You know, as far as CSI: NY reruns go, this one is pretty solid. There's suspense, there's intrigue, there's some nifty high-tech gadgetry -- there's even a tense reverse phone lookup scene where the bad guy's nearly caught. Plus there's some bagged and tagged evidence that's raising a whole lot of questions and not giving many answers. In fact, I'm genuinely curious how ol' Mac Taylor and the gang are going to problem-solve their way out of this one. And yet, sitting here on my couch right now, I can't help but come to the following conclusion: I think this CSI: NY episode would make a great CSI: Miami episode.
See for yourself: here's the 411 on today's show. Various body parts are turning up at a Staten Island cargo handling facility -- in alphabetical order. First an Adam's apple, then a bladder, then a clavicle... you get the idea. Now here's the kicker: each one is encrusted with a layer of finely ground Bolivian cocaine. Who's responsible? Well, that's for New York's top forensic team to find out.
But here's why this would have worked so much better on CSI: Miami. First off, in this episode there's only one crime to solve instead of two. That's pretty atypical for CSI: NY, which almost always likes to juggle a couple of balls in the air at the same time. Mind you, the single storyline structure follows the CSI: Miami template to a tee. Trust me: multitasking isn't on Horatio Caine's menu -- and Horatio Caine likes it that way.
Okay, see this scene here? Perfect example. Mac's down by the polluted New York shoreline near Goethals Bridge, having just stumbled across the sunburned corpse of a suspected drug kingpin. He sizes up the crime scene, takes a few mental notes, then turns to Stella and says, "Keep your eyes peeled -- everything's connected." Sure, that's pretty good. If by "good" you mean "average."
But now, picture Horatio in the same situation. He's over in Biscayne Bay at the Port of Miami-Dade, kneeling down in front of the same body. He glances at Delko and whispers something like, "It seems our kingpin's just been knocked over." After letting this info sink in, he slowly puts on his sunglasses, then adds, "...and I'm thinking somebody's ready to pick up the spare." Ka-pow! Home run. It's like the kingpin deliberately chose to sacrifice himself so Horatio's kick-ass line could be brought to life.
Plus, I mean, come on -- drug cartels? Shipping ports? Irradiated cadavers? What's more Miami than that? I'll tell you one thing: if that corpse could talk, he'd be saying, "Why the frig isn't my eviscerated torso decomposing on the south-eastern tip of Florida right now?"
Oh, and look at this. Danny's just come across a perfectly preserved eyeball while dusting a crate shipped in from Santa Cruz. Sure, it's a tidy plot point designed to spike the story arc, but wouldn't it make more sense to let CSI: Miami Detective Ryan Wolfe be the one to discover it? He, the guy who was blasted in the eyeball with a nailgun in season four, episode eight? What could be better than witnessing such a tragic young figure wistfully hold up that disembodied baby blue? It'd be like something out of Hamlet, only cool instead of mega-lame.
Look, I'm no TV executive. I'm just someone who's happened to notice the 1,200-pound elephant in the room that answers to the name "Common Sense." And to me, the solution to this issue is pretty darn elementary. Simply fire up the ol' iMac, pop this pretty good CSI: NY script into some screenwriting software, do a 'find and replace' on a few choice words, and voilà -- you've got a sicktastic CSI: Miami episode that's just waiting to blow John Q. America and his Emmy-voting cousin clear off their button-tufted La-Z-Boys.
In the immortal words of Horatio Caine, "That's just what happens... when worlds collide."