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Clearly, everyone involved in CSI is sick of their jobs. They're behaving like girlfriends who are desperate to end the relationship but don't have the cojones to actually dump a guy, so they behave like utter twats and cheat and things just to drive away their partner. That's what CSI is doing to its audience. And we're all obviously a bunch of mad masochists.

Grissom set the tone for that show. He made it into a warm, cuddly, nerdy embrace where it was cool to like bugs and not get jokes right away. I loved that. Because of him, the bad puns were acceptable, nay, delicious.

When Grissom said it was his time to move on from CSI, I understood. I accepted that. That was a grown-up, mature breakup. So I don't hold it against Grissom.

But Morpheus. Poor Morpheus. As if he hasn't had enough experience with marvelous franchises being run into the ground.

I actually coughed up my peanut butter on pita when I saw that they had put Laurence Fishburne's name first on the credits, where William Petersen has been for so many seasons. Really? He's going to be the star of the show already? They're just going to swap out Grissom for a n00b? And we're supposed to choke down this replacement?

Wouldn't you rather see Catherine become the star? Isn't that the way chain of command works? Fuck, I'd rather watch the Paul Guilfoyle show (although that was pretty much always true).

Morpheus should have been at the end, which is also a special spot. But just slapping him on the front of the credits and expecting us not to blink? I still have peanut butter stuck in my throat.

I objected to the slapdash way they brought his character onto the team in the first place. This guy seems to be a pro at taking jobs that he's completely underqualified for. He's a medical doctor who just randomly became a professor of criminology — I bet people who spent their lives and careers earning their Ph.D.'s in criminology are slitting their wrists at the thought of having what few jobs there are, taken by some yahoo from a hospital whose claim to fame was fucking up on an autopsy. And then, as if it wasn't enough to be waltzing around lecturing at students about his new hobby, he decided, oh, I'm just going to become a forensic scientist now. That's like, what, a two-week diploma program, right? Can I like do it at a retreat in upstate New York or something?

So, I guess to compensate for this horrendous awkward chunk in the show's verisimilitude, the writers have spent this entire episode illustrating how badly Morpheus sucks at being a forensic scientist. The short list:

- he can't lift fingerprints
- he nearly barfs at the crime scene
- he breaks off bits of the corpse accidentally
- he lets his tie smear all over the dead guy and has to cut it off for trace
- he gets all up in a dude's face for smacking his son (who's a prick) and nearly blows the legality of their evidence processing
- he runs out of a car to chase down a suspect, leaving Catherine to her halfhearted cries for him to desist, and is useless anyway
- he is condescending to a juvenile person of interest and gets spat upon

I was just waiting for them to write in some sort of redemption for his character. The big redemption is that he solves the mystery by READING A FUCKING BOOK. Any of the characters could have done that. There is no special quality about this character that makes him suitable for this show in any way.

I just don't understand– is it so much to ask that the characters on a forensics show be competent forensic scientists??

This isn't the "Follow Along With Entry-Level Forensics Class" show. I want to watch people who are brilliant, being clever, doing unexpected, creative things. This is TV, after all. Maybe if the story this episode were more original or hilarious, something closer to the glories of the furries episode or the gender reassignment episode. But no, just the same tired old mixup of adultery and narcotics. Sigh.

Furthermore:
Laurence Fishburne needs to adjust his acting style for the small screen. He's too big for TV right now. His moves and his tone of voice are so deliberate and dramatic, as suits film, but not CSI. It does not gel well at all with the easy, naturalistic acting style of the rest of the cast, or the tone of the series as it has developed over the years.

But there is some optimism to be had for CSI.

I have recently discovered that I have a talent for inventing genius drinking games.

I think CSI is ripe for becoming a drinking game.

Here are the rules:

Every time Morpheus fucks up, take a drink.

Fucking up includes: screwing up the forensics, screwing up protocol, being clueless, or over-delivering a cheesy line.

This episode alone will make you pretty hammered.

Yes, I think I will tune in next week.

And I may or may not be in the Whitechapel chatroom while I do it.

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elana

December 2016

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