CSI: Miami--'Chain Reaction'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at November 14, 2007 - 1:51 AM GMT

See Also: 'Chain Reaction' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Model Alisha Reilly is electrocuted to death at a fashion show, and the CSIs quickly determine her death was no accident. Their top suspect is the lighting technician, Terrence Kerr, until they discover red hair from Juliana Ravez, one of the other models, beneath the stage. Juliana claims she hooked up with Terrence in order to ensure she'd get good lighting during the show. The CSIs are surprised to learn that Alisha was married to Joe LeBrock, an inmate with a grudge against Horatio. When Horatio questions Joe, he makes a veiled threat against Horatio's son, Kyle, and the man Horatio asked to look out for him, Oscar. Horatio warns them both. The CSIs learn that Joe had a visit from his son, Scott, but when they learn the FBI is investigating Scott, Natalia is called upon to use her FBI connections to find out why Scott is under investigation. She isn't able to discover why, but Natalia is able to get surveillance tapes out of her contact Agent Farallon.

Calleigh and Delko go over Alisha's clothes and are surprised to discover heroin embedded in the metallic fabric. They corner the designer, Gavin Hauer, and find his lab. He admits to them that he has been smuggling drugs for Joe LeBrock. Horatio goes to the prison to confront LeBrock only to see Oscar killed before his eyes by a land mine. Delko finds a sim card from a cell phone among the debris, and when the inmates' cells are searched, a phone is found in Kyle's bed. Kyle claims he has no idea how the phone got there. Delko goes over the entire wardrobe from the fashion show and finds a platinum string missing from Juliana Ravez's dress and concludes that it was the platinum string used as a conductor to kill Alisha Reilly. Calleigh and Delko confront the model, who admits she killed Alisha when she learned Alisha was going to blow the whistle on the smuggling operation. She did it without Joe's knowledge; she wanted him for herself.

Horatio learns that Kyle lied to him about the phone when he finds calls on it made to Kyle's mother in Pensacola. Kyle admits Joe gave him the phone as a peace offering. Horatio is able to find the inmate who LeBrock got to sneak into Kyle's cell and detonate the bomb with the phone, but he won't testify against LeBrock. Rebecca Nevins is determined to go ahead with charging Kyle with the murder, with LeBrock as a witness against him. Ryan and Natalia find the key: video footage from the FBI revealing Scott LeBrock trying to entice a little boy into his car. He's a pedophile, and when Horatio confronts Joe with the evidence, he reminds him that pedophiles--and their relatives--are at the bottom of the food chain in jail. Joe folds, refusing to identify Kyle in court as the one he gave the cell phone to.

Analysis:

Is it possible to be related, either by blood or marriage, to Horatio Caine in some way and not find yourself in trouble? Probably not, and young Kyle Harmon is finding that out the hard way. In "Inside Out", Kyle was kidnapped by an inmate striking back at his father; this time around, he's framed for murder by that same inmate. Kyle might be a more interesting character if he were something more than a pawn used to get at Horatio; at this rate, we're only seven episodes in and the kid has been in jeopardy three times. Two of those were at the hands of someone trying to get back at his father. Why introduce the character at all if his only purpose is to be used against Horatio? Surely there are more interesting ways to frustrate the CSI team's fearless leader.

That being said, the solution found in this episode is both inventive and original. Rather than neutralizing LeBrock and proving that he did frame Kyle, Horatio is forced to almost stoop to his level, threatening to use his son's habit of picking up little boys against him, spreading it around the prison community, where pedophiles--and, apparently, their relatives--are looked down upon and treated none too well. LeBrock backs down in court, an uneasy truce struck between him and Horatio for the time being. John Sharian, the actor playing LeBrock, is especially well cast, managing to come across as cunning and sly, a worthy foe for Horatio and perhaps even one with some depth.

Rebecca Nevins again comes out looking like a villainess, going after Kyle with enthusiasm and getting angry when she's thwarted by LeBrock in court. She realizes it has something to do with Horatio, but she is more concerned with the fact that his machinations made her look like a fool in court rather than that his son may have been framed. I'm all in favor of Horatio having a nemesis in court, but must she be such a cardboard character? This is the woman who once encouraged Horatio to talk about his pain over Speedle's death; surely she can oppose Horatio, or doubt him, without simply seeming like she's just stuck in the script for the sole purpose of being a roadblock for Horatio's quest to protect his son.

Kyle vacillates between bratty and vulnerable in this episode, as he has since his introduction. Evan Ellison does what he can with a thankless role, but there's not much for him to do aside from acting scared or getting angry at Horatio. David Caruso is always at his best when acting opposite a child or a teen, and this storyline has helped Horatio's character seem less remote. He's more invested than we've seen him since his romance with Marisol Delko, and it's nice to see that side of Horatio again. Given that Kyle has been calling his mother, it looks like we might see yet another Caine ex-lover. I am curious as to why Kyle ended up in foster care if his mother is still alive; hopefully that is something that will be answered in the coming weeks.

Ryan has slipped quite comfortably back into his old job, but he's as prickly as ever, exchanging barbs with Tripp this time around. Frank summons him to the jail, calls him a dust monkey, and asks him to lift prints off a much frequented visitors' carrel. The banter is mostly friendly with an edgy undercurrent to it, reminding us that even after over three years as a CSI, Ryan still doesn't quite get along with some of his colleagues. I've always enjoyed that about the character, his ability to walk the line between earnestness and a self-interest that sometimes clashes with his ability to do his job and get along with his colleagues. It makes him a very interesting, complex character, and one that's always fun to watch.

There's also a nod to Natalia's former outsider status when she's asked to call on her FBI connections in order to find out why Scott LeBrock is under surveillance. She never does find out why, but she does get Agent Farallon to turn over the surveillance tapes on him. It sounds like Natalia might have a little dirt on him, though again, we never do find out what it is. It's fun to see Natalia playing hardball to get what she wants; over the past season or so, the character has had an emerging toughness that's quite appealing. Scott LeBrock is clearly a very bad guy if the FBI is after him for something worse than pedophilia, so hopefully both mysteries brought up in this scene will be further explored somewhere down the line.

Discuss this reviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.