Spoiler Note: This is a current-season episode at the time of review.
This episode is from the middle of season 11 of CSI Vegas and the episode title refers to the Missing Person and Kidnap police radio codes. Within the context of the show, both new cases are combined from the start and they lead on from an old one that we learn about in exposition. The wife of an FBI Agent is shot and her daughter missing. With Laurence Fishburne’s character away, it’s another departure in that the straightforward cop Lt Brass leads the case rather than any of the CSIs.
The FBI Agent in question is obsessed with the subject of his biggest case, a serial paedophile that he had been tracking for years, caught and jailed, but saw walk away due to the evidence technicalities, and threatened the agent’s family. Thankfully the way the episode unfolds manages to rise above these and other clichés thanks to the acting both from the background regulars like Paul Guilfoyle that receive expanded roles and the guest stars, particularly Patrick Stafford as the Agent’s son. I’m sure that real-life cases involving a FBI Agent’s family would see the official in question confined to headquarters instead of walking around like John Wayne. However you can tell that the producers allowed some limited fictionalisation of Federal as opposed to Police procedure to allow the episode to resolve itself without needing a second part.
You would normally watch CSI NY for all action episodes and CSI Miami for the stories that revolve around major tragic devastation of one single family (as well as the fear of a paedophile). “418/427” brings together these elements neatly to the Vegas franchise following “Lost And Found” from series 10. Having a major character missing did not reduce this episode to filler. Like “Rush To Judgement“** from CSI NY, paedophilia is an element to the story but that’s not all it’s about, and the episode is better for it. Aside from one throwaway line the episode doesn’t seek to lecture the audience – in fact it feels more like the writer is grinding an axe with the FBI. It’s not the best of the episodes dealing with child abuse but the acting rescues it from some of the more predictable elements.
The episode will receive its UK re-run tonight on Freeview/DVB on Five USA at 10pm GMT with a possible final showing on Sunday 20th March, before it goes to the re-run schedules.
**Quoted episode is the second one reviewed.