CSI: Miami--'Killer Date'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at April 19, 2005 - 6:49 PM GMT

See Also: 'Killer Date' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

At a fancy club with beds instead of tables, a woman introduces a man to another woman. A few hours later, Alexx leans over the body of the first woman, Kim Burton, on one of the beds and determines she's been strangled. She notices the woman's broken nails and suspects she fought back, but no one in the club heard anything. Delko and Calleigh arrive at the scene, but Delko is forced to turn back when an officer notices his badge is missing. Delko was "toothing" the night before—text messaging a woman to meet for anonymous sex--and hooked up with a woman whose name he doesn't know. He goes off in search of his badge as Ryan joins Calleigh. At the scene, a young woman named Gabrielle Marinelli tells the CSIs that Kim was a madam and that she was working that evening. Calleigh finds margarita salt stains on the bed where Kim was found.

Tripp and Calleigh pay a visit to Noelle, Kim's business partner. The two women run a company called Wing Chicks where they introduce their male clients to women under the premise that women are more open to talking to a man who has a woman friend to vouch for him. Noelle brags about the high success rate of the company and also tells them that the men are pre-screened and only selected if they're attractive and successful. Noelle shows Calleigh their client book and points out Robert Smith, the man Kim was working with the night before.

Delko confesses to Horatio about his missing badge. Horatio tells him to file the paperwork with the department and find the girl he was with the night before. In the lab, Ryan finds a breath strip and gives it to lab tech Joseph Kayle for analysis. He pulls a print from it and matches it to Harry Klugman. Ryan and Calleigh have the man brought in and learn he was in Kim's reject pile for Wing Chicks. He got a makeover and sought Kim out in the club. She didn't recognize him and gave him her card, telling him he'd make an ideal client. He denies killing her, saying the affirmation of her wanting him for a client was enough. In another room, Stetler questions Delko about his encounter with the woman and his promiscuous sexual habits in general. Stetler tells Delko he suspects that Delko started toothing after Speedle's death. Delko storms out.

Valera pulls DNA from the pillow Kim was smothered with and tells the CSIs it was female, prompting them to return to Noelle, who admits that sometimes she and Kim handled clients that were "married but looking." This leads the CSIs to "Robert Smith" aka Butch Raleigh, a married suburban man. He has scratches on his face that the CSIs find suspicious but are soon explained when his angry wife, Lucy, comes on the scene. She tells them that she caught him cheating. Calleigh asks for a sample of her DNA.

Delko hands over his phone so that Tyler can trace the number of the girl he hooked up with, who uses the screenname, Up4Anything. Tyler tries tracing her but her phone is either off or out of range. Delko goes back to the building where they had sex and lifts prints from the wall. When he returns to tell Horatio about what he's been doing, Horatio cuts him off: he's headed to the scene of a shooting. Ed Guffrey was shot by a man carrying a badge, and was apparently dealing cocaine from his trunk with his friend Clint Roster. Horatio figures out that the shooter wasn't a cop and is using Delko's badge, but he's distracted by a man watching from a balcony above--Bob Keaton, the man who killed his brother Raymond. Keaton is supposed to be in jail for life. Back at the station, Horatio confronts Stetler about seeing Keaton, but Stetler assumed he was still in jail as well.

Delko has Joseph run the prints and gets a name: Patti Welborn. He goes to the car from the Guffrey shooting and pulls a bullet from it. He also notices a pattern on the bumper. He takes the bullet to Calleigh and though she matches it to four robberies, there's been no arrest and therefore no suspect. Delko is upset that his badge has been used in a murder, but Calleigh opines that his behavior of late has been atypical. Delko offers Stetler's explanation that it has something to do with Speedle's death, and Calleigh doesn't discount it.

Valera tells Ryan that the DNA from the pillowcase doesn't belong to Lucy Raleigh, but when she runs it through CODIS she pales. Ryan leans over to see the folder she pulls out--it's a report on Gabrielle Marinelli, who was raped six months ago. Valera accidentally entered Gabrielle's DNA in CODIS. Don Haffman, the ADA, is angry when he learns of it and tells the CSIs that matching her DNA to that entry isn't admissible. Ryan and Calleigh have to start over, so they reassemble the group at the bar that night at the station. The bartender, who snuck into Kim's purse and stole two hundred dollars, recalls seeing Gabrielle approach Kim's bed. Gabrielle denies knowing Kim, and even when Calleigh notices a margarita salt stain on her purse, Gabrielle only admits to sitting next to her.

Horatio is upset when he learns Keaton was paroled on good behavior, but when Yelina asks him if anything is wrong, he denies it, even when she notices he's holding Ray's case folder. Back in the lab, Tyler modifies Delko's phone to increase his range and Delko goes looking for Patti. After driving around for a while, he finds her. She says she found his badge but she thinks her brother may have taken it. Delko has her brother, Randell, brought in. The gun in the shooting was found in his apartment, and residue on his jeans puts him at the scene. Before Randell is led away, Delko demands his badge back.

Calleigh and Ryan have Tripp run Gabrielle's name and he pulls up the rape complaint. The suspect, Scott Brown, was a client of Wing Chicks. Calleigh and Ryan have Gabrielle brought in, and she confesses. Kim introduced her to Scott, claiming he was a friend and he raped her in the parking lot of a club. She filed charges but the prosecutor refused to go to trial because he didn't think the charges would stick because she and Scott were on a date. Gabrielle finally got up the courage to go to the club again and she witnessed Kim introducing her latest client to another woman. Gabrielle followed her back to her bed and asked Kim about what happens if something goes wrong, and Kim laughed her off. Gabrielle smothered her, hoping to save others from what happened to her.

Ryan sees Valera packing up her personal items--she's been fired. Paula Muro takes Valera's files to go over them to see if she made any other missteps. Delko decides to seek counseling. Horatio tracks down Bob Keaton and learns he's been working undercover. When he asks Keaton if Ray is alive, Keaton tells him that he is.

Analysis:

Dropping a bombshell on an audience takes skill, at least if it's to be done properly. Classic example? The midpoint of Wilkie Collins' Victorian sensation novel, The Woman in White, when, in pure, glorious melodrama, the hero, visiting the gravestone of the woman he loves looks past the headstone through the mist and spots the woman he presumed dead.

Well, it wasn't Raymond that Horatio spotted, but I have to give the Miami writers props: the revelation that Raymond is alive unfolded fairly well. Horatio spots Bob Keaton watching him from above, and the audience is treated to a handy flashback (as they've probably forgotten Keaton's face by now). Horatio rushes up to the hotel only to find the man gone. But by the end of the episode he's tracked him down. As soon as Keaton admits he's DEA and that he did indeed shoot Raymond, we know what's coming. Horatio asks the question, and we get the answer. Raymond's alive. Cut to credits.

Over the past three years, the Raymond Caine case has played out incredibly well. None of the resolutions or revelations in the case has felt rushed--as often happens in life, Horatio has stumbled across them. Susie came looking for help and he discovered Raymond's daughter Madison, and then Keaton, who we now know didn't actually kill Raymond. And so now we know Ray is alive. It's a shocking piece of information, since Ray's death has defined the Horatio we've come to know. He's guarded and sad in large part because of this major loss. He's been making up for his brother's mistakes with Susie and Yelina. How he'll react to Raymond himself remains to be seen, but a reunion can't be far off.

Why does Horatio persist in protecting Yelina from the truth? One of the reasons Yelina remains a shadowy and underdeveloped character is that she never gets to be part of the action. She's always the victim--of Raymond's infidelity, of Stetler's insecurities, of Horatio's misguided attempts to shield her from the truth. Didn't he learn his lesson when he hid Madison's existence from her? When she caught him with Ray's folder in his hand, Horatio should have come clean. Better yet, he should have come to Yelina as soon as he found out Ray's killer was out on the streets. He should have brought his suspicions to her, if he did indeed suspect that Keaton was an undercover cop. How can he love this woman if he can't even be truthful with her? That's the crux of why their relationship, which in the first season and early second season, seemed to be built on mutual respect, no longer convinces.

It's gratifying to see Delko finally react to Speedle's death. Of all the characters, Delko was the one who was closest to Speedle, and he's the only one we didn't get a reaction one in "Lost Son". Or since--Alexx was chilly to Ryan when she saw him as Speed's replacement and Horatio opened up to Rebecca Nevins about the day Speed was shot, but so far, we've gotten squat from Delko, until this point. Given how close they were, it was disappointing, but "Killer Date" goes to great lengths to show how much Delko has been repressing his feelings about losing his friend and colleague.

Delko's always been a little promiscuous. He's a good-looking guy and clearly always had a lady around--it's been joked about a few times that no one can keep track of which lady he has around when. But toothing—yes indeed, it is a real practice--doesn't seem like something a well-adjusted person would engage in. For one, it's dangerous. As a CSI, Delko should know just how risky it could be. It also, as Stetler astutely pointed out, removes any necessity/possibility of getting close to someone beyond a physical encounter. At least with a one night stand, the people involved generally share a drink or date first.

So Delko's behavior, while an extreme version, isn't really out of character. It's interesting that Stetler is the one who pointed it out to him. The Miami team has drifted apart this year--splintered, perhaps due to Speedle's death. Before, Calleigh might have been the one to pull Delko aside to express concern, or Alexx. For a purported bad guy, Stetler has offered the team more sympathy than they've offered each other. He encouraged Horatio to take time off in "Lost Son" and in this episode he seems concerned with Delko's psychological state. It might be presumptuous of him, but then, it's his job. If I didn't know Stetler hit Yelina--a twist I still see as a cheap and weak attempt to make Stetler a one-dimensional villain--I'd mistake him for a good guy. David Lee Smith turns in an admirable performance, underscoring Stetler's sympathy for Delko.

Ryan seems to have settled down this week even if he did inadvertantly get Valera in trouble. It's not really his fault he happened to see the case file she pulled, and when she's packing up her stuff in the end, he acts duly contrite. But though Darth Ryan didn't make an appearance, Jonathan Togo is carrying himself differently these days. Ryan clearly possesses more confidence than he did when he transitioned from being a patrol officer to a CSI. There's an assuredness about him that shows he's clearly settled in.

Discuss this reviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.