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!

No new faces in the credits this week, which leaves me wondering what they’re planning to do about the lack of an ME. Ooh, Rick Hoffman’s in this week’s episode! I love that guy! The hostage-taker ‘Ted’ barricades him in the bulletproof firearms lab, and then starts pulling some standard generic hostage-negotiator stuff, while being maddeningly unclear what he wants.

I’m not exactly clear how he brought weapons into the lab – they mention some line about him having come into the building a few times in the past week, giving him a chance to sneak them and the helmet in, but it’s been previously established that you’ve got to walk through a metal detector to get into the building, so that doesn’t really affect anything. Prediction – this will never be adequately explained.

Also, where did he get flash grenades? I'm pretty sure those aren't legal for regular people to buy.

After some more cliched ‘will Ted find out Jesse’s a cop’ stuff, Smuggy checks out Ted’s van, which has blueprints of the lab and a bottle of pills in it. The pills lead to the first hilarious mistake of the episode, when Smuggy announces that they’re ‘Diazepam – anti-depressants’. Now, I’m not saying I know more about pharmaceuticals than the people who write CSI:Miami, but I’m pretty sure Kojima does, and since the drug was featured in Metal Gear Solid as a thing that snipers could use to calm themselves down and keep their hands from shaking, I’m guessing it’s pretty damn far from an anti-depressant.

(A quick trip to the Internet proved me right – turns out it’s the proper name of the drug we know as ‘Valium’)

They’re trying to say that he’s manic/depressive, and that’s pretty definitively not what you’d use Valium to treat. Horatio gets Ted on the phone, but other than dropping the name of his ex-wife, he provides no new information. Then, in a sequence that seems to happen a lot in hostage shows, Ted freaks out and shoots a hostage in the leg, and the cops don’t immediately bust down the door and shoot him. Again, not an expert, but if there’s just one guy holding a gun on people, and he’s started shooting them, don’t you pretty much have to go in shooting? The only reason you didn’t to start with is in the hopes of getting everyone out with no injuries, but once that hope’s gone, why aren’t you just filling him full of holes?

And don’t give me ‘the windows glass doors are bulletproof’. That’s why god invented breaching charges.

Horatio’s got a better plan, though – he goes and an collects the woman, and finally hears Ted’s demand. Ted wants a hundred thousand dollars from Rick Hoffman’s cheque-cashing place. It turns out that he wanted to talk to Horatio not because they have some past history, but because Horatio’s on TV a lot. Rather ridiculously they go to Hoff’s cheque-cashing place without calling ahead, and hand him the ‘paperwork’ that requires him to give them a 100K. I would love to know what kind of paperwork that it.

Seems like they could have mined some drama out of explaining the situation to Hoff and pleading with him for help, but no, it’s just a magic writ that gets it done. With the money in hand Ted explains that he’s got a plan to get them safely out – that plan? He’s seen the movie Metro, and sends three of the hostages out at once, with one of them dressed as him, and a shotgun taped to the guy’s hand and another hostage’s back. It’s Jesse under the helmet, so this doesn’t end as badly as it did in the film, with Horatio figuring it out because of J’s boots.

It seems that Ted runs out during the distraction (because no one would watch the other doors, of course), and also left the money with the hostages! Why would he do that? Because the money is counterfeit! And this whole hostage-taking was just a scheme to get the authorities to catch Rick Hoffman, his former business partner!

Wait, what? He couldn’t get the authorities interested in counterfeit money? Isn’t that basically all the Secret Service does all day? Well, other than the president stuff, of course. There’s an entire branch of Federal Law Enforcement devoted entirely to this counterfeiting thing. Why doesn’t he just give them a call?

A trip to Ted’s ex-wife reveals that it was stress over Ted being screwed over by Rick Hoffman that led to their divorce. I’m confused – if you’re this annoyed with Rick Hoffman and you’ve got guns, why not just shoot him? Why this whole rigmarole with the hostage-taking that’s as likely to get you killed as anything else?

Wow, this episode really is about portraying Horatio as the saint of Miami, isn’t it? Ted’s motivation for the crime was seriously to draw Horatio’s attention to his problem. Because Horatio is the only person in the state you can go to for justice! And he couldn’t find the Secret Service’s phone number I guess.

Then another call comes in – Ted apparently went to the house shared by his ex-wife and her new husband, as well as Ted’s recently-abused son. Gee, I wonder what else Ted is going to be annoyed with? Yup, it’s mom who’s doing the abusing, which science proves definitively, based on the size of a bruise. You'd think a doctor would have noticed that in the first place, but no.

Now the episode takes a weird twist, with the show outright sympathizing with Ted and his whole attempted murder of that woman earlier in the day. Yes, it’s sad that Hoff screwed him on a business deal and his wife’s new husband framed him for breaking into their house (a frame he didn’t contest, despite the fact that he was nowhere near the house at the time), but it seems like trying to kill that woman is a bit of an overreaction.

Over at a local bar Ted hears about his extended family all being arrested, and he turns himself in. Wow, things suck for that kid, huh? Step-dad in jail for perjury, mom in jail for abuse, dad in jail for kidnapping and attempted murder. Bet he’ll have some great stories to tell all his foster brothers and sisters, huh?

Little boy’s plight is forgotten by the team, though, who share a laugh about the day’s craziness over a drink at their local restaurant.

Wow, there wasn’t a murder this week! Was that a first?

Be honest, don't you sometimes wish you could get away with a crime by telling all the cops to stand out at the front door, and then you just walk out the back? I know I do.

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