"CSI" had to do two things tonight: bid farewell to Warrick Brown, and start Grissom down the path to his departure. It did all right with both. ...
While most of the plot was devoted to finding Warrick's killer, the emotional emphasis was more on Grissom's reaction to Warrick's to death. To be sure, all the major characters got a Warrick's-dead moment, as is practically ritual in shows that kill off a regular; this episode, from a story by Carol Mendelsohn, tried to get the ritual tidily out of the way at the crime scene and shortly after -- with the final wrap coming at Warrick's funeral, but even there it was brought back to Grissom, and his pain at the knowledge that he was the closest thing Warrick had to a father figure (and his pain at the unspoken realization that he had lost a son).
Nicely done, especially at the funeral, where William Petersen conveyed the incredible emotional conflict. Here was the customarily buttoned-up Grissom, trying to speak calmly for his (and Warrick's) CSI family, with the anguished Grissom breaking through -- not as far as some other person might break through, but in an enormous way for Grissom.
And I keep thinking of the scene where Grissom surrendered his clothes soaked in Warrick's blood. So little said, so much shown.
As for the plot, another show might have drawn out the mystery a bit longer, or hinted at still more ominous forces loose in the police department. Indeed, Brass's anecdote about young cops recruited by McKeen suggested that, while they got McKeen, the corruption doesn't end. But "CSI," if only because of its Las Vegas setting, has never pretended that solving a case can end corruption and decadence. Even in tonight's episode, the CSI team figures out who the killer is, but they're basically beaten to the punch by the bad guys turning on each other.
But drawing out the search for McKeen would have meant something else to juggle with some weekly crimes and Grissom-- not to mention the return of Sara. And I'll be back for more of Grissom's saga.