CSI: Miami

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
Breathe in, Horatio

Tragically, this road trip lacks the comedic antics of Seann William Scott and Tom Green. It's Horatio, Sevilla, and Speedle finding Gregory Kimble hauling chemicals into another one of Wilmont's houses. As Speedle checks the van for chemicals, Horatio muses, "So we've got a new location." In the van, Speedle's found extremely large containers of lye, ammonia, and methanol. Horatio concludes that Gregory's masters must have given him a new formula; he adds, "I guess one death in the neighborhood is enough." Sevilla reassures Speedle, "If you hang tight, I'll get you a warrant for that stuff." Gregory says, "Ahhhhh...it's not against the law to have those chemicals." He really is a moron. Sevilla snaps the phone shut and says, "No, it's not. Really brilliant operation Dr. Wilmont has going on here. He provides the house, the chemicals and the recipe, he pays off a couple of cooks like you with luxe cars. That's peanuts to the guys who sling these pills -- pills so unusual there's not a law against it, but at the end of the day, he and his partners split about six million bucks." Gregory corrects her with, "It's not six million." Horatio promptly and properly jumps on his with, "This is where you say, 'I don't know any Dr. Wilmont.'" Just then Sevilla's phone rings; it's Plot Contrivance, and he's getting impatient. Sevilla waves him on by telling everyone that the ME's just picked up a nineteen-year-old kid who's overdosed on E. Horatio comments, "Nineteen years old. Nice going." Gregory looks stunned to discover that teenagers take drugs.

Meanwhile, in a salsa class filled with people who are doing their best to convey great age and declining health, an instructor is bouncing around and encouraging everyone, "That's right, you guys -- feel the music! We're all Britney Spears at heart!" This was the point where I paused the episode and asked the cats, "Do you think that comment counts as elder abuse?" The class is only there to underscore what kind of community Betty was living in, as Calleigh (mercifully, wearing a t-shirt) and Delko (chronically underbuttoned shirt) walk by with the manager, who's explaining, "Sewell lied on his application, but he didn't lie about the window. Betty had some good days and she had some bad days." Delko says, "Yeah, we heard that she thought she had a boyfriend." And then this alleged elder care professional laughs, "Boyfriend -- try boyfriends. This place is high school with arthritis and Betty is hot stuff." Cut to Calleigh and Delko interviewing Betty's assorted boyfriends. Boyfriend #1 says to Calleigh, "Betty was a lot of fun -- she and I had a very healthy sexual relationship -- she was not afraid to try new things." Betty was also the world's most atypical Alzheimer's patient on the planet. One of the signs of advanced Alzheimer's is a spike in social isolation and disengagement, i.e. a refusal to make eye contact or acknowledge when anyone is speaking. I had a great-aunt die from the disease in the last year, and I've got a great-uncle in the throes of it, and when I visited him and his caretaker in November, he spent the entire time trembling and nodding at nothing in particular, and that, I was told, was one of his good days when he was calm and tractable.

Assuming that Betty a) had advanced Alzheimer's, and b) was having sex raises, in my mind, two issues. The first is that she didn't have Alzheimer's but senile dementia -- the socialization patterns are different, even though mental faculties like short- and long-term memory are diminished. For example, my nana has senile dementia, and while she can't remember how I'm related to her, she's still quite the charming conversationalist and social butterfly in her assisted-living facility. The second issue, and the more serious one, is the ethical implication of sleeping with an Alzheimer's patient, as it raises the question of whether or not the patient would be able to give informed consent for the activity, and it raises the issue of what obligation a caretaking facility has to ensure that its residents are protected from one another. But I'm actually treating this whole plot twist as if the people who wrote it bothered to put some time and effort into this story, as opposed to simply going for "randy old people are funny! And they introduce a red herring into the investigation!" angle. While Delko talks to an elderly gent who introduces the Pearl-killed-Betty-for-her-money idea, Calleigh talks to one of Betty's most recent exes, a Mr. Gaines who happens to have ice plant stuck in his shoe -- and the ice plant happens to match the foliage outside Betty's window. Calleigh whips out the glove for a DNA sample.

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CSI: Miami




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