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.
The medical examination leads to the disgusting news that she was electrocuted so hard that her insides cooked, and also presents the following photography sequence. Can you spot the mistake/strange editing choice?
The most puzzling aspect of the entire examination is that the victim’s pupils are completely dilated. One theory is that she was killed in complete darkness, but we already know that’s not right:
So they look for a medical explanation. Also mentioned is the fact that the victim has no marks of restraint, which seems puzzling. I hope this is addressed as her having been drugged, especially after that Criminal Minds episode where they just lied about it(link).
In a seemingly unrelated scene, Horatio stops by to check in with his pal Reggie (Malik Yoba), who used to be a homicide detective, but has been riding a desk since an undiscussed incident some time back. Gee, I wonder if that’s going to be important later?
Then Horatio and Smuggy interview the victim’s boyfriend. They get roughly thirty seconds into the interview before accusing him of murder with no evidence of any kind. That’s just some fine work there. I’ve got to wonder, has the ‘accusing every person you meet of murder’ thing ever actually worked? Has someone, just thirty seconds into the conversation, confessed to the crime under the most cursory of accusations?
Now it’s back to the lab, where things get mighty stupid. It seems that the victim’s eyes were drugged so that her pupils couldn’t contract, so she was blinded by the normal amount of light in the room. Callie explains that this was ‘restraint without restraints’. Wait. Just a damn minute. We’re expected to believe that just because this woman was blinded she passively lay on a table allowing someone to torture her to death? She’s not a hawk. She doesn’t become passive when you put a hood over her head. If it took that little to restrain someone, why not just use a blindfold? Other than the fact that a blindfold wouldn’t be traceable to another similar crime a year earlier, the way the eyedrops are, giving them a lead.
God, this is a particularly stupid episode.
Guess what? The previous case had a suspect, an eye doctor with a suspicious bruise on his face. He protests that he was wrongfully accused the last time, and he doesn’t want it to happen again. Horatio wastes no time in accusing him of murder. Seriously, it’s his first line. Then we get an explanation of the bruise – Reggie dropped by his office earlier that day and beat him up! Reggie’s still one hundred percent sure doc is the killer, so Horatio’s warning him off doesn’t have much of an impact. This forces Horatio to strip Reggie of his badge and gun, which can only have a totally positive impact on a clearly violent obsessive.
Meanwhile Eric has located another victim (this one survived her attack), and Horatio goes out to visit her. The next scene opens with him talking to the escapee’s boyfriend, who’s obviously the killer.
Why do I say this? Because the character has absolutely no reason to exist. All he does is announce that they recently got engaged, and that the escapee was recently diagnosed with cancer. Which is far too random to be unimportant. There’s another reason I’m so sure, though, and it comes in the escapee’s flashback-
Now where have I seen that exact haircut before? What’s really amazing is that the flashback took place eight months earlier, and his floppy hair isn’t even a little different.
The escapee tells her amazing story of survival – it seems that she refused to beg for her life, so the killer got bored and let her go.
Wait, I just came up with a third reason why boyfriend is the killer – Horatio didn’t accuse him, because if he did it wouldn’t be a surprise later on!
Right after leaving the escapee’s house Horatio has to drive right back – there’s a creepy man outside. Which, of course, turns out to be Reggie, who’s become obsessed with stopping the killer.
Now, like halfway through the episode, it’s finally time for a little science. Eric takes out a special camera to look for sub-skin bruising that will tell them how the killer subdues his victims. This whole sequence is unimportant except for the fact that it allows them to suspect Reggie of being the killer. Which is basically just wasting the audience’s time. Here’s a shot we’ve seen of the killer:
And here’s a shot of Reggie.
So yeah, apparently no one told the CSI people that mysteries grow less and less fun the farther the audience is ahead of the characters. The charade continues when Reggie threatens Callie in an elevator, demanding to know why they haven’t arrested the doctor yet. This definitely isn’t going anywhere smart, is it?
Although it does lead to one of the most hilariously badly-written comebacks I’ve ever seen.
Um, yeah… He doesn’t sleep well. Were you not listening to the question, Callie? He was clearly asking you if you’d be able to live yourself after letting a killer go because he’s having trouble doing it.
There’s some nonsense here about the team finding out where the victim was abducted, which is interesting only insofar as the fact that they use a new actor for this flashback, instead of the killer, who actually appeared in the escapee’s flashback.
Things start moving again when they find another body in an alley, this one exactly matching the conditions of the last body, which is going to be important a little later, as I’ll explain. The victim is a hooker, and the doctor’s hair shows up on her body. But how is that possible? Boyfriend’s the killer… isn’t he?
Wait, how did they get the doctor’s DNA to test the hair against? And how did they get a result in three minutes? Of course, the doctor didn’t do it. He was in a movie theatre all afternoon. Which isn’t a great alibi, but an usher manages to identify him, so it holds up. Meanwhile, back at the alley, they find the strap off of Reggie’s ankle holster!
Yes, that’s right, Reggie killed the prostitute in an attempt to frame the doctor. Which makes roughly the least sense of any murder I’ve ever seen on this show. Not the motive part, I get that the guy thinks the doctor is a killer, but what did he hope to accomplish by killing the prostitute? There are three elements of proving someone comitted a crime, means, motive, and opportunity, and the same rules apply to a frame, except that ‘means’ is replaced with ‘planted evidence’.
What’s the point of going to the trouble of planting evidence that someone comitted a crime if you’ve got no idea whether they could have been there to commit it or not? Reggie had absolutely no idea where doc was when he was killing the prostitute. For all he knows, the doctor could have been giving a speech to a group of nuns in New York city while the murder was being committed.
Let’s not forget the utter preposterousness of the timeline. After Reggie’s confrontation with Callie he had to go out, get a battery and jumper cables, kidnap a prostitute in broad daylight, obtain the eyedropper of dilator, kill the prostitute and dump her in the alley. How could he possibly have had time to do that?
So here’s the moral, folks – if you’re one hundred percent sure a guy is going to kill people and you don’t want the public endangered, don’t try to frame him. Just kill him.
Anyway, it’s time to solve the case using magic, so back to the lab we go! It seems the escapee had an overlapping print on her button, and since they have the magic to separate those prints now (because it’s plausible that two prints would perfectly overlap without any smudging), it turns out that, yes, the second print belongs to boyfriend. Duh.
Now for the arrest. It seems that escapee’s refusal to beg for her life made her would-be killer fall in love with her. Yup, it seems that all a serial killer needs to stop is to meet a pretty girl. But then she got cancer and he started stressing out, so he went back to killing.
Oh, and the killer just admits all of this, out of the blue, when confronted with a single quesitonably-obtained fingerprint. Wow. It’s like lawyers have absolutely nothing to do in the world of CSI:Miami, is it?
Find out soon, when I complain about an especially egregious episode of CSI:Miami!
Oh, and Reggie hung himself in lockup to keep from having to be a cop in prion.
P.S. – As promised, here’s the first in-review episode of ‘False Accusation Theatre!