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CSI Files

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Peter Lenkov

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at April 20, 2009 - 3:31 PM GMT

Season five of CSI: New York has seen the show's 100th episode, the marriage of two regular characters and plenty of action for the Manhattan CSIs. Peter Lenkov took time out of his busy schedule running the show to preview for CSI Files what's coming up as the season races towards an exciting conclusion--one that involves both the death of a major character and a cliffhanger--as well as to discuss some of the significant episodes of the past year. Some spoilers ahead!

CSI Files: Season five is almost finished! What's coming up in the final episodes of the season?

Peter Lenkov: Episode 525 will deliver on every level--character, action, stakes, emotion... it's everything fans have come to expect from one of our finales. And did I mention it's big?!

CSI Files: Mac (Gary Sinise) has found himself a powerful adversary in Robert Dunbrook (Craig T. Nelson). What is it about Dunbrook that really gets under Mac's skin?

Lenkov: Dunbrook thinks he owns New York. He thinks he can do what he wants. Can buy his way out of trouble. And unlike the bad guys Mac goes after week-to-week, Dunbrook knows how to keep his hands clean.

CSI Files: We've heard that the Greek coin storyline is going to take Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) to Greece. Can you tell tease anything about that episode?

Lenkov: All I can say is we wrap it up for good in 524. Everything is answered, even some questions about Stella's background. Melina wrote a very special episode, her first for the show, and I think fans will love it.

CSI Files: Will we see Stella's fireman boyfriend, Brendon Walsh (Ethan Erickson), again?

Lenkov: We love seeing those two together, but I'm not sure it's something we're going to spend much time developing. We have a lot of great ideas for Stella... we'll probably execute those first.

CSI Files: Lindsay (Anna Belknap) is about to give birth! Can you give us any hints as to what the baby's name will be?

Lenkov: It's not Peter and it's not Kristine. You can bank on that.

CSI Files: Lindsay went to Montana to visit her family. Will they be coming to New York to see her at any point?

Lenkov: We've talked about it... almost wrote a few scenes this season... then shelved it. I imagine it will be brought up against and perhaps filmed in season six.

CSI Files: What kinds of challenges will Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Lindsay face as new parents?

Lenkov: Oh boy. Everyone with a child knows the answer to this one. First one is juggling work and parenthood. And of course there's the stress parenthood puts on the relationship. These two are going to need each other more than ever. But that doesn't mean it's going to be smooth sailing. Our goal for this storyline is to make things realistic and throw in a few surprises along the way.

CSI Files: Danny and Lindsay were on shaky ground as a couple last season. Why the rush to altar for the pair?

Lenkov: I think both were able to finally sort out their feelings. It wasn't spontaneous; they've had plenty of time to imagine what that sort of commitment means.

CSI Files: Rikki (Jacqueline Pinol), the woman Danny had a brief relationship with in the fourth season, was originally slated to return this year. Can you tell us how what the storyline for her would have been if things hadn't changed?

Lenkov: How about I rain check this question and answer it when CSI: NY wraps it's final episode years from now. The storyline was super cool, but something I'd like to keep close, in case we can still work it in some day.

CSI Files: Is there any chance we'll see Rikki again sometime down the road?

Lenkov: Of course anything can happen, but at this time, there is no plans to bring Rikki back. We did have something on the books some time ago, but we shelved that for a new D/L storyline.

CSI Files: Dr. Marty Pino (Jonah Lotan) hadn't been heard from since second season until he showed up again in "Point of No Return". How did the decision to bring him back get made?

Lenkov: Bill Haynes and I had been talking about this show for some time, but felt the science behind the episode would need to be believable. Our drug maker had to have a certain skill set and background to do his work. And believe it or not, I am always looking for ways to bring continuity to the show. I don't like dropping things, but sometimes you have no choice. In this case, I'd been looking for a way to explain why you didn't see Marty Pino in the ME's office anymore. It was the key to unlocking this story, not just because an ME would fit the bill for such a character, but it also made the investigation very personal to everyone on our team.

CSI Files: At the beginning of the season we got a glimpse into Detective Flack's (Eddie Cahill) somewhat contentious relationship with his younger sister, Sam (Kathleen Munroe). Are there any plans for her to return?

Lenkov: We have talked about Sam recently, but we want to make sure if we bring her back, there's something new to mine. We truly enjoyed that storyline, but want to make sure we have something solid before we just commit to it.

CSI Files: Flack has found happiness with fellow detective Jessica Angell. What was behind the decision to pair them up?

Lenkov: Chemistry. Pure and simple. This was not a relationship built in editing. You could see it on the set, in the dailies, these two actors--and characters--enjoyed working together. And it was only natural to move things in a romantic direction.

CSI Files: Hawkes (Hill Harper) and Danny found themselves on opposite sides of the "blue flu" debate in "The Party's Over". Which point-of-view did you find more sympathetic?

Lenkov: The Writers Guild Strike was the inspiration for the Blue Flu. Everyone in Hollywood was hit by the 100-day walkout. And everyone had a position. And unfortunately, no one truly got what they wanted. I have to admit, I'm torn when it comes to answering this question. At the time, I wasn't certain a writer's strike was the best course of action, but I was loyal to my guild and joined the picket lines. That meant not being around to produce two episodes. It was a difficult pill to swallow. So, getting back to your question, I guess I sympathize with both Danny and Hawkes. Hopefully they, and I, will never have to make another decision like that again.

CSI Files: In "The Party's Over," Danny mentioned coming from a "family of cops," but in season two's "Run Silent, Run Deep" we found out his brother was a member of a gang that was multi-generational ( "Tanglewood"). What exactly is Danny's background?

Lenkov: "Family of cops" was meant as uncles, aunts, cousins, not just immediate family. And we like the idea of Danny coming from a complicated family... that's not just black and white. There's a lot of grey there.

CSI Files: Mac, Stella, Danny, Lindsay and Flack have all had love interests on the show. What about Hawkes? Is there any chance the good doctor will be locking lips with someone soon?

Lenkov: Everyone would like to see Hawkes get a little love.

CSI Files: There's a big death coming in the season finale. How will it impact the team?

Lenkov: Let's just say we're not going to ignore it. Season six will include the memory of our fallen family member.

CSI Files: Is it true the finale will end on a cliffhanger? Which characters will be directly affected?

Lenkov: True... and you know I can't tell you much more than that. All I can say is everyone will be affected.

CSI Files: Which episodes or storylines are you most proud of in season five?

Lenkov: Like all my kids, I love them all just the same... although I have to admit, "Yahrzeit" holds a special place in my heart. When you see it, you might better understand why. It's a story I have been wanting to tell for a long time.

CSI Files: Looking ahead to season six, what can fans expect for each of the characters?

Lenkov: More character! We're going to dig even deeper. And of course, some wickedly cool mysteries on deck. We're all very excited. Stay tuned.

Discuss this interviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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