick cuts and editing perfectly suited to the 'big city' background. The lab feels a little too shiny - and they still have a penchant for machines that go 'ping' and 'whrrrr' - but their montage pieces are far superior to those in other Vegas or Miami, since they are almost always very brief, to the point and - importantly - further the story without slipping into extended pop video territory. The writing too, is sharp, although here's hoping Lindsay's 'big secret' gives her character more depth in the second half of the season, since she is currently relegated to playing little more than Danny's drippy love interest.Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2007