Season 6 Episode 8

Cuckoo's Nest

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 18, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A man saves the day when he prevents a murder as he falls from the sky but the CSIs are shocked when the apparent jumper turns out to be the third victim of the Compass Killer. Flack goes AWOL and gets into some trouble so Mac has to divide his efforts and go in search of him.moreless

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  • This show has become such c**p.

    So the first three cops that walk by the railing (with the other 20 cops searching behind the girders for the perp who may have slipped behind a 9-inch I-beam) on the bridge 'happen' to miss a full notepad sheet taped in plain sight. Too idiotic for words.

    Then it just happens that a CSI is also a diver who can jump into the East River and find, amidst all the garbage, a 2-inch compass under a layer of sand. No. it wasn't on the bed, it was fully buried when he said he saw it.

    Never mind that they think he has a chance in hell of finding a gun thrown off a bridge which could be anywhere in a 30 yard radius in the same pile of garbage.

    And the East River water seems to have been recently filtered. Pretty clean compared to what I've seen.

    I won't even start on the fool in the office who puts his ear against a door at head height knowing there's a guy with a shotgun on the other side.

    Jeez, that's it. I can't watch this trash anymore, I'm done.moreless
  • The Compass Killer and Flack are the only two defining features of this episodes...

    I have to say, the producers of the show must have a lot of faith in the loyalty of their viewers if they feel comfortable pulling stunts like writing out main characters or wrapping up potential-filled storylines in the neatest, most unrealistic way.

    I won't say it was a bad episode, because it was far from that. It was a very good episode. Easily one of the better ones from this season. This was largely due to Flack's storyline, which managed to come across as heart-wrenching and deep even despite Mac's unsympathetic attitude toward him, or the far too neat "I'll do better this time" resolution that Flack consoled Mac's irritation with. I was glad to see Nelly come back as Terrence in this episode, not least of which because he saved Flack's life (in more ways than one) at just the right moment. Can't wait to see him again.

    Skeet Ulrich played his part well as Hollis Eckhart, but while this chapter of the Compass Killer storyline succeeded in creating sympathy for Eckhart's story, it didn't do much to make the story itself more interesting. I'm waiting until the conclusion to decide for sure how well the whole CK arc came across.

    Lindsay's absence was a HUGE source of irritation. As a main character, they should've at least given a line of explanation as to where she was during the episode, even if she couldn't be onscreen. It's an irritation I don't see myself putting up with for long without writing off the show for good.moreless
  • The Compass Killer appears and Flak disappears. As the team finds out more about the Compass Killer (including his identity) Mac puts himself on the line by covering for Flak's inexplicable absence.moreless

    The "CSI" trademark of very clever and memorable opening scenes once again shows itself here. The rest of the episode is good, but does not quite live up to it's great opening. While it is good that we are learning more about the Compass Killer and what motivates him to commit his crimes, I still have more questions that I would like to have answered about him. I'm sure they will be answered in the next episode, but the unanswered questions make me less scared of him than bothered by not knowing more. I'm sure we will know more soon.moreless
  • We will find this guy!

    Okay, CSI: NY definitely scared me from going on the subway for awhile. Definitely not excited about the prospects of two scary-looking strangers kicking me and taking the little money I possess. But on a serious note, strong offering from CSI: NY. This was a continuation of the Compass Killer that featured a great chase sequence and an angry Mac Taylor at the end, but we also had some strong character development as well as one of CSI's own had to deal with his troubled life.

    Also, a surprising return by Nelly's character to save said troubled CSI man.

    Good episode, definitely looking forward to seeing how things play out next week.moreless
  • The compass killer is back, and Flack dealing with his own ghosts!

    One of the best episodes in this season so far. The storyline is pretty good, the Compass killer is really creepy. We learn few more things about his past, his wife and what happened to his face. I even felt sorry for him at a point.

    They did very good job with his appartment. It looks really old and abandoned. The light gives you this dark feeling about his life. We get great views of New York, I really liked the river scenes, Sheldon diving...

    And then there is the Flack arc! Flack goes missing, trying to drown his ghost in alcohol. The best thing in his story is that everyone want to help finding him. That is team work. And finally Mac is the one to "save" him because he knows how it feels to loose someone you love. I find interesting the fact that even though Mac knows what Flack has done, killing Angell's killer that is, he doesn't let him say it. He is still his boss and as a friend is trying to protect him. Overall i give it a 9.0 and not more because of the lack of science and disgusting autopsies but great NY scenes.moreless
Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Detective Mack 'Mac' Taylor

Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Detective Stella Bonasera

Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo

Danny Messer

Anna Belknap

Anna Belknap

Lindsay Monroe

Robert Joy

Robert Joy

Dr. Sid Hammerback

A.J. Buckley

A.J. Buckley

Adam Ross



Terrence Davis

Guest Star

Skeet Ulrich

Skeet Ulrich

Hollis Eckhart

Guest Star

John Mese

John Mese

Lt. William Sythe

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Mac: Why is O'Reilly doing the interview? Thought Flack was on today.
      Stella: He is. Didn't show up, I can't reach him on his cell. How do you want to play it?
      Mac: I'll call his C.O., have him put him down for a day off.

    • Stella: He's about to take out one of the other partners when...
      Mac: Our jumper saves the day. That's quite a fall from grace.

    • Stella: Hey! On your own two feet and looking good, Messer.
      Danny: Not bad, huh? First the wheelchair, now no more cane. Done.
      Stella: Yeah. You know, that was one of the scariest moments and I'll never forget it when you said you couldn't move your legs.
      Danny: When I saw the blood on my hands, I mean, I thought that was it.
      Stella: Yeah, well, it wasn't your time.
      Danny: Yeah, let's go with that.

    • Danny: Slam dunk and a suicide? Easiest stretch we had in a while.
      Stella: Yeah, I can always use the overtime, but having dinner at a normal hour tonight sounds great.
      Danny: Yeah (Chuckles)
      (Their cell phones go off at the same time)
      Stella: Oh (Looks at the screen) Sid.
      Danny: (Looks at the screen) Mac.
      Both: You jinxed it.
      (Danny giggles)

    • Lieutenant Sythe: This have to do with Flack?
      Mac: You put him down as AWOL yet?
      Lieutenant Sythe: Not yet, no.
      Mac: Good.
      Lieutenant Sythe: Got a few guys looking for him, checking his usual haunts.
      Mac: I wouldn't bother. You're not gonna find him there. He's taking the day off.
      Lieutenant Sythe: Is that right?
      Mac: Figured I'd come down, tell you in person.
      Lieutenant Sythe: That's uh... very kind of you, Detective. I hope Flack appreciates all the trouble you've gone through. And the trouble you can get into.
      Mac: Yeah, well, he'd do the same for me. We good?
      (Lieutenant Sythe nods)
      Mac: Good.

    • Sid: There are 206 bones in the human body. Richard Caldrone broke 204 of them.
      Stella: Well, jumping off a bridge has a tendency to do that.

    • Sid: 99.02912621359224% of his bones broken. And yet...
      Stella: Don't. Aw… don't, Sid. I was just gonna make plans for dinner tonight.
      Sid: Oh, where?
      Stella: Say it.
      Sid: Your jumper was shot in the chest.
      (Stella sighs)

    • Mac: You get to Flack's?
      Danny: I'm here now, Mac and this place is a wreck.
      Mac: What'd you find?
      Danny: Well, it doesn't look like he's paying his bills. Definitely been drinking.
      Mac: Danny, go to the front closet. Top shelf?
      Danny: Hold on. (Finds Flack's gun) No, I got it. It's here.
      Mac: Good. At least he's smart enough to leave his gun at home.

    • Stella: No word on Flack, huh?
      Mac: Not yet. Danny's gonna hit his local bars. Hopefully he finds him on a stool,
      drinking a Guinness and singing 'Danny Boy' before people start asking questions.

    • Hawkes: (Diving in the Hudson) You seeing this?
      Stella: A compass. You've got to be kidding me.
      Mac: He's back. The Compass Killer is back.

    • Eckhart: I'm almost done.
      Calliope: Done with what?
      Eckhart: Making it go away. I'm gonna make it all go away.

    • Terrence: Flack, let's keep it moving, man. You being in my crib ain't a good look for me.
      (Flack checks the bruises on his body)
      Terrence: Why you let yourself get beat down like that, man? That's not mourning. That's something else.

    • Mac: When I'm off dealing with this, I need you to hold down the fort and stay on top of the Compass Killer.
      Stella: Fine. You be careful.

    • Flack: Hey-o, Terrence! This has been fun and all, but you should probably get some new friends. Your boys are like walking parole violations. What's the matter, did I hurt your feelings? Did you get sensitive all of a sudd...? (Notices Mac is in the apartment)
      Terrence: I ain't trying to have no cop convention up in here. But you two need some quality time, so I'm gonna give you all five minutes.

    • Flack: What do you want to hear, Mac? It's just one of those days.
      Mac: You can do better than that.
      Flack: All right, fine. It won't happen again.
      Mac: You're damn right. I'm making it official.
      Flack: Do what you gotta do.

    • Mac: Hey, let's be clear. Part of me wants to take this badge off and settle this another way.
      Flack: Get out of my face.
      Mac: (Pins him against the wall) Hey! We're in the middle of a murder investigation and you go AWOL?
      Flack: I can handle myself.
      Mac: Oh, yeah? Is that what you're doing here in this apartment? Is that why I had to get this from Terrence? (Shows Flack his gun) Is that why I had to have Stella triangulate your phone and Danny check the ERs to see if you turned up dead? You can keep telling people that you're fine, but that won't work.

    • Flack: It's been eating at me, Mac. When Angel was killed, all I wanted to do was make it right!
      Mac: We did that. Justice was served because we did our jobs.
      Flack: You weren't there with me and Simon Cade! I stood over that bastard! I looked him in the eyes, and I...
      Mac: Whatever happened is between you and your God. I'm not your priest! What I do need to know is whether I can count on you.

    • Louise Dukes: Eckhart disappeared from the facility.
      Danny: What are you talking about, disappeared?
      Louise Dukes: I mean, he walked right out the front door without anyone noticing.
      Danny: And how does a mental patient escape from a hospital exactly?
      Louise Dukes: We try to give our patients dignity and freedom, but that doesn't always work out.

    • Flack: I want to apologize. These last couple months, I've been... I've been pretty messed up. And you've shown me a hell of a lot of... patience and support. And you didn't have to. So, thank you. I'm sorry.
      Mac: Everybody mourns differently, Don. I know a lot of your behaviors had to do with Angell's death. There's also been something else. I don't need to hear about it. I just need to know that you've dealt with it and it's done.
      Flack: I crossed the line. And I'll live with that. But it will never happen again. What's most important to me now is that I re-earn your trust.
      (Both shake hands)

    • (After finding out that Eckhart's wife was murdered in a massacre he witnessed)
      Mac: Eckhart, obviously, he's a man in deep pain. Doesn't give him an excuse to take it out on others.
      Flack: No, but it does give him plenty of motive, though.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: February 3, 2010 on TVNorge.
      Czech Republic: April 17, 2010 on AXN.
      Turkey: April 19, 2010 on CNBC-e.
      Spain: April 27, 2010 on AXN.
      Sweden: June 28, 2010 on Kanal 5.
      Slovakia: October 25, 2010 on JOJ.
      Germany: November 1, 2010 on Vox.
      Finland: March 16, 2011 on MTV3.
      Australia: May 24, 2011 on Channel 9.

    • Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise shot the scene at the party boat no less than 10 times from every possible angle to take advantage of the Hudson's natural water traffic.

    • The scenes shot on the police boat underneath the 59th St. Bridge were shot in LA and not in NYC.

    • For the scenes shot on the boat at the Hudson River, Gary Sinise had to take a motion sickness pill since he gets seasick. The drug makes the actor feel tired.

    • The wallpaper and bedsheets in Eckhart's apartment were new so the art department had to fake 50 years of neglect using a technique called 'distressing', by means of which things are aged by being sprayed on them. According to Skeet Ulrich, it was like a creepy sort of time capsule.

    • Hill Harper did all the underwater scenes himself. They were filmed inside a giant water tank in LA.

    • Despite featured in the opening credits, Anna Belknap does not appear in this episode.

    • John Mese, who plays Lt. William Sythe, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Spellbound.

      Fredro Starr, who plays Deacon, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode Smoke Gets in Your CSIs.

      Kieran Campion, who plays Kenneth Grant, also appears in the CSI: Miami episodes Dead Zone and Crime Wave.


    • Mac: Hopefully he finds him on a stool, drinking a Guinness and singing Danny Boy.

      Danny Boy is a ballad written by Fredrick Weatherly in 1913 that became an Irish traditional, drinking and folk song.

    • Danny: (About the psychiatric facility Ulrich has escaped from) Long way from The Cuckoo's Nest, huh?

      Both the episode title and Danny's quote are a reference to the 1975 Milos Forman's movie of the same title and the novel by Ken Kesey on which the film was based, which also deal with a mental asylum and patients under psychiatric care treatment.