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The CSI Scene That Went Too Far

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" — which ran for more than 325 episodes during its 15 year-long run (via IMDb) and became the progenitor of well-known spinoffs like "CSI: Miami" or "CSI: Vegas" — doubtlessly did a lot right to capture the attention of its considerable audience as it grew into a veritable TV juggernaut. Not among the series' strong suits, however, is its relationship to reality. Simply put, viewers interested in crime TV that at least somewhat resembles real-life investigative work should tune into another show.

One notable detail that single-handedly undermines any pretense of realism across numerous episodes is the fact that evidence that would actually require days or weeks to analyze comes back to the CSI team within moments. Ultimately, this is one of many specifics of forensic work the series incorporates unrealistically. An episode from Season 4 of "CSI: New York" even features what is arguably one of the dumbest hacking scenes of all time across both film and TV.

The one time "CSI" really took too much liberty with reality, however, pertained not to its investigators but to the victim of one of the violent crimes they're tasked with investigating.

Cassie's survival in Season 6 defies all logic

In the "CSI" Season 6 episode "Gum Drops," its protagonists investigate what appears to be the murder of a family of four, made all the more puzzling by the fact that blood from only three family members is left at the scene of the crime. While blood from two parents and an older son are present, evidence of their missing daughter Cassie (Mary Mouser) is absent entirely. Nearing the episode's end, investigator Nick Stokes (George Eads) discovers Cassie still living, albeit close to death.

User Elementaryfan, in a post to the "CSI" Reddit, found the means of Cassie's survival, revealed when Nick finds her still living, to be the most unrealistic moment in the entire series. In total, Cassie survives not only having her throat slit by her captors, but being left for dead for two full days with no sustenance or means to attend to her wound, entirely unconscious.

While some over-the-top "CSI" moments are hypothetically possible — like scenes where an investigator will identify a criminal by zooming into a photo of the eyeball of a bystander present at the scene of a crime — no degree of futuristic technology could explain Cassie's survival in "Gum Drop." Having someone live through an untreated slit throat for two days while unconscious is far outside the realm of possibility, and an instance of "CSI" truly taking things too far.