Review: CSI Vegas – Death and The Maiden (2009)
Spoiler Warning: This is a current-season episode, and half the plot is discussed below.
The opening of the episode will show any C/SA victim that the episode is about male rape with the showing of a textbook reaction. The other indication is that unlike most CSI cases, this victim isn’t dead, and the textbook reactions to a rape continue to be described as the first case progresses.
Later on the traditional second case of murder, begins overlapping with the earlier assault. There’s a general “teach the audience” section regarding male rape which includes the potential for the police joking about the victim, which isn’t overly cynical. After the episode almost turns into Pulp Fiction as the CSIs work to find the guilty person involved in the other crime as multiple suspects pile up, the ending is open and realistic, rather than getting wrapped up in a bow to satisfy the audience.
In short, following on from “Satellites” at the end of Without A Trace’s penultimate season, this is another Bruckheimer TV drama whose creators are conscious of its worldwide reach as a high-rated American cop show. It also escapes the cliché of the first season episode “Blood Drops” which featured incest in its B-plot. Adult-on-adult sexual assaults have not been handled with this much intelligence on American television since Oz and the writer Jacqueline Hoyt deserves credit for this (Anthony Zuiker’s credit is purely exective according to IMDB).
CSI now seems aware of its global reach and it’s good that there are more hits than misses in the ten years the show has been running. Having premiered in November 2009, American viewers should be able to catch the re-run very soon, whilst UK viewers should have two more chances to watch it before the week ending 21st February – search for the Five USA digital DVB/Freeview listings on www.tvguide.co.uk .
I recall seeing this episode earlier this season, and it was pretty realistic, for once. I remember being quite taken with the depth, and variety, of responses from both the main characters, and the people associated with the victim, and the different ways they viewed him afterward. It was a nice change to have the responses match up with what many of experience in the real world.