While Gil Grissom (William Petersen
) gets along with most of his colleagues, there is one person on CSI
who constantly clashes with him. Considered as his chief rival, Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann) has established a very rocky relationship with Grissom throughout the series. And though conflict is something that exists in any other workplace, the tension in the crime lab has significantly become apparent with Grissom's animosity toward Ecklie, which is also shared by several other members of the night shift group.
On the other hand, there is a reason why Grissom and Ecklie always get on each others' nerves. In an interview with CSI Files, Vann sheds light on his character and the underlying reason behind all the professional jealousy.
Ecklie is a former dayshift supervisor who was promoted to Assistant Director in season 5. Known for his strict adherence to regulations, he is perceived as a vigorous self-promoter whose political skills have prompted favorable comparison over Grissom by superiors, making Grissom occasionally appear like an inefficient investigator. For the most part, the tension between the two comes from their opposing ideologies and work principles. Grissom claims that Ecklie is more concerned with advancement than evidence, while Ecklie maintains that Grissom shows favoritism toward his subordinates.
“Quite simply, Grissom is more respected, and is a better CSI. Ecklie is competitive. So mostly, it's professional jealousy and the fact that Grissom doesn't always do stuff by the book, or the way Ecklie thinks it should be done. In Ecklie's mind that's a formula for eventual disaster. And, Grissom is well liked by his subordinates, which drives Ecklie nuts. That's not a winning formula for good management, in Ecklie's mind,” Vann told CSI Files.
Part of Ecklie's distaste for Grissom also stems from his belief that Grissom is as career-minded as he is. As such, Ecklie often assumes that Grissom's requests for delays or equipment are attempts to sabotage him and does not appear to have qualms about retaliating.
Vann wouldn't want to lose the awkwardness of their relationship, though it would be interesting to see Ecklie and Grissom as good friends. Moving forward on the series, he wants to see his character do something different.
“I would like to see Ecklie do something truly heroic, we think he's changed, and then turn right around and be his old prickly self. Or, to see an opportunity for there to be a shift in the relationship with Grissom or with the team, but Ecklie just ultimately won't go there. That, to me, would be realistic, and tragic, and decidedly human,” he said.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: CSI Files
(Image courtesy of eBay)