Sela Ward, Gary Sinise, CSI NY

Cliff Lipson/CBS

CSI: New York knows how to weave cool crimes and shrewd suspects, but what happens when a seemingly harmless crime sets off a chain of events that leaves dead bodies in the wake? A perfect episode for us, one with a high body count!

We spoke to co-executive producer and writer, Trey Callaway for all the juicy details on butterfly effect crime and Mac's (Gary Sinise) budding relationship. And of course we got some intel on what's coming up for Danny (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Lindsay (Anna Belknap)—and how producers plan to wrap up the season, which could be the series' last...

Tonight's episode ("Ripple Effect") will lead our heroes on a morbid scavenger hunt around the Big Apple in search of that first crime that could link it all together. Callaway tells us: "It all turns on the question of what happens if one relatively small criminal act ultimately leads to the deaths of not one but two completely different people, who otherwise would have never been connected in any way." But of course it won't be easy.

"What makes this a little different is you have the amazing Jo Danville (Sela Ward) at the heart of it. Who really becomes, in this particular case, the first person to believe that these two deaths might be connected in some way." That's some expert investigating y'all.

With CSI: New York firmly on the bubble for a season-nine renewal, the producers won't take any chances. They want to be able to create a satisfying ending to these characters in the event of a cancellation, yet leave the door open to more Big Apple crime. Callaway tells us: "It's been admittedly a little tricky trying to not only craft a set of exciting unique rides, but then also having to entertain the possibility that the ride might be coming to a full and complete stop. You collectively have to plot and plan a littler harder when it comes to the more serialized character arcs of the show. But then you also want to do it in a way that still leaves plenty for season nine—if the powers that be let us."

One of those serialized character arcs comes to Mac Taylor in the form of a love interest. Mac is finally ready to move on and it seems like the current woman in his life, Christine Whitney (Megan Dodds), might just be the one. Callaway teases, "We definitely get some hints of where their relationship might go in the future." And he admits to an added benefit of Mac's love life, "For us it's just nice to be able to craft scenes in which Mac Taylor actually gets to smile." Gary Sinise really does have a nice smile.

Don't worry Danny-Lindsay fans, we wouldn't forget you! Seriously, we do see all your tweets and emails—and so do the writers. "That whole relationship is a delight to write for. I feel like we have successfully and creatively kept a sense of balance for Danny and Lindsay and Lucy." And this episode is no exception. Callaway teases: "There's some moments that take them to places that at least Danny in particular may not share the same comfort level [as] Lindsay...We get to have some fun with them there."

You know what's not fun? A season/series finale that could end in a death of someone we love. "We have a season finale that literally pushes one of our characters to a place where he may or may not live to tell about," Callaway reveals. "It's a very, very exciting and I think powerful ending to our eighth season." Dun. Dun. Dun.


Tune in tonight at 9 p.m. on CBS—but if you can't wait, check out this cute clip of Mac getting his oh-so-adorable flirt on with his new love interest:

Are you ready for CSI:NY to come to an end? Who do you think might bite the big one in the finale?

PHOTOS: Spoiler Stills: TV

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