Last night was the beginning of what is arguably the biggest thing that could happen to the CSI franchise: one storyline, across three shows, all in one week. Now, why did this take so long to happen? Surely there are a lot more crimes that are connected to other occurrences in other cities, right? Well, we’ve had a few crossovers within the franchise before, and only because it’s what the case calls for, and for that I’m willing to let go of that little complaint of mine. Besides, this is looking pretty good already.

As we’ve all known for the past few months, Laurence Fishburne will make an appearance on all three shows, as Langston goes cross-country solving a crime that is more complicated and widespread than it looks. The opening salvo was on last night’s CSI: Miami, when the MDPD crime lab’s investigation into the murder of a missing girl uncovers something bigger than they thought. Just proves how small the world can be, since limbs from two different people were dumped in the same place… but I digress.

Surprisingly, Langston doesn’t appear in the episode until halfway through. I thought Horatio’s phone call would come in earlier, and we’d immediately get into the chase.  Still, it’s a good thing, with the enormity of the crime–what looks like a gang involved in prostitution and murdering escapees–being established early on. It makes Langston’s entry all the more necessary, and urgent.  It also makes CSI: Miami‘s contribution to the trilogy more significant than it initially seemed. At first, I thought it was just a crime that blew up into something bigger from out of nowhere.

Then again, I’m still wondering how he’ll end up in New York, because there weren’t any clues on how he would. Fingers crossed that what CSI: NY does tomorrow night won’t look forced or convenient. Something like, “oh, Langston is here, we’ll send him.”  But the thread of the girl who stole Ashley Tanner’s credit card? I like it.

It’s obvious that the franchise is treating this as a big thing, with most of the recurring characters coming out to help. Unfortunately, Adam Rodriguez wasn’t around for even just one scene (so much for me saying he might) which means we won’t see one of the crime lab’s veterans interact with a relative newcomer from Las Vegas. It’s also surprising to see that Langston didn’t share screen time with Jesse Cardoza, one of Miami’s three newcomers.

Still, it was nice seeing Langston share time with Walter (so far my favorite new character) and Dr. Loman (who’s reminded me of CSI‘s Hodges in the past two weeks). I’m starting to wonder why he’s such a celebrity across the country. I don’t think it’s just because of the book he wrote.

The most interesting bit from last night’s episode, however, is Langston and Horatio’s scenes together–and they do share a lot of time, inevitably. It’s quite ironic, then, to see the difference between the two characters, which was quite jarring initially. Langston speaks with subdued authority, shouting if he has to, while Horatio whispers everything, sounding either sympathetic or sarcastic. It was weird hearing the difference, but I don’t blame it on anybody. It’s circumstance, and something that I don’t see happening on CSI: NY tomorrow. It also helps that Fishburne and David Caruso have worked together previously. It seems they’re just slipping into their roles without effort.

But the best thing about last night is that it left me anxious for what will happen in tomorrow’s installment–and not because Langston (whom I actually like) is going to New York, but because I’m curious how the story will pan out.  Perhaps, for those who are skeptical of this whole crossover, it’s a bad thing. You could argue that any other CSI character could’ve done the crossover. But we’re just two-thirds of the way in, and I think Langston has more at stake in this than it seems. For that, I say, hang on.

– Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV