Original Air Date: Jan 11, 2013
Maria – Associate Staff Writer
Last week we were hit with the revelation that Dr. Hammerback had cancer, but there’s little evidence of that in this week’s episode and that’s by design. Only Jo knows he’s ill, and Hammerback is determined to carry on his work as normal.
Work this episode is the case of an off-duty cop and family man, Mark Riley, who got jumped whilst closing up at the check cashing store. Riley was able to get off a couple of shots though, and one of them catches Anthony Lombardo through the shoulder. Lombardo insists he’s innocent, but eye witnesses can’t even place him at the scene, the CCTV showing 3 African American bald men!
Lindsay has fond memories of Riley, and his son Jason is in the police academy because of him. Riley was on the phone to him just before he was assaulted. Riley’s last words to his son were that he loved him and he was proud of him, and they will sadly be his last words period. The assault turned to murder, and Riley’s family is devastated.
The precinct plays a more positive press conference whilst Lombardo walks through, leading him to believe that Riley is still alive and therefore making him more likely to talk. I guess these are just the tip of the “civilized lies” the title refers to.
Mac scares me. He threatens Lombardo and then walks out of the interrogation room smirking. We hardly ever see Mac smile, let alone smirk. Okay, so I know Lombardo is most likely a cop-killer, but I actually feel safer with him than I do Mac. I don’t want my detectives to threaten, I don’t want my detectives to con people, and I don’t want my detectives to lie. I know they’re playing Lombardo, and I guess this is a case of “Good is not Nice,” but I don’t like it!
Danny processes the bloody bullet which went through Lombardo’s shoulder, whilst Jo and Lindsay process the trace they got from Riley’s body. There’s some matching trace of silicone and latex. Jo is able to add this with the synthetic hairs Lindsay found and comes up with the obvious solution. Mac and Flack present Lombardo with the evidence they found at his apartment, a head and shoulders latex mask of a bald, African American man, with a bullet hole in the shoulder.
The car used in the robbery is discovered dumped under deegan expressway. Not the wisest place to dump a car used in a robbery and murder, but Mac and Flack use this to lean on Lombardo, finally admitting that Riley died. Lombardo is still too scared to talk.
Flack tries to get Lombardo to confess and rat out his criminal buddies, using the fact that Lombardo is going to miss out on his daughter’s life as just one of the methods. Lombardo doesn’t budge, until the detectives show him one of his conspirators, “Mookie” in the interrogation room and play audio of him talking. Lombardo gives up the name of the third guy, Eric Blaylock.
Blaylock is pissed at Lombardo because there was no way Mookie talked, because he bled out from Riley’s shot. The detectives dressed techie Adam up as Mookie and edited old footage to make it look like Mookie was talking. In Blaylock’s rant to Lombardo, he has incriminated himself in the murder. Justice is served, although I’m not sure how much of it would be admissible in court because all the theatrics, all the mind games just seem like a con. I love Leverage (I miss it already), but they were outsiders. I expect better of cops.
Maybe it’s because I hate guns as much as Eliot from Leverage, but this whole episode would never have happened if an off-duty cop didn’t have two firearms on him. The robbers were armed with pepper-spray. I feel sorry for Lombardo because he wanted nothing to do with guns. He’s not innocent, but he has been manipulated. I understand the cops have to do their job, but I’d prefer if they did it through gathering evidence and not manipulating people. I guess that isn’t always possible though, and Eric Blaylock was brought to justice in the end.
The episode had some moving scenes with Riley’s family and particularly his son, so I’m really glad they got closure but I’m still not sold that the means justified the end result. I suppose I should be glad they caught the cop-killer and not question the means, but I can’t help it. CSI:NY has a habit of making me sympathize with the suspect or criminal and I don’t think it means to. I’m very conflicted.
Do you think the means justified the ends? Was it the art of interrogation, or was it manipulation? Do you feel any sympathy for Lombardo? Where do you stand on the issue of firearms? Please, leave a comment with your TwoCents about this episode, because I’m ambivalent and I’d love for you to weigh in your thoughts.