Season 3 Episode 21

Past Imperfect

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Apr 25, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
214 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Trouble begins for Mac when confessed killer Clay Dobson becomes a free man as an indirect result of Mac arresting Detective Dean Truby. Stella learns the results of her HIV test from Adam.

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  • So Mac is actually human, huh? Who would have guessed?

    *Hi. I'm Lindsay. Have we met? Obviously not, because I'm never around. I can't even process evidence. We have Adam do that. Why ADAM is processing evidence, I have no idea. Even if she didn't do the location shoot, surely there was something she could have done. Her second scene was a damn phone conversation, for crying out loud.

    *Dear NY Crime Lab... Hire another lab tech. I'm sure you have a large enough budget.

    *Of course Stella doesn't have HIV. Was there ever any doubt? But the way Adam phrased it was so stupid. "Stella, you're HIV negative." Why couldn't he just say, "It's negative?" I mean, I'm sure it was for dramatic emphasis, but still.

    *I did like the D/L scene. It was very cute. And it shows how their relationship is changing, because Lindsay actually giggled at the "dah". Last season, she would have rolled her eyes.

    *Danny said 'pubes'. *giggles* I'm adding that to the list (shaft, penetration, spank, pubes). Dirty words said by Danny Messer.

    *Mac's in trouble. Mac's in trouble. Mac's in trouble. SWEET. NO ONE is that perfect. I'm sorry. He's human. He's going to make mistakes.

    *He yelled at Adam. And it wasn't even Adam's fault. I mean, I'm not Adam's #1 fan, and he'd be much better if he didn't get more screen time than contract cast members, but Mac was way out of line. I'm so glad Gerard called him out on it.

    *Halfway through the episode, my sister pointed out that Stella's eyebrows were out of control. After that, I couldn't pay attention to anything but her eyebrows.

    *Loved the Hawkes/Danny scenes at Coney Island. They were so adorable. The looks they exchange at the sideshow. Danny getting all giddy when he catches the money through the slats in the boards.

    *No mention of Louie? I thought for sure, after that scene where Jesse wants to be by his brother's side as he dies, that we would get something. I was half expecting Danny to go to Louie's bedside - or grave.

    *Wanted more tension between Flack and Mac. That one scene just didn't do it for me. And now Flack thinks it's his fault!

    *I hate when they hype up guest stars and they're only really in one scene. Although, granted, Joey Lawrence didn't suck. Actually, he was pretty decent. He was excellent at looking creepy.

    *EW! No eyelids?

    Overall analysis, not a bad episode. Hopefully we'll have an end to the Stella!Drama now, because we have to start the Mac!Drama. And we're still forgetting that we have four other cast members. (Okay, so we had enough Lindsay!Drama this season to last a lifetime.)moreless
  • Nice continuation.

    Once again we get a two case episode, where one of the cases feels mostly like a filler. Not a bad filler in this ep, the attack Danny and Hawkes investigate is actually interesting and doesn't feel like something they just had to make up to show all the team.

    The case with Dobson was great. Continuation even though we've never heard of him before. I was wondering when we'd get more angst about Flack's notebook, and here we had loads. Character development with Flack's obvious need to self flagellate and Mac's humane angry side were awesome. Finally we get over Stella's HIV drama. Yay! The whole mixing up terms (HIV does not equal AIDS) and dramatic story arc was getting to bug me. Kanakaredes can act, please give her something other than the abused victim/survivor storylines!moreless
  • Whoa! Did Mac really kill Clay Dobson?

    This is another fine episode. Even though the sub-plots weren't as interesting, this episode went further into the character developments from the cast in the crime lab. First, I liked the conflict between Mack and Flack when Clay Dobson was released. Because Mac prosecuted one of Flack's cop, Clay Dobson was set free. Secondly, I liked how Stella was relieved when she found she was HIV-negative. Of course, the results were predictable, at best, but I did enjoy her reaction after she found out the result. Once again, as I said in an earlier review, these are little things, but I think most of us want to see the emotions behind the characters. But what made this episode special was the inner conflict and guilt Mac had involving Clay Dobson. Gary Sinise is a great actor, but I hadn't seen quality acting from him until this season and it really came out in this episode. I liked the scene when his boss told him to back off Clay Dobson for political purposes and Mac replied, "When was the day you stopped being a cop and started to become a politician?" Then there was the scene where Mac lit into Adam and the poor look on Adam's face. I felt so bad for him but you could see that Mac wasn't really mad at him, he was more mad at himself for setting Dobson free in the first place. And how about the scene in the end with Mac and Clay Dobson on the roof? Why did Mac discharge his gun? And did Mac really toss him from the roof? I don't think he did, but he could really be in hot water in the next episode, especially since he was on Clay Dobson's case in the first place. A great way to kick off the final episodes of the season!moreless
  • Mac, Mac, Mac... Don't worry, we still love you.

    There's no way Mac could have done that to Dobson. He's a good man, I believe in him. He's too obsessed with putting criminals behind bars to become a criminal himself.

    It was so nice to see people having fun and joking around, like the 'pubes' thing and that bit with the kids. Man, Danny can JUMP! That was something else. He's such a kid at heart. :)

    Seriously, Gerrard is like a POISON. I absolutely hate him. I'm ready to smack him upside the head in every single episode. He scares me. I'm really afraid he's going to try and hurt Danny. And to piss Mac off to the point that he YELLED at Adam?? Nobody yells at Adam on my watch!!! Did anyone else notice how sad Danny looked at the hospital? I think he was thinking about Louie. He's really softened up since that whole incident.

    *does a happy dance* She's negative, she's negative.... Oh yes!!! P.S. Seriously, how stupid can boys get?? Stop driving from the roof, morons!moreless
  • Character development! This is why I love this show.

    I explain my obsession with CSI (LV) with the fact that I feel like I know the characters. Seven seasons with Gil and the gang makes me come back for more of a show that might risk going dull without good characters.

    I never liked CSI:Miami, because I simply cannot bear to watch David Caruso - it's a shame, I'm sure the rest of the actors are decent enough.

    My point with this is that I took a chance on CSI:NY because I think Gary Sinise is a brilliant actor - and I was not disappointed at all. He carries the show on his shoulders, and now that we are seeing more and more of his story - the show is lifted along with him.

    This episode was very interesting - there is no way Mac would throw a suspect off the roof, no matter what he said or did. Right? The look on his face when he looked down from the top of that building was not a look of surprise - though that might just not be Mac's thing. But I do feel that there is an interesting element of doubt here, and that adds to Mac's character - and my interest in it.

    Now we just have to wait for a little more Lindsay/Danny action to fill my character development needs.moreless
Anna Belknap

Anna Belknap

Lindsay Monroe

Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo

Danny Messer

Eddie Cahill

Eddie Cahill

Detective Donald "Don" Flack, Jr.

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Detective Mack "Mac" Taylor

Hill Harper

Hill Harper

Dr. Sheldon Hawkes

Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Detective Stella Bonasera

Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence

Clay Dobson

Guest Star

Amy Davidson (I)

Amy Davidson (I)

Carolyn Clark

Guest Star

Mark Kiely

Mark Kiely

Jesse Colson

Guest Star

Carmen Argenziano

Carmen Argenziano

Insp. Stanton Gerrard

Recurring Role

Robert Joy

Robert Joy

Dr. Sid Hammerback

Recurring Role

A.J. Buckley

A.J. Buckley

Adam Ross

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: The victim report for Emma Pierce that Mac shows to Stella appears to contain irrelevant information about compensation for victims of crime in Pittsburgh.

    • Goof: When the team first discover the woman with the packing tape on her face there is no lock visible on her necklace. However when they start taking pictures the lock is front and center.

    • Goof: When Adam is taking blood from Stella for her HIV test, the tourniquet on her left arm moves from it to the table and back to the arm as she gets up to leave.

    • Adam's uncle worked at The Weddington Hotel.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Rene: Don't be shy. Everybody's a bit nervous their first time out.
      Stella: Actually we're not here to participate.
      Rene: (looking suggestively at Stella) That's our loss.
      Flack: We're NYPD.
      Rene: I'm so sorry! That's right, you called earlier. I was expecting big burly men with guns.
      Flack: If you'd focused your attention in my direction, you might see one.

    • Mac: You used a modelling knife to cut off your victim's eyelids?
      Dobson: Ooh. That's just plain ghoulish.

    • Mac: The way I feel has never affected the way I do my job.
      Flack: My weakness, I guess. Every hood Truby ever collared is going to be angling for a get-out-of-jail-free pass. Clay Dobson was just the first in line.
      Mac: You having a good time, saying I told you so?
      Flack: No.

    • Danny: I'm gonna head out to Brighton Beach, 'cause one of the guys who got busted with Scott Colson owns a Russian food joint, called Sokov's.
      Lindsay: If the guy took his chances running with the Russian mob, maybe his past finally caught up with him.
      Danny: Da!
      (Lindsay laughs)

    • Stella: Thought lock and key parties went out in the seventies?
      Flack: Apparently they've had a resurgence. Who knew?

    • Hawkes: What's his status?
      Dr. Bergstrom: His white blood cell count's off the charts, he's got internal bleeding in his GI tract and his organs are showing signs of failure. Other than that, he's fine.

    • (Scott staggers up to Mac)
      Scott: I need to report a murder.
      Mac: Do you know something about the victim?
      Scott: I am the victim. Somebody's trying to kill me. (Scott collapses)

    • Mac: Nice place, Dobson, looks like your father's doing quite well for himself.
      Dobson: Detective Taylor, I was just about to send you a fruit basket. You're the reason I'm out of jail, indirectly, of course. If you're looking for an architect, I think we might be a little out of your price range.

    • Adam: How do you feel? Now that you know?
      Stella: Relieved, elated, numb. It's like I can dream again.

    • Adam: Whatever the result is --
      Stella: I'll live with it.
      Adam: Okay.

    • Mac: (about Clay Dobson) He's been out of prison three months and we already have two victims, one missing, one dead.

    • Flack: So, what are we going to do about Clay Dobson?
      Mac: Put him away for good this time.

    • Stella: You let a lady walk home drunk? What a gentleman you are.

    • Yuri Sokov: I'm an American citizen.
      Danny: With a rap sheet as long as the Constitution.

    • Lindsay: They're too thick to be head hair.
      Danny: (Takes a look at the hairs) Too long to be pubes.
      Lindsay: (Gives him a look) They're beard hairs.

    • Mac: I'm watching you Dobson, next time we talk, it won't be about books.

  • NOTES (4)

    • French episode title: Passé Imparfait, meaning Past Imperfect.

    • Jos Viramontes, who plays Dr. Marc Bergstrom, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Lover's Lanes.

      Amy Davidson, who plays Carolyn Clark, also appears in the C.S.I. episode Tell Tale Hearts.

    • International Airdates:
      New Zealand: June 20, 2007 on TV3.
      Turkey: July 16, 2007 on CNBC-e.
      Spain: July 31, 2007 on AXN Spain.
      Greece: November 7, 2007 on SKAI.
      Norway: November 14, 2007 on TVNorge.
      Australia: November 25, 2007 on Network 9.
      Germany: February 11, 2008 on Vox.
      Finland: October 1, 2008 on MTV3.

    • Music Featured:
      Tambourine by Eve feat Sean Paul.


    • The umbrella gun and ricin pellet murder is based on a real life event.

      On September 7, 1978, Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was shot in the leg on Waterloo Bridge in London with a ricin pellet shot from a modified umbrella by a man. Markov died three days later.