DVD Review: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami & CSI: NY (Seasons 12, 10 & 8)

They’ve broken up the Big Three. After powerhouse seasons, the trio is now a duo. This isn’t about Ray Allen splitting the Boston Celtics. This is bigger. After eight seasons of three different CSI series, we’re down to two. Although oddly enough Allen left for Miami as CSI: Miami wrapped up. People knew the end was coming. Although way too many thought the end was coming to CSI:NY since CBS had moved it to the graveyard of Friday night. CSI: Miami was on sunny Sunday. There were whispers that the mothership CSI might be heading to an end with Laurence Fishburne bolting and Marg Helgenberger almost out the door. But in the end, CSI: Miami found itself a victim of a crazed network axe murderer. That means that this is the last time you can wander down to the video store to pick up DVDs of the previous season for all three shows: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Twelfth Season, CSI:Miami, The Final Season and CSI:NY, The Eighth Season.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Twelfth Season features the third guy taking over the lead investigator role. Dr. Langston (Fishburne) completely vanishes so his season 11 cliffhanger is settled off-camera in “73 Seconds.” Instead we’re introduced to D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) as he puts together the pieces of a shoot out on a hotel tram. The sad part of this brutal crime scene is knowing the victims last moment alive included video of Carrot Top. “Tell-Tale Hearts” features 4 bodies and three confessed killers that are suspects. “Bittersweet” delivers death by chocolate. “Maid Man” kills ex-Mayor Oscar Goodman (the real Oscar Goodman) at a mobster museum. Why is his death being investigated since he signed off on “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” “CSI Down” hijacks a medical helicopter with a CSI member on board. “Freaks & Geeks” hides a sadistic killer in a sideshow. “Brain Doe” has an extra brain at the crime scene. Who loses a brain in Las Vegas? Your mind will always be at risk. “Genetic Disorder” makes Dr. Al Robbins (Robert David Hall) the star. The focus comes when a dead body shows up in his bed. Turns out his wife has been messing around on him. “Ms. Willow Regrets” and “Willows in the Wind” mark the end of Catherine Willows (Helgenberger) as part of the team. A case gets ugly when hitmen come after her.

“Seeing Red” marks the arrival of Julie Finlay (Elisabeth Shue). This marks a major transition as the top two characters are both fresh to the season. She’s brought in to work on a gunshot victim that has no short-term memory. “Stealing Home” has siblings battling for a house that has more than their old toys inside. Jason and Randy Skylar are the bothers. “CSI Unplugged” makes the team work when the power goes out. “Trends with Benefits” kills a video blogger before he breaks a big story. “Malice in Wonderland” has a theme wedding and Jaclyn Smith (Charlie’s Angels). Christopher Knight (The Brady Bunch) is the minister. Does he pray for the soul of Cousin Oliver? “Dune and Gloom” blows up an off-road dune buggy during a race. “Homecoming” wraps up the season with nasty homicide scene linked to dirty cops.

CSI: Miami, The Final Season wraps up the investigations of Lt. Horatio Caine (David Caruso) and his team after 10 seasons. “Countermeasures” messes up Caine’s mind as he keeps encountering his wife. Problem is his wife is dead. He’s also nervous that Jack Toller is continuing to be a serial killer. “Stiff” kills a male hooker at a cabana. This is the ugly side of Hung. “Blown Away” gets a crime scene screwed up by a tornado. “Look Who’s Taunting” has an killer going after female hookers. “By the Book” resurrects the career of Orlando Jones when a vampire novelist’s house becomes a murder scene. “Dead Ringer” might be the work of serial killer or a copycat. “Crowned” is a dip into the Toddlers and Tiaras universe. Blame Boo Boo Honey’s mom for all the ugliness. “Terminal Velocity” exposes a dead skydiver as the father of hundreds. Shouldn’t he have played in the NBA with that record? “Last Straw” murders two women that were sorority members. Bo Derek (10) is the major guest star. “No Good Deed” gives us Joel Murray (God Bless America), my second favorite of Bill Murray’s brothers. “At Risk” uncovers a child molester at a tennis camp. “Law & Disorder” brings the show to an end. David Caruso does one last sunglasses moment. It’s sad to know he’s gone unless he’s given a guest gig on CSI:NY.

CSI:NY, The Eighth Season was thought to be the end with whispers of a CSI retraction. This feeling of the end allowed the producers to go all out on ideas and emotions. The cast and crew didn’t merely sleepwalk on the screen while lining up gigs for next year. “Indelible” finally lets Mac (Gary Sinise) remember the day the World Trade Center Towers came down. “Keep It Real” shoots a lover of a punk rocker. They still make punk rock? “Calallino Rampante” explodes the myth that there’s not enough space for a dead body in the trunk of a Ferrari. “Air Apparent” ties the next big basketball star into a homicide. This won’t stop him from being recruited by Kentucky. “Get Me Out of Here!” is a Halloween Frat prank gone bad in a cemetery. “Crushed” has a deck collapse during a high school party. This does happen so it’s a bit of a PSA. “Clean Sweep” claims the life of a MMA fighter. Tito Ortiz makes a cameo. “The Ripple Effect” connects two crime scenes by bubblegum. “Flash Pop” kicks a case back to 1957. Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man has the clues. “Near Death” makes Mac a victim. He’s fading in and out while the team looks for the shooter. It’s a classic cliffhanger for a show that was given another season even with only 18 episodes for the season.

It’s strange to think that CBS is now down to only 2 CSI shows. But 8 years is a great run for a trio of related shows. There will be a third less crimes scenes in that universe.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic for all three shows. The crime scene details come out in the transfers. The audio is 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround. It brings out the creepy nature of some of the cases. There’s Spanish dub. The episodes are subtitled in English.

CSI extras

Commentary Tracks on “Ms. Willows Regrets” and “Willows in the Wind” lets Marg Helgenberger talk about her last days with cast and crew. Wallace Langham is going to ride his role to the bitter end.

Deleted Scenes are provided for several episodes.

Death, Trucks and Rock n’ Roll (8:33) takes us on location to watch the off racing action.

A Crime A Dozen: Season 12 of CSI (23:29) breaks down the changes on the show. They chart the bittersweet goodbyes.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (12:51) covers the arrival of Ted Danson in the lead.

A Farewell to Marg
(9:32) says goodbye to the actress who stuck it out for so long.

Putting on a Freak Show
(8:46) covers the modern day sideshow performers.

A Family Affair
(6:54) gives Doc Robbins the spotlight.

CSI: Miami extras

Audio Commentaries
are on “Look Who’s Taunting” and “Long Gone” with cast and crew.

Deleted Scenes are provided on several episodes.

A Perfect Ten (20:52) sums up what would turn out to be the final season.

A “Tripp” to the Set (17:14) follows Sgt. Tripp around the stages. He’s an excellent tour guide.

The Miami Look
(11:20) demonstrates how the production team create their version of Miami on the Hollywood soundstage.

Gag Reel
(2:17) is follow blown lines, dancing feet and antenna fun.

CSI:NY extras

Deleted Scenes are supplied for a few episodes.

Honoring Heroes (10:43) deals with the 9/11 elements in “Indelible.”

A New York Halloween (7:27) takes the crew to a huge cemetery.

Flash to the Past
(10:29) examines how they made a period piece out of “Flash Pop.” We see more of Lee Majors.

The Magic 8 (22:43) sums up the thrills and chills of the eight season.

Gag Reel (3:36) exposes who murdered the most lines.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Twelfth Season, CSI:Miami, The Final Season and CSI:NY, The Eighth Season wrap up what was the Big Three on CBS for 8 season. Nothing stays around for ever including Law and Order. At least CSI: Miami wrapped up its season without being mistaken for crime scene corpse. CSI:NY went all out with a fear that it was coming to an end. CSI improved the mothership by bringing in two new leads to solve the crimes of the Vegas Strip.

CBS DVD presents CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Twelth Season. Starring: Ted Danson, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads and Elisabeth Shue. Boxset Contents: 22 Episodes on 6 DVDs. Released: September 25, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

CBS DVD presents CSI: Miami, The Final Season. Starring: David Caruso, Emily Procter and Rex Linn. Boxset Contents: 18 Episodes on 5 DVDs. Released: September 25, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

CBS DVD presents CSI:NY, The Eighth Season. Starring: Gary Sinise, Sela Ward, Carmine Gioinazzo and Anna Belknap. Boxset Contents: 18 Episodes on 5 DVDs. Released: September 25, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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