CSI Spoiler Warning.
I would but I just can’t be bothered to put the time in to send up CSI like I did Waking the Dead last night. Tonights moan is that what was an almost perfect episode of CSI was spoilt at the last by another bad habbit of TV show makers. For once a CSI where once of the main cast is at the centre of the story was really well done. Then they chicken out at the end.
Too often when a character leaves a long running show the makers feel obliged to give us a last long lingering look at the character. In ER its them walking out of through the ambulance bay. Earlier this year in CSI when Sarah went it was the taxi journey. When the character is leaving by walking away that works. There is a time it doesn’t work though: when the character has a violent end. Now I’m assuming Warwick won’t be coming back. If he comes back from being shot multiple times by someone trained in using a firearm who fired from less than six feet away then the shows credibility will really have slipped. However the long lingering cast moment before hand gave away something was going to happen. As he walked outside in slow motion I thought he was going to get shot. When he got in the car I thought it was going to explode. When someone knocked on the window I went back to the idea he’d be shot.
The sad part is that this can be handled to give the moment real impact. Unexpected violence for loved characters should be unexpected for the audience too. Character’s should have unresolved relationships without wrapping everything up with a bow. That gives the writers’ more stuff to play with. I’ll mention two character deaths from US television that support my argument. Agent Simon Donovan’s death in the West Wing episode Posse Comitatus – killed suddenly in a random act of violence. He was in on ly four episodes. I know its coming now but it still gets me every time. My second example is Lt. Col. Henry Blake in MASH who dies of screen but which has real impact because it’s unexpected.
Fortunately for the world there isn’t anything on TV tomorrow night that I want to watch so you’ll be pleased to know I’ll spare you another rant about someone spoiling otherwise good work at the end.