Yup, that's exactly my problem with the way Ray was written. Add in the hackneyed Haskell story arc (after his first two episodes; those were brilliant), and a good idea -- Ray as originally written -- completely lost whatever potential it had. I don't know if the powers that be resorted to some sort of test marketing to determine what they thought audiences wanted to see out of Ray, but I almost got the sense that they felt a "lead" character who wasn't in the leadership role would be perceived as weak, which audiences wouldn't accept. So they turned Ray into some sort of supersleuth, in a lame attempt to fast-track him into the leadership role. That's just not going to work for a show that's been on as long as "CSI" has, with characters to whom the fan base has built a strong loyalty. It's sort of amazing that they didn't know that; how could they not know? But there appears to be a real blind side when it comes to most of the audience. I have to wonder if they went into panic mode when Petersen finally came through and said, "I'm not coming back." It's like they came up with a plan -- a good one -- to replace him in the short term, but they never really figured out how to sustain the series over the long term.