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