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CSI Files - CSI: Miami--'Just Murdered'

CSI: Miami--'Just Murdered'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at April 26, 2007 - 6:33 AM GMT

See Also: 'Just Murdered' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Peace on Miami's Star Island is shattered when Hank and Laurie Atherton begin a huge fight, complete with a chainsaw and a shotgun, oh Hank's boat. The police break up the fight only to discover the body of Mandy Felding, Hank's trainer and girlfriend, inside the Athertons' home, which is divided in half by a state of the art laser system. Their son Nathan tells the CSIs that the warring couple is working out a not-so-civil divorce. Before the CSIs can properly begin their investigation, another body connected to the Atherton's turns up: Stan Lockwood, who bought Hank's precious car from Laurie for a mere $200, is found dead beside the car, the keys nearby in a fire ant nest. Delko pulls a shoe print from the car door, which was kicked in, smashing Stan's head. Natalia finds semen in Mandy's body that belongs to her husband, Todd, and Horatio is able to get him to confess to killing her.

Carmen Henney, who is unjustly collecting money from Delko from a scam, shows up at the lab and is surprised when Delko doesn't recognize her. After the shoe print on the car is matched to Paul Warner, the pool boy, Laurie Atherton's lawyer, Stacy Wakeman moves to have the evidence dismissed based on Delko's recent injuries in a shooting. Carmen backs her up and the evidence is dismissed. Going back to square one, Delko, who is now on desk duty theorizes that because the red ant bites on Paul's arms didn't go all the way up them that the pool boy might have been wearing a jacket. The CSIs obtain Paul's jacket and when Natalia discovers skin cells caught in the zipper that match Stan, it's all over for the pool boy.

The Athertons are at the heart of another domestic disturbance when their safe deposit box is released and both race to the bank, only to find it empty. They're arrested, and in order for their lawyers to continue to represent them, they're forced to sign over the deed to their house. When Calleigh joins Nathan to pay a visit to Alex Comdon, Hank's lawyer, she's shocked to find him dying, the victim of a fatal stab wound. Horatio confronts Stacy, who breaks client confidentiality while defending herself, giving the CSI a way to get her disbarred--and Delko reinstated. Working on a clue from Nathan, Calleigh and Delko search the Atherton's house and find the weapon used to kill Comdon--the knife the Athertons used to cut their wedding cake. Dual interrogations reveal that the Athertons, after finding their safe deposit box looted confronted Comdon, and, after learning he'd appropriated the contents, killed him. Both Athertons are arrested, and Nathan drives off after lamenting to Calleigh that his parents fought over their material possessions, but never him.

Analysis:

Divorce can be murder, as we've seen before in Miami. I was with this episode right up until the Atherton's murdered their lawyer. The jealous husband slaying his wife and the pool boy killing the man who got his car both worked; part of the fun was that neither Atherton was involved. Despite the ugliness of their divorce, the couple wasn't responsible for either death, defying audience expectations that Laurie had likely killed Hank's mistress and Hank had slain the man who got away with his precious car.

I also liked that the Atherton's were unexpectedly brought back together by their lawyers' greed--when they realized they might lose their assets not to each other but to their avaricious litigators, they joined forces to find out who had pilfered their safe deposit box. But there was no reason for them to kill the weasely Alex Compton; he wasn't withholding their money or even trying to deny that he had the contents of the box. So why kill him? For fun? I guess anything's possible with this pair, but given that they had just finished going through the scrutiny of being suspected of not one but two murders, one would think they'd know better.

Their son Nathan was certainly a sad figure, with his wistful observation to Calleigh at the end of the episode that his parents fought over everything they had--except for him. He's a sad fixture throughout, but an effective red herring--the audience can't help but wonder if this kid, who is clearly mature beyond his years, might have finally snapped and killed any one of the victims: his dad's lover, the man who drove off with his dad's car or the lawyer helping facilitate his parents' separation. Instead, he helps the CSIs find the murder weapon, noting that his parents are as poisonous together as they are apart.

Hank and Laurie are indeed quite a pair. We first meet them as Laurie is taking a chainsaw to Hank's boat and Hank is shooting at it in an effort to sink the boat while his no-longer-dearly beloved is on it. Kelly Carlson as Laurie is particularly good, alternating between rage when faced with her husband and a polished calm when under interrogation. Both she and Hank are clearly capable of murder; it's just a bit hard to believe that they'd kill for no discernable reason, save for the fact that they felt like it.

Carmen Henney, last seen in "Throwing Heat" suing Delko after he helped her out, returns, eager to collect her money from the CSI, who following his shooting in "No Man's Land" doesn't remember her. She's as much of a snake as ever, presumably cutting a deal with the Athertons to appear at the hearing where the evidence Delko collected is challenged.

Her appearance does bring about one good thing: Calleigh gets the opportunity to charge to the rescue, coming between Delko and Carmen, pulling Delko aside and explaining, briefly, the situation to him and then sending Carmen packing. Emily Procter can channel steely resolve in an instant, dropping the sweet southern charm Calleigh is known for and reminding the audience of her strength and her protectiveness of those she cares about.

Delko definitely falls into that category, and in a scene that is both natural and seems to foreshadow something down the road for these two, Calleigh impulsively kisses Eric on the cheek. It's a sweet moment, as is the positively goofy smile on Delko's face as he watches her walk away. In general I have mixed feelings about romance in CSI shows, but this is one couple I can get behind one hundred percent. They have an easy, natural chemistry, and the longstanding base of their friendship--charged with flirtations here and there--makes them an ideal pairing.

Calleigh, whose sunny demeanor rarely wavers, is able to confide in Delko about her parents' divorce. Delko, who is not having an easy time getting back into the swing of the things after his injury and is grappling with memory loss, is able to drop the defensiveness that crops up when Ryan asks him how he's doing and let Calleigh know when he's struggling. The trust these two share as well as their long history together is a good base on which to build a relationship. I can't wait to see where this new path leads them.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.