Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CSI Miami “To Kill A Predator” Kills With Boredom

I usually judge CSI Miami on a somewhat different rating scale because I have to take into account the show’s cheesy factor. After all, the show is quite the opposite of a show like Law & Order, which tries to keep the show more grounded in reality. Even taking into account the cheesy factor, this episode “To Kill A Predator” was probably one of the worst I’ve seen. In fact, I'm giving it my first ever "I Like to Watch TV's Caution Tape Award ©."

In this episode, the CSI Miami team is tracking down who they think is a vigilante that is killing Internet predators. OK, this premise has probably been done many times before by just about every crime show on television. I bet it’s probably been done by the CSI franchise shows themselves in some shape or form over the years. It’s not a novel premise for a story and that’s a perfect way to set viewers up for boredom.

CSI Miami usually has a few inconsistencies in the show, but one seemed to jump out at me immediately. Very early in the episode, I believe while Horatio (David Caruso) was questioning the administrative assistant of the first murder victim, she said she was on the phone with the victim at 6:00 AM, when he was struck. Call me a nitpicker, but in the scene where he is run over by the car, looking at the shadows, the sun is clearly almost directly overhead. Usually I don’t care much about timeline issues, but that issue just seemed glaring.

6:00 AM in Miami?

CBS.com


The other thing I noticed is that the wardrobe department must either have gotten a lot of orange clothes on close-out or they just thought it was orange week. Several characters (Frank (Rex Linn), Ryan (Jonathan Togo), the administrative assistant, the murder victim’s daughter Hannah (Jordan Hinson), Heather Amberson (Vivian Dugre), and the predator show’s chat room guy Lou Durning (Peter James Smith)) were all decked out in some orange. Sometimes this show gets too single minded about color and that too contributes to boredom. In addition to this crush of orange, we get Natalia (Eva La Rue) going to work a crime scene in all white, and Alexx (Khandi Alexander) examining a bloody body at a crime scene in a light shade of tan. Maybe it’s just me, but those aren’t colors that I would even dream of wearing when working an area where there could be dirt OR blood. To me, it’s the equivalent of me going to work in my garden wearing white. OK, I know this is fantasy television, but it’s stuff like this that makes the show cringe-worthy.

We did get a special treat with Horatio working in the lab, trying to lift an impression off the murder victim’s briefcase. We used to see that a lot in the first season, but don’t see it too much anymore. I am not quite sure what was so special about this piece of evidence that required the extra special attention of Horatio Caine. Was it because he personally inspected it at the crime scene that it became so special? I guess even the mere gaze from Horatio onto an object endows a special property to it? Maybe it’s because Horatio had some sort of epiphany when he saw the man’s body after being run over, saying, “There’s a lot of anger behind this, Frank.” There you have it: Horatio Caine, Master of the Obvious.


This deserves Horatio's Special Attention


CBS.com

The manner in which they went about investigating the case was so convoluted. If a man were run down in such a vicious manner, wouldn’t one think that the police would first interview the family? But no, first we need to have someone identify the fuel on the murder victim’s body as (luckily) a very special bio-diesel. Then Horatio has to examine the briefcase, lift the plate number, which helps them to limit the pool of cars that could have been involved to very few, one of which is a car rented by (gasp!) the victim’s wife! Now, wouldn’t it have been much easier to have started with the wife first, maybe ask to see her vehicles, etc. Sure, the rental car was ditched before then, but maybe they would have been a step ahead of the game. They also send out helicopters to look for the car – I wonder why they just didn’t send out an all point bulletin to have the ground police force actually drive around and look for the car at ground level, you know, where cars actually drive?

We also get numerous red herrings, like Kevin Weaver (George Newbern), who has become a vigilante of sorts by trying to prevent kids from getting involved with chat room predators. Of course, no one in the Miami Dade police department bothered to check this guy’s background to see that lost a child to a predator.

Another problem I had was Horatio apparently going it alone when he tries to warn a young girl that a predator could be on his way to her home. Funny, but isn’t it possible that the girl could have thought that Horatio was the predator and faked being with the police to gain entry? Maybe the police should have tried to phone first? And what would have happened if the guy had already arrived by the time Horatio got there? Wouldn’t Horatio be putting her and himself at risk by trying to protect her on his own? Oh yeah, I forgot. It seems Horatio has decided that he can dish out his own justice, because we get the impression at the end that Lou Durning is going to resist arrest, whether he wants to or not. I think Horatio is turning to the dark side. Miami Justice, meet Horatio Caine Justice.

As far as the rest of the cast, they seemed to be phoning it in this whole episode. Maybe they were bored with it too?

So if you haven’t seen this episode yet, don’t bother. Move along….there was nothing to see here….


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1 comment:

Vixen said...

Honestly, I'm waiting for an episode where Horatio strangles a suspect in the interrogation room because the suspect dared t smirk at him. Horatio slowly but deliberately turns into a redheaded TERMINATOR.