Welcome Back, CSI-

So I've spent all summer waiting to find out just who shot Horatio Caine, and just where he was shot (i.e. whether it was fatal or not). Whoever it was, the season ender wrapped up with a fairly broad hint that the Unpleasantly Smug member of the CSI crew was somehow involved in the killing. Personally, I'm hoping it was Kim Coates, since I'm a fan of that actor, and it's good to see him getting work.

The biggest question, though, is whether there's going to be an ironic quip and 'throw-to-the-credits', since Horatio's not around to do it. Will they avoid the ironic quip entirely? Will everyone take off their sunglasses at once, and observe a moment of silent respect for he whose sunglasses shall be taken off no more? Only time will tell, if by time you mean one minute, because that's when the new episode starts.

The episode opens with a recap of the manner in which Horatio was shot in the season ender, which then fades to the Unpleasantly Smug Guy and the new coroner from the season ender zipping up a body bag and loading it into a truck. Then the CSI team arrives. After the body's already gone. Which is exactly how they normally operate. USG tells Eric and Callie that Horatio's dead, which suggests that it's all some kind of elaborate scam, and that faking his death is somehow vital to catching his killer. Although, unless he actually suspects Eric and Callie to be involved in the murder, it's kind of mean to keep them in the dark.

Rather confusingly, when they showed black and white photos of Horatio's 'enemies', they were so cut off that I wasn't able to recognize all of them. Obviously Kim Coates was in the lineup (yay!), but it looked like the second person was Frank, Horatio's sidekick who, despite having to listen to all of the quips, certainly didn't have a motive to murder Caine. The last person I didn't even recognize, perhaps owing to the fact that I rarely, if ever, watch CSI: Miami. The show also flashes back to USG getting a suggestive text message in order to remind the audience that he's a vital red herring to be suspected.

Then they throw to the commerical with the assurance that they're going to 'get' whoever did this. No sunglasses, no careful posing in profile... if Horatio's dead, I'm not sure the show can survive his absence.

Back from commerical and it's a morgue scene, which is certainly weighing things more in the 'Horatio's actually dead' camp. But then Eric looks at the body, and finds out it's not Horatio. Oh well. Turns out the body was taken by a Federal Agent, but Eric is too busy being indignant to get the name of said agent.

Rather confusingly, Eric's back at the airport in the next scene, suggeting that he drove across town just to check on a body, then drove right back to continue the whole CSI thing. One of the other CSIs (the latin girl whose name they, infuriatingly, never seem to mention), is examining the pool of Horatio's blood while distinctly not wearing a harinet.

They find a bit of blood in a larger pool of (suspiciously moist, given that Eric's been to the lab and back since Horatio got shot blood, and figure out that the fleck belongs to someone who was killed in prison the day before. That's right, they get DNA results from a dried fleck of blood in less than half an hour. Wow.

This leads them to a henchmen of Ortega, the drug dealer, who was the only person released from prison that day - apparently he elected to still wear his prison shoes after being released. How convenitent. Was he arrested barefoot? He was at the airport, planning to shoot Horatio, when he witnessed the shooting, then he took a photo of the body so he could claim to Ortega (the guy who made futuristic bullets from the season ender) that he killed Horatio. In the phone's camera, they see someone standing on a hangar.

It turns out that up on the roof is a bandage dropped by a Federal Agent, the same one who stole the body. They get his cell phone, and find out that he sent a suspicous message 'it's done' to a phone number, which they dial, hoping to find his accomplice in the assassination of Horatio Caine. The phone rings, revealing that it's USG's cell phone! Which raises the question: Why didn't either of them know USG's cell phone number?

USG quickly cracks, revealing the entire scheme - they faked Horatio's death to get the arms dealer off his back, and the arms dealer's man at the airport was there to kill Horatio. Then we cut to Horatio, and the time limit on the idea that Horatio was dead clocks in at just under twenty minutes.

This raises a larger point, though - we're 20 minutes into an episode of CSI: Miami, and there hasn't actually been a murder yet. Horatio goes up to check on Elizabeth Berkeley and Horatio Jr., and tells them he's got to go underground, but it's not exactly clear why. Do they know who's trying to kill him, don't they? Or is something more suspicious going on?

Back from commerical again, Caine is meeting a suspicious man in the everglades, doing an overall terrible job of pretending to be dead. Turns out that the suspicious man is a Cuban businessman whose life Horatio saved, and now the marker is being called in. Horatio collects ten million dollars that he's going to need to get teh sci-fi bullets off the street. But can he pull it off?

Eric takes Ortega onto the streets, in the hopes that being seen with cops will be enough to motivate him to reveal who he sold the bullets to. Then, in another amazing coincidence, as they're driving around, they stumble across a couple of armed robbers shooting up an armored car with the magic bullets. Then, the armed robbers escape using the magic of a fade to white, which covers the fact that, the way they were burning through ammo, there's absolutely no way they could have gotten away from the cops while laden down with any money at all. In another lucky coincidence, Ortega manages to escape from the cop car during the melee, leaving him out to cause more trouble for Caine.

It turns out (based on a fleck of skin) that the heist was pulled by bikers, and one of them is easily arrested and brought in for questioning. He taunts Eric (who's questioning him, for some reason) about the fact that, with armor-piercing bullets, they're the ones running the show now! Eric then walks into the next room to talk to Horatio about the situation. That's right, Horatio was waiting in the next room. Which, like all rooms in that police station, has huge glass walls. This is the worst job I've ever seen anyone do at pretending to be dead.

Now we get the details of Horatio's plan - he wants a lady cop to deal with Kim Coates, hoping that he'll sell her all of the sci-fi bullets. Kim immediately assumes that it's a setup, then decides to do business anyway. The idea is to get Kim to buy back all of the bullets he sold to gang members around town, and then arrest (or ideally presumably kill) him when he's ready to sell them in bulk.

As we move to the next commericial, I have to wonder: what kind of timeframe is this all taking place over? The fact that it's always day in CSI: Miami certainly gets confusing, especially when people don't change their clothes. As a result, it really feels like the entire plan to fake Caine's death all happened the same day he was dealing with the fake ammo, and now everything after it is happening that afternoon. Suffice to say, it's not the most coherently-edited show. Having the occasional transitional scene take place at night would go a long way towards fixing this, as well as covering for the fact that DNA searches never take more than ten minutes.

Now we're back at the scene of the ambush, shooting the editing all to hell once again - so Eric took a break from INVESTIGATING the CRIME SCENE to go back to the station and interview a suspect, then went back to the CRIME SCENE to finish INVESTIGATING it? Since they had a prisoner actively fleeing, shoudln't that have been their priority?

Then they investigate just how the armored car was stopped - in a lift from the Italian Job, they managed to turn all the lights red, save one. How was this accomplished? Apparently Federal Agents have infra-red dingles that allow them to change lights at will, and this partiuclar dingle is owned by an ATF agent that Callie used to date, who's undercover with the bikers who robbed the armored car.

In a lucky bit of policework, Ortega called the henchman from the airport, allowing them to use the cell phone signal to find him, because he called from the place where he was planning on escaping from. Conveniently, he's still there when the cops roll up, and they're able to arrest him without incident.

Then it's back to the Ron storyline, as we watching him buying the bullets back from the bikers. Now it's time (since it hadn't happened in the episode yet) for someone to praise Horatio out of the blue. Both Ron and the bikers agree that, with Caine out of the way and armor-piercing bullets in their guns, criminals will now own the city! That's right, apparently it's Horatio Caine's intervention that's keeping Miami, FLA from turning into the Road Warrior.

Next thing you know, we're down at the dock, where Ron is planning to flee with the ammothe Lady Cop's money, and it seems like Elizabeth Berkelely has gone back to Ron. But it's all a scam, and Horatio shows up to arrest him for possession of illegal ammo. Ron decides to shoot it out instead, which seems like a bit of a stretch, given that he hasn't done anything worse than buy a few illegal munitions. One of Horatio's bullets pierces a propane tank, causing the ship to go up in a really spectacular explosion, which, of course, cover's Ron's escape into the water.

The epsidoe ends with Eric and Horatio discussing the futility of endeavor - no matter how many criminals they put away, there's always more crime just around the corner. Left unresolved at the end of the episode are a few points, such as: Were they were able to catch the other gang members who were involved in the gun heist? Was the Cuban man is upset about not getting his ten million dollars back? On that subject - since they assumed Ron was going to use that money to buy the ammo back, and were in fact following him around taking pictures of him doing so, shouldn't they have marked the money so that they could then go and arrest all the gang members on federal gun trafficking charges?

Well, despite the general failure of the episode's writing an editing, Horatio's back, and that's all that matters to me. I'll be continuing to cover CSI: Miami so long as he's out there saying ridiculous things and taking off (or putting on) his glasses.

Final note - I'm not much for identifying music, but the cue that played over the 'dramatic' scenes this week sounded a lot like the dramatic tune from Terminator 2.

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