Season 6 Episode 9


Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 25, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Danny is back in the field with Flack for the first time after the shooting and a store owner's life hangs in the balance. Mac finds a key piece of evidence that will put him on the trail of a serial killer.

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  • Notorious 'Compass Killer' has been apprehended and the team get together for a meal for the first time since Jessica Angell's death.

    At first, I thought that the episode was going to be another boring 'Compass Killer' one, but I was wrong. The technology that has been incorporated into the storyline was a huge help in capturing Eckhart and it gave an edge to the episode. In terms of storyline, it wasn't another re-write of a murderous psychiatric patient out on the streets of New York, which was a relief. Something new was brought to the table when Stella explained that Eckhart wasn't targeting anyone in particular, but rather people who resembled the characters in his imagination. Not to mention, integrating the Mannhattanhenge anomaly with Eckhart's past (his birthday and his wife's death anniversary) provided the phenomenon with a deep and profound meaning. As for the team, it was nice to see them having dinner together, for the first time since Angell died, earlier in the season. Everyone seemed so cheerful and happy!moreless
  • This episode's score is largely due to the number of bonus points it gets, which is pretty amazing.

    It gets a bonus point for the Manhattanhenge phenomenon, which onscreen was depicted beautifully. It reminded me a little of CSI: Miami, what with the orange-sun brightness, but in a good way.

    It gets a bonus point for the team scene at the end, which was both awesome and something the viewers of this show have desperately needed to see for some time now. The last team scene we got ended with the team being shot at, which was a drag, but it was so great to see that despite the heavy emotional personal stuff they all seem to be going through, they can still laugh together and have fun together. I was starting to wonder, especially with the way they all seem to be dealing with their issues on their own, and barely turning to anyone else for help.

    It gets a final bonus point for Skeet Ulrich, who in the part of Hollis Eckhart pretty much made the episode. Eckhart was both wonderfully played and extremely sympathetic, one of the most sympathetic killers we've seen on the show in a while. And the team clearly thought so as well, since a few of them (Mac, Lindsay, Flack) seemed to empathize with him at different stages of the episode.

    I enjoyed seeing the two sides to this case -- the crime-solvers' as well as the criminal's. I kind of wish the second-part to this trilogy hadn't been crammed in with Flack's episode...last week I mentioned that I didn't want to comment on the Compass Killer bit of the episode until I'd seen the entire trilogy, so that I'd have a stronger grasp of what was going on. Now that I've seen the whole thing, it's easier to comment on the bits I saw in "Cuckoo's Nest" (huh, and that title makes so much more sense now ), which seemed out of place among Flack's drama. Because Flack easily stole the show last week, it feels almost unfair to the CK arc that some key moments of his backstory were put into that episode. Like his escaping from the psychiatric institution, I'd never have remembered that they mentioned that last week, if they hadn't brought it up again this week.

    As far as screentime goes, I think it could've been more evenly spaced; I enjoyed the Flack and Danny scenes, the few Lindsay scenes we got, and the Adam scenes (and the team scene at the end was made of win), but it didn't really feel like any of the characters (except Mac, and Danny when he gave that homeless guy his jacket) got a chance to really shine on their own in this episode. Let's not get started on the fact that Sid was missing. No bodies to process means the guy doesn't even get invited out to dinner with the rest? *sigh* But all things considered, it was very well done. And Lindsay was there, which of course makes it better than last week's episode, automatically.moreless
  • Exciting.

    Just when I thought CSI: New York was getting stagnant and had peaked in terms of entertainment value and storylines, they bang out an excellent episode like this. There was really no downtime between scenes here with pointless yapping, just total nonstop action. So many chase scenes with the entire cast involved (although the idea of a man who was just in a wheelchair running somebody down is ridiculous) that were nothing short of great.

    This Compass Killer storyline has been very well-done and has proven that a cop drama can have a long-running story arc and still be successful.moreless
  • The Compass Killer story concluded in this episode. The start (Lat/Long) seemed slow, the middle (Cuckoo's Nest) was revealing and the conclusion was exciting!

    At first I was a little bit skeptical when I saw the beginning of this story arc (Lat/Long). I felt that that part was stretched too much. Nothing happened aside from the introduction of the serial killer and his victims. I suggested that there must be something else going on. The middle part was awesome. We knew the sad story and condition of the killer. Flack's story made it even better.

    The conclusion was fantastic! The team working together to catch the killer leveled-up the interest and excitement. The killer's last victim was evident but it's natural since he blamed himself the most why his wife was killed. His story was heart breaking. The acting was convincing and it made the episode even more successful. The last scene was so good. This team has lots of chemistry going on. One factor, aside from NYC, that made me love this show is the characters. They are just unique and keep me watching this show every week. The phenomenon called Manhattanhenge is awesome. New Yorkers are very lucky seeing this every year. I hope to see it myself in NYC!moreless
  • The story of The Compass Killer comes full circle in this concluding episode of the three episode arc. After locating the killer's home the team examines the evidence in an attempt to determine where the killer will strike next.moreless

    The Compass Killer storyline is entertaining but not the best I have ever seen. What I liked about this story is that it did not follow conventinal stroylines. The revalation of who the killer's final victim will be is a good example of that. I said in my review of the first episode that there were a lot of questions about the killer that needed to be answered. The following two episodes did a good job in answering those questions. The story was plausible and was well explained. There have been better storylines, but this one is worth your time.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

Skeet Ulrich

Skeet Ulrich

Hollis Eckhart

Guest Star

Martin Papzian

Martin Papzian

Mr. Birnbaum

Guest Star

Josie Davis

Josie Davis

Calliope Eckhart

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • At dinner, when Mac is making his toast, everyone has a glass of wine (or in Flack's case, a beer) except Danny, who only has water. This could be explained by the fact that he's probably still taking some pain medication for his back which can't be mixed with alcohol.

    • When Hawkes announces he's found a new place to live, Mac responds: 'Does that mean I can have my couch back?'. However, in episode 6x06 It Happened To Me he said that he had an extra room when as he offered Hawkes to stay with him.

    • Stella brings Lindsay some coffee and allows her to drink it in the lab, which is not normally allowed, seeing as they had been up for a long time chasing the Compass Killer.

    • As a bit of continuity with episode 6x06 It Happened To Me, it is stated that Hawkes has gotten his own apartment, a rent control studio off Bleeker and he is moving out of Mac's place.

    • Carmine Giovinazzo, who is of Italian descent, speaks a bit of it at the end of the episode in his 'grazie, grazie' line, meaning: 'thanks, thanks'.

    • The NYPD surveillance system has over 3,000 cameras around the city.

    • Hollis Eckhart has made 'The Underground Home', a 20 feet below the ground pavilion in the 1964 New York World's Fair his home. It depicts a concrete Cold War bunker.

    • Goof: As they run inside the sewer trying to give chase to the suspect, Flack is just some seconds behind Danny but when Danny comes out into the street, Flack needs a while longer to reach the exit. It is really unusual for Flack not to be able to catch up with Danny, especially since Danny has been on his feet again just recently.

    • The dates of Manhattanhenge (see allusions for more information) sunset are usually around the end of May and mid July (around summer solstice) and the two corresponding mornings of sunrise aligned with the center lines of the Manhattan grid are usually around the beginning of December and the beginning of January (around Winter Solstice), which is consistent with the time line of the episode which action is set on December 4th and 5th.

    • This episode is the culmination of the Compass Killer story arc, which has been developed in the episodes 6x03 Lat 40 Degrees 47 Minutes N Long 73 Degrees 58 Minutes W and 6x08 Cuckoo's Nest. Flashbacks to both episodes can be seen during this one.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Man (over speaker): Detective Taylor, we are ready for infrared capability.
      Mac: Thank you.
      Flack: Time to go high-tech, huh?
      Mac: Hollis Eckhart has over 1,200 acres in this park to hide in. Maybe the infrared camera in that chopper can finally help us flush him out of Flushing Meadows.

    • Mac: Hollis Eckhart knows we're closing in. Which means he's out there somewhere, hunting his next victim.

    • (Before departing in chase of Eckhart inside the sewer tunnels)
      Mac: Hey. You watch yourself.
      Danny: I'm good. I got my sea legs.

    • Mac: Where is he now?
      Stella: Well, his first three vics were north, south, and east, so he's definitely headed west.

    • (Danny gives his jacket to a homeless after taking his as evidence)
      Flack: That was nice of you.
      Danny: Thanks. I'm back.

    • Hawkes: Land surveyors often use the sun's positioning for their calculations.
      Stella: That's true. But it feels to me like Eckhart's using all this stuff to calculate something much darker.

    • Stella: None of Eckhart's victims are connected to the jobs he accused them of doing, or connected to each other.
      Mac: And, from everything we've gathered, they're not even remotely related to the original act of violence that left Eckhart's wife dead.
      Stella: This might sound crazy, but then again, so is he. Eckhart's medical records cite him as a delusional schizophrenic. He frequently accused doctors, staff, other patients of doing things that they didn't.
      Mac: Assigning blame to strangers to explain how something happened.
      Stella: Right. I believe Hollis Eckhart is incapable of separating tragedy from reality.

    • Stella: In Hollis Eckhart's fractured mind, he draws pictures of people he holds responsible for killing Calliope, and then punishes them one by one.
      Mac: And they're not even the real people who might have had a hand in her death.
      Stella: No, they're just figments of his imagination that he draws on a piece of paper. And the first innocent victim that looks like one of his sketches becomes Eckhart's target.
      Mac: Which means anyone in this city could be next.

    • Flack: Mr. Birnbaum? How you doing? NYPD. Somebody rough you up a little bit?
      Mr. Birnbaum: You guys are about 20 minutes too late.
      Danny: Yeah, right.

    • Mr. Birnbaum: I got a full register and a safe just waiting for a deposit. This assface decides to pistol-whip me over three bucks' worth of lousy rope.
      Flack: Can you give us a description?
      Mr. Birnbaum: Trust me, this is a fruitcake you don't forget. Scarred-up face, switched-off look behind the eyes. This guy was messed up inside and out.
      Danny: Got any idea which way he went?
      Mr. Birnbaum: I was trying pretty hard to play dead at that moment.

    • Mr. Birnbaum: Do me a favor. If you catch the guy, keep the rope, string him up with it, would ya?
      Danny: Yeah, we will.

    • Stella: He's a killer obsessed with the past.
      Hawkes: Or trapped there. Eckhart suffers from acute PTSD. And according to his medical records, he has bullet fragments lodged in the temporal lobe of his brain. Nothing in this world is real to him.

    • (About the drawing that will reveal being of Eckhart himself)
      Lindsay: You can practically feel Eckhart's rage in the way he scratched this drawing out. If you ask me... he hated this victim more than everybody else.

    • Stella: I just finished my third cup of coffee. Figured you could probably use one.
      Lindsay: Oh thanks, Stella. Thought we weren't supposed to drink in the lab?
      Stella: We aren't but at some point, the human body either requires sleep or massive quantities of caffeine.
      Lindsay: God bless you.

    • Stella: How's it going here?
      Lindsay: Mmm, great if you like playing 'Guess Who?' one pixel at a time.

    • Lindsay: He didn't have it very easy. Imagine losing somebody you loved like that. His wife came to see him at work, then somebody else's boyfriend showed up and started shooting.
      Stella: All that bloodshed, all that fear. The attack at the surveyor's office literally shattered his mind.
      Lindsay: And worse than that, it broke his heart. That's a rage you can't control.
      Stella: No. But it's one we've gotta stop.

    • Mac: So what are we looking at?
      Hawkes: Manhattanhenge.
      Stella: Manhattan what?
      Hawkes: It's a biannual phenomenon in which the rising or setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west grid of Manhattan's streets. Sort of a Stonehenge-meets-concrete-and-hot-dog-carts kind of thing.

    • Stella: His birthday, the anniversary of his wife's death, and Manhattanhenge all on the same day.
      Hawkes: Yeah.
      Mac: And that day begins again at sunrise.
      Stella: What time is it?
      Mac: It's almost 4:00 A.M. We've only got two hours.

    • Mac: We don't have time for guarantees. We gotta go with our guts.
      Stella: You realize this is like looking for some kind of crazy twisted needle in a haystack?
      Mac: Yeah, I know, Stella.

    • (Running against the clock to find Eckhart before sunrise)
      Stella: They say it's always darkest before dawn.
      Mac: Let's just hope they're right.

    • Mac: Listen to your wife, Hollis. We can help you.
      Calliope: Yes! You can trust him!
      Mac: I lost my wife, too. But she never really left me. And I promise you, Calliope won't leave you, either.

    • Mac: Eckhart was supposed to meet his wife at Lincoln Center after work.
      Stella: But when he was running late, he told her to go to the surveyor's office instead.
      Mac: Figured if they were going to miss the show, they might as well be together.
      Danny: So, he blamed himself as much as everyone else.
      Lindsay: Maybe more.
      Hawkes: Each man is the architect of his own fate.
      Stella: And sometimes the fate of others.

    • Mac: Here's to a great team and to getting Hollis Eckhart off the streets.
      Stella: Yes. And to reminding us that life is fleeting and we should hold on to the people we love while we can.

    • Hawkes: Starting tomorrow, I will be sleeping in my own apartment.
      Adam: Score a new pad?
      Lindsay: Please tell me it's not underground.
      (All laugh)
      Hawkes: Well, actually, it's just a rent control studio off Bleeker.
      Lindsay: Nice!
      Flack: Good for you.
      Mac: This mean I get my couch back?
      (Flack laughs heartily)
      Hawkes: Well, actually, it's unfurnished.
      (All laugh)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: February 10, 2010 on TVNorge.
      Czech Republic: April 24, 2010 on AXN.
      Turkey: April 26, 2010 on CNBC-e.
      Spain: May 4, 2010 on AXN.
      Sweden: July 5, 2010 on Kanal 5.
      Slovakia: November 8, 2010 on JOJ.
      Germany: November 8, 2010 on Vox.
      Finland: March 23, 2011 on MTV3.

    • Marc Menchaca, who plays Leonard, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Better Off Dead.

    • Despite featured in the opening credits, Robert Joy does not appear in this episode.

    • Gary Sinise received a 4 am. call time at Lincoln Center for the scene where he chases Eckhart in the Manhattanhenge.

    • Music featured:
      Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers.
      Sundown by Elwood.
      Highway Star by Type O Negative.

    • Several scenes from this episode were shot at the New York State Pavilion in Queens. For the action that takes place out of the rotunda, a gate that is otherwise kept padlocked was opened. No other production had filmed at the interior of the pavilion since the 1978 movie The Wiz. The New York State Pavilion has been recently included to the New York State Register of Historic Places.


    • Mac: Hey. You watch yourself.
      Danny: I'm good. I got my sea legs.

      Gary Sinise, who plays Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump had the line: 'I thought I would test out my sea legs' when Forrest responds: 'But you ain't got no legs Lt. Dan.'

    • Episode title: Manhattanhenge.

      Manhattanhenge (also referred to as Manhattan Solstice) alludes to the real life biannual phenomenon in which the setting sun lines up with the east-west streets of Manhattan's main street grid. The term derives from the United Kingdom's prehistoric monument Stonehenge, at which the sun sets in alignment with the stones during the summer solstice. It was coined in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History.