''CSI'': Bad bosses, briefcases, and bondage
CSI: MIAMI: ''AFTER THE FALL'' (MON., NOV. 29)
Big crime A dominatrix is murdered and buried in a peat bog, which apparently preserves corpses. ''Hands first!'' Eric tells Ryan, who's about to plunge a pitchfork into the peat with his characteristically adorable zeal. ''We don't know how deep she might be.''
Little crime While rappelling down from the rooftop of an apartment building, a thief falls to the sidewalk and squishes a pedestrian to death.
Oh, shut up When a judge is asked why being tied up in feather handcuffs by dominatrixes appeals to him, he blusters, ''I get tired of making decisions all day.''
We've all been there One of the killer's accomplices barfs all over the victim's hair while he's burying her. This is the main reason I'm not a murderer. Or, come to think of it, a murder victim.
Not kewl ''Nitrous oxide, that's the latest thing,'' Eric tells Ryan in a very educational voice. ''It's supposed to enhance pleasure.'' Seems to me I remember whole roomfuls of people adrift on nitrous . . . 30 years ago.
Tee-hee ''Let me see the bottom of your shoes, please,'' Horatio tells a suspect. How much would you be willing to pay to make it turn out that the guy had just stepped in dog doo? I would pay 50 billion dollars.
Stop calling me that! Why do all the Miami CSIs call each other by their names so often? ''What have you got for me, Alexx?'' ''Look at this, Horatio.'' These guys spend 18 hours a day together! They don't need to remind themselves what each other's names are!
CSI: ORIGINAL: ''MEA CULPA'' (THURS., NOV. 25)
Big crime While he's being cross-examined at the reopening of a murder trial, Grissom spots a new fingerprint on a matchbook. How did his CSI team miss this crucially boring piece of evidence the first time around?
Little crime New assistant lab director Conrad Ecklie is being awfully mean to everyone. It looks like he's going to take advantage of that missed fingerprint to break up the team. What a ratfink! Aren't you scared that he'll end up firing all the regulars on the show?
No! Three-quarters of this episode is devoted to fingerprints . . .
No, no! . . . fingerprints on matchbooks . . .
No, God, no! . . . and a fight about a misplaced Dumpster triggered the original murder, which took place five years ago.
Oh, shut up ''The protein chains are made up of a series of amino acids sometimes a hundred units long, but only one end of the chain has the HNH,'' Grissom intones. No wonder Ecklie wants his ass out of there.
New drinking game Drain your glass whenever a CSI character says, ''What's your point?'' or ''What are you getting at?'' It's the only way to get through episodes like this one.
CSI: NY: ''THREE GENERATIONS ARE ENOUGH'' (WED., NOV. 24)
Big crime A briefcase is found on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Whoa, terrify me! In fairness to the briefcase, it does contain a blood sample and the note ''In case something happens to me.'' In fairness to the writers, we do get to see a cool robot blow up the briefcase with a laser.
Little crime A nice lady named Trina is found dead on the grounds of the church where she worked as a counselor. Also, the pastor of the church pronounces the word ''especially'' as ''ecspecially.''
Duh The owner of the trading-floor briefcase has disappeared; his apartment has been trashed; and there are traces of cocaine in his briefcase. ''Something happened, and it wasn't good,'' Mac observes. Now, that's forensics.
Cult of personality During a lull, Stella actually asks Mac how his case is going! Then Mac compliments her on a job well done. ''Thanks,'' Stella replies. Now, that's character-driven drama.
Can't get enough . . . of coroners jabbing chopsticks into gunshot wounds to discern a bullet's trajectory. Why doesn't the corpse sit up and scream? I always do.
Get graphic! Mac spends hours staring at a hard drive in this episode. I'm sorry, guys, but no matter how pulse-y and techno-y the background music is, you can't make a computer as much fun as a corpse. Next time, try having a poisoned javelin shoot out of the monitor into Mac's mouth, pinning his head to his chair as he helplessly writhes about like an insect at the end of a pin. Now, that's good TV.
Miami sparked interest at first but ended up overcooked and dry just like its peat-bogged corpse. Vegas proved just how deskbound an actual CSI's job can be. New York substituted hard drives for matchbooks to make the same drab point. Maybe they thought we'd all be away for Thanksgiving week? Miami: C. Vegas: C-. New York: C-.
What did you think? Will the Vegas team really break up? Will New York ever get it together?