CSI: NY's Sela Ward: The Final Act of Rapist Arc Is 'Very Unnerving... a Great Thriller'

This Friday on CSI: NY (CBS, 9/8c), the John Curtis storyline enters its final act with Det. Jo Danville reeling from the fact that the suspected rapist whom she had a role in setting free years ago in D.C. has eluded another charge, again due to compromised evidence — in the latest instance, a victim’s shaky testimony.

“She is furious,” Sela Ward tells TVLine of Jo’s state of mind. “She is absolutely obsessed with getting this guy (played by Third Watch‘s Jason Wiles), so she’s being doing things that get her in a little bit of trouble with Mac. She’s a loose cannon at this point.”

Despite her best-ish efforts to keep herself officially away from the latest Curtis case, this week the dead body of a key player effectively pulls Jo into the mix. “Things become really interesting,” Ward teases. Especially since, she notes, “There’s more than one person who wants to see this guy behind bars — or dead.”

Among those with personal agendas who have Curtis in their crosshairs, there’s the senator (Once & Again‘s Jeffrey Nordling) whose daughter was the rape victim in D.C. We’re also about to meet a former FBI colleague of Jo’s (House alum Michael Weston) who did not weather the fallout of Curtis’ first acquittal quite as well as she has.

“He really is a tragic figure in this story because he just kind of loses it,” Ward says. “His whole career was ruined because of the mistake he made to let the rapist go free [in D.C.], so he really fell apart.”

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With all these characters in play — and given how last week’s episode ended by indicating that someone had coerced a young NYC woman into falsely accusing Curtis of rape this time around — “You just don’t know how it’s going to end,” says Ward. “It’s very unnerving and disturbing.”

The final two acts of this week’s episode, in fact, she touts as “a great thriller.”

Watch a semi-spoilery sneak peek here, then read on for more….

One way or another, by the end of the CBS dcrime rama’s fall finale, “Jo absolutely is able to put [the John Curtis case] behind her,” Ward previews. “And that will be a huge thing for her.”

To have delved so deeply into the backstory of a crime procedural character, and a relatively new one at that, “has been great,” Ward raves, “because I’m all about character-driven storylines. This has given me something to chew on, and with a procedural it’s hard to get that.”

The Curtis arc also gave Ward a chance to chew the fat with Nordling, who on Once & Again played her ex-husband. Reunited on CSI: NY set, she says, “We caught up on everybody and where everybody is, which was really nice. And shortly after I saw him I ran into Billy Campbell” – aka her O&A beau – “and we went and had a great, four-hour lunch.”

Hey, in the event that Campbell’s character on AMC’s The Killing is still alive, maybe Jo Danville could cross the country and use her forensics know-how to get him acquitted of Rosie Larsen’s murder? “Oh, I’d love that!” Ward says with a laugh. “That’s a great idea.”

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