Greater Good
Greater Good
Season 5
Number 23
Writer Anthony E. Zuiker
Director Alex Zakrzewski
Original Airdate 6 May, 2009
Previous Episode: Yahrzeit
Next Episode: Grounds For Deception

Greater Good is the twenty-third episode in Season Five of CSI: NY.


As Lindsay goes into labor, Mac suspects that a man who served a prison sentence in a manslaughter case is protecting the actual culprit.


As hit man Ronnie DeSoto takes an assignment, Mac Taylor meets Talmadge Neville, newly released from an eighteen month prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter, as he gets off the prison bus. Mac tells Neville that he's convinced Neville wasn't driving the car that struck and killed Maris Donovan when she was riding her bike. Neville puts off the CSI, insisting he wouldn't have gone to Rikers for eighteen months if he hadn't been responsible for the girl's death. Mac recalls processing the scene with Stella and finding a cell phone with a half-finished text message on the floor. He tells Flack that he recalls Neville rubbing his right shoulder after the accident, indicating he was in the passenger seat and not the driver's seat. The orientation of his thumbprint on the seatbelt release and the cell phone landing on the floor rather than the seat of the car corroborate Mac's suspicions. Neville refuses to budge on his story, noting that he was a struggling single father who wouldn't have thrown everything away for someone else.

While Mac uses his day off to pursue the truth behind the Donovan case, Lindsay returns from Montana and promptly goes into labor. A nervous Danny meets her at the hospital. When Mac goes to see them, he catches sight of Neville's daughter, Karita, a surgeon at the hospital. Suddenly Mac realizes who Neville was protecting, and he confides his suspicions to Stella. Stella turns the screws on the young woman, but Karita refuses to admit she was in the car. Mac asks Sid to pull the autopsy report on Maris for him to see if there was evidence that someone performed life-saving measures on her just after the accident, and Sid confirms that some of her injuries are consistent with that conjecture. He also tells Mac that someone pulled the autopsy records a week earlier, but he doesn't have any information of who might have accessed them. Mac pays a visit to Katherine Donovan, Maris' bereaved mother, and tells her he's reopening the case, sharing his suspicions about Karita with her. Flack and several officers go to Neville's apartment, but the man isn't there. Flack finds a white bike pedal wrapped in a copy of Maris Donovan's autopsy report. When Hawkes sees Adam examining the pedal, which has been painted white, he recognizes it as a ghost rider—a bike painted entirely in white to memorialize a rider killed in an accident.

Flack and Stella are surprised when hit man Ronnie DeSoto walks into the precinct and tells them he was hired to kill Neville—and then the person who hired him changed the hit to Karita. He tells them he doesn't kill women or children, and that the person who hired him—a woman in her 40s—is probably desperate enough to carry out the hit herself. The prints on the pictures of Neville and Karita that DeSoto turns over to them match the prints on Maris Donovan's autopsy report found at Neville's apartment. Unable to find either Neville or Karita, Mac goes back to Katherine Donovan, telling her he knows she hired DeSoto. She tells him she's still grief-stricken after two years, and he shares with her that his wife died on 9/11. Rather than arresting her, Mac offers her compassion—so long as she doesn't harm Neville or his daughter. Karita shows up at the police station and confesses she was indeed driving the car, but her father insisted on taking the rap, fearing that the accident would ruin her future. Neville, too, pays a visit at the precinct, asking for the bike pedal and returning it to Maris' memorial. At the hospital, Lindsay gives birth to a baby girl and, surrounded by the team, she and Danny ask Mac to be their baby's godfather. The CSI leader happily accepts.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Geoff Meed as Ronnie DeSoto
  • Charles S. Dutton as Talmadge Neville
  • Mare Winningham as Katherine Donovan
  • Mandi Kreisher as Maris Donovan
  • Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Dr. Karita Neville
  • Brendan Kelly as Nick Donley

See Also[]

CSI:NY Season 5
VeritasPage TurnerTurbulenceSex, Lies, and SiliconeThe Cost of LivingEnoughDead InsideMy Name is Mac TaylorThe BoxThe TriangleForbidden FruitHelpRush to JudgementShe's Not ThereThe Party's OverNo Good DeedGreen PiecePoint of No ReturnCommunication BreakdownPrey (NY)The Past, Present and MurderYahrzeitGreater GoodGrounds For DeceptionPay Up