CSI: Miami
Grave Young Men

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
These Kids Today, With Their Guns and Corpses

He can't brood long. He's got a hot date with his sister-in-law and his nephew. After a few seconds of family-style banter, (Y)Elena excuses herself, and the kid's all, "She set this up so you'd give me five minutes of the male authority-figure attention I so desperately crave, and now I'll stop beating up my incredibly news-literate fourth-grade classmates when they insult my dad." Or something to that effect. Horatio talks too, but I think we can all correctly track what he's going to say: Your father was a good cop, ignore the playground weasels, to thine own self be true and get used to calling me your new daddy. Maybe not that last one -- no doubt that conversation will be coming later on.

Delko has managed to cut through the red tape, because now he's cutting through the padlock on Jeff's school locker. After whipping out a flashlight to explore the inscrutable interior of deepest, darkest lockerdom, Delko unearths Gun Ho magazine. Frankly, with a title like that, I'd expect something other than a pistol on the cover. The headlines are enjoyable as always: "Heart Stopping Man Stopping .45," "New Laser Sights Will Make You King of the Jungle," "Big Time Survival Techniques," and "Take 'Em Down: Our Pull-Out Combat Guide Shows You How." I especially like that last one; it's fun to imagine some The Most Dangerous Game scenario in which a group of batty, amoral rich people is taken down by a wild-eyed Gun Ho subscriber and his pull-out sheet of combat strategies. Delko also finds sneakers with all sorts of dirt.

Back at the lab, Calleigh sits in front of a monitor, running bullet data until she gets a hit. She reports to Horatio, "I found the owner of one of the guns that fired a bullet into the Wilton family tree. Nick Gordon, age 45. Six months ago, the gun was used to shoot out a scoreboard at Antioch High School." Horatio notes that Jeff is currently an Antioch student. Calleigh continues, "So I called the principal and found out that Ben Gordon, age 17, was responsible for shooting out the scoreboard. However, they believe another kid was with him, but because of the privacy law, they can't say anything." Stupid privacy laws, not allowing police to haul us in whenever they want to know something! I bet we won't have to worry about that for much longer! However, Calleigh thinks the principal's pause when she said Jeff's name links him to Ben Gordon. Horatio wants Ben and Nick in, pronto.

Cut to Speedle having a pillow fight with himself. As he analyzes the down in the pillow, he gets a call telling him Rena's waiting for him in the lobby. When he wanders out, we see that she's got the same wardrobe she did in The Chronicle -- half punky, half pop-tart -- and it still looks incongruous with her classically pretty features. When Speedle meets Rena in the lobby, she's all, "Hi-i-i. Thanks for coming out." It's not working on him; the first thing he notices is the weekend bag she's carrying. After Rena makes a bid for privacy, he steers her into an empty call area, and she tells him, "I have a photo shoot tomorrow in St. Thomas." Speedle deadpans, "You're a photographer?" Rena's all, "I'm a model. Bathing suits. It's probably why I was so comfortable when you wanted to take pictures of me. I realized later I might have been a little too casual." She's attempting to flirt like mad at Speedle, which is not unlike watching Pepe Le Pew try to woo one of those hapless kitties that's suffered a paint accident. Speedle says flatly, "So...your boyfriend dies and you're able to go to work the next day?" Rena's resilient that way. Speedle asks her point-blank if she moved the body, and she bats her eyes, "Is that what the autopsy said?" Speedle shrugs, and she continues, "When I woke up and he didn't respond, yes, I rolled him over on his back and called 911." Speedle looks off to the right for about the third time in this scene and points out, "Homicide has you calling 911 at 7 AM. Paramedics show up at 7:08. It takes hours for lividity to form." Rena asks, "Really?" but not in the "You don't say!" context. It's more of the "Oh, I didn't need to know this, did I?" context. Speedle nods, and Rena suddenly remembers how she rolled her boyfriend over in the middle of the night when he got too cuddly. Speedle asks, "So he was already dead in the middle of the night." Rena answers, "I suppose so. I read in Vanity Fair that time of death could never be exact. It's all estimates." Yeah, but I read in Vanity Fair that Gretchen Mol and Josh Hartnett were going to stun the world with their awesome thespian skills, so that just goes to show that you have to take everything in Graydon Carter's little magazine with a grain of salt. Speedle disabuses her of that notion. Rena asks if Speedle will fill her in on what he finds; he tells her he can't, but appears to bend a little and concedes, "When it's appropriate, okay?"

And now we go into the scene where it will all become clear that Ben Gordon is acting out because Daddy doesn't pay enough attention to him. We see Nick Gordon nattering on about travel arrangements on his cell before he pauses long enough to tell Horatio that Ben's out front having a smoke. He shrugs, "I can't stop him." Oh, bushwa. This is going to make me sound like a crotchety old woman whose only joy in life is standing on the porch and hollering, "You kids get off my lawn!" but here goes: if this jackass would get over the idea that he's somehow supposed to be his kid's buddy, and embrace the idea of disciplining the kid and making it clear who's the boss until said kid's 18, then there's no way young Ben would be lighting up in clear view of his dad. Sneaking a cigarette and going to elaborate measures to ensure that Dad never finds out he smokes, sure, but not openly flouting parental authority without fear of the consequences. I have no idea where this I'm-your-friend approach to raising children came from, but I can tell you from countless hours spent watching parents try to reason with their screaming or surly spawn in public places that the let's-be-friends thing isn't working. Besides, raise your kid with military-style authority and you guarantee them conversational fodder for the rest of their lives, and isn't raising someone who's a riveting conversationalist a more noble goal than raising a chain-smoking adolescent gun nut? Wow, it's not often I manage to bring my foam-at-the-mouth ravings back to bear on the actual subject on screen.

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CSI: Miami




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