CSI: Miami
Season 2 - Part 1

Starring: David Caruso, Emily Procter and Adam Rodriguez
Momentum Pictures
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: 15
Available 12 September 2005

Chronicling the work of the Miami-Dade crime investigators, CSI: Miami is set against the sun, fun and tropics of the Florida tourist haven. Leading the team is Horatio Caine, an ex-bomb squad detective who is no stranger to confrontations with criminals and the underworld...

The first part of season two of CSI: Miami doesn't seem to have learned any lessons from it's short comings in the first season. Whereas the original CSI (now re-titled as CSI: Las Vegas) had the crimes as the centrepiece to each episode, CSI: Miami has team leader Horatio Caine at the centre of each story, and it just doesn't work.

Instead of letting the crime scene do the talking, more often than not, the evidence is ignored by Caine, who insists on following some bizarre reasoning that is impossible to follow logically (more of that later). He then sets about making the evidence fit his idea of who committed the crime.

This is not a patch on the original CSI series. I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again... Caine has to be about the most annoying, arrogant, self-righteous tosser on the planet.

Caine gets off to an early start. In the first episode, Blood Brother, he deduces in two seconds that the victim of a hit and run was knocked down on purpose. The tire marks indicate that this could indeed be the case, but there is an eye witness who claims to have seen the whole thing and they say nothing about the driver deliberately running the victim down. So, what does Caine say? He states that he wouldn't "trust the investigation to an eye witness!" No, he'd much rather fantasise some other scenario in his head.

Dead Zone has another fantastically bizarre Caine moment. On seeing that the fingernails of a fisherman has a black substance under his fingernails, Caine instantly theorises that our dead man has been touching silver coins (go figure). Now, while he is proved correct, wouldn't it have made more sense for him to ask for the black dirt to be tested in the lab - how on earth would he know what it was at the crime scene? And, when it is established that the victim did indeed come into contact with silver that has been in salt water, why do they start searching the sea bed miles away from the scene of the incident.

This episode also has another fantastically bizarre scene. A delivery driver drops off a package to a household as Caine is leaving. Within two seconds he spots that the driver's shoes are too clean (what?) and runs back to the house to warn the owner that they shouldn't open the package. Where on earth is this logic coming from. Could the guy not have just bought a new pair of trainers that morning? It doesn't matter though because (shock! Horror!) Caine is correct yet again.

In Death Grip I had a hard time in working out why the CSI team continued to link a severed arm to the apparent kidnap of a young girl. Surely once the girl was discovered unharmed that should have been the end of it. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any link, but Caine (bless him) continues to dig... Obviously it was a slow week for murders in Miami, because Caine manages to link the arm to the kidnapping in ways I won't even bother to go into. This episode also has the worst Caine line ever - patronising and mildly racist. The parents of a missing Hispanic girl are obviously upset when Caine confronts them and tells them the severed arm is probably their daughter's (no tests have been performed on it, so what is he waffling on about?) The mother, distraught at the fact that no one bothered to look for her daughter when she went missing because of her race, cries and says: "No one cares" to which Caine replies. "Almost no one cares". What the hell comfort is that?

And one last whinge (I've written pages of the stuff, but I haven't got room for them all here). In Hurricane Anthony, Caine is at the scene as a man is dying. Why, instead of talking rubbish, doesn't he ring for an ambulance or try and help the guy. Okay, I know that the emergency services are stretched, but shouldn't he at least try and call for help? In this episode there is a throwaway remark about bodies piling up outside the CSI lab. So are we to assume there are no other labs in Miami? I thought the CSI lab was only supposed to check out bodies when there is a hint of foul play.

About half way through watching this collection I realised what it was about Caine that really grated on me (besides the fact he knows everything and thinks he knows how to do everyone's jobs better than them) it was the fact that every episode, and I mean every episode, has two basic elements that are really, really cheesy.

Firstly, Caine arrives to every murder scene wearing his shades - something no one else does. He then proceeds to dramatically remove said specs, or replace them on his face, at a critical moment - when he also introduces some cod dialogue. Examples of said dialogue would include (although this is a made up example) on finding a victim hanging from a rope... "We've work to do. Let's not hang around." The pun itself is poor, but the fact he speaks it so slowly, so that even the most stupid of viewers gets it, is patronising. And when he's not doing that, he stands around a bit with his hands on his hips talking rubbish.

Secondly, and most annoyingly, Caine has a habit (and when you know to look for it it becomes hysterically funny) of delivering some cocky line to a victim and then (camera still on his ginger topped, freckly features) he slowly moves off camera. This becomes rather spooky after a while. And finally, why does he attend the funeral of so many of the victims. Is that normal?

As you may have gathered from my moaning, I really didn't enjoy the majority of this collection. With CSI: Las Vegas the crime is the main star, and following the team as they discover more evidence is part of the charm of the episode. With CSI: Miami Caine works everything out in his head and, more often than not, leaves the viewer scratching their heads at how on earth he ends up framing his victims - who all, in true Scooby-Doo style, admit to their crimes before the end credits.

One for the mentally challenged only.

Amber Leigh

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