CSI: Miami--'And How Does It Make You Kill?'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at October 17, 2008 - 6:08 PM GMT

See Also: 'And How Does That Make You Kill?' Episode Guide


The evening after psychiatrist Rachel Marsh has a disturbing session with Nick Burnham, a patient who tells her he fantasizes about killing her, her teenage daughter, Chelsea, is found murdered in Dr. Marsh's home office. Delko is shocked when he arrives at the scene; Dr. Marsh is the psychiatrist he's been seeing since he was shot. Dr. Tara Price examines the body and determines that Chelsea died between 1 am and 4 am and that her COD appears to be a single puncture wound to the head. The CSIs question Burnham, but while he admits to throwing a clock during their session, he denies having anything to do with Chelsea's death. DNA found at the scene from a classmate of Chelsea's, Allison O'Connor, proves to be a dead end as well: she's a cutter and bled during her most recent session with Dr. Marsh. The CSIs learn Chelsea was in her mother's office to forge prescriptions and talk to Chelsea's brother, who tells them she was seeing someone and planning to end it. He also recalls seeing a woman sneaking around the day before with a car sporting the license plate: LUV COREY.

Horatio questions the woman, Pam Dashell, who tells him she's in a custody battle with her ex, Eddie, over their son, Corey. She followed Eddie to his therapy session looking for ammo to use against him. Natalia and Ryan question Chelsea's ex-boyfriend, Shane Huntington, and learn he was also a patient of her mother. Dr. Marsh calls Delko to tell him startling news: her patient files are missing, leading the CSIs to suspect Chelsea may have caught a thief in the act. Eddie Dashell's fingerprints on the file drawer lead them to suspect him, but he insists he only read his own file and his son Corey provides an alibi for the night of the murder. Horatio visits Pam at the salon where she works and discovers a bloody pair of scissors there. Under questioning, Pam admits she went to kill Dr. Marsh because she was afraid the doctor was going to recommend Eddie get custody of Corey. She was horrified when she discovered she killed the woman's daughter instead.

No sooner is the case closed then a shocking call comes in: Dr. Marsh has been shot to death in front of her house. The CSIs find her son Justin with bloody hands, but he insists he tried to save his mother. He admits to being paid to steal her files for Shane Huntington. Shane tells the CSIs he was afraid he'd be disinherited if his father found out what was in his file; he burned his own and tossed the rest. The CSIs recover the files and Delko and Calleigh go over the material and in the process Calleigh reads Delko's file--and learns he'd like to settle down with her. They also stumble across Nick Burnham's file and read about his fantasies of killing Dr. Marsh. They bring the man back in for questioning and he tells them how angry he was when Dr. Marsh refused to see him after the death of her daughter. Focused on his needs alone, he went to her house and shot her when she told him she wouldn't schedule an appointment with him. Delko deems him a classic narcissist. After Burnham is taken away, Delko tries to find out if Calleigh read his file, but she evades his questions. Horatio brings Corey to Eddie Dashell and tells him he needs to take good care of himself for his son.


I'll say this for CSI:Miami: the titles sure are getting creative this season. First we had a clever play on the show's theme song with "Won't Get Fueled Again" and now we have a Miami-fied version of the therapist catchphrase, "And how does that make you feel?" It underscores the hip, trendy vibe that Miami--and the franchise in general, but certainly Miami most of all--is going for. The technology is top of the line--it seems like we see that fancy computerized layout projection in every other episode--the setting is vibrant and the people beautiful. The recent titles reflect the slickness seen in the show itself. And is anyone going to forget a title like "CSI: My Nanny" or "Won't Get Fueled Again"?

I think Miami is at its best when it avoids mob stories and big explosions; much as those can be exciting now and then, the show is guilty of over-doing it on both fronts. The season is only a few episodes old, and we've already had both an explosion and mob involvement in the season premiere, "Resurrection" and a sinister crime ring in "Won't Get Fueled Again." "And How Does that Make You Kill?" has plenty of twists, but they're kept within the circle of the psychiatrist and her patients. The story has a logical succession and doesn't, say, jump from the murder of one man covered in gasoline to a human trafficking operation. There are still two murders in this episode--and usually when a case is wrapped well before the show's conclusion, it's safe to say something else is going to happen--making for a complex and layered story without being too over the top.

The biggest treat of the episode is getting into Delko's head a bit, so to speak. It's wonderful continuity the past few seasons. Delko may have gone back to work far too quickly after being shot in the head in "No Man's Land" and nearly dying in "Man Down", but the writers have done an excellent job of showing that Delko is still dealing with the fallout from the shooting ever since. From having visions of Speedle in "Bang Bang Your Debt" to needing a list of crime scene procedure reminders in "Ambush", it's clear that Delko is still struggling with the repercussions of his injury. He's not the same man as before, either: the old Delko was a little cockier, much more slick and sure of himself. From bantering with Speedle to clashing with Ryan to bedding Natalia, it was clear that Delko had no confidence issues. Now, he's still not sure he can remember proper crime scene procedure without notes and he's fallen hard for his best friend, but doesn't have the confidence to tell her. It's a credit to Adam Rodriguez's nuanced performance that we don't realize just how much Delko has changed before taking a step back and looking at his behavior before the shooting and the change after.

Delko used to be the show's ladies man, but that has definitely changed. When Natalia comments in "Won't Get Fueled Again" that the new ME was trying to impress him, Delko seems dismissive of the idea, noting "she's cute" and leaving it at that. The last time an attractive new female employee showed up and worked closely with Delko, Delko gamely flirted with and bedded her. That was of course Natalia, but it seems that they've truly transitioned into just being good friends and co-workers. There's no sexual tension left between them, and perhaps that has to do with them being different people than they were back when they met in season four. Natalia's confidence has grown: she's a part of the team now, and her abusive ex is in the past. Delko's had the opposite experience, with both his confidence in his job performance and in himself diminished since the shooting.

At the end of the episode, Delko musters up the courage to ask Calleigh if she's read his file but not the gumption to tell her how he feels about her. For her part, Calleigh evades giving him a direct answer. Is she really floored by the fact that Delko wants to be with her at this point? His jealousy of Calleigh's boyfriend, Jake, was readily apparent last season, as was his devotion to her. Calleigh stood by his side after the shooting, and her reaction to almost losing him made it pretty obvious that her feelings are stronger than mere friendship. So what gives? Rather than telling Delko they should talk or directly admitting she read the file, Calleigh simply leaves things at, "We make a good team" and tells him she'll see him tomorrow. It feels like a brush-off, but is it that or is she just not ready to make the leap yet?

Romance can be dangerous waters for CSI shows, as we've seen. On CSI, Grissom and Sara did the 'will-they-or-won't-they' dance for six seasons before finally getting together, so on that clock, it might take Delko and Calleigh a little longer to acknowledge how they feel about each other. On the other end of the end of the spectrum, over on CSI: NY Danny and Lindsay acknowledged their feelings for each other after a little over a season but have been starting and stopping ever since. Hopefully Delko and Calleigh will strike the right balance because Adam Rodriguez and Emily Procter have such intense chemistry. Viewers will want to see that paid off.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.