The second series consolidates the show's well-deserved popular appeal, while beginning to explore (gently at first) beneath the slickly professional surface of the investigators themselves. Gradually we learn more about what makes Grissom and his astonishingly gifted forensics team tick, beyond merely that they are workaholics who seem to require no sleep at all. The show's trademark reveals of vital evidence--be it on the autopsy slab or under the microscope--add a fresh spin to what is, at heart, a good old-fashioned whodunit series. And just when CSI starts to seem a little too pat, just when the trail of clues seems too neat, the show always seems able to throw a surprise or two at us: perhaps there has been no crime after all; perhaps the evidence concerns a completely different crime altogether; or perhaps, as in one brave episode concerning brothers implicated in multiple murders, the evidence simply isn't good enough to convict the right man, even when Grissom knows which one really is guilty.
Thanks to its focus on more single-case episodes, the latter episodes provide an even more highly concentrated dose of forensic puzzle-solving. With the whole team working together on one puzzle crime (or series of crime puzzles), the group dynamic is elaborated and the audience drawn deeper into each investigation. "Identity Crisis" sees the return of Grissom's nemesis, serial killer Paul Millander; in "The Finger", Catherine is caught up in an elaborate kidnap plot; in "Burden of Proof", a stray body in a "body farm" leads to a difficult case of child abuse; while "Chasing the Bus" brings the team together to unravel the mystery of a bus crash in the desert. "Stalker" is possibly the show's most terrifying episode to date, with a woman found murdered behind the safely locked doors of her apartment. The season concludes with "Cross Jurisdictions", a rather unsubtle way of introducing the spin-off show CSI: Miami and, finally, "The Hunger Artist", a somewhat strained attempt to comment on our society's obsession with glamour and self-image. --Mark Walker
The episodes themselves are of a consistantly high standard and I especially liked the CSI Miami crossover (which introduces the spin off) that some have commented was "ham fisted" and "contrived".
Series Two delves more into the characters of CSI. The first season was very case oriented but now we have a better glimpse of the people themselves which makes for more compelling viewing. Personal relationships are explored, hissy fits thrown (well, maybe just the one) and Greg the lab tech becomes more and more of a punk rock loving enigma. I must say, for me, one of the high points of this series was the hint of sexual tension between Grissom and, I thought, a rather unlikely team mate.
The epsiodes are exactly what we've come to expect - mostly stand alones that are breathtaking in their diversity. We have the murder of Buddist monks, a man that lives in the loft of his victim's house and idolises Nick, a bus crash that kills nine people, a road rage turned to murder, a bent policeman... this list goes on.
If you're a fan of crime drama, CSI is a must see. To all those that loved the first series, this second won't disappoint.
The only thing that I can complain about is the DVD menus. It takes what seems like forever to get through the trailers at the start ("Don't copy this", "This is from Momentum", "This is from CBS", "This is CSI" etc) and it has a rather intrusive game preview.
The stories are strong and there is a cast of interesting characters. For me, the central character, Gil Grissom (brilliantly played by William Peterson) is the reason it works so well. Grissom is wonderful character - an introverted and rather unemotional man, a serious scientist who happens to be a criminologist. As such he is free for most of the traditional TV cop baggage, giving the whole series a fresh and interesting perspective. In this series, the CSI team gets on with investigating crime scenes and solving mysteries attempting, but not always succeeding, to do this without bias or preconceptions. They leave the police work to others. The rest of the cast is also very, very good bringing complex and interesting characters to life.
Danny Boyle directs most of the episodes with great style, even his habit of focussing in at a microscopic level (e.g. looking at blood vessels etc) works well. Setting the series in Las Vegas works well - the city, the desert, the mountains - they all provide great backdrops and look fantastic.
This is the season where CSI really got going, it is even better than the very good season 1. The characters are more fully realised (we start to get glimpses of their life outside work) and there is a very interesting group dynamic. Combined with the excellent story lines and some interesting forensic science this makes for an excellent season of an excellent series.
Anyway, Season 2 of CSI is brilliant; and finally we get the WHO ARE YOU music on the credits instead of the warped Survivor-esque 'music' on the season 1 DVDs.
My favourite episode has to be 'Chasing the Bus,' though if you really want to get your non-CSI friends addicted to the show as much as you are, simply have them watch 'Stalker' with the lights down; it's worked every time so far.
With so many twists and turns in the series you never get bored; and being able to watch the episodes back again and again is actually less of a deterent on the appeal of the show than you think; I watched Season 1 about 6 months ago, and have started watching it back again this week, and have already watched 7 episodes. Even though you know what's happening, you can't help but enjoy seeing it all over again, and you do pick something up each time that you missed the first.
Overall, a totally justifiable set - buy it and you won't go unsatisfied.