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CSI Files - Double Cap

Double Cap

By Patti Vickers
Posted at April 5, 2003 - 8:04 PM GMT

Synopsis:

A hotel worker at the upscale Hotel Argramonte notices a woman lying face down in a lounger by the pool, long after most of the patrons have abandoned the pool area. Breaking hotel policy, he bends down and tries to get the woman’s attention. When she doesn’t move, he touches her hat, which falls off, revealing a bloody head wound.

The entire CSI team arrives on scene. Horatio and Alexx examine the body, and comment the wound to the back of the victim’s head appears to be a stellate bullet wound, which indicates the muzzle of the gun was held directly to the woman’s head at the time of the shooting. There is also searing on the victim’s head, another indictor it was a point blank or execution style shooting. They also notice a large emerald ring on the victim’s hand, indicating that robbery was not a motive.

Calleigh, meanwhile, is searching for bullet casings. It’s slow going, because the “shark” is picking up many metal objects in the nearby grasses. An on-scene detective indicates that, after speaking to the hotel front desk clerk, he has learned that the victim checks in weekly with a male companion. They rent the penthouse suite and pay in cash. Her routine is the same every Tuesday – she checks out alone and then heads to the pool for a little relaxation prior to leaving the hotel premises. Tim and Eric are sent up the penthouse to process the scene.

On the way up in the elevator, Tim and Eric notice a sophisticated surveillance system. Making a note to ask the hotel about it, they begin to process the bedroom for evidence. Eric sees a fingerprint on the headboard, and despite knowing it’s a long shot due to the volume of people in and out of any given hotel room, he takes the print. In the interim, Tim notices a tape in the VCR. Popping it out, he comments that it’s a porno tape, leaving both of them to consider that the victim’s companion was part of the “Viagra Crowd”, an older man who needed the porn tape as additional stimulus.

Speculating that the shooter may have been a hotel staff member, Calleigh asks to see the hands of all the staff on duty at the estimated time of the murder. Checking for gun shot residue, she notices an expensive black crystal watch on one of the employees wrists. When Calleigh points out that it matches the victim’s earrings, he admits that he took it from a towel lying by the victim but denies having anything to do with the murder.

Back in the morgue, Alexx tells Horatio that the victim was shot twice in the head – the killer shot her once and then pulled the trigger again, aiming at the same spot. Alexx finds an odd synthetic substance in the wound, which turns out to be neoprene. With still no ID on the victim, Horatio asks Alexx to print the victim and as he wants run her “ten card” through AFIS as soon as possible.

Calleigh brings the watch thief in for questioning and stops to speak to Horatio. He gives her the bullets from the victim’s head to examine and compare. While the two of them are speaking, Calleigh receives a personal phone call and asks Horatio if the bullet review can wait until she has run a small errand. He asks her if everything is okay and she indicates that it is – he tells her that she of course can run her errand and then complete the work on the bullet.

Eric and Tim start reviewing the hotel surveillance tapes. They can track the victim poolside, until she lies down on the lounger, as a small awning obscures most of her body. They see her ask a hotel staff member, Hugo, for a house phone, which is odd because she has a cell phone on the concrete right beside her.

Calleigh runs her errand – which in this case is to pick up her father in a bar. He’s drunk. The phone call she received was from the bar manager, alerting Calleigh to her father’s state and asking her to pick him up, since he is refusing a cab. “Duke” Duquesne, while obviously drunk, is good-natured and Calleigh convinces him to leave the bar with her and she drives him home.

AFIS kicks back an ID on the victim – Gloria Tynan. Noticing a federal identification number on the AFIS file, Horatio notes that by their accessing this file, he expects there will be federal marshals on their way to Miami.

After dropping her father off, Calleigh works on the recovered bullets. She discovers that the bullets have two sets of striations, which indicate that the bullet was not only marked by the barrel of the gun, but also by a silencer. They speculate that the silencer was made out of neoprene, which is why it was found in the wound. The first set of striations on the bullet matches that of an unsolved homicide. The detective on the case turns out to be Yelina Salas, Horatio’s sister-in-law.

Horatio goes to visit Yelina, to get the scoop on her unsolved homicide. It was a savings & loan robbery, in which a bank guard, a father of three children, was fatally wounded. The only thing the eyewitnesses recalled about the masked gunmen was that one of them had a very large mole in the middle of his neck.

Horatio heads back to the lab and is filled in on what the team has discovered about Gloria Tynan’s past. Recognizing the name listed as Gloria’s employer as the father of a Miami detective, Horatio concludes that the history they are reading is fictitious: Federal investigators, when making up new identities for witnesses and their families, often use police and the families of police officers as contacts – when questioned, officers and their families are more likely to get the facts straight. The file indicates that Gina works at Regal Harbour Boat Tours, which is owned by the father of Miami Detective Jeff Gabler.

Trying another route, they check the phone records of the hotel and locate the recipient of the phone call Gloria made. Unfamiliar with the name Gloria Tynan, they show the woman a picture – she immediately recognizes the victim as her daughter, Gina Cusack. She confirms that her daughter was in the witness protection program. Horatio recognizes the ring the woman is wearing as identical to the one found on victim. When asked about it, Gina’s mother tells the CSIs that it was a gift from Gina’s boyfriend, who, despite his generosity, the mother did not like. Horatio asks Mrs. Cusack is he can have the box the ring came in. While looking for it, she tells Horatio that Gina called her every Tuesday. In the bedroom, Horatio sees a single cordless phone. What he doesn’t tell Mrs. Cusack is that her using a cordless phone is what could have led the killer directly to Gina: anyone with a receiver could have conceivably listened in to any phone call she received or made while using the cordless phone.

While leaving Mrs. Cusack’s residence, Horatio sees a dark sedan with tinted windows parked out front. Thinking it may be the feds, Horatio approaches the car and knocks on the window. Rolling down the window, the man identifies himself as a federal marshal and cautions Horatio not to get involved. The marshal tells Horatio that Mrs. Cusack’s house has been equipped with a secure landline and is surprised when he is told about the cordless phone. The marshal then tries to blame Gina for her own death, insisting that she broke the protocol established for witnesses in protection. Angered by his cavalier attitude, Caine shows the marshal the ring box and tell him that HE will find Gina’s killer AND her boyfriend.

Back at the lab, Eric lifts a print off the ring box, and tries to match it to the print taken from the headboard at the hotel. When he does so, they run the print – it matches an Edward Hinkle, who according to his picture has a very large mole in the centre of his neck, just like the gunman in the unsolved savings & loan heist. Also on the file is the same federal identification number the CSIs noted on Gina’s file.

Calleigh receives a lovely bouquet of flowers at work. While she is admiring them, her father comes around the corner and admits he sent them as a thank you for the previous night. They have a brief discussion, where Calleigh cautions him to cut back on his drinking. He reassures her that he already has, though its clear they’ve been down this road before and Calleigh doesn’t believe his claim.

Federal Agent Sackheim arrives and he and Horatio locate Edward Hinkle’s wife. She’s working in a small Miami restaurant, and despite Agent’s Sackheim’s admonishing, she calls Edward Hinkle “Frank”. When questioned about Gina, Mary Hinkle gets angry – she’s irritated that Gina, her husband’s mistress, was brought down to Miami under witness protection. In her anger she tells Horatio that Frank had a lot of money, which she snuck out of his wallet at night. Asked if she has any of it with her, Mary gives Horatio a stack of bills, still banded from a bank, which Horatio hopes to trace back to the savings & loan murder. At another table, Horatio sees a small girl colouring. Speculating this is Frank/Edward Hinkle’s daughter he talks to her and when she asks, he promises to come back and visit her another day.

Back at the lab, the CSIs review the hotel security tapes again. They notice that when speaking to a hotel guest who is seated or lying down, all the staff kneel down. In addition, the hotel forbids any staff members to wear sunglasses while working. On the tape, they see a man, dressed in a hotel uniform and wearing sunglasses, carrying towels. They watch him move from guest to guest, handing out towels – until he comes to the lounger where Gina is. After leaning in to apparently give her a towel, they see him pull back with the same number of towels in his pile.

Off to the hotel, Calleigh begins the task of spraying the poolside towels, looking for gunshot residue, the presence of which is indicated on one towel. Examining the towel further, Calleigh finds a human hair, which she sends in for DNA testing.

The DNA results reveal that the hair came from a man named Jimmy Fukes. After they do some digging, the CSIs discover that Jimmy Fukes had a partner – Frank Carbone alias Edward Hinkle. Jimmy and Frank, they believe, are responsible for the savings & loan homicide, but have since had a falling out. Frank took all money and then went into the witness protection plan, leaving Jimmy without anything. Horatio reasons that Jimmy located Gina’s mother and used a receiver to overhear Gina and her mother speaking. Gina told her mother where she was and, to send Frank a message, Jimmy killed Gina with the same gun they used in the savings & loan crime.

Meanwhile the money Frank’s wife gave Horatio has been tested. The last bill has chemical traces of a particular disinfectant on it – a disinfectant that is being used on boats to stop the spread of the illness that has plagued cruise ships of late. Remember that Gina’s file indicated she worked at Regal Harbour Boat Tours, Horatio and some Miami detective stake out the dock where Regal Harbour’s docks its boats, hoping to see Frank. Sure enough, now that Gina is dead Frank needed to get the money out from where she stashed it – on her boss’ boat. They arrest him on the stop, only to be interrupted by Federal Agent Sackheim.

Sackheim demands they let Frank go, as he is scheduled to testify in a matter of days. Knowing that he can’t prosecute Frank for the savings & loan murder due to his status as a Federal witness, Horatio asks that Frank leave a message for Jimmy – after all, Frank can convince Jimmy to meet him which would allow Horatio to arrest him. Frank does so, and after several hours, Jimmy calls him back – but hangs up almost immediately, as Jimmy knows Frank is now involved with the feds. Before he allows Frank to leave with Sackheim, Horatio asks him what he knows about Jimmy. In the course of the conversation, Frank admits Jimmy is constantly playing the horses at any track he can find.

At one of the local tracks, Jimmy is located. He is then arrested and Horatio asks Jimmy where is car is, hoping to search if for evidence. Jimmy is uncooperative so the police fan out and search the parking lot for a vehicle with Pennsylvania tags on it. After find it, they open up his car and see a baby monitor on the front seat. When Horatio picks it up, Jimmy dismisses it as “for his children back home”. In the glove compartment, they find a gun.

After Jimmy is taken in for questioning on Gina’s murder, Horatio calls his sister-in-law, Detective Salas. She arrives and begins to question Jimmy about the savings & loan murder. In the meantime, Agent Sackheim shows up and tells Horatio that a deal is in the works that would see Jimmy walk away from the two murder raps he is now facing. Angry and frustrated, Horatio calls his Detective Salas over to tell her the news.

While she’s working in the lab, Calleigh’s cell phone rings. Once again, it’s another bar, calling to tell her that her father is drunk and they’d like her to pick him up. As she does, Horatio heads back to the restaurant where he met Frank’s wife and daughter. He asks the waitress if Mary is working and she tells him that she quit, took her daughter and indicated she was heading out west. The waitress then asks if Horatio is from the Miami police. When he says yes, she hands him a twenty-dollar bill that Mary had given her to give to him. Circled in red on the bill is “In God We Trust”.

Analysis:

One of the major plot points-slash-themes in this episode has been done to death by every cop show out there. We’ve all seen the whole “The Feds are bad, the locals are good” storyline before. That being said, this is still a very good episode and most of the credit for that lies with David Caruso.

I’m not a fan of David Caruso. In fact, his casting caused me to re-think the whole “Must watch CSI: Miami ” thing. I watched the pilot and was decidedly unimpressed – everything that bugged me about Caruso and his character in the original CSI episode they appeared in was present in the pilot. And I didn’t have Catherine to counter balance it. In this episode, however, Caruso demonstrated why he has legions of fans. He was really good. I felt his anger when the feds stomped all over his case and I knew he truly was seeking some sort of justice for the victims. His Caine’s interaction with his sister-in-law gave his character, in my opinion, some much-needed humanity. There is a relationship between the two – you could sense that from the interaction. His performance made this episode more than the run of the mill “Us against Them” story it could have been.

A couple things bugged me about the show. There are huge plot holes – for example, Eric takes only one fingerprint from the headboard and it matches the ring box on the first shot? And the hotel has this massive surveillance system but only one view of the pool?

Another flaw in this episode is the science. It’s virtually non-existent. This episode is an illustration of good old-fashioned police work, albeit in a high tech world. There’s very little in the way of forensics in ‘Double Cap’. We have the usual “how did the victim die” stuff and ballistics from Calleigh, but beyond that, not much else. And that’s a shame, since forensic science is the reason CSI is so popular in the first place. Change the names and the location, and this easily could have been an episode of Law & Order.

And speaking of other shows, the minor subplot in ‘Double Cap’ had me reminiscing about cop shows gone by. Calleigh and her likeable drunk of her father had me spinning back a few years to Cagney & Lacey. The parallels between Calleigh and Christine Cagney are interesting – blond, single, female, second generation cops, with a little bit of an attitude and a sarcastic tongue. Smarter than the average cop and yet often dismissed by suspects because of their good looks. And the ones their alcoholic fathers leaned on, whether consciously or not. Deja-vu, but in a good way.

I guess that sums up the whole episode – yes, we’ve seen this well-worn tale before. But this time around, it is still a likeable enough story.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Patti Vickers reviews CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami episodes for CSI Files.