"CSI" is offering fans a lot more than the usual mix of felonies and forensics this season.
The hit CBS drama is also providing unique peeks at the inner workings of the minds of several of the characters.
The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen took it even further when
"When you guys first started, six years ago, we knew nothing about (Gil) Grissom, or Catherine (Willows), or Warrick (Brown)," Chen remarked. "Now, we're finally getting to learn a little bit about what makes you tick."
"As much as one, as much as anybody knows what makes them tick, you know," agreed William Petersen, who plays Grissom. "... I mean, uh, if you ask Grissom, he, he doesn't know, exactly."
Also this season, the ticking time bomb of attraction continued between Grissom and Sara, Chen observed.
"It's almost like we all have these alter egos, you know," observed Jorja Fox, who plays Sara Sidle. "That started back in season one. And now that it's been six years, I totally do. I have hopes for her and dreams for her, and I get upset for her."
"You're more Sara than Jorja," Chen observed.
"Yeah, yeah, no, it's confusing sometimes," Fox responded. "Certain times of the year, I'll buy a piece of wardrobe and I'll look at it in the summer and I'll be like, 'Who bought that? Who did… Oh, right, Sara must have bought that!'" she laughed. "You know, it's a strange thing that you go in and out of."
Last season ended with Nick Stokes, portrayed by George Eads, buried alive — and this season appeared to follow in that dark tradition, Chen said. There was a murder scene that echoed the Holocaust, another episode in which a woman was sealed alive inside a chimney, and the team even investigated a mass suicide.
"I think the word has come down on the Internet," said Gary Dourdan, who plays Warrick Brown. "I think they've been getting feedback, that's what people like. They like watching the train wreck. They like watching the car accident. They like watching the dark stuff. We can show things on our show, on network television, the bloodiest stuff.
"But we can't have a sex scene," he adds with a laugh. "I don't understand it!"
In Thursday night's episode, a Las Vegas casino becomes a maze of chases and deceptions after only one man survives the brutal killing of his wife and co-workers.
Dourdan told Chen with a chuckle that the soundstage t is so realistic, "When you walk on the set, it's, you're, you're in a casino. (laugh) They had to walk around and tell the extras, 'Don't put money in the slot machines! You won't get it back! They do not work!' "
Chen notes the actors couldn't be happier that "CSI" is heading into its final two episodes with two cliffhangers on tap, even though it's not something "CSI" usually does.
"The more you kind of just to not make it, uh, to not get in a rut, you know, to give it some life and to give it some change," said Eads, "we have such a talented cast here that to play emotion is something we all kind of are, our chops are kind of dripping to play."
Added Marg Helgenberger, who plays Catherine Willows, "I guess season seven, I'm hoping, anyway, seven and eight, will be really, you know, just a continuation of that and be lots of arcs of various characters and intermingling, and, and just so it just, I think it makes it more, uh, textured and more rich."
"CSI" is riding high in the ratings as it heads into season seven ... something the cast members didn't dare imagine when they took their first case.
Said Peterson, "You don't ever put that into the, the ethos, that somehow or another, you're gonna be around for seven years. You know, you just hope to make a good show today. It's a big crap shoot, and we happened to roll the right dice. I guess."