CSI: NY broadcast the season five finale on Thursday, May 14, 2009 in a special Thursday night showing following the season finale of the original CSI. Promos for the episode told us that Mac would lose a member of his team within the first ten minutes, and the only series regulars that we saw in previews were Mac and Flack, so there were several options as to who the casualty might be.
The episode gets underway with Det. Flack’s favorite snitch in the real life form of Nelly standing on a street corner with his pit bull and a gun. A sedan approaches and the window rolls down slowly, and you expect to see the muzzle of a gun emerge. Instead, we see Flack coming to pay a visit. Terrence hands off the leash and the gun and gets in, berrating Flack about messing with his rep by showing up all of the time. Flack has come with good news and paperwork. He is cutting Terrence loose and unlike the days of 70’s cop shows when you lost your snitch when he was murdered, today’s NYPD has a form for you to sign stating your association with each other has come to an end. Flack takes a call from Det. Jess Angell (Emmanuelle Vaugier) who is in a diner with her prisoner having breakfast before escorting him to the courthouse where he is scheduled to testify against his father, powerful media mogul Robert Dunbrook, who is played by Craig T. Nelson and has become sort of a recurring villian in the show. Just as they are making plans to meet after work, a semi-truck crashes through the front of the diner and men emerge firing their guns. Flack tells Terrence to get out and takes off. When he gets to the diner, Jess is laying on the floor, critically wounded. Connor Dunbrook is gone, having been grabbed by the men and taken away in a black Hummer. The semi truck is still in the diner. Flack picks up Jess, puts her in a squad car and they roll to the hospital.
Dunbrook gets to the diner shortly after Mac and his team. As in the past, Mac is instantly suspicious of Dunbrook, and voices his opinion that he is behind it. A shouting match ensues with Dunbrook accusing Mac of not doing his job. Lindsay and Hawkes are processing the scene. Jess had emptied her clip and there are several nine mil and 45 caliber shells in the diner. Linday and Hawkes discover that Jess managed to shoot one of the perps, probably in the shoulder. The perps were using a 50 caliber weapon and that is what Jess was shot with. They show us part of the surgery where the bullet was recovered but she dies in surgery after all. Mac gives a speech to the department to do whatever they have to do to find the killers. Sid comes to get her body as Flack is standing there with her. He tells Sid he can’t stand to think of her being autopsied and leaves.
Adam is putting a tracking device on the bottom of Dunbrook’s vehicle and almost gets caught but Stella creates a diversion. The NYPD finds the Hummer and Mac and Danny go to process it. Flack goes to meet them. The Hummer is tricked out with bulletproof armor and tires and bullet resistant glass. They find some blood from the injured shooter and a hair, which turns out to be a bat hair with a fungus that may be able to help pinpoint where the vehicle has been. Meanwhile, Stella and Adam are tracking Dunbrook, and inform Mac that he is heading for the airport. Mac, Flack, and Danny go to the airport and are listening to a ransom demand from the kidnappers to Dunbrook. A gun battle ensues and the perps escape, with Dunbrook accusing Mac of botching things and ensuring his son will be killed. Dunbrook gives Mac the dvd of his son telling his father how to deliver the ransom. Hawkes lifts an image of a fingerprint off the video where one of the perps was adjusting the camera. Turns out he is wanted by the police for murdering Iraqi civilians along with some of his compatriots. They flood the airwaves with their pictures in the hopes of getting a lead. Flack goes to see Jess’s father and promises him he will find her killers.
Terrence surprises Flack outside of headquarters with info on a “Crazy Tony” who had come into the club claiming he tricked out the Hummer. He had tricked out a vehicle for Terrence so he thinks he is capable of doing the work. Terrence gives him the address and the cops descend on the shop. Crazy Tony admits he did the modifications and Danny finds the original tires from the Hummer. Elements from the dirt embedded in the tire treds off of the Hummer give them a major clue as to where the hideout is. Combined with the bat hair, they narrow it down to abondoned military buildings. The team arrives at the hideout, accompanied by numerous other officers. Mac tells Hawkes to stay outside in case of casualties as he is a doctor and he could make the difference in treating the wounded. One by one the perps are shot or apprehended. Flack shoots one and follows him deeper into the building to the boiler room. He finds him laying on the floor on his back with a fifty caliber weapon beside him. Flack then sees that he has a dressed wound in his shoulder. This is the man who shot Jess. Without a word, Flack decides to avenge Jess and save the taxpayers of New York the cost of a trial.
Dunbrook comes to see Mac with a sneak preview of the next day’s edition of the paper, with a tribute to Jess. He tells Mac he has a ton of lawyers and will beat the charges in court. Mac tells him he will see him there. The team meets at the bar to toast Jess and tell stories about her. As Stella is giving a toast, a car drives by and the window slowly lowers. This time, a muzzle of an AK47 type weapon is seen and the shooter then proceedes to obliterate the bar with gunfire as everyone is either falling or diving for cover. The screen then goes black.
So, now we wait until fall. Is someone’s contract up? I would assume that Gary Sinese will be back, and it looked as though the writers have been slowly trying to get something started between Mac and Stella ( and why do they dress her like she is a hooker decoy?) Will Danny or Lindsay either one become a single parent? We’ve already had Flack’s brush with death a couple of seasons back. Hawkes is a versatile character in that he is a doctor and former medical examiner so he brings things to the team from several different points of view. Adam just became a regualr character this year as did Sid, and one thing is for certain, this show has gone through its share of medical examiners already.
CSI: NY is my favorite out of the franchise, but I cannot help but question what the writers do at times. I realize they needed a public place to set up this storyline, but the cops would never take a high profile prisoner such as Connor Dunbrook to breakfast at the diner. It was established in the phone call between Flack and Jess that she is predictable, so I assume she frequents this diner, but there is no way that the perps could have known she was escorting the prisoner or that they would be stopping there in time for them to go to the planning that they did with the semi truck. I also thought the promos were misleading. Jess was a minor recurring character whose portrayer was listed in guest star status whenever she appeared. And while the detective division works with the CSI’s, they are different departments and she is not technically “one of Mac’s team”. Otherwise, it was pretty good as a season finale. Just when we thought the show was wrapped up neatly, it gives us something to guess about this summer and look forward to season six.
On the net: Watch the full epsiode for free at www.cbs.com