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CSI Files - CSI: Miami--'Cyber-lebrity'

CSI: Miami--'Cyber-lebrity'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at October 4, 2007 - 3:09 AM GMT

See Also: 'Cyber-lebrity' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Reluctant teenage "cyber-lebrity" Candice Walker, who has been under the microscope since a picture of her appeared on the internet , is horrified to witness her boyfriend, Luke Selyan, fatally shot with an arrow at her swim meet. Horatio calls Ryan Wolfe and asks him to act as Candice's personal bodyguard, while Calleigh confiscates the archery team's bows from Robert Whitten, Candice's coach, noticing that the man has quite a few pictures of Candice up on his wall. While the mass's continue to follow Candice's every move, lab tech Sam Barrish and Delko discover photos of Candice taken up close, and Alexx finds a camera in Luke's glasses. A blogger confesses to planting the camera and a transmitter, but he denies being anywhere near the pool when Luke was murdered. Horatio finds himself pulled into the Candice controversy when webpages start linking to him--and mention a Grand Jury case he was involved in. Stetler urges Horatio accept police protection, but he declines.

When the tires of Horatio's Hummer are slashed, he brings in Damen Argento, the son of the man the grand jury put away five years ago, with Horatio's help. Damen blames Horatio for his father's death, but Horatio has nothing concrete to hold him on. He lets him go, with a stern warning. Alexx discovers lipstick behind Luke's ear, and footage from the camera in Luke's glasses leads the CSIs to Miranda Harton, a flirtatious fellow student who was convinced Luke was only staying with Candice because of her notoriety. Delko notes that it's a convincing motive for murder. Calleigh finds Coach Witten's DNA on the trigger of the bow that killed Luke, but he denies doing anything that would hurt Candice. After a promotional photo shoot Candice's mother set up, a man dressed in black attacks Candice and Ryan but escapes. Ryan scratches the man, and Natalia runs his DNA and discovers that it was none other than Candice's father who attacked the pair. Horatio talks to the man, who admits he did it because he feared for Candice's safety and didn't want her doing promotional events that put her in the public eye--and in danger.

After Sam shows Horatio a webpage declaring: "Horatio Caine Dies Today," Horatio drives his Hummer to a pier and leaves it--with a gun inside--and tells Sam to post the location on the internet. Calleigh is able to figure out the height and weight of the person who shot the bow, leading the CSIs to Miranda. Footage from the camera from Luke's sunglasses reveals her getting the key to the room where the bows were stored from Coach Witten. Miranda fesses up: she was aiming for Candice, not Luke, but when Candice didn't dive into the water, her arrow struck Luke instead. Horatio waits on the pier for his would-be killer and isn't shocked to discover it's Damen Argento. Damen has taken the gun from the Hummer and aims it at Horatio. Horatio gives him a chance to stand down, but Damen aims the gun at Horatio and fires...blanks. Horatio raises his own gun and arrests Damen. Back at the station, a new "cyber-lebrity" is born as Miranda is led out of the police station, and Candice sighs in relief as her stint in the public eye ends.

Analysis:

Fame in the age of the internet is certainly a worthy topic for a television show to ponder, but "Cyber-lebrity" is just so preposterous that it's hard to take the episode seriously. We're supposed to believe that a single photograph of a teenage girl has sparked such a frenzy that she's stalked by ordinary people in a way not even the biggest celebrities are? If a blogger is going to post someone's real time location, wouldn't it be that of Britney Spears or Paris Hilton as opposed to a random high school girl whose picture cropped up on a blog somewhere? Perhaps if Candice herself had been a blogger or had a live video feed--like lonelygirl15, the premise might have been more believable. But as it is, it's hard to believe that there'd be so much ado about nothing.

Horatio gets another notch on his ladder to martyrdom in this episode. Ryan gets a brief mention as the "hot bodyguard," but it's no surprise to viewers by now that it's the oft put upon Horatio whose past the bloggers dig into. Ryan has been on the news as a commentator, helped exposed a mole in the lab and got fired from his job for gambling on the job, but somehow it's Horatio's involvement in five-year-old grand jury proceedings that hits the net. It's a reach at best; even if the cyber-stalkers are going to dig up dirt on Horatio, wouldn't the fact that he was once under suspicion for murdering his girlfriend, or his involvement in the death of his mother's murderer, or his brother's sordid tale be juicer fodder than the fact that he testified in front of a grand jury five years ago?

As a result, the whole plotline feels superfluous, and if anyone actually believed Horatio was just going to stand there and let Damen shoot him, I'd be shocked. There's little suspense, except perhaps for the faint wish that Damen will defy cliché and put the gun down, but of course, he doesn't. Horatio already warned him once, so the mere fact that he's turned up to avenge his father proves he has no interest in Horatio's "last chances." In addition to being an obvious criminal, he's a stupid one. He could have at least put a little effort into the murder attempt by bringing his own gun, rather than one he pilfered from Horatio's conveniently placed Hummer.

As implausible as the episode is, there are a few bright moments. Jessica Szohr makes a memorable first appearance as lab tech Sam Barrish. She's sharp, beautiful and witty--no doubt she'll fit right in with the Miami team. Hopefully she won't fade into the background and disappear like some of the lab workers do. Whatever did happen to Tyler and Dan?

Ryan also gets drawn into the events of the episode when Horatio calls on him to guard Candice. Last week he was at the shooting range Natalia stopped by; next week will he be washing windows at the lab? Nonetheless, it's a relief to see him involved on a regular basis, and no doubt it's only a matter of time before he'll be reinstated at the lab.

IAB suit Stetler shows up as well, expressing such sympathetic concern for Horatio's well-being that the CSI comes off as ungrateful when he brushes off Stetler's suggestion of police protection. Will Horatio ever cut Stetler a break? Aside from the out-of-character abuse of Yelina in season three and Stetler's sometimes overly harsh treatment of Horatio's team, Stetler often comes off as pretty sympathetic to Horatio and his plight, making him a complex and interesting nemesis for Horatio. Horatio should really think about cutting him a break.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.