CSI: Miami--'One Night Stand'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 9, 2005 - 11:06 PM GMT

See Also: 'One Night Stand' Episode Guide


A bellman at the Agramont hotel carts five metal suitcases up to a hotel room for a guest. As he unloads the suitcases, he notices something shocking, but before he can comment a shooter raises a gun and kills him. When the CSIs arrive, only one of the five cases is still in the room. Horatio notes their list of suspects is high, as the Agramont is a cruise hotel and the population of Miami goes up by thirty thousand people during cruise season. Inside the suitcase, Horatio finds thin sheets of paper and a lock of hair--possibly a message to someone.

In the hotel lobby, an anxious young man named Tom Hanford stops Calleigh and tells her his wife is missing. A search of the hotel reveals the body of Tom's wife, Erica, in the service elevator. Alexx notes that her tongue is swollen, while Delko lifts a palm print from the service elevator. Back at the CSI labs, Carrie Delgado shows Ryan a watermark on the paper from the hotel room. The watermark features a president; it's actual paper used to print money, from a mint. Federal Agent Peter Elliot shows up with news that a truck carrying ten million dollars worth of paper was hijacked on its way to Texas. In the morgue, Alexx shows Delko tissue from Erica's mouth and notes that she died of an allergic reaction.

Ryan gets prints from the suitcase that match a Cuban exile named Juan Fernandez. Juan admits he was hired to rob the truck but claims he dropped the bags off at the hotel and left. In the DNA lab, Valera tells Calleigh that the semen found on Erica's clothes does not match her husband. Calleigh and Tripp talk to Tom Hanford, who admits that he and his wife went to a "friction party"--a mild version of a swingers party minus the sex with strangers, the night before. When Calleigh analyzes the oyster shots from the party, she discovers the drinks were spiked with aspirin, which Erica was allergic to. When Calleigh and Tripp confront Tom with this evidence, he admits that he tried to get his wife to leave the party, but he vehemently denies killing her. Calleigh and Tripp wonder about the one couple from the party they haven't been able to track down yet--Mitch and Halle Lockhart.

Ryan tracks down the van driver, Damon Barker, who picked up the man with the bags from the hotel, and he gives the CSI the address of where the man had him drop him off. When Horatio and Ryan go to the address, they find its an abandoned warehouse with a Docuphoto machine that was used for counterfeiting the bills. They also find another surprise: a bomb hanging above. The CSIs flee the building just in time, but after the explosion, they find a bound man in the rubble who survived the blast: Bart Jameson. When Horatio looks through Jameson's wallet and finds pictures of the man's daughter Kelly, he suspects Jameson was coerced into helping the counterfeiters. He also notes that there were two bombs--the hypergolic one on the ceiling which was a backup, and one that employed a watch face.

When Jameson is unwilling to cooperate for fear of risking his daughter's life, Horatio goes to Jameson's house and finds a man holding a gun to the girl's head. Horatio tries to get the man to back down, but when it looks like he's going to shoot Kelly, Horatio takes a shot and kills him.

Calleigh and Delko question Mitch and Halle Lockhart. Mitch admits to having sex with Erica Hanford in the service elevator and shows Delko a bite mark on his chest to prove that it got wild. When Halle learns her husband had sex with Erica, she seems unsurprised. The palm print from the elevator is hers--she claims from one of the bellmen, Billy, took her to the basement to get some ecstasy. Calleigh blows a hole in Halle's story when she notes that her wedding band doesn't match her husband's. Turns out Halle isn't married to Mitch after all--her real name is Halle Weber and she and Mitch are old college sweethearts who get together once a year for a fling.

Ryan finds dynamite on the watch face from the explosion, and Horatio discovers a cigarette butt--a 'signature' of the bomber, who turns out to be one Eddie Michaelson, who is out on parole. When questioned, Eddie admits to making the bomb and helps Ryan make a computer rendering of the man who paid him to build the bomb: Damon Barker, the driver of the van. Ryan is upset that he had Barker and let him go, but he recalls a parking pass for the marina on the man's dashboard.

Billy the bellman admits to Calleigh and Tripp that he went down to basement with Halle, but he claims the only thing he gave her was aspirin, which she crushed up on a slab of stone. Calleigh and Tripp arrest Halle just before she boards the cruise ship: she knew Erica from the PTA in Indiannapolis, where they both lived, and Erica had recognized her at the party. Fearing Erica would gossip and tell her husband, Halle remembered that Erica was allergic to aspirin and spiked the drinks. Calleigh spots Halle's necklace, which Halle used to crush the aspirin. Halle is led away as Mitch looks on.

Using a gamma scanner, Horatio and Ryan and the local police locate the four suitcases of money in a crate bound for Jamaica. The counterfeiters were planning to meet the money there. The CSIs find Barker near the harbor and arrest him, but his prints don't match the ones they found on the soap from the hotel room. Barker didn't shoot the bellman; Juan did. Juan finally gives up the name of the person who tipped him off about where the truck would be. Agent Elliot wants to arrest Bart Jameson as well, but Horatio stops him from doing so, and the man thanks him.


I'll be the first to admit that I've really enjoyed the frenetic pacing and amped up action of CSI: Miami's third season. I like the idea of the show differentiating itself from the original CSI; indeed, I think it's crucial for a spin-off to do just that. But I'm starting to wonder if the new action-packed Miami is coming at the expense of the characters. While the original is exploring Sara's troubled past and quietly revealing Catherine's political ambitions, and New York is in the process of revealing that one their characters has mob connections, Miami has been quite light on character development this season. Stetler's abuse of Yelina hasn't been mentioned since it first came up in "Crime Wave" and Horatio's romance with Rebecca Nevins was pretty much over before it began. To say nothing of the supporting characters--Calleigh's had more problems with her father but that's nothing new; Delko never even reacted to Speedle's death; Alexx has had little to do as well.

I inserted that preamble to this review because I think it applies to this episode, and every other Miami episode this season (save for the first few). If you like the fast-paced, adventure-filled episodes of this season, you'll like "One Night Stand." But if you're getting tired of shootouts, hostage situations, and explosions, you probably will find this episode a little exhausting as it features all three. I don't know if I'm getting tired of those things, but certainly I wasn't as impressed with this episode as I was with "Pro Per", when I found it quite shocking that the killer took a few shots at Yelina's house when she was protecting a witness. There is, after all, such a thing as too much of a good thing.

We have the explosion first--an elaborate double bomb. Horatio spots it just in time and in a scene reminicient of first season's "Freaks and Tweaks", Horatio, Ryan and several officers high tail it out of the building just in time for the bomb to go off behind them as they run. Ryan takes it pretty well, since this is presumably his first encounter with a large explosion, though I do wonder if he's missing the patrol beat right about now. Then there's the hostage situation, which Horatio dispels by shooting the perpetrator while he's holding the hostage. Good thing Horatio was on the mark, or Stetler would have probably had a rock-solid case against him. I guess Horatio shooting the hostage-taker doesn't quite qualify as a shoot out, but compared to the number of shots fired by CSIs on the other two CSI shows this season (zero for both, I believe), it bears mentioning.

Explosions and gun fights shouldn't feel like everyday events. As much as I like that Miami is busting out of the CSI show formula with aplomb, I can't help but wish they'd tone it down a bit. Give us more character moments--I'd like to see Delko and Ryan banter a little bit. They don't have to have the same dynamic Delko and Speed had (they shouldn't, in fact--Ryan and Speed are very different characters), but it would be nice to see more moments like when Delko teased Ryan about being OCD a few weeks back in "After the Fall".

The secondary murder plot is a little too close to CSI's recent episode, "Swap Meet". And just how did Halle know about Erica's allergy to asprin? That seemed a bit convenient. And Halle's motive was pretty far-fetched even if it was ultimately believable.

"One Night Stand" isn't a bad episode, but it's not an especially good one, either. The counterfeiting plot is occasionally confusing--why would the dispatcher who was Juan's contact reserve the hotel room? Why did the counterfeiters conveniently leave one of the suitcases behind? This one had several glaring holes in it. It was entertaining, but after all these shootouts, explosions, and kidnappings, I guess I want a little more.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.