CSI: Miami
Tinder Box

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Come On, Baby. Light My Fire.

Daylight has fallen. Delko's gazing upon the dead visage of Connie "I can't feel anything" Contrivance and telling Alexx, "It's weird, Alexx. I barely even knew her, you know" -- aside from knowing what her tonsils felt like -- "and I felt like I had to pay my respects." Alexx tells him, "Don't apologize to anyone, honey, especially me." Whatever heart and soul this show has rests entirely with Alexx. Why the hell aren't the producers using her more? Did Khandi Alexander claim that she was allergic to crap, so she had to limit her exposure to this series? Anyway, Delko asks about cause of death, there's a moment when I'm mesmerized by the battle of the lips -- he's not exactly thin-lipped, but Alexx is sporting some impressively shiny vermilion smackers at the moment -- and then we learn from Alexx, "A combination of injuries led to her death. People don't realize there are so many ways you can die in a fire, and not always from flames." Delko asks if it was CO poisoning. Alexx tells him Connie breathed in super-heated air -- see? Air by the floor is cooler, that's another reason to crawl -- there was a spasm of the epiglottis, and her airways were scorched. We see all that hot, bubbling action in a TMICam shot that goes from Connie's mouth down to her crispy little alveoli. Alexx strokes Connie's hair as she says, "She was a strong girl, Eric. Made it to the front door. But human nature got the best of her. Fight or flight. These people did both at the same time. Trampled her. She's got three fractured ribs, ruptured spleen. You didn't even see it coming, did you, sugar?" The poor husband is sinking even further into the depths of the couch as I begin ranting yet again about how this could have all been prevented if everyone remembered their elementary school fire-safety training and dropped to their knees before leaving the building. Onscreen, Delko's all, "I never ever got her last name." Oh, now he feels remorse. Well, there's good news on that front; Connie was one of the few who won't have to be identified by her dental records, so she's been confirmed as Connie Wilkes. Delko thanks Alexx as the poignant grief music plays.

Cut to Quentin. If he's crying for Jill Susan's death, it's on the inside. Way, way inside. According to him, Jill was a cocktail waitress. Tripp is impressed with her documented wages -- $4000 per week for three nights' work. You know, it's funny how this show positions prostitution as immoral and illegal, then points out that it's an immoral, illegal activity that can pay well into the six figures, because then my question is, exactly how does that set it apart from so many other six-figure-salary occupations? Better outfits during court testimony? No need to earn an MBA first? We quickly work around to the obvious -- a payroll consisting of two bartenders, one bouncer, and 32 well-paid cocktail waitresses sounds not so much like a place with a extraordinarily low patron-to-waitress ratio, but a prostitution ring. Tripp asks, "You were running girls out of your club, weren't you?" "Nope," Quentin says. "Yup," Horatio counters in the same belligerent tone, continuing, "Oh, yes, you were. You were running girls. And in fact, even after this girl survived the fire, you had her go and turn a trick. That's who you are." Quentin points out that he didn't force Jill. Horatio thinks lending the car is a rough moral equivalent, and isn't it too bad the car's been impounded. He's then off and running again: "The thing I find amazing about you is that you have not inquired about her memorial service, and yet you want to know where your car is. That's pretty salt-of-the-earth. You know what? You can go. Go." Quentin does. Tripp asks, "He can go?" Horatio replies, "He can go." What's with the repetitive dialogue? Anyway, Quentin can go, but Horatio's going to mess with his head by refusing to let the car out of impound.

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CSI: Miami

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