Actually, I think the character that's highlighted the weakness of the writers in character development is Riley - basically because there's been NO character development for her. At least with Ray, they've actually GIVEN him development and advancement and I think he has developed quite nicely as a character. I disagree -only in part- with that, because I don't think it is attributed to the loss of Grissom & the arrival of Ray. Even with Grissom still there in seasons 7 & 8 , when many of the episodes started focusing on individual characters and the writers lost focus of the 'team' concept is when it started to fall apart - way before the thoughts of Grissom leaving. After the first few Ray/non-Grissom episodes (which I didn't care for), I think the writers have done a great job in bringing light back to the 'team' again. They've surprisingly renewed my interest in the show, which had been seriously lacking in seasons 7 & 8.