CSI: Miami--'All In'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at May 19, 2009 - 10:57 PM GMT

See Also: 'All In' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Picking up where "Ambush" left off, Horatio Caine ventures into the jungle in Rio de Janeiro and finds multiple Mala Noche henchmen waiting for him. One fires on him and Horatio draws his weapon and returns fire, killing all but one of them. He similarly dispatches two men on a motorcycle and two more in a car. He wounds the final man and then walks up to the man and fires the fatal shot. Returning to Miami, Horatio joins his team to search for Calleigh, who has been abducted. The CSIs scour her Hummer, which is riddled with bullet holes. When Ryan and Natalia find traces of chloroform on the car, they wonder if there is a connection between Calleigh's kidnapping and Kathleen Newberry's abduction and murder. Horatio threatens Ron Saris, vowing to kill him if he's abducted Calleigh. He confronts Julia as well, and she tells him she turned him into the Brazilian officials to protect him from Ron. Horatio is upset to learn Julia and Kyle are living with Ron, and fears for their lives. Calleigh awakens in a warehouse, bound and gagged, across from a dead body and two men, one of whom is wielding a gun. The two men, Seth and Tommy, have abducted her to help her cover up the murder of the man on the ground, Robert Milan, whom they shot after an underground game of poker. She convinces them to untie her and removes the bullet from Robert's body. While Tommy goes to get rid of the bullet, she tells Seth, clearly the more dangerous of the two, to smoke a cigar to mask the smell of decomposition. When Seth comes on to her, Calleigh fights him off, telling him she doesn't think he killed Robert.

Tommy returns with the supplies Calleigh asked him to get and she tests Robert's body, discovering he was poisoned with arsenic. She convinces the two men to take her to Robert's apartment to look at the primary crime scene and discover who really killed him. Feeling guilty, Dan Cooper brings the memory card from Calleigh's camera into the lab. Delko and Natalia scour it for clues, noticing a string hanging off the back of the car Kathleen was found in. Ryan goes to the tow yard and recovers the string from the two truck that pulled Kathleen's car from the water. Horatio matches it to Ron Saris's shoe, but the man remains arrogant. He denies kidnapping Calleigh, pointing out that he has no motive now that he has Julia back. When Horatio tells him he's going away for murder, Ron bangs his head into the table, vowing to claim Horatio knocked him around. Delko is able to recover a bullet from Calleigh's Hummer and he matches it to a gun owned by a man named Paul Evett. Evett tells the CSI he lost his gun in an underground poker game and he gives the CSI the address of the warehouse it was in. Horatio and Delko rush to the building, discovering Robert's body and noticing that the area has been washed clean of evidence. They find a message left by Calleigh in finger prints on the wall, indicating she's been kidnapped by two men. Horatio angrily confronts the owner of the warehouse, Mitch Davis, but he denies any knowledge of the poker games or the murder. At Robert's apartment, Calleigh finds a flask and sets up a fuming chamber to recover prints from it. She asks both Seth and Tommy for elimination prints, but only Tommy volunteers a set. In the corner, Calleigh convinces Tommy to turn himself and the flask in so that the real murderer can be caught.

In the morgue, Alexx discovers a cigar butt inside the bullet hole. Realizing Calleigh planted it there, Horatio takes it to Natalia for DNA. She matches it to Seth McAdams, who is in the system for attempted rape. Tripp learns no one has seen Seth in days. Tommy shows up at the station with the flask and gives up the address where Calleigh and Seth are. There's no sign of Seth and Calleigh, but Delko notices a picture of Robert with Mitch, the warehouse owner. Mitch admits to knowing Robert and expresses irritation with him for using his warehouse for illegal games, but denies having anything to do with his death. The prints on the flask are a match to Paul Evett, who admits to poisoning Robert to throw off his poker game after Evett lost his kids' college fund to the arrogant man. Evett also admits that he didn't lose his gun--he shot the Hummer in a rage thinking it was Robert's. Back at Robert's place, Horatio finds a message from Calleigh in invisible ink: Club Descent, 6pm. Seth takes Calleigh to the club's basement to rob an underground poker game, but when they arrive, Delko, Ryan and Tripp are at the table, brandishing guns. Horatio comes up behind Seth and Calleigh throws off her abductor. Calleigh tells Delko she's okay but he reveals how scared he was at the prospect of losing her. The two drive off together in a Hummer.

Analysis:

A thrilling conclusion to an exciting pair of episodes, "All In" is not without its silliness, but it's mostly forgivable given the intensity of Calleigh's storyline. That said, I have to get this out of the way first: the teaser was one of the most absurd things I've ever seen Miami do, and for a show known for over-the-top action, that's saying a lot. But for Horatio to single-handedly take out ten Mala Noche gang members without breaking a sweat--or sustaining an injury himself--is just plain absurd. Yes, I realize it's another attempt to make Horatio look like the all-powerful man who can surmount any obstacle, but come on, there are more clever and more realistic ways to do that. It's hard to contrast Calleigh's very realistic danger with the dramatically unrealistic shoot out that the episode opens with.

I did find the end of the sequence pretty morally ambiguous, when Horatio walks up to the felled Mala Noche who is crawling, rather pathetically like the armless and legless knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, towards his weapon--a large board--and shoots him on the ground, saying, "Mala Noche justice, meet Miami justice." Is it a cool moment? Sure. But it's also Horatio, our hero, shooting a guy when he's down on the ground and going for a weapon that couldn't even do any damage unless Horatio was standing right next to him. That does make Horatio look like a cold-blooded killer. Riaz was one thing--the man had Marisol murdered--but Horatio didn't need to shoot the man on the ground. How does that make him any better than the killers he wants to bring to justice?

The ridiculousness at the beginning aside, "All In" is a great episode. Between this episode, "Stand Your Ground" and the love triangle Calleigh is in with Jake and Eric, Emily Procter has had a lot to work with this season. It's great to see the writers throwing storylines her way, because Procter is a fantastic actress. She manages to convey Calleigh's fear and her strength all in one breath. Despite her predicament, Calleigh is no damsel-in-distress, wringing her hands and waiting for the guys to save her. She plants clues along the way for the CSIs to follow, gives them evidence on her abductors and even convinces one of the guys to turn himself in. In the end, even with four guys training their guns on Seth, it is Calleigh who throws him off so that he can be taken into custody.

In the end, when Calleigh says she's fine, we believe her, because of that strength. Delko believes her, too, and it elicits a confession from him: he's not fine, and if anything had happened to her, he doesn't know what he would have done. She looks at him and realizes he needs her, and the two go home together in one of the CSI Hummers. It's a sweet moment given the build-up of romantic feelings between the two over the last season. Is Jake still in the picture or are Eric and Calleigh free to act on their feelings for each other? There's no real indication either way, so we'll have to wait and see what's next for the couple, and wonder, for now, what happened after they drove off for home in the Hummer.

Adam Rodriguez gets to show off his acting chops in this episode, too, displaying a focused intensity and intense anxiety over Calleigh's abduction. Natalia has to reign him in at one point, reminding him that anger and frustration aren't going to help them to recover Calleigh. The depth of his feelings for Calleigh are evident throughout the episode. Rodriguez does a stellar job with the material, reflecting Eric's nervousness and fear for Calleigh in every scene.

The scene at Descent when Seth and Calleigh walk in only to find Delko, Ryan and Tripp at the pool table waiting for them is nothing short of phenomenal. Seth doesn't know what Calleigh's co-workers look like so he doesn't react right away, but it's a great reveal for the audience, who are in on the moment just as Calleigh is. Of course it's Horatio who steps from behind to put the gun to Seth's head and tells him it's over. It's a minor quibble, but it would have been a nice pay-off for Delko to have him be the one to do this, but it's great to see him at the table, focusing all of his intensity and rage on Seth as he aims his gun at the kidnapper and would-be killer.

The storyline with Ray Saris remains open, despite the fact that Horatio has the shoelace evidence on him. I'm not sure why Horatio doesn't just arrest Ron on the spot; he's got evidence against him and he's worried for the lives of his son and Julia. Ron's police brutality claim is pretty stupid, given how many open windows there are around the interrogation room. I presume the storyline was left open so that it can be resolved in a future episode. My guess? Either Julia gets murdered by Ron and that's how Horatio is able to put him away, or Julia redeems herself, Ron is caught and put behind bars and Julia leaves Miami with Kyle in tow, creating more angst for our long-suffering hero.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.