First name: Danny
Age: 30 something
Job: csi level 3
Write a character biography.
It has been implied that Danny (rarely referred to as Daniel) Messer grew up on Staten Island, in a family of law enforcers and law breakers (as is suggested in the episode "Tanglewood"). As a result, he formed his own set of hybrid ethics, seeking justice where it can be found. Though very little is known about the Messer family, Danny openly admits that he has had a rocky relationship with his older brother, Louie. Despite the strained relationship, Danny would come to lend money to Louie on more than one occasion (episode 211, "Trapped"). It is later learned that the brothers' relationship was permanently scarred by the events of a single night in 1991. After promising to take Danny to Atlantic City with some of his friends, the group stopped off at Giants stadium where Louie and two others began to severely beat a drug dealer, telling him it was an initiation into the Tanglewood Boys gang. When Danny protested, Louie called him a disgrace and told him to leave. It was later revealed that Louie deliberately sent Danny away to prevent any involvement in the subsequent murder of that drug dealer (episode 220, "Run Silent, Run Deep"). Due to Danny's DNA appearing on an old cigarette butt at the crime scene, Mac is forced to temporarily revoke Danny's badge until Danny is proven innocent. Though hurt, Danny understood why and obliges without complaint. The cold case is eventually solved, but Louie is beaten into a coma by the remaining members of the Tanglewood Boys. Danny is shown explaining that he finally understands Louie's actions. Later, Danny tearfully admits his grief and remorse to Mac.
Although Danny and his older brother grew apart in their teenage years, it can be said that they were close as children, since Danny fondly recalls rowing in "the bay" with his brother in their grandfather's boat to dive for bottles (episode 402, "The Deep"). He goes on to say that on one occasion their boat drifted into the harbor, and they were taken home by the Coast Guard, much to the dismay of their mother who, in turn, didn't speak much to her youngest son for a week thereafter, he describes it as "the quietest week ever."
After breaking his wrist in a fight as a young man, Danny left his growing baseball career, and entered the NYPD Police Academy, graduating first in his class (episode 122, "The Closer"). Despite this, because of his volatile personality, and possibly his history on the sidelines of the Tanglewood Boys gang, he was considered a bad fit for the CSI lab, and Lab Supervisor Mac Taylor was strongly cautioned not to hire him. Mac's decision to take him on is an honor and a responsibility that Danny attempts to live up to each day.
In The Party's Over, Danny tells Stella that he comes from a family of cops, though the details of this are left unclear.
In The Season 6 Premiere Epilogue, Danny was shown seriously injured during a drive-by shootout that ended the season 5 finale. He used a wheelchair for the first four episodes of season six, and the implication was that he had used it all summer long. His wife and fellow CSI, Lindsay Monroe, maintained a steadfast belief that he would teach their daughter to play baseball and dance at her wedding, and she was proven at least probably correct. By the fourth episode he was taking physical therapy. By the fifth episode, he was walking again, albeit with the aid of a cane. Later episodes show Danny to be walking normally, though occasionally affected by fatigue and stress.
Outside the lab
It has been implied that Danny is in his early 30s; Lindsay Monroe made a reference to his 30th birthday (episode 208, "Bad Beat"). Danny attended college and played minor league baseball until his wrist was broken during a baseball game that he was playing in. He took a ball in the head, and before he had a chance to do the same to the pitcher, the benches were cleared and he got caught up in the pile-up, shattering his wrist and ending any hopes for a career as a baseball player (episode 509, "The Box"). He is also a very good handball player, once using his skills to acquire evidence (episode 216, "Cool Hunter"). He grew up in the same neighborhood as the Tanglewood boys, but maintains he was never a part of the gang like his brother, Louie, was (episode 220, "Run Silent, Run Deep"). Danny is also known to have a fondness for New York style pizza (see "Trapped").
On the job
On the show, Danny has displayed a tendency to follow his intuition when solving a case, rather than relying on the evidence, for which Mac has criticised him (episode 105, "A Man a Mile").
As a Detective Third Class, in Season 1, Danny is given solo control of his first crime scene, in episode 6 "Outside Man". Mac tells Danny and Aiden that the crime scene at a robbery homicide is theirs, and that Danny is the officer in charge. At the end of the episode, Mac tells Danny that he is on the promotion grid, meaning that his training and experience have prepared him to sit for the next examinations for Detective Second Class.
He is temporarily removed from the promotion grid (meaning he must wait to be reinstated, and then wait for the next examination schedule) after being severely reprimanded for working to solve a case even after being ordered off it. (episode 119, "Crime & Misdemeanor"). He later works his way up to Detective First Class.
Danny is a naturally suspicious person, though he gets along well with the rest of the CSI team. Detective Don Flack is one of the few people he truly confides in. He comes to treat Mac as a stand-in father figure at times, accepting feedback and seeking advice over the years. Danny is somewhat annoyed when he discovers he is the last to learn about the romantic relationship between Mac and Medical Examiner Peyton Driscoll, especially that "even Flack" knew about it before he did (episode 316, "Heart of Glass").
Danny is particularly sensitive when it comes to suspects who act out on the loss of a loved one. In episode 304, "Hung Out To Dry," Danny tells murder suspect Shane Casey that he understands Shane's desire to clear his brother Ian's name, but does not agree with Shane's methods. Danny's words come back to haunt him later when, during the events of "Raising Shane" (episode 311), Shane tries to exploit Danny's sympathy for his situation, as well as Danny's concern for Louie, to get Danny at gunpoint to process the since-abandoned crime scene to obtain evidence that would prove Ian's innocence. To Shane's despair, the CSI brings evidence with him that proves Ian's guilt, and the police take Shane into custody without incident.
Danny takes it upon himself to trade shifts with Lindsay Monroe in episode 324, "Snow Day," taking her place to assist lab tech Adam Ross at a warehouse crime scene. When he arrives, he is taken hostage and held along with Adam by Irish mobsters who hope to use the situation to distract the NYPD while others of their clan break into the lab to retrieve a huge cocaine seizure from earlier in the day. Danny is badly beaten during his captivity (taking a total of 4 blows to the head, one to the spine and having his left hand broken), but with Adam's help, manages to take down their captors in time to be rescued by the officers gathered outside.
In The Party's Over, Danny backs out of a crime scene, claiming to be sick, and goes on a strike of sorts, or blue flu, due to pay issues within the NYPD and the crime lab. When Stella Bonasera arrives at his apartment to confront him, she reluctantly agrees that she sees where he's coming from. He also earns the ire of Hawkes, who refers to him as "selfish". At the end of the episode, the two seem to have reconciled.
In mid season 6, Danny get acupuncture done to his back. While he was there, his wallet, dog tags, and badge were stolen. Later on, Danny found his dog tags at a crime scene that he and Flack were working. On the tags were found the prints of Shane Casey, the escaped serial killer from Season 3, who has a history of targeting those who he sees as working against him.
In the season finale Danny, Lindsay and Lucy go on a vacation. While on vacation they are unaware that the serial killer, Casey, is following them. The team try to find them by their cell phone signals but Danny doesn't have his and Lindsay turned hers off. Lindsay turns her phone on to take a photo of Danny and Lucy before entering a lighthouse, therefore the other CSI's are able to locate them. While visiting the Lighthouse, they meet Casey. Casey tells Lindsay and Lucy to leave because his fight's "not with them" and they go down to the police. In the end Casey ends up falling off of the Lighthouse. Danny tries to help him and tells him to hold on. Casey lets go after saying "Don't worry Messer, I will." to Danny. In the last moments of the episode, Lucy is crying so Danny wakes up to go get her while Lindsay remains asleep. When he goes into her room, Casey is seen holding a crying Lucy with a smile on his face. Then the screen goes black and a gun shot is heard, leaving Danny's status a mystery.
In the season 7 premiere, it is shown that Danny is still alive. Lindsay then comes into the room with her gun and orders Casey to drop his gun, but Casey threatens to kill Lucy if she didn't do as he ordered. Even though Danny told her to do as ordered, Lindsay fires a shot at Casey (the shot heard at the end of season 6), killing him instantly. Danny then runs to get Lucy out of the hands of Casey. Lindsay was then honored for her bravery. In the season 7 finale, it is revealed that Danny has taken, and passed, the Sergeant's exam.