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'CSI: Trilogy' Review, Part 3: A Missed Opportunity?


The CSI crossover episodes wrapped up last night, with Langston returning to Las Vegas to solve one case with implications to the bigger case he's been following: the disappearance of Madeline Briggs, who apparently was caught in the middle of a trucking ring that dealt with prostitution and illegal organ harvesting. By now the ground rules have been more than set: each of the episodes this week are stand-alone ones, with a common thread, and Langston, linking across the three. By the time we got to Thursday night, I honestly didn't have any expectations, because Langston is back in his home turf.


Therefore, it felt like watching any other CSI episode. It's a little weirder than watching CSI: NY two nights ago: even if it felt like nothing much has changed, the present of a central figure in a sister show changes the mood a bit. Last night just wrapped everything up: the Langston we saw was the Langston that was established the past week--dedicated and passionate to a fault. The only thing holding me on to it, admittedly, was the promise that the storyline I followed over the past week will be wrapped up here. And it was: they did find Madeline, but many others continue to be victimized, because he's obviously not out (or not capable) of bringing down a country-wide trucking ring.


Perhaps the only reference to the past week was Langston checking emails from Horatio and Mac on his phone, and the souvenirs he brought from Miami and New York. I was expecting some arrival scene, and a little more interaction with the other cities (besides, he spent a lot of time there) but it was business as usual, with him just popping up in Las Vegas--or not exactly, since initially he was nowhere to be found, following a supposedly cold lead.


With that said, I think I learned more about Langston in the crossover than in previous episodes. Helps that he is the center of these episodes: sometimes it feels that the crime is an afterthought, and while I welcome it, I'm not sure everybody else does. Whatever Langston does next in future CSI episodes won't be much of a mystery anymore: the only thing left to dig, then, is more concrete information on his background, not to mention the time when he was a doctor who didn't sense a serial killer in his midst.


The question now is this: did the crossovers work? Perhaps. For one, it gave me a reason to really look forward to CSI: Miami, and you know I'm not really fond of that installment because of its overly-dramatic nature. (Lately it's started to shed that nature a bit, though.) These sort of things do well for publicity, and it gets people to watch, especially with a celebrated actor like Laurence Fishburne introducing himself again to CSI viewers.


But the episodes themselves lost momentum as the week went on, unfortunately. For some reason it felt like a wasted opportunity for the CSI franchise to show off: instead it was more of the same, only attached by one string together. Maybe it's my expectations: I was expecting to see more interaction, but apart from the bit on CSI: NY, there wasn't much to speak of. I know they'd use the opportunity to explore Langston's personality, but I did not expect the trilogy to give much attention to that, at least not in an outright manner. It felt pretty blah in the end.


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