Crime Scene Investigation
Season 6 - Part 1

Starring: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads and Jorja Fox
Momentum Pictures
RRP 34.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 February 2007

C.S.I. is an acclaimed, edgy, fast-paced drama series about a passionate team of forensic investigators who work the graveyard shift at the Las Vegas Criminalistics Bureau. Their job - to find the missing pieces at the scene that will help to solve the crime and vindicate those who often cannot speak for themselves - the victims. Between the hidden clues and the buried motives lies the trail to the truth because people lie... but the evidence never does...

Season Six of CSI sees the group dynamics return to normal as everyone goes back to what they do best. Greg gets to operate in the field a little more and, for no apparent reason, Nick sports a manly moustache for a few episodes before deciding to get rid of it. Also, Warrick has a shotgun wedding, and the truth behind Nick's kidnapping (from the end of Season Five) starts to come together.

Highlights in this collection include:

Bite Me: The CSI team investigates the death of a woman found dead on the staircase in her suburban home. Suspicion quickly falls on the victim's husband, but the blood spatter evidence tells a different story. I enjoyed this episode, mainly because of the way the writers kept leading the viewer up blind alleys. Just when you think you've worked out what is going on, the rug is pulled out from under your feet. What I did find amusing about this episode, and some of the later stories too for that matter, was the CSI team entering the house with torches. Yes, I know it's atmospheric, but would it really hurt to turn on a light every once in a while? You could argue that the team don't want to touch anything (including light switches) to avoid destroying fingerprint evidence; or maybe they need the low light to search for blood or other bodily fluids with special lighting. But surely, in the first instance, they need as much light as possible in order to check out the crime scene.

Secrets & Flies: A single mother is found dead in her home, the apparent victim of suicide. When the evidence points to murder, the team delves into the mysterious past of the woman and her baby. Grissom faces off in court with a corrupt former colleague, whose entomological findings conflicts with Grissom's. Another top episode. It soon becomes apparent that the mother is still a virgin. That being the case, how on earth did she manage to get pregnant and then give birth? All is revealed over the 45 minutes of this episode. Also, Grissom spends time trying to prove that a former colleague's court evidence has been deliberately falsified in order to get a murderer of the hook. This episode stars Tony Amendola as Professor Rambar - Stargate: SG-1 fans will know Amendola best for his portrayal of Master Bra'tac.

A Bullet Runs Through It: This two part episode opens with a routine traffic stop that turns into a shoot-out through the streets of Vegas, leaving a string of dead bodies including a rookie cop. Eyewitnesses claim they saw police shoot at unarmed men with their hands up in surrender, and the CSIs investigate what really happened while the whole city watches their every move. This two-part episode has an incredibly strong opening. A huge gun battle takes place for what appears to be no good reason. While attempting to stop a car on a routine traffic violation, another car joins the chase and crashes. Out of this car a group of gun wielding men open fire. Brass is in the area and rushes to help. The resulting body count (one cop and several thugs) results in a police investigation - especially when eye witnesses claim to have seen the police shoot an unarmed man, plant a gun on one of the victims, and deliberately hold off on treating one of the injured men, who later dies. It's up to the CSI team to work out who did what? And to prove who killed the only cop victim - all the evidence suggests that it was friendly fire.

I had a couple of issues with this episode, even though it was great entertainment. Firstly, why is it that no one can shoot straight? There is a huge gun battle and yet it takes ages for anyone to get shot. Secondly when a suspect is apprehended by the police, who shoots him? We never find out. This scene is used to heighten the tension at the end of the first part of this episode, but it's never really looked into any deeper. If it's the drug dealers (or whoever) in the car that the police were originally chasing at the start of the episode, then why did they have a marksman camped out across the road ready to open fire when the cops turned up? Wouldn't they have just gone around and shot him straight away?

Still Life: A mother reports her son missing and the investigation quickly focuses on a suspicious man seen in the park. But what appears to be is not, and Catherine finds herself face-to-face with a modern day Medea. This is a very strange episode - and one of the best in this collection. When a mother reports her son missing the police soon track down the man seen at the scene of the abduction. However the little boy seems convinced that this man is his father and that another woman is his mother. Why would the child lie? And, more importantly, if the child is telling the truth why would a young woman claim he was her son if he wasn't?

Werewolves: The CSIs investigate the killing of a man afflicted with Hypertrichosis, a.k.a. human werewolf syndrome. This episode is interesting, even if it's not overly difficult to work out who killed the victim. There are enough red herrings, but you'll probably work out the ending before the crime lab do. It also has some impressive make-up.

I also had issues with the episode Gum Drops. Why did Warwick have the two black bin bags together out in the field? He compares a bag from the family's home (which contained marijuana) and one found in the boot of a suspects car. Surely there would be a serious danger of cross contamination and it would be easy to get the two mixed up.

X-Files fans will also be pleased to hear that Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner) makes a brief guest appearance as Happy Harry Desmond.

Extras include CSI: The Science of Sound (27 minute featurette on how the various sound engineers bring each episode to life. This mainly focusses on the two-part episode A Bullet Runs Through It); and audio commentaries for a handful of episodes- although the first part of A Bullet Runs Through It has more than one commentary.

An entertaining collection of episodes that all CSI fans will be proud to own.

Nick Smithson

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