Review: CSI: Miami–‘Dude, Where’s My Groom?’

The Miami CSIs are on the hunt to find a missing groom after his two friends show up dazed and covered in blood in a fountain.

Synopsis:

Kim Hewitt’s wedding day turns into a nightmare when her groom, Charlie King, doesn’t show up for the wedding, and his two groomsmen are discovered in a fountain in Miami, passed out, handcuffed together and covered in blood. The blood in the fountain doesn’t belong to either Jack Williams or Sean Anderson, and both claim to have no memory of the night before–or knowledge of where Charlie is. Kim tells Calleigh that Jack, the best man, had a serious falling out with Charlie a while back over a business lawsuit, and that Sean has an unrequited crush on her. Jesse has a tox screen run on the two men and finds a designer drug known as “Devil’s Breath” in their system that inhibits memory. Ryan recovers green flecks from Jack, and finds a bloody piece of paper in his pocket. Jesse finds a stamp from a club on Sean’s hand, leading the CSIs to the hotel the men stayed in. Calleigh and Jesse go to the hotel room and find it in complete shambles–but there’s no sign of Charlie anywhere. The CSIs find a pair of underwear with the logo of Club Perspire on it. The underwear leads them to Carmel Owens, a stripper at the club. Carmel recognizes Jack and Charlie–she says she poured them champagne and took the groom into the VIP room, but denies drugging the men. Calleigh views surveillance footage from the club and is surprised to catch sight of Kim in the video, observing Charlie going off with Carmel. The CSIs bring Kim in and she admits to following Charlie, and feeling betrayed that he went back on his promise to not to have strippers at his bachelor party. Kim went ballistic, but she didn’t confront him.

Though Natalia isn’t able to recover DNA from the blood in the fountain because of the chlorine, Warren is able to make out some of the writing on the bloody piece of paper and finds it’s a bail bond–Jack bailed someone out of jail. Jesse and Calleigh question Julio, the guy who issued the bonds, and he tells them Jack was bailing out Sean, who had been arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after a prominent hotel developer filed a complaint. Calleigh is surprised to see Kim’s father, Timothy Hewitt, wrote the check. When Calleigh questions him, Hewitt claims the check was a wedding gift for Charlie, whom he says doesn’t know the value of a dollar. Horatio and Ryan visit the hotel developer, Clay Bennett, who tells them that Charlie, Jack and Sean crashed his party, and were kicked out twice. Charlie and Jack stole his limo, leaving Sean behind. Bennett had Sean arrested and sent one of his security guys after the limo. Horatio puts out an APB on the limo. The limo is located–with the body of the security guard, Tito Esquevez, in the backseat. Ryan recovers more green flecks in the limo and notices one on the body. He takes it to Walter for analysis and the lab tech discovers that it’s a paint sample–and the paint on one side of it is older than the other. Ryan and Walter go back to the hotel room and find a painting of a deer on the wall and finds evidence it  was recently hung. Looking closer, they find something beneath the painting–a Matisse original worth 20 million dollars, clearly stolen. The painting must have been in the limo–and what may have cost Charlie his life. Horatio arrests Clay Bennett for art theft and Ryan looks for Charlie, but there’s no sign of the groom on Clay’s property.

Dr. Loman determines that Tito was killed with the door of the limo–his killer slammed his head in the door twice. DNA from both groomsmen was found under his fingernails, but the CSIs zero in on Jack as the killer when they discover the person who slammed the door was left handed. Jack is arrested for murder, and Sean as an accessory. Tripp calls Jesse with the news that Carmel has quit her job at the strip club. Jesse and Calleigh go to the club before she can leave and Jesse illegally searches her bag, finding a picture of her daughter–and a vial of Dragon’s Breath. Carmel admits a man paid her to take Charlie out back so he could abduct the groom. She recalls the man was older and had a Southern accent–and Calleigh thinks ot Kim’s father. Calleigh has both brought in, and Kim is shocked to hear that after she placed a desperate call to her father, he lost it, drove to the club and kidnapped Charlie. She’s floored when she learns the check Jack used to bail out Sean wasn’t a wedding gift at all, but an attempt to pay Charlie off to leave her–which the young man turned down. Horatio asks if Charlie is alive and Hewitt reveals that Charlie is on a raft in the ocean. A police helicopter rescues him, and Horatio watches as a tearful Kim is reunited with her weakened but alive fiance.

Analysis:

The title might be a shout out to the comedy Dude, Where’s My Car, but the plot is a clever send up of this past summer’s popular bachelors gone wild movie The Hangover. In The Hangover, four guys road trip to Vegas for a bachelor party–and the next morning, three of them wake up with no memory of the night before, and can’t find the groom-to-be. What follows is a hilarious attempt to patch together the previous twelve hours in the hopes of finding the groom–not unlike this episode. From the goofy groomsmen–who Jesse refers to as “Dumb and Dumber” at one point to the investigation that pieces together the madcap night bit by bit, the episode is pure fun, just like the surprise summer hit was. For those who’ve seen the movie, there are plenty fun parallels–the guys lose the groom, are left with no memory because of drugged drinks, and manage to piss off a powerful millionaire. Of course, there’s no murder in The Hangover, but CSI: Miami offers a rare happy ending to keep the tale relatively upbeat.

The episode is such good-natured fun that it feels almost uncharitable to point out the big glaring plot hole: how did Sean end up drugged if he wasn’t at the strip club? What’s more, according to Sean, he’s been sober for three years, meaning he shouldn’t have been drinking at all the night of the bachelor party. It’s the one misstep in a story that otherwise tracks well, but it’s a big enough one that it really stands out.

Unlike the genial father-in-law to be in The Hangover–who advises the groom that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas–except for herpes”–Timothy Hewitt is dead set against his daughter marrying Charlie, so much so that he offers the groom a blank check to just go away. And when Kim calls him from the strip club, rather than trying to talk her out of marrying the guy, he resolves to kidnap Charlie and strand him on a raft in the ocean, leaving him to the elements rather than just killing him. It’s pretty cold-blooded, but it paves the way for a happy ending when the CSIs solve the case in time to save Charlie.

The delightfully quirky Dr. Loman shows up again, and he gets territorial over the body of Tito Esquevez when Ryan tries to pick a piece of evidence off the security guard. “It’s on the body, so it’s mine,” Dr. Loman says, when Ryan tries to remove the green paint sample. Loman assures the CSI that he’ll bag and tag the piece and send it up to him. Ryan is taken aback, but doesn’t argue with the crusty coroner, instead searching the limo and uncovering a few samples he’ll have immediate access to.

Ryan takes it to lab tech Walter, who is definitely getting a lot of screen time. Walter discovers the older paint on the other side of the sample, explaining to Ryan that his mother made him study art history in college. With his easy-going attitude and genial charm, Walter is a nice addition to the cast, adding a nice counterpoint for his more intense colleagues.

Speaking of intense, Jesse bends a few rules when he confronts Carmel, grabbing her back and searching it without a warrant. Calleigh is clearly uncomfortable with his maverick move, though it ends up paying off when he discovers a picture of Carmel’s daughter and a vial of the Devil’s Breath. Is there something about the case that’s personally getting under Jesse’s skin? Or is it just that he’s used to bending the rules in Los Angeles? What we’ve seen of Jesse so far indicates he’s usually pretty easy-going, but “In Plane Sight” teased that he might be hiding a few details about his life. Jesse remains a compelling new addition to the team, one it will be nice to learn more about.

Source: "Dude, Where's My Groom?"

Kristine Huntley

Author

Kristine Huntley

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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