CSI: New York--'Enough'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at November 6, 2008 - 8:59 AM GMT

See Also: 'Enough' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Three men are found dead in one night, all victims of fatal gun shot wounds. One is killed in bar, one is found dead in the street, apparently dumped from a car, and the third is found in an apartment that belongs to the man in the bar. The three victims are identified as Michael Jones, Duckins LaBranch and Luther Stockton--three drug dealers who were set to go to trial for murder the next day. The ADA on the case, Natalie Greer, tells Mac the men were going to rat out another dealer in exchange for lessened sentences, and sends him to Jones's lawyer, Jacob Donovan. Donovan tells Mac that the men were going to rat out a dealer named Petrix DeRosier. Before going with Flack to question Petrix, Danny discovers the two recovered murder weapons were the ones the three men used when they killed their victim. Danny and Flack question Petrix, but he gives them nothing, simply noting that the murders were bad for his business. Stella and Detective Angell find the vehicle Duckins was killed in--it was stolen by the prostitute he was with when he was killed. She denies killing him, but Angell notices blood on her bra, and Stella finds the third murder weapon in the car. As the case proceeds, Mac finds himself facing a very different problem: Adam and six other lab techs are being let go in a month due to budget cuts. Mac fights Sinclair for Adam's job and posits waiting six months to purchase state-of-the-art automated work stations, but Stella reminds him how crucial the workstations are, and says they'll have to find another way to save Adam's job.

Stella investigates stun gun marks on Duckins' body and traces them to Maggie Hall--a woman who was attacked, her face brutally cut, a week ago by the three murder victims. Maggie was set to testify in the trial against the three, something which shocks Mac, since he promised her based on the strength of the evidence that she wouldn't have to testify. Maggie's three brothers are enraged, and Mac returns to ADA Greer, who tells him some of the evidence was compromised, forcing them to call on Maggie. Petrix DeRosier is cleared based on electronic surveillance evidence which places him nowhere near the scene of any of the crimes, and Lindsay posits that a substance found on one of the guns could link it to Maggie's brother Kevin, who works at a grocery store. Three brothers, three murders--but none of them are talking. Adam finally manages to get a print off some glass from the bar Danny has left him to reassemble; it's a match for Jacob Donovan, Michael Jones' lawyer. Mac brings in the three men's lawyers and he, Danny and Flack question them. Disgusted after the attack on Maggie, Donovan concocted the plan to do away with their disreputable clients. All three lawyers killed each of their clients at the same time. Donovan won't give Mac an official confession; he's convinced he can get a young, eager attorney to work the system and get them acquitted. The case solved, the team members come into Mac's office one by one and give up their paid vacations in order to buy Adam more time on the job until Mac can come up with a more permanent solution.

Analysis:

It's a rare episode of a CSI show when I find myself rooting for the killers, but oh, I was rooting for the killers this time around. The last time I recall finding killers so sympathetic in CSI: NY was last season's "Commuted Sentences", when several women teamed up to kill rapists who had more or less beat the system. The CSIs are supposed to stick to the evidence, but, like the audience, they're only human, and they can't help but have an opinion. And it's hard not to simply conclude that the murder of three killers who brutally attacked a witness isn't justice in a sense, albeit not the traditional sort usually meted out on CSI shows.

I loved the scene in the precinct after the arrest of the Hall brothers, when Danny and Flack are talking about whether or not the brothers were justified, and how a jury would perceive them. Bleeding heart Danny thinks any jury would acquit, while Flack, ever the tough, hardened cop, thinks the jury wouldn't let them off scot free. When Mac comes in, the two are eager to get his opinion, and Flack asks Mac the same question Danny asked him, "What if it were your sister?" Mac thinks for a second and answers honestly: "I'd kill them." It's a nice, straightforward moment between the three, where they come off not as mere instruments of justice, but real men unable to keep from having opinions about the case.

I was both pleased and displeased to find the Hall brothers hadn't actually committed the crimes. Pleased because as soon as I spotted Kevin Hall I immediately was sure he'd done it, and therefore was very happy when that turned out to be wrong. Displeased because having it not be them made it a little easier for the CSIs to make the arrests without feeling overwhelming guilt. I was far more satisfied than not with the revelation, though; it was certainly one I never saw coming! The "scumbag lawyers" turned out to be anything but; when they found out their clients had cut up an innocent woman--a woman so brave she was going to testify anyway--they took matters into their own hands. Defense attorneys who kill their reprehensible clients--how great a twist is that? And I loved that Danny and to some extent Mac still sympathized with them.

Guest star J. R. Cacia was fantastic as ringer leader Jacob Donovan. He never seemed to be the soulless schmuck Mac was so ready to peg him--and all lawyers--as in their first encounter. He had a genuine demeanor that suggested he'd be better suited to the DA's office than to life as a criminal defense attorney taking on drug dealers and murders as clients. The image of the lawyers shucking their suits and donning blue hoodies--garb their low life clients might opt for--and going out on the town to kill their own clients is a rich one. It's a truly inspired twist.

Danny and Flack have a grand old time questioning Petrix DeRosier--between this name and Duckins LaBranch, scribe Zachary Reiter really got creative with the names--who gives as good as he gets. His reaction to the pair's approach is blasť--he refers to them as "the murder police and the clean up crew." I guess even without his glasses, Danny stands out as a CSI. Flack gets annoyed enough when Petrix gets lippy to physically push him out of the swing he's sitting in, leading Danny to plop down in it as they continue to question the dealer, who finally offers that the murders were bad for business. After Petrix ambles off, Flack sits next to Danny and asks him his thoughts on the drug dealer's involvement. These two are so natural together: it's a treat to watch their little familiarities with each other, like sitting on the swings together or Flack tossing Danny his jacket before leaving the lab for an interrogation. Carmine Giovinazzo and Eddie Cahill play off each other masterfully. It's so much fun to see Danny and Flack work together, something we've thankfully seen a lot of this season.

Detective Angell pops up again in this episode, making a welcome return to the show. I love her tough girl attitude, and the way she proudly shows Danny the gun she recovered from the bar--and how she walks away from Danny and all the shattered glass, saying she's glad she's not a lab rat. Of course, Danny complains about all the glass--it isn't a challenging crime scene if Danny doesn't find something to complain about--and then turns around and dumps it all on poor Adam. Adam, who's probably grateful for any task that keeps his mind off his impending unemployment, still asks Danny what he'll be processing. Danny proudly displays the two guns, no doubt relieved he's found something more interesting to do and is able to pass the more tedious work off to a man lower on the totem pole.

Adam's status as low man on the totem pole causes him grief in more ways than one; he learns he's going to lose his job in a month. In a scene both totally endearing and touching, Adam goes to Mac, asking if it was "the paper airplanes or the dancing" that got him fired. Mac is totally baffled and, when Adam shares the news, angry. Adam, who looks up to Mac, tells the CSI boss he's relieved that the order didn't come down from Mac. A.J. Buckley plays the scene with just the right amount of agitated despair. Later, we see Mac fighting with Chief Sinclair on the the phone and then locking horns with Stella when she maintains they can't give up cutting edge equipment that will allow them to solve crimes faster in exchange for jobs. It's always fun to see Mac and Stella lock horns, and, of course, we sympathize with both points-of-view.

Stella comes up with a solution in the end: Danny, then Lindsay, then Hawkes and finally Stella give up their paid vacations at the end of the episode in order to generate some revenue to keep Adam on for a while. It's a sweet gesture that underscores team cohesiveness; it's nice to see them all going to bat for Adam. In light of the recent revelation--and you might want to look away here if you've managed to avoid all news media sources spoiling an upcoming stork visit to CSI: NY due to Anna Belknap's real life pregnancy--that Lindsay will find out in a few episodes that she's carrying Danny's child, it's interesting that Danny and Lindsay are clearly taking separate vacations.

Adam's fate is still more or less left up in the air at the end of the episode. The surrendered vacations only buy him some time; they don't permanently secure his job. Though the budget cuts card has been played a little heavily over the last few episodes, and Adam's own firing foreshadowed in last week's "The Cost of Living", the fact that the lovable lab tech's job is in jeopardy is enough to keep viewers watching to find out what his fate will be. Given that Buckley has just shown up in the opening credits this season, I'm not too worried about his job in the long run, but it's an interesting arc for the character, and hopefully will give us more insight into what makes the quirky lab tech tick.

Are Danny's glasses a victim of the budget cut? The CSI is de-speckled throughout the episode and it's never explained where his glasses have gone. Danny's glasses are an essential part of the character; it's like taking away Stella's curls or Flack's infamous "fugly ties." Danny simply isn't the same without his glasses, and after five seasons, it's just odd to see him without them. What prompted the change? And can we file an appeal?

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.