CSI Miami Episode 802

After the flashback-intensive season opener it’s time for things to get back to normal. After a ‘character’ scene in which we discover that things have been tense between Callie and Eric because of the whole him committing a crime and her shooting him thing, Jesse (from last week) shows up, looking for work. He picked the worst possible day to start, as this guy-

Shoots up the place Terminator-style (only without killing anyone), and takes a few hostages, demanding to talk to Horatio. What does he want? We’ll find out after the credits!


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Megan Fox edition

Well I, for one, was shocked by this week's episode. The season opened with what was, by a wide margin, the cleanest episode I've seen in ages. No rape jokes, no homophobia jokes, no egregious racism jokes!

I know, shocking, right? It seems that the show was so absurdly clean that it drove the comedians a little nuts, which caused new cast member Jenny Slate to substitute an actual swear word for the placeholder 'frickin' during a sketch about biker chicks.


Christopher Pike Book Club: Slumber Party (1985)

So, for reasons too boring to get into, I find myself with a near-complete collection of Christopher Pike's young adult horror/mystery novels. Somehow I missed out on reading these while they were actually age-appropriate, and now I'm going to make up for it with the Christopher Pike Book Club, where I, and I know this is a stretch, don't entirely spoil every detail of the book, but rather give an overview of the material. Just in case you want to go out and pick up the book for yourselves.

I'll be covering them in chronological order by publication date, except for a miniseries that we'll talk about when we get there. If there are any recurring themes, plots, or character types, we'll track them as well.

Oh, and I reserve the right to utterly spoil any of the books if they prove to have a story that's singular in its quality, craptitude, or discussability.

So, without any further ado-


Criminal Minds 111: Blood Hungry

Synopsis – It’s a bad day in Tennessee, as a mysterious man in a hoodie closes in on a small suburban house where a child is practicing singing a hymn. Things don’t get too dark, though, as the child heads off with a teen before hoodieman arrives, and kills the woman inside.

We then head off to the team’s meeting room, where they announce that the opening was actually the second in town over the past two days. In addition to the woman brutally beaten to death there was also a kindly old grandpa who was viciously stabbed. The seeming randomness of the crime suggests a psychotic killer, operating based on delusions. One unexplained fact? There were strange bloody rings on the floor of both crime scenes, like someone had put a bucket down and let blood gather around it.

On the scene of the latest crime, Elle notices that from the singing child’s point of view while singing, he should have had a perfectly good look at the killer, which he proves to have – he announces that the guy had a blood lip and looked bedraggled, and put one finger to his lips, asking the child to keep quiet about his presence. They jump to the conclusion that this must be the killer, even though it contradicts what we saw at the opening.

Of course, in this shot the killer is empty-handed, even though he’s about to kill the woman with a shotgun that he stole from the first crime scene. That’s a weird error for them to have made.


CSI Miami Episode 801

CSI Miami is back! Catch the fever! Whooo!

Okay, seriously though, there was something of a cliffhanger last time, with Eric stumbling out of the car he rescued his father in, after having been accidentally shot by Callie. Why, you may ask, did he leave the car and go wandering into the everglades? That’s not a question I have an answer to. Hopefully Eric will survive long enough to tell us all.

Horatio and the team finds Eric barely conscious by the side of a road, and as they perform extreme life-saving measures Eric drifts off into a flashback. We can tell it’s a flashback rather than a dream sequence because of two factors – 1: A little countdown showing the year roll back to 1997, and 2: song choice.

That’s an oddly correct song choice for setting the date, from a show that’s usually way behind the times. After all, they did a ‘the Bachelor’ episode roughly five years after everyone stopped caring about the Bachelor. I’m surprised he wasn’t listening to Nirvana.


CSI Miami Episode 725

It’s season ender time here on CSI: Miami, and I’m sure we all know what that means… Cliffhanger! Well, probably. But things move quickly right from the start. Wishmaster is poisoned in prison! His hospital transport is attacked! And then, rather preposterously pushed in front of a train! Because it’s plausible that they could have arranged the transport and attack to have happened at exactly the moment when a train would roll by. But maybe I’m being too hard on the show – it is a cool stunt:

Suddenly no longer choking to death on his own blood, Wishmaster grabs a gun off a fallen cop and runs for his life, while the cars that caused the accident make no attempt to rescue him. Rather confusingly Horatio is then on the scene, standing over the dying guard. I’m not sure what happened to the other two cops, who were shooting at Wishmaster. So, when presented with a badly injured prison guard (whose injuries Horatio didn’t witness, so his only clear symptom is a bloody uniform front), what does Horatio do? Run and get medical supplies? Sure, the ambulance is on fire, but he's got to have some in that hummer of his. Does he start extreme lifesaving measures? No, you’re thinking of what a decent person with a heart might do in this situation. This is Horatio Caine we’re talking about. He’s too busy looking concerned while watching a man die to, you know, actually do anything about it.

Aw, well at least it's heartfelt neglect, right?


CSI Miami Episode 723

It’s a busy day down at the old cafe, where a waitress is preparing some bananas foster, best known as the dish that explodes into flame. It proves an appropriate choice when, moments after it’s served, someone throws a grenade through the window! That’s not the end of the carnage, though – after getting the corpses back to the morgue there’s a second blast! It seems that a second grenade’s trigger had failed to release, and been blown up someone’s pant leg. It wasn’t until it fell out onto the floor of the morgue that it finally went off.

Neither grenade proves to have been that deadly – only two of the six people at the diner are killed, and no one’s hurt in the morgue. Apparently that’s a common thing for grenades: Not being deadly. Especially when dealing with homemade ones, as the team is this week. The only real damage done in the morgue is to New ME’s reputation. After the blast goes off she desperately scoots across the floor grabbing her illegal prescription pills.


CSI Miami Episode 722

It’s the Bachelor on CSI Miami! Dietrich Bader is playing the host, and the episode begins with opening section of the final episode. I’m sure this is hilarious satire if you’re familiar with the Bachelor, but I’ve never seen an episode, so it’s a little lost on me. The episode takes a turn for the shocking when, after the fakeout/dismissal of one of the contestants, they check the limo to meet the other only to find her dead!

Way to break the hell out of that fake TV show thing, guys – everything up until the body is discovered is presented as part of the show, including the chintzy titles-

But the second the body is found, suddenly there’s five cameras filming everything at different angles. Also, if they found a corpse while shooting the footage, why did they edit it together like a regular episode of the show? It’s not like this was live…


CSI Miami Episode 720

Time for another non-standard episode of CSI! This one opens with the freshly-tortured smuggy being tossed out of a van. A series of flashbacks reveal that the mob feels smuggy owes them money because he helped the horse doctor escape back in the horseracing episode, and now they need him to spike a case for them. He refuses to help at first, then concedes when they pull out a tooth and threaten to kill the horse doctor’s son.

The murder he’s supposed to cover up happens almost immediately – a broker is shot in his office by a thief, who then para-jumps off the roof of the building. Which isn’t a crazy plan, actually. They come up with a couple of clues right away – the bullet is still there on the scene, but it’s too mangled to be useful. Smuggy pockets a shell casing, while Eric collects some suspiciously purple water from the pool upstairs. The broker’s assistant explains that her boss’ job was to have cash on hand to exchange with shady foreigners, and mentions that two million dollars are missing from the office safe. They accuse her of murder a little, but not so intensively that she’s cleared of any involvement.


CSI Miami Episode 719

Things open on a creepy note tonight, with a woman arriving at home… only to find that it’s been robbed, and the criminal is still on the premises! She finds this out when he stabs her in the back. Which is among the worst ways of finding something out. She manages to shoot him once, though, driving the stabber out into the back yard where a vicious dog lives. The maid struggles through the house trying to reach the phone, because she’s the only person in the modern world to not have a cell phone. Amazingly the paramedics arrive in time to save her life, and as they work, her head lolls to the side and she sees the vision of an angel standing over her.

Okay, it’s just Horatio. But check out that backlighting, right? And really, at this point is there a difference between the two? Also, why is the head of Crime Scene Investigations there in the doorway before uniforms have even finished searching the house? Maybe it’s good that they get there that fast, because they manage to turn up a weird looking knife with a usable print trapped under a layer of wax! They figure that if they can find out whose knife it is, they may just have their stabber!

It seems that the stabbee is a personal chef, who worked for the man that the knife was stolen from! Is it all a big coincidence, or is she a thief? With her finally awake, Horatio is able to ask her directly. How great is it that for once they’re not dealing with a murder, right? I mean, there’s probably going to be a murder at some point this week, but it’s a nice change in the premise.


CSI MIami Episode 718

I hope you haven’t had your fill of preposterous murders, because this week’s episode is just extra-crazy. It starts when a bloody corpse falls out onto a baggage carousel, and it just gets weirder from there. Okay, it actually gets less weird from there, but still, that’s a nice idea, right?

The team begin investigating the scene, and discover the victim was a first-class flight attendant who someone got drunk, put in a ski case, and then loaded onto the luggage conveyor belt. The luggage attendant is no help, explaining that all he did was load some cases onto a belt. Smuggy ridiculously decides to charge him with possession of stolen goods, because he’s already begun the process of selling some skis he found in the plane online. Seriously? He didn’t even bring them home, just went straight to eBay? That guy deserves to be in jail.


CSI Miami Episode 717

Is there any better reason to have a party than a divorce? Jordan from Scrubs doesn’t think so, so that’s exactly what she’s doing! The party takes a turn for the disturbing, though, when Jordan’s ex-hubby’s corpse comes falling through the roof of her gazebo in the middle of her fake divorce ceremony.

Then, in a two-second joke about media culture, the party guests hurry to snap a picture of the corpse.

Oh, Miami. You’re temperature is the warmest, but your people have the coldest hearts.


CSI Miami Episode 716

There’s a party on luxury yacht ‘The Terrible’ as an awful cover of ‘you spin me right round’ plays on the soundtrack. This would all be completely normal for the show except for one thing: The yacht is owned by one Sean ‘Stay Puft’ Combs! That’s right, it seems our favorite, um, whatever it is he does, has returned to terribly portray a lawyer for the second week in a row!

Things go horribly awry when Stay Puft is convinced to invite some hot strangers onto the boat. Hot strangers that turn out to be twisted murderers! They rob the passengers, steal Stay Puft’s laptop, and when people try to rush them, accidentally shoot Stay Puft’s fiancee!

Or do they?


CSI Miami Episode 715

Remember how I said there were no courts in Miami? Well, turns out I was wrong. There are. It’s just that all of their walls are made of glass, allowing for the distracting sight of people walking behind witnesses while they testify. Also, they possess no juries, and no permanent seating for the audience.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

Anyhow, we’re in court, where a country club employee is being accused using a belt to strangling a random woman. Amazingly, his lawyer is played by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, who for the rest of the episode I will be referring to by his preferred name, ‘Stay-Puft’.


CSI Miami Episode 714

The episode opens with Callie and Smuggy heading to a house. Because it’s a crime scene? Because there was a shooting there? No, because a neighbour called 911 to say she smelled something bad coming from the house. That’s right. The CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS, instead of investigating crime scenes, are now checking out reports of smells.

Isn’t that what we have, oh, I don’t know, EVERY OTHER KIND OF COP for?

So why the preposterous setup? So that Callie and Smuggy can get trapped in the attic with a corpse while a crazed murderer sets the house on fire. I’m going to cover the whole fire setting incident later on, because wow, yeah, it’s just… yikes. They escape (duh), but during her next scene Callie will have to be hospitalized few smoke inhalation. Wow – I wonder if this threat to her life will be what finally motivates Eric to reveal his feelings for her? (spoiler alert – it is) In an amazing coincidence, her emergency room doctor is none other than Creepy ME from the first six seasons. I know, right? What were the odds. Well, at least this gives her and Horatio a chance to hang out.


CSI Miami Episode 709

Convolutions were the theme in this episode, along with plans so poorly thought-out that they could only have been conceived of by people with severe brain injuries.

We open with a montage that intercuts the CSI crew’s morning routine with a woman being brutally tortured to death. This is a clever artistic move that lets us know that, ironically, as their days are starting, a woman’s life is ending!

Or it would be, except the intercutting is taking place at two different times. This isn’t entirely clear, but at the beginning of the montage we see the woman being abducted while shopping during the day, and when they arrive at the body, according to new ME, she’s been dead for a while. So the murder had to have happened the previous day, which kind of violates the show’s mandate of (except for flashbacks) only ever taking place within a twelve-hour period.


CSI: Miami Returns to the Castle!

Eagle-eyed readers of the site may have noticed that I missed an awful lot of CSI: Miami last year. I don’t feel any better about that than you do, so now, with the new season just a few days away, I’ve decided to play catchup and cover some of the episodes I’ve missed.

I’d also like to announce a new feature of the reviews – not only will they be slightly shorter (for added readability!), but I’ll also be compiling videos of all the people that the team falsely accuses of murder each week.

Because they do that a lot. Actually, maybe I’m being too hard on them – you’ve got to do something while waiting for magic to tell you who the killer is.

Anyhoo, I’m not planning on going back and finding the false accusations in all the episodes I’ve already covered, but just to give you a taste of what this is going to be like, here’s a video from episode 721, the inspiration for this entire endeavor.

That’s it for now – see you on the beach! The beach of murder!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I couldn’t write for CSI:Miami. No quipping skills.