The CSI: NY executive producer talks about the NY installment of the big CSI crossover and discusses Flack’s downward spiral in the first of CSI Files’ sweeps preview interviews. Some spoilers after the cut!
November sweeps is here, and the big news in the CSI franchise is next week’s three show crossover, which brings Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne) to Miami and then New York. In an exclusive interview with CSI Files, CSI: New York Executive Producer Peter Lenkov talks about the New York installment of the trilogy, as well as the big serial killer storyline and Detective Don Flack’s (Eddie Cahill) continued battle with depression.
CSI Files: The big CSI crossover is next week! What can you tell us about the CSI: NY entry?
Peter Lenkov: Well, obviously we’re the bridge between the beginning in Miami and the end in Vegas. And what we wanted to do in our installment was brand it in a certain way. Give it a true identity so you knew you were watching a NY episode. For that, we shot a lot of scenes in New York. We also ramped up the stakes and gave Ray a bit of an arc. It was also important for us to add a new dimension to the story, so we just didn’t continue what happened in Miami, but added something significant to the storyline. Another piece to the puzzle. But what makes me most proud of this ep is the action component. It’s CSI: NY on steroids. Lots of hero moments. Hope the fans enjoy it as much as we did making it.
CSI Files: What can we expect when CSI: NY lead Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) teams up with Ray Langston?
Lenkov: Besides the immediate bonding, there’s lots of action from this dynamic duo.
CSI Files: Sweeps will also see the return of the Compass Killer. What can you tease about his reappearance and the team’s pursuit of him?
Lenkov: All I can say is you won’t see the twist coming. This is a story where you might think you know the villain — but you don’t.
CSI Files: Last season ended with a bang, literally, when shots were fired into the bar where the team was toasting Angell’s (Emmanuelle Vaugier) life. When and how was it decided that Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) would be the one who got shot?
Lenkov: About midway through last season, we discussed the idea of Danny getting shot, and perhaps learning to walk (again) at the same time as his daughter is taking her first steps. It just morphed from there.
CSI Files: Was there ever any talk of killing the character?
Lenkov: Danny? Never.
CSI Files: Danny went from a wheelchair to walking in four episodes, after being given a ten percent chance of walking again. Why did his recovery take place in such a short amount of time?
Lenkov: Four episodes don’t necessarily translate into four weeks, in the same way four episodes of 24 don’t translate into four weeks, but four hours. I think we did enough research on the injury and recovery to justify our storytelling.
CSI Files: Will there be any other ramifications of the shooting for Danny?
Lenkov: Absolutely. It’s something we’re addressing.
CSI Files: Lindsay (Anna Belknap) was back in action in “Dead Reckoning” in a way we haven’t seen her since season two. Can we expect more of that?
Lenkov: We love it when Lindsay gets to mix it up in the field… so yes, it’s something we want to continue with.
CSI Files: One of the most compelling stories this season has been Flack’s struggle with Angell’s death and his execution of her killer. It’s very clear he’s not okay–will his struggle continue to play out?
Lenkov: Absolutely. Eddie’s got a great arc this season with regard to his grief. You’ll see this come to a head in 608, a really powerful episode written by Zach Reiter and newcomer Aaron Thomas.
CSI Files: Up until this season, Flack has arguably been the show’s most grounded character. What factored into the decision to send him over the edge?
Lenkov: Exactly that… he was the most grounded and dealing with the situation this way felt very real. We all knew that seeing Flack in this condition would be a shock, but all that stems from the fact that Eddie has given so much to that character.
CSI Files: What was the reasoning behind the introduction of crime scene cleaner turned lab tech Haylen Becall (Sarah Carter)?
Lenkov: We have always looked to start new seasons with something fresh. That could be a new lab, new arc, or new recurring character.
CSI Files: We’ve heard Hawkes (Hill Harper) has a big storyline coming up–can you tease that a bit?
Lenkov: This is also the year of Hill Harper. He’s got multiple big stories ahead. I’d rather let the press department unveil those as they see fit… but we are very proud of his character development this season.