CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 5 (2004)
Genre: Crime Drama Mystery Thriller Series
Starring: William L. Petersen (To Live and Die In L.A.; Manhunter), Marg Helgenberger (Bad Boys; China Beach)
Created By: Anthony E. Zuiker
Overview: In Season 5, the CSI team, now recently split up, continues their work with Grissom and Catherine and their crew scouring Vegas for bad guys and villains, letting the evidence to speak for the victim.
Acting: I'll admit the 9s this category earned in Season 3, and Season 4 may have been a bit too generous. I wanted to give top score to Grissom and Catherine, Nick and Warrick, but I really didn't offset that with the lesser acts of the other players (though they were good enough). This time though, with that special two-parter season finale directed by Quentin Tarantino, I have to say that the performances were amazingly outstanding, and the characters changed enough this year to include more diversity and opportunity for development. I thought hard about this one. It's a great crew.
Cinematography: They got artistic. I'm not kidding. They stared throwing in these haunting cuts of the faces of the victims or the accused, sprinkling just a touch of darkness from time to time, adding some scratchy sounds to the quick cuts and grainy filter effects. Does it work enough for me? Definitely! I like the more stylized look. Will this work for everyone? I bet it doesn't, but it's not done enough that it gets distracting, just noticeable. As in every other season the zoom-in graphics, the slo-mo gory special effects and the corpse make-up is top-notch.
Script: Yeah, they haven't changed their formula, they're still into puns and all that, but the writing is still interesting and exciting. Catherine's reactions are always interesting, Grissom and the morgue guys are interesting as ever. Television it is, but it's actually good.
Plot: They started throwing in far more plot development than they ever have in the past, but you know what? It was well received. I guess it's nice after all these years to build our rapport with these characters. I can't help but compare this show to "Law And Order" all the time, given that their format is so similar, but it seems that CSI is carving out it's own path. As for the stories themselves? A lot of hilariously weird stuff: men in Diapers, chubby chasers, and one hell of a grande finale.
Mood: This show used to bug me in the 'truth' department. The way they processed evidence seemed more like magic than fact, but I think something happened this season because to me it all seemed to make more sense. The tools they used were different, the leaps they made were intuitive not technological, and they came to impasses more than a couple of times. When things are more believable, you tend to get more into it.
Overall Rating: 84% (Best Season Yet!)
Aftertaste: While watching the two-part finale, which of course must have a plot where we endanger an actual CSI, someone told me that the 'Tarantino Schtick' was obvious. I'll agree. If you think about the fact that this is about 90 minutes long, and realize that Quentin Tarantino directed it, you Tarantino fans out there might feel gyped that this didn't end up in theaters, because basically he directed a movie. If you're not really into CSI, but you love Kill Bill, you can rent just CSI: Season 5 Disk 7, and it will contain only Parts 1 and 2 of the finale. It's worth it all on it's own. Genuine edge of your seat excitement.
Seriously. Major Big-Time.