'C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation: Season Nine'
(Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / Paramount)
Overview: A smash hit from the moment of its 2000 debut, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION remains one of the most popular, innovative, and critically acclaimed crime dramas in television history.
Verdict: Season 9 saw William Petersen leave in the 10th episode. Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) had already left Vegas after a very traumatic kidnapping (season 8), then Warrick Brown dies at the end of season 8.
The opening episode is Warrick's funeral. Sara returns and she and Grissom have several GSR moments until she realizes she can not remain in Vegas. Over several episodes we see Grissom take a depressing down-turn--is it because of Sara's leaving or Warrick's death or the change he finds in Lady Heather? Grissom even visits Natalie, the serial killer, and discovers her little secret plan. In these episodes, there are more questions than answers. Grissom does leave to find Sara.
Two new CSIs come in. Riley Adams, a smart-mouth woman with some experience, flirts with Greg but doesn't add much more. We get Ray Langston coming in as a new CSI, level 1. And within a few weeks, CSI, as we've known and loved for years, changes to The Ray Langston Show. He's the center of every episode, except one. He knows all, sees all, can do it all--he's the star now.
The regular cast seems to disappear. Greg has few lines, Catherine melts into a background ghost, Riley becomes a wall, and Nick passes thru the episodes as a shadow. What happened?? Did Petersen leave and take all the writers with him?
This DVD set includes all 24 episodes of CSI's ninth season on six discs. The bonus features include audio commentary on episode 16, "Turn, Turn, Turn," and episode 20, "A Space Oddity," along with deleted scenes, a feature on Grissom's departure, a feature celebrating CSI's 200th episode, and a pair of features going behind the scenes of the events in season nine of CSI.
It's difficult to say if William Peterson's departure will lead to the end of CSI. From what I've seen in season nine, post-Grissom CSI isn't off to the best start. Hopefully the writers can find a way to make fans fall in love with Ray next season, or it could lead to a serious slide in ratings and, possibly, the end of CSI. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.