TV Recap

'CSI': Party Girls

A mobster's daughter dies after a wild night at the same club that Catherine's underage daughter gets into

SINGLE(MINDED) MOM Catherine's daughter is growing up and giving her something to worry about
SINGLE(MINDED) MOM Catherine's daughter is growing up and giving her something to worry about

'CSI' recap: Girls going wild

Attention must be paid to the great lengths that CSI executive producers Naren Shankar and Carol Mendelsohn go to when revealing the dead body du jour. Though the teasers are often circuitous and mystifyingly besides-the-fact, at least they're freaking colorful. Last night we were treated to an opener that introduced both the A and B stories for this entertaining, all-hands-on-deck episode: A man hoping to settle a large debt ends up falling dead next to a drug lord's even deader daughter! Throw in George Eads playing an impromptu action star (look at that smokin' hot CSI running through that dark building!) and the teaser almost made up for the corny dialogue around the dumpster where the two bodies were found. Almost. (A smidge of me died inside when I heard Billy Petersen say, "Guess a broken mirror does bring back luck" and "trick or treat!") Oh, and we got a little more of Lauren Lee Smith's Riley. Still not impressed.

The proximity of the dumpster to a loud trendy nightclub led Riley and Catherine to its sordid owner, played by Jason Lewis, who they questioned about the "slut of the week" tattoo found on the dead teenager's leg. Here, again, a compliment must be paid: The level of stunt casting has been top notch this season and only promises to get better as we get closer to Petersen's much-anticipated exit, and Lewis' turn is no exception. The Sex and the City alum just oozed sleaze here. Apparently, the dead girl, Angela, was the 19-year-old daughter of a violent Colombian drug lord, who managed to slink in and out of Vegas nightclubs unscathed because of who her father is. Desperate to rid his club of this little hot potato, the club owner sent Angela to her daddy's drug-packing plant, where she ended up snorting the wrong blow. ("Just like her mother," we hear Angela's aunt tell Gil. "She likes to party.") Meanwhile, Nick and Brass provided the night's comic relief with a hilarious interrogation of a would-be bridegroom, the one who sent his best man on a fool's errand to get the necessary bail money. Clearly, he died trying, but at least his idiotic zeal in robbing convenience stores made his bridegroom friend feel important.

The episode was dripping with lots of nifty personal moments and awesome pop-culture references. NYPD Blue's Nick Turturro (another great little casting coup) was ultimately responsible for Angela's death back at the warehouse ("she pulled a Pulp Fiction!") because he and his partner in crime decided to pay homage to Keith Richards by transfusing their clean blood into her atropine-laced veins. "That's an urban legend!" exclaimed Riley of the notion that a smack-using Richards used to clean his pipes with fresh blood. Genius. On the home front, we learned that Catherine could be losing control over her ever-maturing daughter, Lindsay, because the teen used a fake ID to get into the club where Angela got killed. Later, we heard Catherine ask Gil where Sara was these days, and all he could muster was an "I don't know." And we're starting to see the Sturm und Drang of the job eating its way at Gil; our hero's mind was obviously elsewhere while Al was pulling those shards of glass from Angela's body. (How do we know it was a moment of reflection for Gil? Like you didn't notice the soulful music playing during the scene.) Personally, I liked the scene on the bed, at the end, the best; there was Gil, looking resigned and (dare I say?) lonely with his trusty dog, Hank, before he got another fateful call from work: Justice had been served by the drug lord, though not necessarily in a way that Gil and his team would like.

So what did you think? Are Naren and Carol laying the groundwork for Gil's spectacular flameout in episode 10? Are you digging the stunt casting? Are you warming up to Riley?

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Originally posted Oct 31, 2008