Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CSI Miami “Cheating Death” A Rip-Off

He can't hide from this turkey

Another episode of CSI Miami – another feeling that I just wasted an hour. Even "Xena" couldn’t save it.

The bottom line in "Cheating Death” was that a man was killed by a woman who was scammed by a “tanning butler,” and she killed him because he stole her expensive wedding ring. It also uncovers Audrey Yates (Lucy Lawless), who runs an escort service, who was working with the tanning butler to help drive away her “competition.” And while all this is going on, Wolfe (Jonathan Togo) and Delko (Adam Rodriguez) play a prank on ME Dr. Tara Price (Megalyn Echikunwoke) that may have compromised evidence.

Rather than dissect the case – which was one of the dullest on record, mind you – let me cover some of the many misses in this episode.

Of course, the tone of the show can sometime be felt by the line delivered right before the opening scream. In this case, it was not a good sign when Frank (Rex Linn) makes note of the couple – from Kansas - who made the noise complaint that led to the discovery of the body. Horatio (David Caruso) responds dryly, "They're not in Kansas anymore, are they?" Groan.

Another bit of silliness is the hotel concierge who keeps special toys on hand for hotel clients' “special “ needs. And how nice of the hotel to have their logo on the handcuffs. Excuse me? A hotel logo on handcuffs? Did they also put their logo on the other "special" toys too? Somehow I doubt it. But, they needed this little clue to help point them to the concierge, which lucky for them later points to a phony receipt system he had going on the side which eventually pointed to the actual murderer. (Whew! Did you follow that?)

What was amazing to me is that when Wolfe and Delko decide to play a prank on Dr. Price, that with all their experience they didn’t’ realize that the body had been moved in exactly the same position that it was at the crime scene. Now, if these two are supposed to be such great CSIs, and have probably seen a lot of bodies in the morgue, shouldn’t the body's unusual positioning in the morgue have raised a red flag that this was not the time to play a juvenile prank? Equally dumbfounding was that the ME and Calleigh (Emily Procter) could manage to get the body back in the exact position in order for the ME to get those mold of the murder weapon. Even more astounding is that Horatio was able to clear away the ME’s concerns with inconsistencies about the evidence just by looking at the molds and simply turning one of the mold blades!

Equally magical is when Delko is able to reconstruct a bottle that the tanning butler used to drug his victims just by fuming the pieces for prints, then photographing the pieces so the computer can just put them together again. The flaw in this process is that Delko holds the pieces under the camera to be photographed, which, unless he holds the piece exactly the same distance from the camera, could cause distortion when the computer tried to assemble them. Should he have placed them ON the table underneath the camera so the distance and lighting would be exactly the same for each shot, and therefore the proportions of the pieces identical?

And I still think that the women in Miami must be some of the dumbest women on record. Now really, would any woman in their right mind take a drink of something out of a bottle from a stranger that they didn’t really know what it was? And the fact that Lisa Radley (Vanessa Branch) took the murder weapon with her and still had it in her trunk even after being questioned by the police also confirms that Miami continues to have dumb criminals. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to have disposed of the weapon in some public trash bin, miles away from the murder scene?

As a side note, David Caruso seemed to be speaking almost too quietly during this episode. It almost seemed like he was getting into some sort of Zen mode or something. I had to keep turning up the volume to hear him. After a while, I decided I wasn’t missing much.

I could go on and on about this episode, but why? I was already cheated of an hour just watching it, why waste any more time?

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