CSI Review: Down The Rabbit Hole

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I enjoy CSI the most when it embraces and take advantage of the quirks and unique aspects of Las Vegas - and there isn’t any bigger stereotype for the former home of the Rat Pack than weddings. 

This week, "Malice in Wonderland" sets our case right in the middle of the marriage industry, which actually worked to tell us more about the team than about the two masked robbers. For example, we learned that Finn never got a chance to marry the love of her life, but did have two weddings of her own. 

D.B., Julie and Conrad

I really liked how we had to be paying attention to the conversations to find the little nuggets of information about Finn and her history. I’m guessing by the closing scene that the love of her life must have also died before she was able to walk down the aisle. 

We also got to welcome Jaclyn Smith to Sin City, as she played Hodge’s mother, Olivia. Smith looks wonderful; it was great seeing her back on TV, even for one night. When Hodges first said his mom was only there for a 10-minute visit, I was worried we were only going to get one scene with her. I should know to have more faith in my beloved CSI, though, that it wouldn’t have someone of Smith's quality only on the show for five minutes (I'm looking at you, Hawaii Five-0.)  

That said, there was something about Smith’s portrayal of Olivia (or her interaction with Hodges) that felt very forced and/or out of place. I will have to rewatch the episode this weekend to really nail down what it is that's setting off the tiny warning bells in my head. Did anyone else feel like Smith misused? 

On the flipside, I adore Morgan even more now for helping Hodges that I did before. Elisabeth Harnois has been such a great addition to the show. Watching how Ecklie has softened as he has worked to be closer to his estranged daughter has been "the little storyline that could,” often taking a backseat to the major acr. Seeing Morgan bring in takeout for the two of them to share was my favorite scene in this episode. 

It seemed like this hour filled in information on Sarah and Grissom, too. It has been more episodes than I care to count since Sarah has even mentioned Gil, so it was great to get several references to him tonight. DB is doing a great job, but we still miss ya Gil! 

Speaking of DB, I was shocked that the only CSI quote to feature an Alice in Wonderland reference came from him and had been shown in the preview. Don’t get me wrong, only having one quip isn’t a bad thing, but given the title of the episode, one might expect to at least be asked why a raven is like a writing desk.

Personal Note: This review is dedicated to Joyce G. (1940-2012). I love you mom, I will miss you and our talks about CSI.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Show stinks, predictable plots, soap oprea gossip every week, Shue and Hanois are no Marg and Wensdys, Nic needs to lose some pounds and do something with his hair. No wonder Csi Miami is beating them in the ratings. Gee Brody does a favor fro Hogdes tha Wendy could have done etter. Get Vassey,, Lombard, Dave the Gun Guy, abd Shankar and Rambo back. I quit watching when Vassey left and Fishburn cameon. The "new creative directio went one place- DOWN! Ratings don't lie.


db and shue are solid but will take time to mesh. pushing too many of first line csi's to background, bad writing. they are the strength of the show. course since grissom and catherine are gone not as good, nor could it be. db is solid as lead guy, morgan is good addition as well.


Have to say--pretty much a mis-cast for Jacklyn Smith as Hodges mother. Do we really see Smith as a loud snoring mom?
Danson is growing on me. Not Shue/Fin or Morgan girl. Pretty useless.
Greg, Nick, and Sara are a shadow of former CSIs--so is this becoming the DB and Fin show? Not so happy about that.
As to the GSR-Grissom mention, what the HECK?? Grissom's mom brought Sara a plant so he sends one from half-way around the world? Get REAL WRITERS!! He better be bringing home some diamonds!!


Watched since the beginning--and not enjoying how this show is going. Danson is ok, but Shue? What is she? Morgan is a bar of soap--cheap soap.
Story was okay, but too much Fin and DB. Who cares about their backstory! Who cares about Morgan who got her job because of daddy and she won't even give him the time of day!! Little witch, inconsiderate too.
And now to GSR, Sara's marriage and the Grissom mention--what the heck? GSR fans really got an insight into this long-distance marriage. If Petersen doesn't want to return, then say he's in Vegas and working some place there. But this "working abroad" is a load of cr@p! If I had a long distance husband who sent a cheap plant with his name on a card, he'd be an "ex-husband" in 24 hours! This story is stupid!


@Circe, I'm wondering if that is what is bugging me about her role, that it wasn't very deep. I was expecting Hodges mom to be a detective or lawyer who was as sharp as he was... I agree they could have tailored the role a little more to her.


Good to see Jaclyn Smith, but she was wasted as his mother. A more interesting role would be more appropriate for her.


Lori Ann, my wife teased me for not mentioning Christopher Knight in my review! I just wish he had a part bigger than background scenery.


I've only watched the last few episodes but I do like the additions of Ted Danson and now Elizabeth Shue. I do miss Grissom and Catherine still. I don't watch much since the show was moved from Thursday to Wednesday because now it is on the same time as one of my favorite shows. I've loved Jaclyn Smith since the early 70's and will always love her! She is a beautiful actress and person! If she feels that she needs to do something to her lips because of her age then she can!It doesn't make her a bad actress! So many actors have done so much more. I think she did a great job, although she didn't seem right as Hodges' mother (neither one of their faults.) I would love to see her on the show again! And I can't believe no one mentioned that "Peter Brady" was the drive-thru pastor! Lol! Welcome back to the 70's!


Ted Danson is so much better than Fishburn was in that role. Ilove ALL the cast changes made this season. J. Smith did not look old enough to play Hodges's Mom.


I loved the episode, especially seeing more about Hodges and his mother. I loved Jaclyn Smith in the role- what Vegas mom wouldn't have had work done- and she wasn't much of an actress back in the day, so if anything I'd say she's improved in that department.
It was so sweet of Morgan to try to help cover Hodges lies and go along with lunch.
I don't know what it's going to take for me to care about Finn and DB but I still don't even though I really want to.

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CSI Season 12 Episode 18 Quotes

DB: Our victim had a button fired into his head at 400 meters per second.
Robbins: Pretty absurd, but that's the tale his body is telling.
DB: Curiouser and curiouser.

I like weddings, I had two of them. Marriages, they don't really agree with me.