This is my first written review of an episode, so please bear with me. In reading other reviews and the trivia section, I have noted certain comments pertaining to the actions of certain individuals that I feel need clarifying. As I am the newby on the block, I can't edit or add to the trivia section so I will try for some clarification in my review.
First, to the base case. Any incident involving a member of the local government's executive branch is automatically a high priority and high profile incident, mandating a maximum effort on the part of the local law enforcement agency. This was well portrayed in the episode, without being overly dramatic. It also showed how priorities can shift, from investigating a suspected murder to actively searching for a missing child.
The processing of the evidence eventually led to two suspects, one of which was more preferred than the other. Unfortunately, as is often the case in the real world, the preferred outcome was not realized. As here, the people that need help the most are the ones who frequently do not receive it as those around them are too engrossed in their own lives to stop, look, listen, and recognize their calls for help. Now, to the other items.
Work actions, such as the Blue Flu depicted here, have a serious impact on the operations of any government agency. It was stated that just over 40% of NYPD officers had called in sick. In a department with approximately 37,000 officers, that is about 14,800 officers off the street. This is significant. One of the trivia comments was about Jake sitting in the precinct house for several hours without anyone assisting him. Earlier in that same scene, the officer covering the desk had stated to Flack that he was covering the entire precinct with just three uniforms. This would me that life safety incidents, such as active shootings, active domestics, etc. would take priority. A 13 year old boy sitting quietly on a bench would be a very low priority.
I stated that there was character development in this episode. I will start with the most evident.
Danny. Danny stated to Stella that he came from a family of cops. This could be a reference to Carmine's real family. His father and a sister served with NYPD. It has been stated that this is inconsistent with the previous background given for Danny, but not really. You can choose your friends, but not your family. The only two real mentions of family are Louie and an uncle who manufactures and installs awnings and canopies. There is no mention about the rest of his family, and this adds an interesting new dynamic to his character. Louie was a member of the Tanglewood Gang, and we don't know what other relatives are or were involved in criminal activity. As coming from a family of cops, this is quite plausible. His father or other relatives could easily have been police officers, and this would explain a great deal about Danny's motivations. It would explain why he works more on instinct and intuition than Mac does, as both of these are primary tools used by line officers such as myself while working the street. It would also explain the antagonism displayed toward Danny by certain members of the force, as having relatives tied to criminal groups, by association, taints the perception of other officers and administrators. This is has great story potential, and I hope the writers make good use of it in the future.
Lindsay. This episode showed how devoted she is to Danny. She stood by him, even defending him when Hawks voiced his disdain for his actions. She contacted him regularly to check on him, and probably to keep him updated on the latest information concerning the work action and commands response to it. A small note: it was noted in the trivia section that Danny coughed when he answered the phone in case it wasn't Lindsay, and someone commented about the caller ID. Most if not all police officers have unlisted/unregistered telephone numbers, which means that the caller ID would show any incoming calls as being unknown or restricted. Danny wouldn't know if it was Lindsay, Mac, or Sinclair calling. Hence the caution.
Adam. This is a character that has developed considerably thru season 4 and into this season. His back story is all too familiar and prevalent today. His ability to bond with Jake came from empathy, not sympathy. This made it all the more difficult for him, as he knew that in getting the truth from Jake he would be forcing him into the criminal justice system. But at the same time, Jake finally had the chance to get the help that he really needed. These were the most significant character development items that I observed. There are other items I would like to comment on, but they really belong in the trivia section.
I have found that CSI:NY seems to have hit its stride this season, with major character development (which is a primary drawing card for me) without becoming a soap opera.