As part of my new Verizon Fios Internet service plan, I get a free year of Hulu. After setting up my account and identifying my viewing preferences, one of the recommendations was CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Having seen the series up to Season 10, I took the opportunity to look back on some of my favorite episodes and I came away thinking that Gil Grissom was even more brilliant now than he was back when I was binge-watching the series in South Korea. I definitely took a peek at the Season 8 finale (“For Gedda”) and, of course, the very next episode. I was actually a bit unnerved watching them. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: CSI Season 9, Episode 1 – “For Warrick”.
How I first came across this moment? It was back on October 11, 2008. AFN-Japan usually showed CSI episodes on Sunday evenings. For me, it was a heavily anticipated episode…probably along the lines of The Simpsons Season 7, Episode 1 – “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two) from my childhood.
What it meant to me then? Seeing Grissom hold a fallen Warrick crushed me. Up until that point, I had watched many television series where a favorite character of mine was killed—J.T. Yorke from Degrassi: The Next Generation and Omar Little from The Wire come to mind—but Jeff McKeen killing Warrick was different: it was the first time a favorite character of mine who was a police officer had been killed. I had always figured them to be invincible and that their position as law enforcement officers would prevail over everything. When that episode ended, I just sat there on my bed in shock. I really couldn’t believe that Warrick was dead.
What it means to me now? In the years since Warrick’s shocking death, a couple of my favorite television police officers have been killed: Rex Winters from Law & Order: Los Angeles, Justin Ripley from Luther. It hit differently when they were shot to death much the same way it did when Warrick was shot. Specifically to CSI, that’s basically when the series lost value to me. Seeing Season 9, Episode 1 reminded me of why I only lasted one season more before I stopped watching completely.