CSI: Baltimore, et al.

Forget how he feels about the Baltimore Sun. David Simon hates “CSI.” This whole season is like a backhanded bitch-slap to Team Bruckheimer. I like how the titillation of the mythical serial killer — he makes phone calls! he taunts! — runs headlong into cruel reality when Bunk and Kima visit the crime lab and see, firsthand, what happens when you eliminate Latin from the high school curriculum. It was a plot twist right out of “Idiocracy,” only funnier because, you know, it’s true (enough).

Seriously, though, that’s what chaps any thinking person about today’s violence-porn TV procedurals. Even in Vegas they don’t have the money to throw 17 crime-lab techs at a series of john robberies (that is, clients of prostitutes who wake up after a tryst and find their wallets missing). The reality: The freezer breaks down and six months’ worth of blood samples are lost in the thaw. The temp scrambles the trace evidence. And people, if you take nothing else away from this blog, take this: DNA SAMPLES TAKE WEEKS TO CULTURE, ANALYZE AND PROCESS. The next time Marg Helgenberger says, “I’ll put a rush on it for you,” tell her she’s a liar. You’ll feel better.

Otherwise, I finally found a false note I can unequivocally dislike: Drunks talking to statues belongs in “CSI,” not “The Wire.” But given that it came in an episode that featured Nick Sobotka’s Toothless Revenge and Omar’s doctoring of his own broken leg, well, I can forgive.

[WARNING: Some comments below contain spoilers.]



  1. DUDE
    When will you find these guys? I
    mean, do you have any promising leads?

    [The policeman laughs, agreeing broadly.]

    Leads….yeah! I’ll just check with
    the boys down at the Crime Lab.
    They’ve assigned four more detectives
    to the case… they got us working in shifts!

  2. Marg Helgenberger says, “I’ll put a rush on it for you,” tell her she’s a liar.

    Marg doesn’t like being called a liar. She told me over drinks one night. “Hey I just say this crap, I don’t write it. If they wanted accurate police work they should be watching The Wire. They watch our show for the hair styles and the cleavage. Speaking of which, how do you like this outfit?” Sorry the rest of the conversation is private 🙂

  3. Sorry the rest of the conversation is private

    As are most imaginary conversations, with or without Marg Helgenberger 🙂

  4. One good thing about K-Ville was in the pilot when some street police were coming down on a new recruit who got in a stolen car. “Did you put your body heat in there?” They were telling him that they had some kind of heat scanning technology that could determine the race, age, weight, sex, and so on of the last driver of a car. Just when it looked like he’d buy it, they laughed…”CSI. Yeah”.

  5. Spocko, I wish you and Marg all the happiness in the world, although tell her to lay off the Botox and let her great bone structure do the heavy lifting.

    What was the CSI episode with the perfume sniffer? Take it into a bathroom stall and it isolates the names the perfume worn by the last occupant. Oh yeah, sure, I believe a conservative western state would spring for gadgets like that in the public sector. Sure.

  6. Man, that would be awesome on road trips in the van with the family. No more “he who smelt it dealt it” or “he who said the rhyme committed the crime”. We’d have forensics!

  7. Alas, its nose was only calibrated for perfume. Farts have to go through DNA processing.

  8. I have requested corroboration re the unlikeliness of the broken leg scenario from our resident medical expert, but as she is on shift this week, I’m not sure when she might weigh in.

    That, more than anything else, got in my way of suspending disbelief with this episode. I can buy your Javy’s compound arm fracture in “Old Men” because he wasn’t using it, putting weight on it, but Omar walking about on an unsplinted broken leg/ankle defies belief, even with a limp.

    Of course, IIRC, Omar’s brother No Heart Anthony shot himself in the chest and lived, so maybe the Little family has some super-enhanced genetic capacity for super healing….

  9. Then again, given the environment, he’s got access to massive amounts of self-medication.

  10. I think it may have been splinted…but like I told da wife last night, Omar indeed has access to the finest pain killers available.

  11. As far as Omar’s injuries go, I think the point is that Omar isn’t as badly wounded as Marlo’s bunch thinks he is.

    When we see Omar wrapping his leg in the janitor’s closet and limping out using a broom as a crutch, the only indication of injury’s location was the lower leg, closer to the ankle than the knee. To ambulate in the short term even with a limp would mean that the long leg bones probably do not have major fractures. My assessment would be an ankle injury, which could be a severe sprain or fracture. An ankle injury certainly does make you limp when you walk… but you can put a little weight on it (against medical advice) which seemed to be what Omar was doing when he escaped using the broom as a crutch. So I am going with ankle injury….

    Real evidence of the most likely injury made me think of soldiers/parachutists who take hard falls. I googled “parachute landing injuries” and the first link says:

    More than 60% of the parachute landing injuries
    involve the lower extremity of the human body. Among
    lower extremity injuries, ankle injuries represent the
    predominant injury in both civilian and military

    So there ya go…

  12. And as far as the way Omar was walking around with a limp while he blew up cars and assaulted people using beer bottles as fake guns, even a splint as simple as a tightly laced boot could allow him to get around like he did. Absolutely.

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    Loved the Superman angle—spoofed Marlo and Partlow.
    I just don’t see how , if Chris Partlow searched “the sewers. even” he didn’t find Omar in the broom closet…damn! what? was Omar hiding in a secret room?
    Amazing how Omar healed so quickly…and when he goes into the bodega to buy Newports…oh…maybe some of yas didn’t see that clip of the future yet…anyway, when Omar buys Newports he is barely limping at all.
    Omar my man!
    Hey..I just got here…can’t navigate too well…..how do I put up my avatar?

  14. What it looked like Omar was doing in the washroom was splinting his ankle…there’s not much other reason to tie it off the way he did. We couldn’t see what was in or under his boot, we only really saw the tail end of the first aid.

    I think he’s got an ankle injure, he’s got it splinted, a little medicated, and he’s on a murderous rampage so he’s willing to put with some shit. We already know he can sit still with a festering bullet hole in his chest and carry on a conversation, so he’s got a high pain tolerance when he needs it.

    (Written without reading the above spoiler, so I might look like a total idiot, but that’s the risk you take when you get in the pool with the spoiler kids.)

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