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CSI Files - CSI: New York--'Consequences'

CSI: New York--'Consequences'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at November 10, 2006 - 6:17 AM GMT

See Also: 'Consequences' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

While a paintball game turns deadly in a warehouse on Lafayette St., Stella tells Mac she thinks she's being followed. Mac is concerned, but is soon paged away to the crime scene. The body of an unidentified man in paintball gear lies dead, the victim of two gunshot wounds, one through and through to the chest and one to the shoulder. Hawkes is able to recover one mangled bullet from the arm of a gigantic blow up soldier meant for the Thanksgiving parade. Outside in an alley, Danny finds evidence of a paintball battle, and Flack questions the neighbors in the apartment building on the other side of the alley. While Hawkes tries to recover stria on the badly damaged bullet, Hammerback shows Mac black powder on the gunshot wounds, and also reveals that the killer actually removed the bullet from the man's shoulder wound. A man at the local paintball club identifies the dead man as Kym Tanaka, and mentions that he has an unfriendly rival in another player named Cyrus Menlow. The CSIs learn Cyrus is missing.

The black powder on Tanaka's shoulder proves to be black cocaine, which Lindsay discovers was recovered in a bust six months ago. She also tells Mac that Flack is the one who helmed the drug bust, in which 50 kilos of the unique drug were recovered. Mac asks to see the detective's memo book, but Flack resents the suspicion and tells Mac he'll have to think about it. In the lab, Adam analyzes the evidence Danny collected from the alley and determines that Cyrus was caught in a bear trap. The label on a box with Cyrus's blood on it leads the CSIs to Darren Kramer, a biochemist who denies knowledge of what happened in the alley. Kramer recalls running into man in the alley and spilling his printer cartridges, but the man refused Kramer's offer to help him pick them up.

A bloody piece of moon rock and a print that matches a missing woman, Trina Roubian prove more fruitful. Flack recognizes the missing Trina in a tenant he met in the apartment by the alley, an alien-fearing woman named Verna Welkie. A visit to Trina/Verna's apartment yields a shocker: Trina/Verna has Cyrus tied up and barely alive in her bathtub. When she saw the green, glowing paintballs in Cyrus's arsenal, she assumed he was an alien. The CSIs have Cyrus rushed to the hospital. Hawkes is able to narrow down the bullet to 12 officer-issued guns, two belonging to two of Flack's officers from the drug raid, Dean Truby and Daniel Greenburg. Flack visits the dealer they busted in jail and is chagrined to learn that he had 53 kilos of cocaine, not 50. Mac comes for Flack's log book, and the detective reluctantly turns it over.

Stella's stalker turns up again, and Mac nabs him. He's just a teen, and he thought Stella was Claire, Mac's dead wife. His name is Reed Garrett, and he's the son Claire had in high school and gave up for adoption. Mac has the sad duty of telling Reed that Claire died in 9/11. He offers the saddened boy his card, but Reed says that now that Claire is dead, there's nothing to link them. There's one more unpleasant task facing Mac: arresting Officer Dean Truby for the murder of Kym Tanaka, who stumbled onto Truby selling the black cocaine. Flack looks on, clearly upset.

Analysis:

A serious episode with some quality comic relief thrown in to keep things from being too dour, "Consequences" focuses on two characters whose lives could use a little drama. Strong, steady Flack is always good for a quip at just the right moment, but it's gratifying to see him get something weightier to deal with. And Mac, who has actually cracked a smile a time or two this season with new love Peyton now has a tangible reminder of Claire to grapple with.

I will readily admit that the addition of a teen to any CSI show imbues a slight sense of trepidation. Catherine's daughter Lindsey on CSI seems to give her mother nothing but grief these days, and Ray, Jr. on CSI: Miami went from running with a bad crowd and playing dangerous pranks to actually being a drug runner for the man responsible for his father and his aunt's deaths. Kids on CSI shows tend to be little nightmares, so was there much hope that Reed will be any different?

Though he makes his grand entrance by following Stella around, he's not quite threatening in his yellow hoodie. He runs from both Danny and Mac, more because he's uncertain about meeting Claire than he is concerned about getting in trouble for stalking Stella. Reed is clearly crushed to discover that Claire is dead, and pushes Mac away, noting that they don't really have any connection since Claire is dead.

For his part, Mac appears shaken and moved by the meeting. He doesn't exactly seem shocked to be meeting Reed--from what he recounts to the boy, it's obvious Claire told Mac the whole story (or at least a story complete enough that Mac was satisfied by it). That doesn't make seeing Reed, whom Mac notes looks just like Claire, any easier. Gary Sinise is a master of subtlety, and makes it apparent that Mac is struck by Reed's appearance without ever breaking Mac's composed veneer. It's not an easy thing to portray a man shaken to the core who nonetheless maintains his cool on the outside, but Sinise is an actor who at his best delivers layered, complex performances.

Mac has a lot to grapple with before Reed even enters the picture. The case brings him toe to toe with Flack, and unlike he did in "The Fall", Flack isn't so willing to go along with Mac's suppositions. What's different this time around? Two things stand out: the evidence isn't as strong initially and Flack himself was in command during the bust that Mac is questioning.

Interestingly, Flack reacts in much the same way Gavin Moran did when Flack was the one requesting his memo book. Gavin felt betrayed, despite Flack's sensitivity and discretion in handling the matter. Now, two years later, when Flack is in Gavin's position, he's no less resentful of Mac's request. Flack clearly trusts the officers in his team; Flack's trust probably isn't something that's easily awarded, but once it is, he really believes. Case in point: Flack has never doubted Danny for a moment, not when Danny was suspected of shooting an undercover cop ("On the Job") or when Danny's DNA implicated him in a fifteen-year-old murder ("Run Silent, Run Deep"). So it's hardly surprising that Flack wouldn't believe one of his men would be guilty of stealing drugs in a bust, and that the detective wouldn't want to participate in Mac's investigation if he felt the CSI was heading down the wrong path.

There's also the matter of Flack himself being at the scene. His knee-jerk reaction, like what most people's would be--is to wonder if Mac is accusing him personally of some wrong-doing or at the very least, ignorance of what his team was doing. Despite the sarcasm and quips, Flack obviously takes his job very seriously. His behavior in "The Fall" showed he has both integrity and a dedication to the job. Flack's honesty seems to be at the core of who he is, so it's understandable that he would take Mac's line of questioning personally.

For his part, Eddie Cahill more than holds his own against Sinise in the key heated scenes between Flack and Mac. Cahill is simply one of the best things about this show. He handles the comedic moments with aplomb, but in this episode he tackles the dramatic moments with equal finesse. Flack doesn't always get as many lines as some of the other characters, but Cahill does so much with what he's given, whether it be a funny quip here and there or a moral dilemma to wrestle with.

One of the best things about the conflict that arises between Mac and Flack is that both are essentially right. It's hard to argue against Mac's assertion that a corrupt cop is a shame to the badge and a danger to society, but Flack definitely has a salient point when he mentions the criminals that might win appeals based on the cop's arrest. Does it mean that Mac shouldn't pursue the guilty cop? No, of course not. But seeing Flack wrestle with the ill he knows will come of it makes the final moments of the episode, when Mac arrests the man in the middle of the station floor, all the more powerful. The scene is in direct opposition to the way Flack handled Moran, whose crime was far less serious and motivated by affection, not greed. Flack is clearly troubled, but by now we know enough of his character to realize he might not be comfortable with what Mac is doing, but he knows it's the right thing.

All of that is rather heavy, and writer Pam Veasey wisely balances the serious tone of the episode with a few light moments. The almost fatal plight of Cyrus Menlow provides more than one chuckle in the episode. This might be the first time paintballs have been mistaken for alien eggs. (To be fair to Trina/Verna, the glow they emit is a little otherworldly.) Flack even gets one of his trademark deadpan responses in when Trina offers him a metal colander to protect his thoughts from the aliens. One bit of inadvertent humor: Danny's cheesy sunglasses. Is Danny trying to emulate Horatio Caine? Please, leave the shades of justice in Miami, where they're much more fitting.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.