''CSI'': Rate this week's episodes
I hate to be the one to say this, but CSI: NY is starting to meld with another New York City-based police procedural that airs several times a week. And this week's (90-minute!) CSI: Miami was a murky blend of Miami Vice and one of those ERs where the doctors get caught outside. As with a certain cola beverage, if things keep going like this, only the original will still be standing in a couple more seasons.
CSI: NY: ''A MAN A MILE''
Big crime The body of a sandhog an underground-excavation worker is discovered in a just-blasted water tunnel.
Little crime The strangled body of a girl from an exclusive private school washes up in the river. She provides one of the best corpses ever excellent eye close-ups! but that's the only aspect of the story line that doesn't seem scraped off a Law & Order episode.
Duh ''You know what I'm thinking? This wasn't an accident.''
Oh, shut up ''Blooding actually dates back to King James the First.''
Okay, we're grateful already! ''Every mile of rock we move, we lose one of our own,'' says a sandhog. And later: ''There's two things that are certain in this job. That tunnel's gonna get built, and men are gonna die.''
Most wince-worthy moment Yiiiiiiiiiieeee! The Q-tip jabbing into the corpse's wound! I know he's dead, but still.
Rating Works too hard to make us feel the Plight of the Sandhogs. What do you want us all to do stop drinking water? B-.
CSI: ORIGINAL: ''WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRISSOM?''
Big crime The Blue Paint Killer is back! He's strangling and wood-chipping all kinds of pretty coeds at West Las Vegas University. And not only girls are being killed so is a frat boy who looks like a girl.
Little crime The Blue Paint Killer is back, I tells you! There's no room for a little crime in this episode!
Have you ever noticed . . . how the CSIs initiate innuendo-laden conversations with, say, the owners of wood chippers and porno shops and never pull out their badges until halfway into the conversation? In my porno shop, I don't like total strangers asking nosy questions about my clientele without introducing themselves.
Best autopsy Grissom slices open a maggot to analyze the DNA of the flesh it's ingested. What is that black-capped . . . mini-maggot that pops out of the larva's body when Grissom makes the incision?
Best fraternity selling point The key-swallowing requirement. I want in, boys!
Duh ''There's no reason for these maggots to be here.''
Most obvious thing the police somehow neglected to say ''Um, Mr. Greer, you've been locked up in that stall for an awfully long time. Are you having tummy trouble, or are you suffocating yourself while we calmly stand outside? And why did we let you close the stall door, anyway?''
Rating This was a near-perfect episode until the two final scenes especially the tribute to Mad magazine's fold-ins! Why is Grissom so shocked when he picks up that drawing, anyway? He already knows Greer is dead. A-.
CSI: MIAMI: ''CRIME WAVE''
Big crime Nature attempts to destroy Miami with a much-anticipated tsunami, and proves only that Nature suffers from erectile dysfunction.
Little crimes Perhaps disappointed by the tsunami's prolonged anticlimax, a white-shoed man named Riddick blows up a bank, takes a hostage, and floats 78 gold bars out to sea. The wave washes up an unaccounted-for corpse from a cemetery. Meanwhile, Yelena, where did you get that bruise?
The only genuinely affecting footage Not the tidal wave, which we see through a window. No, what's really scary about this episode is the panicky lines at the gas stations. We're all going to be there in about five years, and there won't be anyplace to evacuate. Let's see what your mighty CSIs can do then!
CSIs are superheroes! Even though the bank robbers are armed with machine guns, Horatio and Eric manage to kill them with one shot each from their pistols. And when Alexx puts on her special sunglasses, she looks exactly like Donna Summer.
Oh, shut up ''I couldn't let him do that to her memory,'' a murderous young man says of his late mother. ''Something tells me this wouldn't have made her any happier,'' Ryan answers. Later, Riddick sneers to Horatio, ''Law of the jungle, boss.'' Horatio's riposte: ''That's gonna come in handy where you're going.''
Why, oh why? Riddick needs to kill a hostage. Instead of shooting him, he ties him up in a building that's about to be demolished, thus enabling Horatio to find him one second before detonation.
Rating Once the tsunami hits about a quarter of the way into the show the rest is all logistics. Where's the boat? Where's the gold? How do underwater explosives work? Jeez, didn't the tidal wave kill anyone? B-.
What do you think? Was Vegas a classic? Are the spinoffs spinning their wheels?