The CSI Trilogy: New York

Okay, admission time – I’ve never watched CSINY. I caught the crossover episode of Miami, and I think I saw one episode where they had to find a rat that had eaten evidence out of a corpse or something like that, but other than that, I’ve got no idea. So you’ll have to bear with me, since I don’t know any of the characters’ names or have any idea about their relationships, this might be a little rough as reviews go.

So let’s start!

A trucker, played by the man who killed Brandon Lee, is driving somewhere with a person locked in his cab. What this has to do with the punk and the missing girl from Miami, I’ve got no idea. But presumably it’ll be explained soon. At the same time a jealous dick is driving over to his ex-wife’s house, and causes an accident because he’s too busy drunkenly arguing to notice that a truck had swerved through the concrete divider onto his side of the bridge. The trucker was distracted by his victim escaping from a poorly-padlocked cupboard, FYI.

So he’s good at killing Brandon Lee, but bad at taking hostages. Good to know.

The team (Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, some guy) show up at the crash the next morning. Trucker’s gone, but something’s fallen out of the back of his truck – a corpse!

Does that mean trucker is the guy who disposes of bodies for the gang from Miami? Hopefully we’ll discover after the credits!

They bring the drum back to the office and remove the corpse there. No comment is made about the prison cell in the cab. Haven’t they noticed it yet? Only after a disgusting autopsy montage do we finally get another look at the truck, suggesting that the show is being edited without concern for temporal continuity.

Two team members, Scruffy and Short-Haired Woman (SHW for short), who may be married, based on their banter, discover the prison cell in the cab. There’s some blood inside, but not much evidence. The corpse has more information to offer – the victim’s liver is missing! Are they dealing with organ bootleggers?

What does this have to do with the missing girl from Miami?

The happy couple has a lead on the trucker, in that they know his name, which is useful, but since he’s a ‘parole absconder’, they don’t know where he is. Then Champ from Cupid turns up in the hospital with a better clue – trucker carjacked him, then shot him and left him for dead! He happened to witness Miami Girl being dragged into the car, though. In a weird note, her hands were tied in front, but she was gagged with a piece of duct tape.

Why not just rip it off?

Helpfully we discover that her name is Maddy, so I don’t have to refer to her as Miami Girl any more. Quick fun facts about Maddy – she’s pregnant, and is one of twenty-five girls who had been held hostage in that particular truck! Which makes trucker a serial killer, I guess. Larry Fishburne stops by via videoconference from Miami, letting us know that the scummy guy was murdered by trucker after handing Maddy over. Well, at least that’s one loose end tied up.

Larry immediately flies to New York, and apparently absolutely nothing relevant to the case happens during those three hours, because we cut directly to him arriving. Based on their knowledge of the gang involved (the greek-alphabet-loving ‘Zetas’), Sinise is able to find a prison snitch who knows something about their slavery organization.

For no discernible reason this interview takes place not in a prison, but in the middle of a public park.


According to her, women are kidnapped all over America and hauled around the country by evil truckers to be used as slaves or spare parts. It seems like a network of unimaginable evil that they’ve got no way of stopping, and the clock is running out on Trucker’s latest victim! But that doesn’t mean there’s not time for Larry and Gary to wander around the park, talking about the WW2 veterans commemorated there.

Hold on… are they interviewing this woman at the war memorial because this episode was going to air on Veteran’s day?


It seems that the baby Mady is carrying is most likely a black market surrogate child – it’s easier, apparently, to kidnap an American citizen and force them to function as a surrogate than to find one any other way, it seems.

The missing liver lead finally bears some fruit, as the team tracks down a patient who was removed from the donor list, and yet is still about to get a liver transplant! When they arrive at the hospital the doctor in charge stops them with a moral dilemma – do they A: arrest him and seize the liver, meaning that the patient will die (eventually, they haven’t taken the old one out yet), or B: let the doctor perform the transplant, then sort out the legal stuff later.

Um, obviously A. That patient paid money for someone to murder a girl and steal her liver. The liver he’s about to get is evidence of that crime. You seize the evidence, arrest everybody as accessories to murder, and if the guy dies at some point down the road, boo-hoo, maybe next time you don’t kill that girl for your own needs, huh?

And don’t tell me that he didn’t know. This isn’t a kidney or even a lung, where you can do without one. It’s a liver. Which was named that because people can’t ‘live’ without one.

Obviously that’s not true, but the point is that you only get a transplant liver out of a corpse. So if someone offers to sell you one, that means that they’re offering to kill a person.

So what does the cop do? Yup, he lets the doctor perform the operation. Because he enjoys rewarding people for murder. Screw this guy:

Later he’s talking to the doctor, who handles all dealings with the Zetas. The interrogation is ridiculously theatrical, with black cop reciting segments of the Hippocratic oath, hoping to guilt the doctor into co-operating. I’m not sure why he feels the need to do any of this – they can charge him with murder right now. Isn’t the threat of a huge sentence enough to try to bargain with him?

I mean, seriously, if he’s putting a bounty out on livers, do you really think that he cares about some words he said when he graduated medical school fifteen years ago?

The doc does give them a phone number that he uses to call for murders, but while that might lead to the organisation, it won’t help them find Trucker, since he’s a driver who never meets the customers. Luckily he’s not a very smart driver, since he uses the cell phone he stole from Champ to make a phone call, allowing them to track him down. But he manages to escape after a brief foot chase, which includes a hilarious sequence of a guy climbing a ladder, getting kicked back down it, then immediately having to climb up it again.

It’s not really clear how he escapes, though – he runs into the second floor of a building, and the cops are surrounding it. Where exactly did he go from there? When we come back from the commercial break and he’s just gone, though, and I guess the producers are hoping that all the ads will help us keep from noticing the plot hole.

They have Champ’s car, though, and there’s some dirt in the pedal that they match to a certain part of New York. How do they do this? Well, it seems they have a database of what the dirt is composed of in every single block of the entire city. No, really, they do – and here it is!

Oh, science, you’re such a just and loving god.

The team (including Larry) heads out to the junkyard in question in order to make the bust. Larry’s nervous about carrying a gun, and takes the opportunity to comment on the fact that the gun was first invented in 4th, century Japan. He then sadly observes that in 1700 years, humanity hasn’t evolved very far.

Does he talk like this on CSI? Because if so, I’m kind of glad I’m not watching.

Also, that’s kind of a silly point to make, Larry. Yes, two millennia later people still like to kill each other. Duh.

Trucker doesn’t make as miraculous a getaway this time, and after an action-y run through the scrap maze they manage to grab him. Entertainingly this features a sequence of Larry chasing him down on a dirt bike that was conveniently fueled and ready to go. Because it’s important to service the Biker Boyz fans out there, I suppose.

They want to know where Maddy is, but the man who killed Brandon Lee isn’t talking. Weirdly they don’t bother trying to offer him immunity in exchange for his testimony, which is the least they could do. I mean, he’s got information a nation-wide slavery ring, likely the largest and most evil criminal enterprise currently operating. And they want to offer him what, a clean conscience?

So off the Trucker goes to jail, while a new trucker drives Maddy to…

Yeah, I know you already knew that. But it was surprising to me, okay?

Also, and this is an important point, what happened to the doctor and patient? Were they charged with murder? If not, why not? Can we really be expected to leave such a loose end dangling at the end of an episode?

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