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"CSI": The Continuing Education of Ray Langston

By admin Published: January 30, 2009

The ratings for "CSI" apparently rebounded from Laurence Fishburne's first week, but that's deceptive since "Grey's Anatomy" was a rerun. Still, I've been sitting in with the show, and am not displeased. ...

I was pretty well fooled by Thursday's show. The presence of Frank Whaley and Paula Malcomson as edgy FBI agents even made me wonder if this was a backdoor pilot of some sort, since both actors could easily carry a show. I know, Malcomson is signed for "Caprica" but I could have imagined her working out the shooting schedule for two shows -- until, that is, her character on "CSI" was killed. But wasn't it oddly fun to have "Deadwood's" finest prostitute caught up in a modern prostitution story?

Anyway, as I said, I was just falling into the episode and taken in by its twist and turns, more ready to believe the FBI agents were dirty than the idea that they were simply bat-guano crazy. Beyond that, I am also intrigued by the way they are bringing along Langston -- Fishburne's character -- and inviting the audience into the investigation process in a way they couldn't before, since Langston is a newbie and needs to have things explained. But we're also seeing that he is a determined, and quick, learner. I liked the scene of him dusting evidence, since last week's episode ended with him practicing the technique; the little bit with Hodges, where Langston was already comfortable telling Hodges that one of his comments was getting old, was also a way of settling Langston in. And it's entertaining how they are trying to take advantage of the skills he has already developed in his previous career.

Could I also say again how very very much I enjoy just about anything Brass does? OK, I've said it.

The one bit I am still chewing on is Langston's giving "Man of La Mancha" to crazy Whaley. It has echoes of his attempt last week to comfort the kid. Last week's effort ended disastrously for Langston, but he still tried to offer comfort again, apparently with better results. Does that mean that there's a reason in his past for his trying to comfort the sad -- or that his do-gooder impulse is going to lead to bigger sorrow down the road?

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