CSI: Miami Season 4, Part 1 Review
From The Grave: Horatio investigates a killing at a funeral. Unfortunately, this interrupts his confession. "I'm confused!" That might be due to wearing sunglasses in an already dark confessional. Horatio leaves the church in his giant Hummer - a car that is millimetres away from being classified as a monster truck - and tracks down the crime to the Mala Noche gang, finding a rape victim and, simply by looking at her, not only discerns that she is pregnant but who the father is. Horatio brings down biggest gang on the East coast. Horatio returns to church with, literally, blood on his hands. God, once again, feels humbled by his presence.
Blood In The Water: An explosion on a boat leads to a couple of missing teenagers, the death of a foreign exchange student and ten million dollars in gold bars resting on the ocean floor. Best Horatio moment? "Don't test me!" said entirely without his hiding behind sunglasses but better comes with his calling Alexx to identify the cause of death. You, me and John McCririck could tell you he was a burns victim but Horatio feels the need to call on Alyxx. Perhaps he doesn't actually bother much with the nitty-gritty.
Prey: Sarah Jennings has come to Miami with a school trip and goes missing. Horatio becomes interested after seeing a photograph of Jennings. "She's pretty." Frank isn't very hopeful but with Little Horatio stirring, H says, "There's a chance this girl is alive and we...*puts on sunglasses*...are gonna find her!" Yeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! So, that look of disappointment, that kneeling beside the body and the excerpt of The Flower Duet from Léo Delibes' opera Lakme would be Horatio not finding Sarah alive, then? "Sarah...I'm so sorry."
48 Hours To Life: Whose side are they on? The side of...*puts on sunglasses*...truth and justice, that's who! When Frank Tripp interrogates a suspect in a murder and manages to extract a confession before Horatio gets his giant car across Miami, Caine isn't sure that the kid is guilty. While the kid gets pissed on, buggered, his wrist broken and has his lunch bag stolen by the bigger kids in prison, Horatio works the evidence with teeth marks and saliva on a prison bunk telling him all that he needs to know.
Three-Way: Three bored housewives, a pool boy and a dead body...it so could have been Confessions of a CSI. With hotel management declaring that murder simply doesn't happen in their hotel, Horatio finds a key to the penthouse suite on the body and Frank says it's now their primary crime scene. "Mr Seabourn, you are about to lose your five-star status!" Yeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Owing something to CSI: Crime Scene Investigations' Rashomama, this plays out a crime from the point of view of the three suspects. Very little Horatio, even less Alexx but it does have Ryan Wolfe warning Delko off those pot-smoking kit-thieves when he spots rolling papers in his kit. But if there's someone who really needs to smoke an entire plantation of pot it's Delko.
Under Suspicion: Two girls drive off a bridge and Horatio is the suspect? Must have been his giant car being far too massive for anything else to exist on the road at the same time as it. Oh, he's actually the suspect when a woman's body is pulled out of the water. Having admitted to seeing her and being the last person to see her alive, the finger of suspicion points to Horatio, who's shocked to see his girlfriend's body. He...removes his sunglasses. And I thought that only followed a snappy one-liner. Who might have the motive to frame Caine?
Felony Flight: Again? And that's the second time I've asked that in my time reviewing CSI for this site. Two girls in the back of a convertible sports car flash a plane as it flies overhead, managing to bring it down. Network television prevents us from seeing breasts that impressive but does leave us with a serial killer on the run and heading to New York. Mac Taylor of CSI: New York - ooh, those lovely dark blues and blacks - does the lion's share of the work in bringing in Henry Darius. Or does he? Hard to say here given how the second half of this crossover episode is missing.
Nailed: "What happened, Eric?" It's said by Caine in the same tone as a teacher might ask on seeing toilets filled with loo paper surrounded by a handful of guilty-looking schoolboys. Only now it's as Ryan Wolfe is being wheeled into a hospital with a three-inch nail sticking out of his eye. Caine takes Delko back to the crime scene, to where a woman was murdered just as she was about to sign her divorce papers. Says Frank, "No matter how you cut it, divorce sucks!" "Frank...*puts on sunglasses*...it's a killer!" Yeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! And that's where the nailgun comes in.
Urban Hellraisers: "Alexx...*puts on sunglasses*...Miami has a new breed of criminal!" And what kind of new breed of criminal would that be? I don't know as Horatio doesn't actually say, just kind of wanders off into the bright, Floridian sunlight, leaving both the audience and his team guessing. As much of an enigma as Buddha, that man! Heelys, videogames...it's the death of society. Or at least the death of one member of society thanks to Horatio shooting him dead, trying to put an end to a Grand Theft Auto-styled, real-life videogame that's piling up with dead bodies.
Shattered: A drugs lord is found dead within his mansion but the crime scene is contaminated by a dealer falling in through the roof onto the body. Before taking him to the station, this dealer tells Caine that he has something on a dirty cop, a personal phone number and drugs delivery service to Eric Delko. Frank asks, "What are you going to do?" "I...*puts on sunglasses*...am gonna get to the truth!" Yeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Elsewhere, Calleigh gets her gun lab back and looks happier than any woman has ever done, which, unfortunately, might say more about me than her.
Payback: Lab assistant Natalia Boa Vista joins a press conference outside the courthouse where a convicted rapist is set free following an advance in DNA testing. Calleigh is not particularly happy about that but Caine reopens the case with nothing but a pubic hair as evidence. Meanwhile, Alexx pulls a surgical sponge out of a victim of a traffic accident. "It's no infection I've ever seen" says her assistant. A bloodied piece of cloth with a visible seam? No shit!
The Score: "Score at will! Nail chicks like a rock star!" Caine has no need for a seminar like that - he has no trouble picking up women, it's keeping them (alive) that he has trouble with - but he does have his suspicions when the body of a man tumbles out of a wardrobe. This case puts Caine into the dating scene with a jealous wife, an ice-pick and, with Eric's sister, five bags of marijuana. The irony of the case is not lost on the CSI team as they nail the killer and remind him that he may well be someone else's date...behind bars!
If you're coming anew to CSI at this point, you really should have begun elsewhere, especially in light of choosing CSI: Miami as a starting point. New York or Las Vegas would be much better choice. So I would think that this will be familiar to anyone likely to buy it. The splitting of the seasons into two sets apart, Momentum have always done a very good job with CSI and probably one that's easy to overlook given how consistent they have been throughout the release schedule. In as much as this is my least favourite CSI to watch - the bright oranges and reds of Miami don't appeal to me as much as the blues and greys of New York - this is a good-looking DVD release with a fair amount of detail but with a very clear presentation of the rich colours of the show. The audio track - a DD5.1 track - is also very good and actually had me looking out the window at one point to hear if the car revving was behind me out of a speaker or outside my house. With subtitles throughout, though not on the commentaries, this is, once again, a very impressive job by Momentum who, if they could fix this half-season nonsense, would be doing CSI proud on Region 2.
The only bonus material on this set is a bunch of commentaries spread throughout the episodes, each one with a writer, director or producer. There are six in total - From the Grave (Elizabeth Devine, Karen Gaviola and Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf), Prey (Commentary with Scott Lautanen and Corey Miller), Felony Flight (Elizabeth Devine, Anthony E Zuiker and Scott Lautanen), Urban Hellraisers (Don Tardino, Matt Earl Beesley and Eagle Egilsson), Shattered (Ildy Modrovich and Scott Lautanen) and Payback (Marc Dube and Sam Hill) - but they're typical CSI commentaries. Those with the producers, Zuiker and/or Devine, are the most interesting as they tend to describe the show as a whole rather than on a specific episode. On the rest, it's a mix of writers and directors who talk about the episode, the guest actors, the principal cast and the odd titbit of forensic science they've learned from CSI but they're not terribly interesting listened to one after the other.
Actually, this season, although fantastically silly at times, is also more entertaining that I'd have given it credit for in those bleak, post-Speedle days. Delko, however, is still amongst the most awful characters on television and Calleigh Duquesne isn't a great deal better but in Caine, who's a touch more brooding in this season than he was previously, Caruso has toned his performance down a little. There are still moments of unintentional comedy - no one does that "Hold up there!" look back over the left shoulder better than Caruso - but this suggests the second half of this season will get much darker. Far better, though, to watch it to see Caruso's bizarre playing of one of the most ridiculous cops ever to appear on television. And, as a bonus, the reason behind Justice Shades and Jim Carrey illustrating Caruso's particular talent.