CSI: Miami--'Born To Kill'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at May 16, 2007 - 7:03 AM GMT

See Also: 'Born to Kill' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

After a night of clubbing, Shelly Seaver ends up dead in her apartment, her hands bound with fishing wire and the letter Y carved into her chest. Alexx determines she was stabbed to death, and points out two different knife patterns--one straight, the other serrated. Shelley's friend Alexis tells the CSIs she left Shelly at the club to go off with a sexy man on a motorcycle who ditched her when she wouldn't sleep with him. The CSIs track down the biker, Travis Peck, but the knife he has doesn't match Shelly's wounds. Tripp uncovers three similar murders in Boston with an identical signature, leading Horatio to think a serial killer has set up shop in Miami. Traces of red fish scales lead the CSIs to Mosquito Island, where they zero in on Lucas Wade, who has suspicious scratches on his face. Lucas admits to hooking up with Shelly after Alexis left with Travis, but claims he left her alive.

Ryan Wolfe is going over all his old cases and tickets he gave out as a patrol officer, trying to account for a sizeable deposit in his account in hopes of getting his job back. Lucas's sister Lindsay arrives at the station hoping to post bail for her brother. She tells the CSIs that Lucas has an extra Y chromosome, making him predisposed to aggressive behavior and earning him the scorn of their parents growing up. While Lucas is in custody, another woman, Jennifer Royce, turns up dead, a Y carved into her chest as well. Prints on the murder weapon lead to Rita Bolton, Lucas's girlfriend, but she insists she simply packed his fishing kit for him. Jake leaves in a van to transport Lucas to prison, but one of the wheels becomes loose and flies off, turning over the van, injuring Jake and allowing Lucas to escape.

Delko finds severed handcuffs and biker boot prints at the scene, leading the CSIs back to Travis. Travis, who served time in a jail cell next to Lucas in Boston, was his partner in crime, luring women away from their friends so that Lucas could prey on them. Alexx shows Calleigh that the Y incision on Jennifer's chest was done by a left-handed person, not a right-handed one like the others, leading the CSIs to Lucas's sister Lindsay. Lindsay tells them that Lucas took her daughter, Holly. Calleigh looks up an old story in a Boston newspaper about the death of Lindsay and Lucas's sister, Emma, when they were all children. Lucas was blamed for her death, but Calleigh is able to get Lindsay to admit to being the actual killer. Using a child tracker attached to Holly and information from Ryan, who after going through his tickets realized he once pulled Lucas over, the CSIs find Lucas with Holly. He is arrested, and both Wade siblings are taken away. Jake leaves the hospital and makes his interest in Calleigh clear by kissing her in the lab, while Natalia helps Ryan go over his past arrests. Horatio stands on top of a building looking out on the city he helps keep safe.

Analysis:

I'll admit, I like a good spoiler as much as the next girl (or guy). A well placed hint, a carefully worded tease--I eat that stuff up. There's an art to giving good spoilers: giving away enough to get people excited, but not too much that they can predict what's going to happen. With finale season upon us, there are spoilers all over the place: in magazines, in newspapers, on websites. There's lots of juicy info to be had, and it isn't too hard to find.

I have to take umbrage with one of the most high profile CSI: Miami spoilers, dropped by executive producer (and co-writer, along with Sunil Nayer, of Miami's fifth season finale) Ann Donahue, who said this to TV Guide of Miami's finale: "Horatio almost dies!"

Oh yeah? I must have missed it then, because Horatio was his usual heroic self, not a red hair out of place or a single scratch on his trendy shades. I understand a writer and a producer wouldn't want to give away a big twist in the show's finale, but why tease something that doesn't happen at all? Incidentally, this isn't the first false spoiler--or 'foiler'--Donahue has offered up. Last year she said of the mole in the lab: "that person would definitely have to leave the show." But whereas that foiler simply masked a character's fate, the recent one about Horatio almost dying set up false expectations for the finale.

Because Miami is so action-packed on a regular basis, the finales for the show don't generally come across as event episodes so much as more of the same, with a little twist. "Born to Kill" is a decent Miami entry, but it's not any more amped up action-wise than episodes like "No Man's Land" or "Darkroom". That's just the pitfall of having a CSI show that features shootouts and chases on a regular basis.

Horatio is his typical heroic self, but I find myself missing the days when there was more to the character than superhuman acts. He's become a caricature of the character he used to be--a man who cared so much about the job that it became the focal point of his life. Where Horatio used to be a kind of sad figure, he's now more or less flat, moving with ease through whatever the latest script throws at him. I laughed out loud in this episode when Horatio says he'll be able to get a grief-struck child--who isn't talking to anyone--to talk to him, and then he approaches the child, asks a question and presto! the kid starts talking. We know Horatio is pretty much the Child Whisperer, but does it really have to be so easy?

Not all the CSIs have as easy a time as Horatio does. Poor Delko seems to be down and out in the love department since Calleigh did a startling and unexpected about face last week in "Kill Switch", shying away from her obvious attraction to Delko and running into the waiting arms of Jake Berkeley, the possibly reformed cad who threw her over when they were both at the police academy. While it's a bit of a baffling move given the mutual sparks that have been flying between the two, Calleigh at least tries to explain to Delko why she's considering pursuing something with Jake and not him: they work together. It's a a lame excuse, and Delko seems none too happy to hear it.

It's impossible not to feel for Delko when he spots Jake showing Calleigh his wounds and then impulsively kissing her in the middle of the lab. The look Calleigh shoots Delko from the elevator as she leaves with Jake suggests she has some misgivings about her choice, but she does leave, setting up what will no doubt be on-going tension in season six. I'll reserve judgment until then, but I will say that it's frustrating to watch two characters who are obviously attracted to each other find excuses not to get together. So far, what's happened between Calleigh and Delko has played out well, and hopefully next season Calleigh will come to her senses.

Ryan Wolfe doesn't have an easy time of it in the finale, either, having to defend a $64,000 in his bank account to Stetler. The money is never accounted for during the episode, so perhaps that's a loose end that will be tied up next season. I am impressed that Ryan didn't win his job back with ease; the finale suggests it's going to be an uphill climb for him. He has an ally in Natalia, who sits down with him to help him go through his records at the end of the episode. Natalia is in a very different place than she was at the end of last season, when it was revealed that she'd been leaking information about the lab. Now a trusted member of the team, Natalia is willing to help out someone else she sees in a position that reminds her of what her own was not too long ago.

What's next? Presumably next season will see Ryan back on the job, though part of me hopes it's not in the premiere. In "Kill Switch," Calleigh laid out a pretty lengthy list of Ryan's transgressions, including gambling on the job and getting too friendly with the press. Ryan's stint at On The Scene News might have showed him that sensational journalism isn't a field he wants to be in, but he has a way to go before he wins the trust of his colleagues back. I'd like to see that journey next season. I'd also like to see Calleigh and Delko act on their feelings for each other. But at the top of my wish list would be rediscovering Horatio's humanity. We know he's a great cop, but let's see more of the man behind the badge in the show's sixth season.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.