23 episodes on 6 DVDs. 2002-03/color/17 hrs/NR/widescreen.
Now firmly established as the top-rated television drama, by its third year CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
is a show positively glowing with confidence. Even when individual cases seem either too contrived or too easily resolved, the indefatigable night shift at the Las Vegas PD crime lab always look the part, solving conundrums and discovering microscopic damning evidence while, apparently, never shedding their own loose hair or skin cells all over the supposedly quarantined crime scenes. In reality, Catherine Willows's flowing blonde locks would contaminate any evidence she collected, but in the world of CSI
only the bad guys leave body parts behind--the CSIs themselves are so good they're positively pristine.
The 23 episodes of season 3 on this five-disc set present more deliciously bizarre situations for the problem-solving sleuths: cannibalism, snuff movies, dwarfs, death while drag racing, bodies falling from the sky, and various dismemberments all tax the team's acumen. These are all double or multiple-case episodes, though in a characteristic trick of the writing sometimes apparently unrelated murders turn out to be connected (or vice versa, as in "Blood Lust," in which a road-accident victim is not what he seems, and the death of the driver at the hands of an angry mob is made all the more tragic). The mix of genuine forensic science with the glossiest Jerry Bruckheimer production values, plus the virtues of a good ensemble cast headed by William Peterson's modern-day Sherlock Holmes, remains as compelling as ever. --Mark Walker