CSI: NY Preview: Mac's Emotional Closure, Danny's New Family, and Jo's Blast from the Past

The strictures of the fall TV season didn’t allow CBS’ CSI: NY to air its 9/11-centric Season 8 premiere on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, but the episode is no less powerful.

Airing this Friday at 9/8c, the hour finds Gary Sinise’s Mac AWOL from the lab and instead lending his skills to help identify the remains of the more than 1,000 Trade Center fatalities still unaccounted for a full decade later. That understandably prompts Mac to flash back to the fateful day when he last saw his wife, Claire, but not before we first meet the beauty (played by Eureka‘s Jaime Ray Newman) who brought out the romantic within the otherwise rigid Detective Taylor.

Executive producer Zach Reiter shared with TVLine a look at the CBS procedural’s emotional season opener, as well as previewed what lies ahead for other members of the New York CSI lab.

CSI: NY Premiere Photos, Part 2: ‘You See the Love that Mac Had’ In His Life

TVLINE | How long ago did you first lock onto the idea that 9/11 was a day you wanted the show to revisit?
I don’t think that we actually locked until the end of last season, although it is something that we’ve talked about for some time. Gary Sinise came to me and the other writers wanting to do something that revolved around 911 — specifically featuring the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, which is a memorial to the 416 first responders who died on 9/11. Apparently they were about halfway through building it when they ran out of money, and Gary and his Lt. Dan Band were instrumental in helping to raise finds to complete the project. We had been kicking around ideas here and there, knowing that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was getting closer and closer, and it all seemed to come together in that moment of featuring that wall in the storyline.

TVLINE | What was most important to you when casting Mac’s wife, Claire?
It was incredibly important that we cast somebody who can bring out a side of Gary that maybe we haven’t seen in the last seven years. What’s kind of beautiful about seeing a flashback with him and Claire is not so much to see the woman that he was with and feel that heartbreak of knowing she passed away on that day, but more to see the smile on Mac’s face and the love that he had in those moments – and seeing how [losing her] that changed him. The personality you see — his sternness, the seriously conservative nature — is largely a product of how his life changed on that day.

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on the CSI: NY Season Premiere

TVLINE | Is revisiting that turning point going to free him in a way, take a weight off his soul?
No doubt. You’ll feel and you’ll know at the end of the episode that he derives a certain amount of closure from the [anniversary] — and from the specific act that he makes at the end of the day. I won’t give away what that is, but I hope that what we convey is that he’s gotten a bit of closure and is able to move on, in many ways — in his job, in everyday life, and towards the end of the season in a way that he’s able to open up and have a relationship that is more meaningful than maybe some of the past ones he had, because these walls were up.

TVLINE | Beyond what Mac goes through in the premiere, are there any other back stories you want to explore this season?
One we intend to explore is Jo’s. What we would like to delve into is some of what we gave you last season, with regards to why she left D.C. and decided to join the New York lab. There is the history of that case, the D.C. rapist, where she felt compelled by her legal obligation to disclose certain information, and in doing so it resulted in the acquittal of a rapist. She went through a lot of grief and condemnation, and that caused her to maybe make the move, and some of that history comes back. The same way Mac gets a little closure with respect to his personal life, we’re hoping that Jo can get some closure with respect to this fairly traumatic, haunting event in her life.

Casting News: CSI: NY Stages Once & Again Reunion

TVLINE | What will be the biggest ripple effect of Danny being an NYPD sergeant?
It probably has to do with Lindsay. We’re very careful to not have any kind of frustrations that are born out of him having this new job, and they’re on different schedules. We didn’t want it to become whining, which can get very old very fast. Nobody out there wants to see this couple going, “Aww, I don’t see you enough!” Kill me now. Not fun. [His new job] creates a little bit of a wedge – there is some frustration – but it’s actually more fun to see how they deal with it and come out on top. Beyond that, without giving too much away, some of the stuff that happens with Danny is about how he left one family, and when you become a sergeant and supervise a certain number of uniformed officers they become your new family. What we explore is what he learns about his new family, how that differs from his [CSI] family, and how that weighs on his mind.

TVLINE | Danny’s new, female partner (played by Jeananne Goossen) – what are you going to do with her and what are you not going to with her? Fans of course assume the worst….
Of course they do. [Laughs] She plays his driver. We thought it would be very fascinating to see is Danny in a supervisory and teaching role. After all, he’s rash, he doesn’t always make the best decisions, and over the years we’ve often seen Mac chastise him. Mac has had to take him to the side and say, “What the hell’s the matter with you? You need to be smarter about this.” We wanted to see him in the role of now having to supervise younger cops who are making those mistakes, but always check himself and go, “I was that guy. I made those mistakes.” [His partner] fulfills that role, that dynamic.

TVLINE | She is pretty, though….
But still believable as a New York City police officer. Obviously because she’s female and pretty, and when you’re a sergeant’s driver you spend an inordinate amount of time sitting next to that person, it’s natural to assume that you develop a bond… and that bond might become more than just a bond. To be completely honest, Danny and Lindsay are going to be fine. They’re going to come out OK. [Exec producer] Pam Veasey said it best: “Are you going to see some sparks? No. But you may see a flare or two.”

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26 Comments
  1. Rebecca says:

    Blah, blah, blah….. What about some other character info for once? I’m sick & tired of hearing about D/L…..Ugh. What about Adam? He’s an INCREDIBLY underused character. (as well as the actor playing him!)

  2. Rhylee says:

    Thanks for all scoop!

  3. Juliab. says:

    Thanks Matt. I am looking forward to season 8.

  4. Jayne says:

    Thanks for the interview and the questions on Danny and Lindsay. This is one conflict that I am interested in seeing, the dynamic of them working on things.:) I love the perspective they took with Mac and Claire. Excited about the episode tonight!!

  5. Tracy says:

    I’m really annoyed that Danny can’t work with another woman without people thinking “Is he gonna cheat on his twu wub?” It’s like everything interesting about the Sgt. storyline is getting lost because of Lindsay and that sucks. The most important aspect of this storyline shouldn’t be that DL have to adjust and “come out on top.” Most married people deal with not being together 24/7/365 every day and it’s not a big damn deal. I want Danny to be an interesting character again and not one half of DL.

    • Sabrina says:

      Just a little note: I wonder where those DL fans you’re talking about are. I still have to meet a DL shipper who was all ‘OMGWTF, he’s going to cheat, of course he will, oh no, I’m so scared of this now’. Not a single DL shipper I know reacted that way. Probably you’d know that if you actually talked to DL shippers instead of just assuming what they might be thinking and then going to all your sides, ranting about it whenever the storyline is mentioned. But I believe you’re not interested in talking to DL shippers about their POV’s, because what would you be ranting about then? Sorry for this comment, but I just find it sad that you can’t just have a decent conversation with fans who like something you don’t like instead of mocking them and making fun of them. It’s of course your decision and if you’re happy with it, fine. Just felt like pointing it out because to me, your comment screamed ‘attention, I want a reaction’.

  6. Jess says:

    It’s Sept 23 2011, I thought it would never come. lol Super excited about tonight and this season!!!

  7. stacy says:

    I m 13 years ,sry For my bad english ^^

    In austria we now looking the 7th season.
    Why did stella left the CSI Team and went to another country. And what ‘s with payton? Did she comes back again ?
    And Flack ,would he find a new GF???

  8. ... says:

    Pure, pure BS. Give me CSI: NY’s Season 1 again. The only 2 characters worth mention are Sid and Flack. The rest…just f’ off.

  9. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this article! Initially I was hesitant about the whole Danny-becoming-a-Sergeant thing (contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I thought he would cheat or something would happen between him and Lindsay) but now I’m really warming up to it. I’m stoked for the season premiere tonight, even though I’m sure I’ll be reaching for the tissues.

  10. Laurie says:

    considering you’re the only one Tracy who has considered the partner to be a moment for Danny to cheat on Lindsay because you want him to, how about you stop mocking the show and its fans on every single site? I don’t really know that many adult D/L fans who’ve fallen for that hype. tptb have been pretty clear the direction, but I appreciate Matt for giving us another great article and the show support. It’s an amazing show with an awesome, well rounded, cast.

    Thanks for covering CSI: NY.

  11. Mary says:

    who sang the song – If I should fall behind – at the end of the season premiere of CSI NY?

    • Gail says:

      Thanks for asking this question. I also would like to know the answer and if we can get it someplace. Also, I might be in the dark ages here but I would like to know something about the lapel pin Mac put on in the opening moments of the premier.

      • Gail says:

        I think I found at least part of the answer. Not sure if she sang it on the premier but “If I Should Fall Behind” is a Faith Hill song from her album “Breathe”.

    • hiro says:

      It’s a Springsteen song, apparently performed by the boss and – among others – the unforgettable Clarence Clemons, may he rest in peace. Didn’t know this version before.

      • hiro says:

        … and a short trip with Google around the world reveals that it’s the Boss, the Big Man, Little Steven and … well, Patti Scialfa, who is probably too young to have a cool name like the rest of the guys in the band, poor girl.

  12. Sabrina says:

    Thanks so much for the preview! The premiere really sounds like a very powerful episode, for Mac but also for everyone else. I also like how the sergeant storyline is dealt with. I agree, Danny and Lindsay aren’t a couple who’d be all ‘I want to be around you all day long, I hate that it’s not like that!’. They’re no teenagers after all and this is not a fanfiction. I love that they’re trying to deal with it and it’ll be fun to see their scenes.

  13. Kathy says:

    Can the version of the song played the other night be purchased anywhere? It was so beautiful!

  14. Martha says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE provide the names of the artist(s) who sang “If I Fall Behind) at the end of this episode. It (they) were NOT Bruce Springstein! It was a male/female duet. This is the most important information you could have given, and it’s not there!! Please help all of us who would like this information,
    Thank you a thousand times!!!!
    Martha

    • Gail says:

      I could be wrong but I believe if you go to You Tube and find the Bruce Springsteen video by wweselowski that is the mix that was used. There is a female voice in that Bruce Springsteen version. Even if it is not the exact version – it is awesome and will bring tears to your eyes.

  15. Nancy says:

    Sweet episode last night. I’m happy to hear there will be more about Jo, because after Mac, she is my favorite character.

  16. Gail says:

    Does anyone know anything about the lapel pin the Mac wore in this episode? thanks