Loyal fans, we hear your pleas, tweets and emails for CSI: New York scoop, so we went to the source and got co-executive producer Zachary Reiter to dish on what's coming up for your favorite crimefighters.
CSI: New York is back tonight with Jo's (Sela Ward) family drama. Read on to learn all about the upcoming trouble with Hawkes' (Hill Harper) new love, the "amazing nemesis" that will bring back a partner from Mac's (Gary Sinise) past and, of course, what Danny-Lindsay fans can look forward to in the upcoming episodes:
Q&A with CSI: New York Co-Executive Producer Zachary Reiter
In this week's episode Jo's daughter Ellie is a witness?
It's another really fun one, written by our show runner Pam Veasey, where an incident in the subway goes down and we learn that Jo's daughter Ellie (Sydney Park) was actually on the subway platform when it happened. Not only does that provide complications for the team in terms of her being a witness, [but] what becomes even more interesting is when Jo learns why she was at that subway station alone, headed on that train to a certain destination in the first place. It was not just her regular routine trip to school on that particular subway line.
How does this bring Jo's son, Tyler, into the episode?
Tyler (Cody Longo) comes into the picture because of—I don't want to give away why Ellie was on the train but the reason she was on the train becomes a bit of a personal family matter. Jo has to struggle with what she should or should not disclose about where Ellie comes from. And so her son comes into the picture to help with those decisions and what Ellie should or should not know.
What else is coming up in these next episodes?
We have some cool things to look forward to—episode 19, "Food for Thought," written by Trey Callaway, deals with the world of the food trucks. [Laughs.] I can't lie, I can't say that growling stomachs weren't a motivation for deciding that might be a good episode to shoot. Trey in particular, he's a foodie. He's an adventurous food eater, and the idea of creating an episode around that industry was certainly in his interest.
Hawkes' love interest returns in this episode?
Exactly. I think what's interesting about this episode, with respect to those two characters, is that Hawkes finally—now that he sees that he has this love interest—he's now challenged with the idea, "Are their lives similar enough that this is a relationship that makes sense?" There are moments within their relationship that we get to see as Hawkes plays a little bit of hooky and starts to wonder if she's a bad influence or good influence? Is there a part that maybe excites him, does it mesh with his personality? How does that work with his responsibilities on the job? Those kinds of issues come up for him and it's interesting.
What is about her that Hawkes is attracted to?
There is definitely that physical attraction. I think he's intrigued by the fact that this is a girl he grew up with, he's known her for a very very long time. [She's] not somebody who just kind of popped up in his life, but I think that they are at different stages in their lives. [We were] intrigued with the notion of finding someone from his past that sees him in a different light and in a romantic way now.
This season there have been more personal storylines—was that a conscious decision to explore that part of the characters' lives?
Absolutely. Honestly that's been something that the writers have been angling to do since season one. In the beginning, the network and the studio are a little bit hesitant to throw too much of that in, they want to stick with the franchise and the mystery is always leading the way, but I think what has been great is over the years we've been issued a pass, I think. We get a little more leeway to delve into those storylines, and yeah, I think that by season seven we've earned the right to delve a little bit more into it. Certainly the addition of Sela Ward allowed us to explore her a little bit more than we would some of the other characters because she's new and people want to know who she is and where she comes from.
We get a lot of questions about Danny and Lindsay, what can the fans look forward to in the upcoming episodes?
We set something up—I don't want to get too much into the finale but something comes up where they just start thinking a little bit more about the future. I don't want to tease that too much and honestly in these last few episodes—because we dealt with Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Lindsay (Anna Belknap) so heavily at the end of last season with Shane Casey (Edward Furlong) and everything that happened up at the lighthouse with Lucy, the truth is we kind of took a step back so we could pay a little more attention to Jo and her relationship with her kids and the daughter that she adopted.
And you explore Mac's past history?
There's a two-episode arc, episodes 20 and 21, where we introduce Peter Fonda. His character is Mac's old partner, back in the day when Mac first joined the NYPD, he had a few years on Mac in the department and they dealt with things differently. They always had a different perspective on law enforcement and how they do the job. But an old old case comes back to haunt them and through episodes 20 and 21 you learn what that is and what their differences are and how that comes to a head. To see two heavyweights like Gary Sinise and Peter Fonda is a lot of fun. I really dig the two-episode arc with Peter Fonda—our guest stars have been really great this season. Peter Fonda and Clifton Collins Jr. are in that two episode arc. The case that Peter and Mac dealt with back in the day dealt with Clifton Collins Jr., and he plays an amazing nemesis.
Filming on season seven finished yesterday, how are you feeling?
It feels a little strange this time around. Only because we're finishing a little bit earlier than usual. This season we did a bunch of double-ups—at the beginning of the season we were filming two at once. So that just brought our schedule up very early, so now all of a sudden we finished wrapping on March 22. It feels strange, because usually we are at least going until the end of April.
And this time you have to wait to hear if you are renewed for season eight.
That's true, we've been informed that any notice of a pickup won't be until around upfronts, I guess mid-May. So that feels a little bit strange, too.
Do you think there's time for fans to rally and send letters?
That is a formula, that if the writers knew how to break that formula—what goes into those decisions—we would be in a much better position, but letters from fans never hurts. There are plenty of shows in recent history that weren't getting the numbers that they were expected to get and the fans kept them on the air. Writing letters and asking to keep us on the air plus the fact that our numbers are pretty damn good. One more year, baby. Let's do it.
So CSI: New York fans are you looking forward to these new episodes? Have you started writing your letters to the network to save this hit-yet-on-the-bubble show? Head to the comments and let us know!