Season Eight of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, was recently released on DVD. The latest chapter in the groundbreaking series continues the exploits of the passionate team of forensic investigators who examine every ounce of evidence, in order to solve dramatic, sometimes gruesome crimes.
In the 17 episode season, traumatic events reshape the focus and tone of the series, including the departure of Sara Sidel (Jorja Fox), one of the show’s staple characters, and, as viewers recently found out, is also Gil Grissom’s (William L. Petersen) longtime lover. Sara turning point is during Goodbye and Good Luck, an episode which involves the murder of a co-ed, which brings up a case from Sara’s past and drives her over the edge. The ensuing introspection ultimately leads to her deciding to leave Las Vegas. While I initially questioned Sara’s departure from the show, it gives writers mental fodder for Grissom to chew on for some time, as well a chance to see a more emotional side of Grissom’s character, as he continues to deal with health concerns and day-to-day anxiety. Season 8 also sees the sad and violent loss of show stalwart Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan), which will be difficult for long-time viewers to digest. This happens during the season finale titled For Gedda.
Overall, Season 8 maintains the strong story arc of the show, which consistently contains strong scripts, cinematography and a satisfactory level of thrills and mystery.
The well-packaged DVD set also includes the Without a Trace crossover episodes Who & What and Where & Why.
Here is the full list of special feature descriptions on the DVD box set:
- While the Cast’s Away, the Rats will Play: A featurette on the Episode 809 You Kill Me.
- William Friedkin: A Different Take: A companion piece to the audio commentary for Episode 808 Cockroaches.
- So long, Sara Sidle: A focus on the seven episode story arc that lead to Sara leaving Las Vegas.
- What happened in Vegas…: A feature about character development, the stories, and how the writer’s strike affected the second half of the season.
- Shot in the Dark: Discusses the dramatic use of shadows in the cinematography of the show.
- TOD: A Bug’s Life: Discusses how the show uses bugs for TOD in the series.
- Deleted scene
- Audio commentaries on 2 episodes: Episode 808 Cockroaches, by director William Friedkin, actor William Petersen, and producer Dustin Abraham. I think this commentary is the best of the two.
Episode 809 You Kill Me by Naren Shankar and actors Wallace Langham, liz Vassey, Archie Kao, Sheeri Rapport, & David Berman.
- Bonus episode: Where & Why, which is a Without a Trace crossover.