CSI: Miami--'Miami Confidential'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 6, 2008 - 8:20 PM GMT

See Also: 'Miami Confidential' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

The body of Rachel Hemmings is discovered in her apartment, but the crime scene quickly turns deadly for Ryan and Alexx when Ryan sets up a fume tent around Rachel and inadvertently starts a fire. Ryan and Alexx escape to safety, but the CSIs discover Rachel had a meth lab in her apartment. When the CSIs discover the fire was caused by an overloaded circuit, they question Jeremy Broyles, the apartment manager, suspecting he purposefully overloaded the circuits to cover up the meth lab. Broyles denies any involvement and insists the apartment--and the lab--were Rachel's. Though Rachel's body and the fuming tent are badly burned, Delko recovers a print from her neck and Alexx discovers glue on her body, suggesting Rachel was wearing a wire. Delko matches the print to Rachel's brother, Zach, who tells the CSIs Rachel ran away from rehab several months ago. He tracked her down and tried to get her to come home, but she told him to get lost. The CSIs trace the listening device Rachel was wearing to the FBI--specifically, the Miami field office and agent Mike Farrallon. Farrallon tells Horatio and Natalia that Rachel became his informant after he picked her up for possession; he put her in a meth lab the FBI was looking to bust. He realized something was wrong when he bug stopped transmitting and she missed a meeting. The CSIs learn Farrallon and Rachel's relationship was more than professional when they discover a picture of them two of them among the personal items from her condo, with a cryptic message on the back: "Stay away or you'll get hurt." They question Farrallon's wife, but she claims she and her husband have an understanding--what he does on his own time is his business.

Natalia tells Horatio that Farrallon was having an affair with an informant named Jane three years ago when she worked with him. Natalia questions Jane, who admits to paying a visit to Rachel to warn her about Farrallon. She claims he used the same safe word with Rachel as he had with her: "together." Alexx has disturbing news for the CSIs: Rachel was pregnant. The DNA doesn't match Farrallon but Zach, Rachel's brother. When the CSIs bring him in for questioning, he tells them he and Rachel were step-siblings. She left home after getting pregnant, but when he tracked her down she told him she had someone and he left. FBI agent Glen Cole puts pressure on Horatio to lay off Farrallon, citing the importance of bringing down the meth lab. When Valera finds blood on the glass of the table Rachel crashed into that matches Jeremy Broyles, the CSIs go to arrest him and find yet another meth lab at his building. They bring him in for questioning and find glass in his pants. He suspected her when he realized she never sampled any of the product, and a confrontation between them got physical and resulted in him throwing her into a coffee table--and killing her. With Broyles in jail, Cole turns over Farrallon's audio files to the CSIs. Natalia listens to them and realizes Rachel used the safe word--and Farrallon ignored it, making him in part responsible for her death. Natalia and Horatio confront him, and Cole takes his badge and arrests him.

Analysis:

It might have been the tag-line for The X-Files, but "trust no one" sure applies to CSI: Miami a lot of the time as well. We've seen corrupt judges, state officials, lawyers, prison guards and various other people in positions of authority with dubious morals. We know Horatio and the rest of the Miami gang are trustworthy, but outside of them, there sure are a lot of shady law enforcement officials out there. FBI agent Mike Farrallon can now be added to that list.

I had a feeling after Natalia and Mike Farallon's exchange in "Chain Reaction" that we'd be seeing the FBI agent again. In my reviewfor the episode, I surmised Natalia had dirt on Farallon, and I was glad to see that in this episode we find out what it is. Sleeping with informants while married certainly puts his morals into question, but the end reveal that Farallon knew Rachel was in danger and ignored her use of the safe word makes him a villain. I was awfully suspicious of him when he said her wire conveniently stopped transmitting just before her murder, and in the end I wasn't surprised to learn he was lying. It made sense.

The case brings out conflicting emotions in Natalia. She feels guilty for not blowing the whistle on Farrallon earlier when she was working with the FBI and wonders if she had, Rachel would still be alive. Horatio tells her she has to forgive herself. He's right; there's no way Natalia could have known that Farrallon would go from adulterer to accessory to murder. It's hard to blame Natalia for not wanting to rat out a colleague, and one has to wonder if her hesitancy to report Farrallon's behavior led to her willingness to inform on the lab in season four. Was she perhaps trying to right what she saw as a past wrong?

Jane, the informant Farrallon was sleeping with at the time Natalia was working with the FBI, makes a memorable appearance at the labs. Casting Tia Texada was pure brilliance; she really inhabits the role, making a splash in the few scenes she appears in. Her mannerisms and demeanor emphasize that Jane is not a girl to be messed with. She's street-smart, but she's still obviously attached to her FBI cad. Texada makes Jane the perfect blend of tough girl and woman scorned, turning what could have been a throw-away part into a memorable performance.

Alexx really needs to get some sort of special life insurance policy; how many times has the woman been almost lit on fire or blown up? First she and Delko nearly die when a sudden blaze breaks out at their crime scene in "Slow Burn" and then the courthouse explodes around her in "No Man's Land" during an attempt to break Clavo Cruz out of custody. And now in the opening of "Miami Confidential," Alexx is once again facing a dangerous fire. If the trusty coroner gets a little paranoid after this, it would be completely understandable.

So what is with all of these corrupt officials down in Miami? I suppose ultimately it goes to underscore the heroics of Horatio and his team and makes them look even more noble for being able to do what they do without falling prey to greed or inappropriate lust. Horatio is the very epitome of the long-suffering hero these days and the rest of the team often faces criticism and scrutiny from those less admirable than them. It's a glaring contrast, but I still find Ryan, with his frequent missteps and unremitting earnestness the most compelling character, even if he isn't always in the right.

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.