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CSI review: "Dead Doll" - Light One Candle

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September 28th, 2007


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12:02 am - CSI review: "Dead Doll"
I'm not sure what I think about this. (WARNING. Do NOT follow this link if you have not seen the season 8 premiere of CSI. It will be roundly spoiled for you; this is essentially a follow-up interview with Jorja Fox.) *sigh*


"Dead Doll"

I'm torn about this episode. There was a lot I felt that they could have done better--the shifting back and forth between Sara in the "present" and flashbacks of Sara struggling with Natalie on the way to the desert and what various CSIs think Sara might be doing as they look at pieces of evidence and try to find her.... I found that rather confused. Not confusing, but not well-structured. For instance, after the moment when Nick gets frustrated that he can't find anything and sits and remembers the conversation he and Sara had during "Gumdrops," I was convinced that we were going to see more of the team recalling moments with Sara. Didn't happen.

Of course, that moment of Nick's also pretty much convinced me that Sara was going to die. And there's a part of me that's bummed out that they didn't follow through on this (although, they did already get to kill off a CSI last year, with Mike Keppler's arc, so...).

Now, I do have to give props to the director of this episode, and the stunt people, and the music director, and those who did the camera work. There were some stunning images and sequences in this episode. A small list:

--Greg in the helicopter, searching.
--Nick recalling that "Gumdrops" conversation; that was brilliant, referencing his own kidnapping in "Grave Danger" as well as his optimistic outlook vs. Sara's realism. Choked me up but good.
--Sara figuring out how to get out of the trunk. Plausible, scary, full of tension...it felt real, not like some fake action-y thing. Kudos.
--Sara walking in the desert, clearly exhausted, muttering the multiplication table to herself to keep her mind working.
--Nick and Grissom finding Sara's vest in the dirt on top of the car.
--Grissom and Catherine digging out the body that turned out to be that hiker, not Sara. Because the stiff, sand-crusted body and hair could have been her, so easily, and it was disgusting and I really, really didn't want it to be her.
--Those last few moments in the Med-Evac chopper, when we're still wondering if Sara's going to make it, and then she opens her eyes, and the first thing she sees is Grissom's name on his vest. Understated, but the connection even just in that moment is palpable, and if I hadn't bought the relationship already, I would have then.

Bottom line: not as good a procedural episode as "Grave Danger," or "Stalker." Not enough focus on most of the team, which I felt weakened the story considerably. But a good resolution, with good moments, and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Evocative, and made me remember anew why I like Sara Sidle. *points to icon*

And then I went to TVguide.com and read Ausellio's Report, which he's been telling all the CSI fans to come do as soon as the episode aired.

Apparently, Sara survived (yep), but Jorja is leaving the show come November. Her last episode will air 11/9, or something like that. And she's not allowed to talk about how she's going to leave. When I first read this, I was peeved. Why not just kill her off in the premiere, give this episode the work and weight it deserves, and take advantage of the situation?

But as I think more about it, I find that I am grateful that she'll have some more time on the show, and that we'll get some resolution to her relationships with her team and with Grissom, however they decide to write her out.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: The "miniature killer" theme from CSI

(3 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:September 28th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
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convinced me that Sara was going to die. And there's a part of me that's bummed out that they didn't follow through on this

*blink, blink* You wanted Sara to die? I would have thought you'd be bouncing with squee that she didn't.

--Nick and Grissom finding Sara's vest in the dirt on top of the car.
--Grissom and Catherine digging out the body that turned out to be that hiker, not Sara. Because the stiff, sand-crusted body and hair could have been her, so easily, and it was disgusting and I really, really didn't want it to be her.


You can thank Quentin Tarantino for ruining these plot points for me. After the stunt he pulled in "Grave Danger" with the dog in the plexiglass box, I was . . . shall we say . . . less emotionally involved in these two scenes than I might have been otherwise. I was a little confused by the body ("It's not her. Wait, is it her? Maybe it is. No, it's not."), but I thought back to the whole Grave Danger issue, and thought "It's not her. They did this to me once; I'm not going to let them do it to me again."

And as Sara is wandering out through the desert, I kept thinking, honey, you know they'll be looking for you. You know you have no idea where you are or how far you are from civilization. Why didn't you stay with the car?

The question I wanted to ask you last night is, where the heck did the rumor come from that Greg was the one who found her? 'Cause I really wanted to tell you that Nick and Sophie found her, 'cause I really liked the fact that Nick--the last one to be kidnapped and buried alive by a psycho--was the one who found her. Sara and Nick have much to talk about now, much thearpy they can attend together.

Overall, this ep did not "wow" me. Perhaps it would have been more effective if they'd run it as a 2-hour with th previous ep (ala Grave Danger) but as it is, it just didn't do much for me. It was good, but it just did not "wow" with the squee.

Next week looks pretty good, though.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:September 28th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*blink, blink* You wanted Sara to die? I would have thought you'd be bouncing with squee that she didn't.

It's not that I wanted her to die--I don't even want her to leave. But speaking as a writer, having the contract run out on one of your stars and not be renewed is a chance that few shows ever get to play with. Following on the heels of the flashback to Sara telling Nick "when it's your day to die...it's your day," the opportunity to have a story-driven, reality-based unhappy ending, a moment when our CSI *weren't* able to save one of their own.... Well. I'm glad she's still alive, that's for sure. The storyteller in me is shaking her head at the missed opportunity, that's all. :-)

You can thank Quentin Tarantino for ruining these plot points for me. After the stunt he pulled in "Grave Danger" with the dog in the plexiglass box, I was . . . shall we say . . . less emotionally involved in these two scenes than I might have been otherwise.

LOL. Guess I'm not quite as jaded as you when it comes to the red-herring twists. The bit with the vest got me not because I really thought she was under there, but because I was so invested in Nick at that moment, and finding the vest without Sara in it, running his fingers over her name.... *shivers*

And the second bit was all about how disturbing the image was, and about the acting chops of Billy Petersen and Marg Helgenberger.

And as Sara is wandering out through the desert, I kept thinking, honey, you know they'll be looking for you. You know you have no idea where you are or how far you are from civilization. Why didn't you stay with the car?

LOL! True enough. I figured concussion + being in a small valley where the floods will rush through (the water clearly covered the car for a while, to build up that much sand over/around it) + being soaked and probably approaching hypothermia + the pain of that broken arm = a pretty good explanation of that behavior.

I really liked the fact that Nick--the last one to be kidnapped and buried alive by a psycho--was the one who found her.

ME TOO. Oh gosh, me too! That was...amazing and the most perfect choice they could make. Not Greg, not Grissom, not Cath. Nick. (There's gonna be a ficlet up on my LJ today or tomorrow.)

Overall, this ep did not "wow" me.

Me either, and I think I know why. CSI is all about the details, solving the crime by figuring out what each puzzle piece means and where they fit. "Grave Danger" did this excellently, so did "Living Doll," but "Dead Doll" didn't have nearly enough of that in it to satisfy my CSI-lovin' heart.

Next week looks pretty good, though.

Grrr. My DVR failed to record the promo. I'll have to see if it's up on CBS's website. What was in it?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:September 28th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
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I've occasionally be disappointed by this show (most notably by the general lackluster quality of season 6, from which it bounced back spectacularly last season), but with this kickoff, I'm looking forward to seeing what we get this year. Even if one of things we get is Sara leaving.

*sigh*

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