CSI: Miami: 'Dangerous Son'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at September 27, 2007 - 3:15 AM GMT

See Also: 'Dangerous Son' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Valera delivers some shocking news to Horatio Caine: a suspect is his son. The narrative flashes back to 8 hours earlier when a hostage situation involving parole officer Andrew Bennett ends in tragedy: Bennett's dead body falls from the second story of his house, a fatal bullet in his chest. His killer escapes in a boat. Jake Berkeley, just returned from a trip to Antigua with Calleigh, takes the lead on the boat while Calleigh and Delko scour the house, retrieving the bullets from the shooting. Calleigh lifts a shoe print that proves to be a match to one of Bennett's parolees, but it turns out the boy, Dylan, was caught romancing Bennett's daughter Stephanie. Bennett confronted him and chased him away, but Dylan swears he didn't kill the officer.

Natalia is surprised to come across Ryan at a private shooting range, where he's now working as an instructor. Natalia is there to train for her firearms certification, and the two agree to keep each other's secret. Horatio looks on as Delko questions Kyle Harmon, a sixteen-year-old who violated his probation by drinking. Delko asks Kyle if he killed Bennett after the officer got the alert about the probation violation, but the teen denies it. Horatio asks Yelina Salas to do some digging on Kyle. Jake recovers the getaway boat and the CSIs discover drugs hidden by the engine. The boat belongs to the Miss Cafe--the place Kyle works. Horatio instead questions another of Bennett's parolees, Rick Bates, who also worked at the cafe. Rick delivered food to people in the boat, but denies any knowledge of the drugs. Yelina's search pays off when she visits Kyle's latest foster parent. She discovers his mother was a nurse named Julia Eberle, a military nurse, and his father was a man named John Walden.

As the CSIs investigate, another hostage situation crops up: the wife of prison guard Mike Newberry, Kathleen, is abducted. Horatio picks up a call on her phone and realizes the kidnapper is Kyle, and is suspicious when he asks for a specific amount of money: $126,000. Kyle cuts off his monitoring ankle bracelet and abandons Kathleen, fleeing on a boat. Horatio interrogates Mike Newberry, who confesses that the money Kyle was after came from Rick Bates, who was dealing drugs in jail. He agreed to hide the money and split it with Rick, but when Rick got out of jail early, Newberry kept the money. Delko restores a bullet found in the engine and gets a print off of it--one that matches to Ryan Wolfe! The mystery is soon explained by Natalia, who recalls Ryan was required to load guns for clients at the shooting range. Ryan IDs Rick as one of his clients, and Rick admits he shot Bennett during an altercation after the P.O. caught him dealing.

Horatio has a confession of his own: he tells Yelina that John Walden was an alias he used while on a task force years ago, and that he had a relationship with Julia at the time, but that she disappeared after a few months. He had no idea she was pregnant. Horatio get a call: the coast guard is pursuing Kyle. He manages to talk them into standing down, and Kyle turns himself in. As he's being led off, Horatio tries to offer words of comfort to Kyle, but Kyle spurns the gesture. The episode returns to the opening shots, and Valera confirms what Horatio suspected: Kyle Harmon is his son.

Analysis:

CSI: Miami's sixth season opens with a shocker (for anyone who hasn't been following press on the show for the past few weeks): Horatio Caine has a son. And in the vein of kids on CSI shows, he's a messed up troublemaker. By the end of the episode he's violated his probation by drinking, kidnapped a woman, blackmailed a prison guard and tried to outrun the coast guard. Throw in Horatio's nephew Ray Jr.'s drug running at the beginning of last season and you really do have to wonder about those Caine genes.

I'm hopeful that Kyle's arrival will help to dispel the remote air that Horatio has cultivated over the past few years. I miss the character who was something of a father figure and friend to his team, rather than a distant patriarch. Horatio needs something to humanize him again, to make him more relatable to the audience. His romance with Marisol didn't do the trick--we never even saw the couple kiss! Horatio needs to be humanized; he's gone from a character whose warmth used to show through in every action to one who seems completely unreachable, even to the people he used to be close to, like his team and Yelina.

I'm heartened by the casting of Evan Ellingson as Kyle. Ellingson played Jack Bauer's nephew in Day Six of 24, a thankless role that he managed to make sympathetic. As it stands now, Kyle isn't much more than a cliche--a foster kid who's had a tough life and is headed down a dangerous, criminal path. Hopefully the writers will avoid saddling him with clunkers like the "I'm not your son!"--oh, the irony--he delivered at the end of the episode.

I do wonder, after Horatio has already dealt with the resurrection of his brother, his troubled nephew and the plight of his brother's mistress and out-of-wedlock child, what the purpose is of introducing yet another Caine family trauma. Whatever happened to the murder of Horatio's mother? After all the hype about Horatio having legal problems when he went to New York in "Manhattan Manhunt", the storyline more or less fizzled with no major resolution. Horatio is the hero and therefore is bound to have plenty of drama in his life, but at this point, the family angle seems a little played out. Hopefully there are better things to come, and Horatio and Kyle will develop a relationship that is as natural and complex as CSI: NY's Mac Taylor's with his stepson, Reed.

The premiere brings changes for the other characters as well, some good, some bad. In addition to shaving his head, Frank Tripp has apparently taken his sergeant's exam and passed. He's now in uniform and leading the raid on the hostage situation. Time will tell how this will affect his interaction with the CSIs, if at all.

Jake Berkeley is back, and he and Calleigh are very clearly an item; this much is apparent to the viewer even before he calls her "Officer Pretty." The pair have a sparkling chemistry, and Calleigh seems genuinely happy. In the latter half of the fifth season, it seemed like romantic feelings between Calleigh and Delko had bubbled to the surface, so it's hard to look at Jake, who's already broken Calleigh's heart once, as anything but an obstacle to Calleigh and Delko's eventual romance. Isn't it inevitable that Jake will either break Calleigh's heart or die tragically? Time will tell.

Delko is understandably not happy with Calleigh's romance. He makes a loaded comment at the beginning episode about Calleigh's tan matching Jake's, which she predictably ignores. Love triangles are risky propositions, so like with Horatio's son, I hope this one pans out. Will-they-or-won't-they is a tricky proposition on a CSI show where the focus is primarily the science and the mysteries, but after the build up last season with Calleigh and Delko, it would be a mistake to shove the tension--sexual or otherwise--between the two under the rug.

Poor Ryan Wolfe still doesn't have his job back; he's now working at a shooting range as a firing instructor. He and Natalia bond over a moment of mutual embarrassment--she because she needs to learn how to fire a gun and he because of his current place of employment. That cat is out of the bag before the end of the episode, as Ryan turns out to be a crucial eyewitness in the case the CSIs are working on. Much as I love Ryan and want to see him eventually reunited with the team, I'm glad it hasn't come about too easily or quickly.

The case that anchors the episode is compelling, in part because it's such fun to see former 7th Heaven actor David Gallagher playing a very bad seed. It's hard to see sweet, young Simon Camden beneath Rick's scruffy hair and arrogant glower, a testament to Gallagher's talent, and hopefully, his ability to avoid typecasting. One complaint though: Horatio's over-the-top suspicion of Rick and his ominious warning: "You had your chance" telegraphed without a doubt that Rick was the killer. Gallagher had me convinced Rick was innocent--until Horatio telegraphed otherwise. Subtlty is an art Miami still needs to work on.

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.