“CSI”: The Fourteenth Season might not be a standout season for this long-running series but it does have its moments and unlike the short-lived Laurence Fishburne era, where stories managed to be even darker in tone, this ensemble headed by Ted Danson, seems to have coalesced quite well.
“CSI”: The Fourteenth Season
Genre(s): Crime, Drama
Paramount | NR – 936 min. – $69.99 | September 16, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is the venerable CBS television series now onto its fourteenth season, going on fifteen this year, and over time has had changes in its lead actors from William Petersen for several years to Laurence Fishburne who left after only two seasons (as credited lead actor) and now onto Ted Danson taking over, along with Elisabeth Shue replacing Marg Helgenberger. However, and this is probably the reason the series still gets decent ratings, some of the mainstays help give the series a comforting familiarity.
This season has the pretty much crime-of-the-week formula with a couple multi-episode plots, such as the season opener, ‘The Devil and D.B. Russell’ which finds the CSI crew — D.B. Russell (TED DANSON), Julie Finlay (ELISABETH SHUE), Nick Stokes (GEORGE EADS), Sara Sidle (JORJA FOX), Greg Sanders (ERIC SZMANDA) and Morgan Brody (ELISABETH HARNOIS), not to mention lab rats David Hodges (WALLACE LANGHAM) and Henry Andrews (JON WELLNER) — hunting a serial killer (TIM MATHESON) who has kidnapped Captain Jim Brass’s (PAUL GUILFOYLE) daughter (TEAL REDMANN reprising her role that dates back to 2005) and in the thirteenth season finale, Morgan becomes the killer’s latest kidnapee.
The conclusion episode is one of the better late in this series with a great antagonist and a good twist that allows one veteran actor/actress to give one of his/her better performances; I’m leaving it vague if only to keep this review as spoiler-free at least in this instance.
Following the premiere, “CSI” gets on track with case-of-the-week with some obscure crimes such as an arson fire at a club leaving several dead (and features guest star JOHN RATZENBERG of “Cheers” fame); ‘Last Supper’ about a murder on a cooking competition show (with a cameo by WOLFGANG PUCK); ‘Girls Gone Wild’ in which the CSI ladies get more than a spa weekend; and ‘Frame by Frame’ which is the series’ 300th episode and the return, in flashback form, by Helgenberger.
- The Devil and D.B. Russell
- Take the Money and Run
- Torch Song
- Last Supper
- Frame by Frame (300th Episode)
- Passed Pawns
- Under a Cloud
- Check In and Check Out
- Girls Gone Wild
- The Last Reindeer
- Keep Calm and Carry-On
- Boston Brakes
- De Los Muertos
- Love for Sale
- Killer Moves
- Long Road Home
- The Fallen
- 22. Dead in His Tracks
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
The 6-disc set comes housed in a standard DVD case which slides into a glossy, title-embossed slip cover.
Episode Commentaries – Tracks are available on ‘Boston Brakes’ with Ted Danson, Kate Danson (daughter of Ted and guest actor) and writer Christopher Barbour; ‘De Los Muertos’ with George Eads, Robert David Hall and director Louis Shaw Milito; and ‘Kitty’ with writer/executive producer Anthony E. Zuiker
Throwback 300th (9:48) is a featurette with cast and crew members thoughts on the show’s history and getting to 300 episodes.
The Making of ‘Girls Gone Wild’ (6:46) offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at filming the episode.
Back to Basics (23:55) is an overview of the fourteenth season getting back to their roots of forensics and offers insights from the cast and (mainly) producers.
Guest Who’s Coming to Visit? (11:30) looks at the variety of guest stars (Gene Simmons, Lea Thompson, Jason Priestley, Jordin Sparks, Wolfgang Puck, etc.) throughout the season.
Taking a Byte Out of Crime (12:34) examines the back-door pilot in the episode ‘Kitty’ guest starring Patricia Arquette.
Deleted Scenes (12:18) – ‘The Devil and D.B. Russell,’ ‘Check In and Check Out,’ ‘The Lost Reindeer,’ ‘Boston Brakes,’ ‘De Los Muertos’ and ‘Kitty’.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
“CSI”: The Fourteenth Season is presented with a 16×9 enhanced widescreen transfer in keeping with its television broadcast and color scheme-wise, it more or less matches what is seen on TV. For a standard def transfer, I think it has quite a punch with orange and other bright colors; it appears to have gotten brighter since “CSI: Miami” was cancelled.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is basically the same as in previous sets: clear dialogue levels, OK depth in regards to the music and ambient noises and comes more to life during the opening credits and the theme song. It’s nothing outstanding but more than functional considering the source.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “CSI”: The Fourteenth Season might not be a standout season for this long-running series but it does have its moments and unlike the short-lived Laurence Fishburne era, where stories managed to be even darker in tone, this ensemble headed by Ted Danson, seems to have coalesced quite well. The DVD released by Paramount offers up good video and audio transfers and a fair amount of bonus material for fans to peruse.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman