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CSI: Miami – “Bone Voyage” – Review
Here’s what I don’t get: CSI was TV’s #1 show for a few years this decade. William Peterson’s Grissom was The Man on CSI. Yet, he never traveled to Miami or New York for a crossover event. A year after Lawrence Fishburne arrives in Vegas, he gets to be The Crossover Man. Not sure I get that, but it didn’t detract from the episode last night.
For those of you in the back row, last night’s CSI: Miami episode, “Bone Voyage,” was part one of the CSI Crossover Trilogy. It’s a case so large and devastating that it’ll take three CSI teams three nights to solve. I have to tell you, this is something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time, at least since CSI: NY arrived on the scene five years ago. What I have longed for was a story that got Horatio on a plane to NY and, then Horatio and Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) both flew to Vegas. We’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see of Horatio makes a cameo in NY. Fingers are crossed.
The Miami part of the story begins with a mom who’s beside herself with worry and grief. The music that accompanied the pre-credit sequence–the cool, one-note riff that builds intensity–was a direct descendant of the Joker’s “Why So Serious?” theme from last year’s The Dark Knight and set the tone of the episode. Sure, we saw the usual victim death, but the mom’s grief seemed to hit a bit deeper this time. Honestly, when the theme song kicked in, it felt out of place this time.
The Miami crew tried to find the missing girl–Ashley Tanner–before it was too late. Calleigh and Jesse found her car, and evidence of a second car at the crime scene gave them hope the young lady was alive; injured, but alive. Walter, Ryan and Natalia found “modeling agent” (new term for pimp) Jimmy Burris holding court at a hotel swimming pool. He’d been with Ashley the previous night. According to the upstanding Mr. Burris, Ashley was a “freak” and liked plastic bags over her head during intimate times. He even had the video image to prove it.
Elsewhere, the group starts searching the swamps for signs of Ashley. Ryan’s leading the group, and he gives all the cops and volunteers a whistle to blow in case anyone finds something suspicious. In the one genuinely hilarious moment, Walter blows his whistle. He found a skull fragment. Ryan trots over and, in once glance, remonstrates Walter that he found a turtle shell. Ryan then points to the ground: “This is your foot. That is the sky.” Dang funny line and proof that Walter and Ryan are trying to be the funny people a la Hodges on the original CSI. This moment of levity was pretty much it for this episode, since they eventually find Ashley’s severed arm and the severed leg of an unknown female. As we fade to commercial, we see Horatio doing the one thing he’s best at: consoling a victim. This he did with the mother. I don’t care what anyone says; this is likely his best quality, and one that makes the character human.
Once the MDPD crime lab folks determine the leg had high traces of salt and plutonium, they give a ring to the Vegas crime lab. Now, I’ll admit I wanted to see more of the Vegas folks on screen during the teleconference. You know–they all have a line or three and then vote to send Ray Langston (Fishburne) to Miami. Still, it was very fun to see Ray talking with Calleigh. I don’t know about you, but I always get a kick out of seeing characters from one show on another program, and Langston didn’t disappoint. He took the next flight to Miami.
When Grissom left the Vegas crime lab, the writers did their best to replace him with a character of similar temperament. Thus, Langston is a scientist, not a cop. Horatio is a cop first, a CSI second. For those of us who always pined for the Horatio/Grissom pairing, this was as close as we’re going to get. When Langston’s chopper lands, Horatio is there to greet him. Langston mentions to Horatio how much Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) admires him. For his part, Horatio asks Langston to pass on to Catherine his condolences about Warrick. It’s a nice comment, but I have to ask this question: how the heck did Horatio know? Guess he and Catherine must be Facebook friends.
Speaking of off-the-wall characters, once Dr. Ray (as Horatio called him; too much like Dr. Phil, if you ask me) narrowed down the cutting instrument as a cleaver and Natalia narrows down butchers who have Miami-Vegas connections, you get a weird version of an Iron Chef. Nathan Cole, restaurateur, is a guy with a hands-free microphone who walks around sides of beef hanging in his restaurant, cutting meat to the cheers of onlookers and hungry patrons. Uh, right. A bit out there for me, but one of the charming aspects of a show like CSI: Miami. Iron Chef Cole has a gang past. He once was a Zeta. They financed his restaurants, and he butchers dead bodies that need disposing. He followed orders and cut up the Vegas body. Someone else disposed of the remains. But the victim (Samantha) got the last laugh: she had hepatitis, and now Cole has it. Sucks to be him, but it also sucks to be anyone who ate at his restaurant. Can’t hepatitis be passed that way?
Turns out Ashley’s body was severed by a person not as adept with a blade as Iron Chef Cole. Horatio asked Natalia (who’s back this week, finally) to pull some DNA on Ashley’s bones. The cutter obviously exerted himself and sweat likely dropped on her bones. Now we’re back with Jimmy Burris, Langston, and Horatio. For all of his cool scientific demeanor, Langston got pretty fired up as he taunted Burris. In a pretty darn gruesome montage, we get to see Burris cutting on poor Ashley while she’s still alive. That’s macabre. Come on, Burris, at least have the decency to kill her first. But Burris also has ties to the Zetas. Horatio and Langston have their killer, but there’s the unspoken elephant in the room: the person who disposed of the bodies is still out there. Their job isn’t over.
As I went into this episode, I pondered how the writers were going to parcel out the story line. Had a hankering for a genuine cliffhanger on Monday and Wednesday to get us all to watch on Thursday. Didn’t happen here. We got a nice episode, caught the bad guy for the crime in question, and then gave us an epilogue (a young couple where the guy clearly is threatening the gal as he tells her what to do) that serves as the tie-in for Wednesday’s trip to New York. Not a bad way to end, but I’d have enjoyed the cliffhanger better. Maybe it’s an Act I thing: nice, self-contained story and the real cliffhanger will be in New York.
All in all, it was a good episode, with enough lasting moments (Langston getting in Burris’ face; Horatio and Langston together; Ryan and Walter tag-teaming the comedy) to get me to Wednesday. I don’t watch CSI: NY but will obviously do so this week.
What did y’all think? Was this Miami installment of the CSI Crossover Trilogy all that you wanted or did y’all want something more? Did you miss Eric and his scuba gear when they were searching the swamps?