The CSI:NY writers are like sexually inexperienced teenage boys. They know how the act of making out, er, writing a good story should go, but they have absolutely no clue how to put that nebulous and grandiose intuition into practice. They know a good serial killer arc needs a steady, meaty buildup, lots of suspense, and a thrilling, satisfying conclusion, but they are utterly incapable of delivering any of those things with any consistency. They either lay on the melodrama with a garden trowel and trudge toward the predictable conclusion of SuperMac getting his man, or they bumble ineffectually along until they get bored or frustrated and hastily wrap up the dull, childish proceedings with an ending pulled from the pages of Cliched Writing 101 or the ass of a dyspeptic yak. Like so many other CSI:NY villains, the Compass Killer could've been interesting and exciting. I was initially intrigued by the presence of old dust on the evidence. I wanted to know more about his modus operandi and methodology. I wanted to know why he chose his victims. Maybe I've been spoiled by Criminal Minds, which does a superlative job of humanizing the killers while preserving the audience's desire to see them caught, but I'm beyond tired of being promised an intriguing killer, only to have the focus shift abruptly and unceremoniously to the wonders of Mac Taylor and his l33t Justice Fu. He's the dog with the biggest dick in the pack; we get it. Now can we see something other than his supreme awesomeness, please? The arc suffered for the three-and-out constraints of the preferred NY format. It would have been better served had the middle episode stood on its own rather than being haphazardly shoehorned into the excellent and vastly superior Flack "subplot". The advancement of the Compass Killer arc and the flaccid, by-the-numbers backstory we received for the hapless Hollis Eckhart was roundly eclipsed by Flack's graceless introduction of rock bottom, and if it hadn't been for the handy summary on the weekly review, I would've been hard-pressed to recall the details. The fact that he was a psychiatric patient who had calmly walked out of the hospital unobserved was blithely mentioned and then swept under the rug. Had the arc been given another episode unto itself, Eckhart could've been fleshed out. As it is, his flimsy backstory makes him little more than the stereotypical tragic villain. And once again, it's all about Mac. Mac's determination. Mac's urgency. Blah, blah, yeehaw blah. Danny and Flack have a nice moment during the surprisingly tense chase through the alleys, but aside from that, it's Mac cracking the whip on his exhausted employees while he...I don't actually know. Aimlessly searches the streets, I suppose. He's so determined to catch the killer that he orders Stella to keep him on speakerphone and usher him through the lab like some demented Verizon maitre d' just in case new evidence emerges. As if Stella has nothing better to do than play phone valet. Does anyone remember when Stella used to be an accomplished CSI in her own right and not the expository gopher and lab coordinator? I miss that Stella. Maybe she really did get fired after the monstrosity that was "Grounds for Deception" and the "Stella" we see now is a pod person. And of course it's Mac who gets through to Hollis. Of course it is. His loss of Claire in 9/11 grants him the magical power to connect with any bereaved nutjob. Never mind that Flack, who watched his girlfriend die in his arms in the backseat of a squad car and murdered her killer in grief-stricken revenge should have a stronger and more immediate connection(and bless Eddie Cahill for having Flack be aware of that connection even if the writers chose to ignore it in order to further perpetuate Mac's inviolate greatness.). Nope. Mac has to be the mouthpiece of reason. So great are his powers of persuasion that a ghost--a ghost, for God's sake--immediately senses his holiness, er, goodness and urges her husband to listen to him. Not only that, be he cures Hollis' longstanding psychosis, if Hollis' dazed, "What have I done?" is any indication. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since he cured Flack's depression and crisis of conscience last week. And don't even get me started on the dinner scene. His "I approve" glance at Flack and Flack's deferential acknowledgment thereof made me want to cut a bitch. It wasn't enough to have him licking Mac's boots last episode, even though Mac told him to shove off and suffer in silence? Gag me with an elephant's dildo. Boy, those Messers must have the world's most obliging babysitter. As far as I could tell, no one had gone home since Eckhart's escape into the sewers, and at least twenty-four hours--closer to thirty-six--had passed over the course of the episode. I bet that fourteen-year-old with the hunk of Double Bubble in her cheek like a chipmunk with goiter is just counting the days until she can afford that bellybutton ring. Either that, or an elderly pensioner is losing her retirement to the malodorous joys of changing Lucy's filthy diapers. I don't want to hear about Lucy's every grunt, but to introduce a child and then pretend she doesn't affect the parents' ability to work is maddening and insulting. I spent the episode imagining a poor teenage girl waiting resolutely by the phone for someone to call and tell her she could go to bed before she fell to the floor in a sugar coma. And it's December 4th in New York, and no one is wearing anything heavier than a light jacket? Mac is running around in short sleeves? Flack is creeping through the sewers in a vest and light cotton shirt? No gloves? No scarves? Screw you, lazy producers. I can only suspend my disbelief so far for so long. I'm in North Carolina, and it's butt-ass cold. Cold enough for sweaters and flannels and heavy pants. You're telling me that New Yorkers are running around in light, short-sleeved, cotton shirts and khakis? I don't think so, Scooter. Pretend a little harder next time. At least Flack is back to his chow hound groove, and damn, did he look scrumptious in that black shirt. Mmmm. D-, and that's as a reward for Flack in that sexy, sexy shirt.