Ah, Miami -- known for its bustling nightlife, its cutting-edge fashions, its Dolphins, and now, thanks to the efforts of this lousy little spin-off, its grimy adult book stores. The Dade County Chamber of Commerce must be delighted that the CSI brain trust decided to farm out their franchise here, as opposed to, say, Bangkok.
Our episode opens in one of those grimy adult bookstores, which happens to be equipped with a bank of peepshow booths. We're all adults here. We know what goes on in such places -- the women sip tea and eat scones while talking earnestly about the human condition as the men listen attentively and quote appropriate passages from The Oxford Book of English Verse. Or, more accurately, the women dance around in as little clothing as allowed by CBS Standards & Practices while their raincoat-clad clientele fish around for quarters and give silent thanks that tomorrow is laundry day. Remember, fellas, protein gets out protein.
The barrier in one such booth rolls up to reveal a not-at-all unattractive blonde lounging in a not-at-all sexy pose on a divan. "You're not going to disappoint me, are you, Ace?" she heavy-breathes at her patron. Well, if her goal that night was to be gaped at by a sweaty, open-mouthed-breathing toad of a man, then no -- no, he isn't. She removes her dressing gown. The barrier slams down. Toad Man feeds another coin into the slot. The barrier rolls up -- she's now dancing au naturel. The barrier slams down. Another coin into the slot. The barrier rolls up -- and Toad Man is slumped against the blood-streaked glass window. Ew. I don't care if laundry day is tomorrow -- ain't nothin' going to clean up that mess.
As we fade out on the woman's terrified scream, we fade up on Horatio Caine examining the body of the recently deceased. Now it's my turn to scream in terror. Because the camera is placed on the other side of the glass window and because the window is streaked with the one-time contents of Toad Man's circulatory system and because the entire scene is bathed in red light, Horatio doesn't so much resemble a remorseless crime-fighting machine here as he does a particularly malevolent Oompa Loompa. Cause of death: overindulging in chocolate. Another grisly murder solved, Detective Wonka.
The cop who helped Delko and Speedle uncover the hidden dangers of siphoning gas strides past the racks of videotapes, DVDs, and adult novelties. "No ID on him?" Nameless Cop asks Horatio. "Jeans, t-shirt, Kmart socks," Horatio says. Kmart socks are that easily identifiable? "Big spender," Nameless Cop snorts. Yeah, well, we can't all afford socks woven from gold filament, now, can we? "He saved his pennies for the peeps," Horatio grimly agrees, and that's one of those lines that probably sounded much grittier and edgier on paper. Horatio stands up and calls over Speedle, who's busy photographing one of the establishment's adult-entertainment artisans. "How old do you think the girl is?" Horatio asks Nameless Cop, who, until the carbon-dating kit arrives from the lab, guesses that she's eighteen or nineteen. This does not please Horatio. "Just a kid," he mutters, which is technically incorrect by the legal standard of adulthood, though Horatio's never been one to let legal technicalities get in the way of a good brood. Horatio posits that the weapon needed to be long enough to penetrate the back door of the peepshow booth and do damage -- something the TMICam thoughtfully shows us, since the incidence of violent stabbings is practically unheard of here in America. "The guy inside the booth must have been pressing against the wall," Nameless Cop helpfully posits. "Poised to see paradise," Horatio says. Bwah? That line made next to no sense. Wouldn't you agree, Roger Daltrey? "Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah!" See? You just can't fool Roger Daltrey. Not again, anyhow.
After taking a moment to learn a little bit more about our advertisers' find products and/or services, we return to the adult bookstore, where Horatio and Alexx are poking around the body. "Sharp force injuries," Alexx says. "Three knife strikes through the door," Horatio responds -- in addition to helping various widows through their grief, he must be our autopsy-jargon-to-English translator for the night. Alexx points out that there are only two knife wounds in the body; Horatio counters that those two were apparently enough to get the job done. As Horatio and Alexx chat amicably about the victim's ID -- "nothing out of the ordinary...so far," Alexx offers -- the coroner notes that our murder victim had bad teeth. Thankfully, she does not tap into those creepy conversing-with-the-recently-deceased powers to taunt the poor fellow about his substandard dental work. "He looks Eastern European to me," Horatio offers. Yeah, well, you look like a pasty-faced jackass to me, but you don't hear me jumping to conclusions. You pasty-faced jackass. Alexx dashes off to the autopsy bay to find out more about how our victim wound up in the Great Peepshow Booth in the Sky, so we cut over to Calleigh, wielding an impressive band saw, while a man we can only presume to be the proprietor of the dirty bookstore looks on and leers. "You ever seen that video Sexy Guns, Sexy Girls?" he asks in quite possibly the most awkward conversation-starter this side of "You have an interesting bone structure." "If you go into a booth with that saw, you don't even have to take your clothes off. You'd make a fortune in tips." I'm just out of touch with what appeals to people's prurient interests these days, I suppose. Calleigh is equally nonplussed. "You're standing in my crime scene," she says, and that probably would have sounded cool and hard-bitten if it hadn't been delivered in Emily Procter's emotionally vacant chirp. I should probably pause for a moment here and confess that I don't care much for Emily Procter's acting ability -- not here, not in The West Wing, not even in The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! For the remainder of this recap, I will try to keep my searing hatred in check, since I'm sure plenty of people find her wooden performances to be absolutely delightful. I guess that's why clothes come in so many shapes and styles -- because other people have lousy taste.