CSI: Miami--'Resurrection'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at September 24, 2008 - 7:02 AM GMT

See Also: 'Resurrection' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Picking up where "Going Ballistic" left off, Calleigh Duquesne and Eric Delko rush to a Miami airfield after hearing frightening news: Horatio Caine has been shot on the tarmac. When they arrive, Ryan Wolfe greets them--and tells the pair that Horatio is dead. Stunned, Delko asks to see the body and is enraged when he learns Ryan has released it. When Delko tries to see the body in the morgue, he learns the new ME, Thomas Wellner, has released it to federal agents. When the CSIs trace a foreign sample of blood to Miguel Diaz, a known associate of Juan Ortega, the weapons dealer Horatio put away, they immediately suspect Ortega of ordering the hit. Diaz insists he just took a picture of Horatio's body in order to claim credit for the hit, despite the fact that he didn't carry it out. Calleigh and Delko analyze the photo, noting a figure on the hanger. They examine the area and Calleigh discovers a discarded bandage--one she recalls ATF Agent Evan Caldwell having that very morning. Caldwell's handwriting is matched to the person who signed for Horatio's body that morning, further convincing the CSIs of his involvement. Calleigh and Delko get a warrant for his cell phone and discover just after Horatio was shot, Caldwell texted someone: "It's done." The real shock comes when they learn the recipient was Ryan Wolfe. The angry CSIs confront their co-worker and he shares surprising news: Horatio is alive.

With the help of Ryan and Caldwell, Horatio faked his own death to go underground to catch Ron Saris, the husband of Horatio's ex, Julia, and the man he's convinced is selling dangerous fused alloy bullets to gangs. Horatio gets ten million dollars from a man he helped once and gives it to Yelina Salas, asking her to pose as a buyer to try to get the bullets from Ron. Delko and Tripp lean on Juan Ortega to find out who sold him the bullets. When the gang leader won't budge, the detectives take him on a ride through a rival gang's territory, only to get caught in the middle of the robbery of an armored truck. Delko and Tripp leave the car to intervene, and Ortega escapes. The bullets used in the robbery are fused alloy, but DNA on one of them is traced back to a member of the Crypt Kings, indicating that more than one gang has the deadly bullets. Yelina Salas meets Ron Saris to broker the deal, and he vows to buy the fused alloy bullets back from the gangs he sold them to in the hopes of a much bigger payday.

Believing the traffic lights were tampered with, Ryan and Calleigh investigate, learning that the lights were controlled by a device registered to Jake Berkeley, Calleigh's ex. Calleigh questions Jake, who tells her he's gone back undercover. He says he hasn't seen the device since his first stint undercover. While Ron Saris begins the buy-back process, the team captures Ortega, using his associate Diaz's cell phone to trace his recent call to Diaz and get his location. Jake brings Calleigh the weapons the Crypt Kings used in the robbery that morning, blowing his cover in the process. He tells her he did it for her, and that ATF is sending him undercover for six months to a year. He asks her to wait, but Calleigh says she feels like she already has been waiting, so the two kiss goodbye. Julia meets Ron on the docks, where he's got a boat full of fused alloy bullets and is preparing for the two of them to make their getaway. Instead, she tells him she wants a divorce and walks away--leaving Ron to face Horatio. The two exchange gunfire and Ron jumps on the boat, but a bullet causes it to explode in flames! In the aftermath, the CSIs scour the boat, but no sign of Ron's body is found.

Analysis:

If you can look past the utter predictability of it all, there's a lot to like about CSI: Miami's seventh season premiere. The intensity that runs through the first fifteen minutes of the episode--before it's revealed that Horatio is alive--is searing. Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez and Jonathan Togo are pitch perfect in the opening scene, all displaying anger and shock that's palpable to the audience. Delko and Calleigh are understandably stunned, and Ryan--whom we know is hiding something based on the "It's done" text he received at the end of "Going Ballistic"--makes a convincing case for why he had Horatio's body taken away: he didn't want the image of Horatio lying in a pool of his own blood to be blasted across the evening news. The heightened emotions of the three are played to great effect in this scene, making the moment resonate even if the audience suspects Horatio isn't really dead.

The decision not to play up the "Horatio is dead!" angle is a wise one; the game is up, for the team and for the audience by the fifteen minute mark. I'm guessing most people weren't fooled. David Caruso is in the new opening credits for the season for starters--it might have given the audience a bit of pause if he'd been taken out for just this one episode. What actually happened was pretty easy to guess from "Going Ballistic." In my review of that episode, I wrote:

Horatio gets shot just once, in the chest, and I'm willing to bet he's wearing a bulletproof vest....[W]hat I suspect is happening is that Horatio and Ryan are working together to set up either Ron Saris or Juan Ortega--or both--and want to make it look like Horatio is dead.

So the decision not to spend a lot of time teasing the audience with Horatio's possible demise is a sound one, and provides an unexpected beat between Calleigh, Delko and Ryan. The confrontation between the three characters in the hallway nicely parallels the one in the teaser. Calleigh and Delko are once again suspicious of Ryan, and the evidence against him--the infamous "It's done" text, which Calleigh and Delko learn is from Caldwell--is damning. Ryan caves rather easily, indicating he wasn't enjoying having to shoulder the burden of keeping the knowledge that Horatio is in fact alive from his teammates.

Ryan's confession has an unintended result: Delko feels hurt that Horatio chose Ryan, and not him, to help him execute his plan and keep his secret. Delko asks Horatio flat out why Horatio didn't call on him for help, and Horatio tells him that he was the obvious choice--but also that he didn't want Delko to suffer the repercussions if the plan failed. Delko is far more emotional than Ryan and if something had happened to Horatio in the process, Horatio is probably right--Delko would have taken it harder. Ryan is also used to having the rest of the team wary of him or even downright distrusting him. There's no question that it would have been harder for Delko to lie to Calleigh than it was for Ryan to hide the truth from the rest of his teammates in the interest of furthering Horatio's plan.

If the team dynamics is the strongest thing about this episode, the tired Horatio vs. gangs and an adversary that has it in for him is definitely the weakest. The fused alloy bullets, Juan Ortega's escape, the showdown with Ron Saris--haven't we seen this all before, with different characters? Antonio Riaz, Clavo Cruz, Walter Dresden...did we really need yet another baddie who goes after Horatio, with all of Miami caught in the crossfire? The plot is tired at this point, recycled to the point of absurdity. Cop shows function best when the hero is someone who excels at his job but isn't superhuman--much like Grissom on CSI. The fewer and further between the nemeses are, the more impact they'll have.

Kim Coates turns in an admirable and memorable performance as the slimy Ron Saris. He exudes just the right balance of charm and sleaze; he's not so sleazy that we don't believe Julia would be drawn to him, and he's not so charming that we miss the hidden innuendos beneath his comments to Yelina. Given that his body isn't found at the end of the episode after the boat explodes, there's a chance we could see Saris again. Julia and Kyle both survive the episode as well, so I'm certain we haven't seen the last of the duo. Horatio's relationship with his son is a plotline worth exploring, but Julia has been a one-note character since her arrival. Like Yelina does in this episode, she serves as a decoy to trick Ron into doing exactly what Horatio wants him to do.

Still, Horatio's outwitting of Saris isn't nearly as absurd as Ortega's escape. Ortega escapes when Delko and Tripp decide to take him out for a drive in rival gang territory. As much as this might unsettle their suspect, it makes Delko and Tripp look like fools. They basically went looking for trouble--and yet somehow seem surprised when they find it, and Ortega escapes in the midst of it. The old "bad guy escapes during transfer from one prison to another" might be a bit of a cliche, but at least it doesn't make our heroes look like complete and utter idiots. This does. There had to be a better way to get Ortega out.

Another familiar face shows up again: Jake Berkeley. His device was used to control the stoplight in the robbery, giving the CSIs an excuse to contact him. Calleigh hasn't seen him in a while, and seems surprised when he tells her he's gone back undercover. CSI shows have never done romance very well, but the vague uncertainty with which they address their characters' love lives can be maddening at times. Two characters will be in a relationship, and then, several episodes later, we'll learn they haven't seen each other in months or that their relationship wasn't what we thought it was. Jake, last seen in sixth season's "Stand Your Ground", has been gone for several months but still seems to have hopes that he and Calleigh can pick back up where they left off. Calleigh wisely tells him she's waited enough, and the two share a sweet goodbye kiss.

Though it ties up many of the plot threads from "Going Ballistic," there's still plenty to be explored going into season seven. Will Ron Saris return? Will Horatio be able to forge a bond with his son? Will Julia and Horatio pick back up where they left off? Do Calleigh and Eric have a future together? Has Ryan straightened out for good, or will he once again find himself running afoul of the department? Hopefully the seventh season will highlight the strongest thread of the season premiere: the team members' relationships with one another.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.