Season 12 of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" ended on the biggest cliffhanger in the show's history. D.B. Russell's granddaughter (Mia Hayes) had been kidnapped, Finn (Elisabeth Shue) was in danger from the cop she'd gone on a date with (Crenshaw, played by Billy Magnussen), and Nick (George Eads) had impulsively quit CSI. It all had to do with McKeen (Conor O'Farrell), who just happens to be in prison.
The Season 13 premiere, "Karma to Burn," begins where they left off, and is an even more exciting and well-acted episode. It ups the ante on emotional impact while maintaining the non-stop pace.
Nick hits a low point
After Nick quits, he goes on a bender, then insults and threatens some cops who are sent to find him. He winds up in jail with a hangover and a bloodied, beaten face. Sarah (Jorja Fox) is not happy. She drags Nick back to the lab to get to work (even if it's just for one day).
Ecklie and his daughter share some quality time together
The storyline involving Ecklie (Marc Vann) and his daughter, Morgan Brody (Elisabeth Harnois), used to be a bit of a throwaway subplot. That problem is fixed in this episode as Brody shares the fact that she feels guilty for her father's shooting because she used to hate him enough to pray he would get shot when she was younger. With that kind of guilt in her heart, the healing moments between them, as he lies in the hospital, are much more poignant. It now matters that he is going to pull through alright.
Finn gets in too deep
Finn knows something is wrong while on her date with Crenshaw. He never gives her any indication that he's a psychopath, so she just keeps running down that rabbit hole. He takes her in his car to an out-of-the-way club. They leave their guns and her phone in the glove compartment. Once in the club, he leads her to a back room. Finn's worst fears are realized when she sees Katie, Russell's granddaughter, and knows that Crenshaw and Kimball (Peter Onorati) are the captors.
Finn manages to get Katie out of the building, but it doesn't work out. Kimball is still out there, and Crenshaw is able to recapture Finn, but not without a struggle. He's just about to shoot her when the cops arrive and put a bullet in him.
Somehow, Finn is not annoying as usual in this episode. Usually, her over-exuberance can be grating. In this episode, she acts more like a "normal" person. If the character can continue to be more like this, she will be somewhere between tolerable and fantastic.
Russell loses his mind
Ted Danson puts on a superb performance as Russell in the premiere. Katie's kidnapping causes Russell to exhibit frustration at every turn. He becomes more and more agitated. Danson's acting is so believable, it pulls the viewer into the story and keeps them on the edge of their seats with their hearts racing.
Family disputes and resolutions
Russell's family is torn apart even more than it already was by the incident. His own daughter blames him for trying to protect her from all the horrible things that go on in the world, never preparing her with the truth. When Katie is finally found, it brings the family together in a joyous moment, and the healing can begin.
Similarly, the CSI family has been torn apart. At the conclusion of the case, Nick and Sarah have a spat about who has more integrity after having left the team (Sarah had also left at one point). It is Greg who steps in and brings the lab family back together. Nick still has a choice about how hard he wants to fight to get his job back.
A fitting end for McKeen
Russell grins devilishly as he finally puts McKeen in his place. Russell delivers the news that McKeen will be moved to a state where he has no connections and will be locked in solitary for the rest of his days. For someone who thrives on control over powerful people, this will be like torture for McKeen. Good riddance!
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