CSI: Miami--'Shock'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at May 10, 2006 - 5:14 PM GMT

See Also: 'Shock' Episode Guide


Socialite fashion designer Nikki Beck is found dead upstairs in the bathtub at her own party, the victim of an electrocution when a tanning lamp was pushed into the tub. Her manager, Chad, found her before the DJ who called in her death did, but he claims all he did was redress her. A dog hair leads the CSIs to rival heiress April Goodwin, but she tells Calleigh that she and Nikki were "frenemies"--enemies for the tabloids but friends behind closed doors. She was in the bathroom before Nikki was killed, but she claims she was there to keep Nikki, recently done with a stint in rehab, from popping another pill. When she learns a pill was found in Nikki's mouth, she suspects Nikki's assistant, Melinda, gave it to her, but Melinda denies it.

Delko, who is working on the pill in the lab, is none too happy to learn his sister Marisol is going to marry Horatio that day, and won't promise to be at the wedding. He shows Horatio a word, 'ghost' on the pill, clearly a designer drug, and the two trace it to an experiment being run by a professor at Dade University, Colin Danville, who has a grant to create drugs. His latest batch was stolen out of a filing cabinet in his lab. Delko finds a toothpick beside the cabinet and takes it back to the lab, where he runs into Marisol. She defends her decision to marry Horatio, but her brother has serious reservations. Natalia Boa Vista notices something is bothering him when he comes for the toothpick, but he's reluctant to open up. She gives him the results from CODIS on the DNA on the toothpick: Dario Sanez. A trip to Sanez's house proves dangerous as the drug cook is armed and spots them. Horatio takes Sanez down with a shot when he threatens them, and discovers several women from El Salvador being kept as slaves, including one named Isabella, who is looking for her sister Lucia, who was also taken. Horatio vows to find the girl.

The CSIs trace the tanning lamp to Brandon Hess, Nikki's boyfriend, who is found getting cozy with April, but he says Nikki always supported him and he had no reason to kill her. Back at the lab, Delko translates 'ghost' into a text message and arranges a meet to buy the drug. The police apprehend the dealer, but he refuses to give them any information on Lucia or the other girls being held. Calleigh has dug up some interesting information: April's family is broke, and Nikki had planned to dump April from the reality show they were doing together. They confront April hoping for a confession, but she's shocked by the news. Tripp and Horatio locate another meth lab, but when they catch the cook, he's already sold Lucia to a man he refuses to identify. Calleigh and Ryan return to the crime scene and find three sets of shoe prints in the bathroom, meaning only Chad, April and Melinda were present when Nikki was killed. They focus on Melinda--Nikki's manager told them it was her, not April, who Nikki was dropping from the reality show. Melinda brought her drugs and was enraged when Nikki told her about the reality show. When faced with the evidence that places her at the scene--tiny particles of florescent glass from the tanning lamp's light bulb--Melinda snaps and says Nikki didn't deserve the life she had.

Delko finds traces of iodine on the money used to purchase Lucia, leading the CSIs to Professor Danville. The professor denies touching the girl, but Horatio is skeptical. He leads the CSIs to an abandoned warehouse, where the CSIs find Lucia in a back room. Horatio reunites her with her sister, and turns to more personal matters: his upcoming marriage. Calleigh gives him a bottle of champagne and Horatio goes off to meet his bride at the courthouse. Both Horatio and Marisol are thrilled when Delko shows up, a flower in hand for his sister. But as the three walk off, a shooter takes aim at Horatio...


A cliffhanger! The first in Miami's four year run, if I'm remembering correctly. Even though I've heard whispers of trouble headed Horatio's way in upcoming episodes, I honestly expected this one to have a happy ending, especially after Delko showed up to support Marisol on her big day. I wasn't really surprised that he did--how many times does a character debate for the length of an episode whether or not to go somewhere and then doesn't end up going? But it still made for a great moment, with both Marisol and Horatio clearly thrilled to have him there.

But why didn't the rest of the team go? I was surprised when Ryan asked Calleigh if she was going to the wedding and she said no right away. Calleigh has always been the bright light of the team, and I was gratified to see her giving Horatio the bottle of champagne before he went off to get married. Still, it would have been nice to see the entire team rallying around Horatio for his wedding. What it does emphasize is the lack of closeness among the team in the wake of the mole. No one seems to trust anyone else, or feel particularly close to them.

This point is nicely illustrated in the small scene between Alexx and Ryan in the morgue when she is surprised to see him noticing that Nikki has self-tanner on her legs. After she calls him on it, Ryan blurts out that he was glad rumors about him possibly having nerve damage to his eyes didn't get around the lab. Alexx immediately picks up on the subtext, and is clearly hurt that he suspected that she was the mole. From what we know of her, Alexx isn't a likely suspect for the mole--she proved her loyalty to the lab in "Deviant" when she refused to bow to political pressure and leave the day shift. But it's nice to have her eliminated as a suspect--if that scene wasn't meant to be a red herring.

Natalia may have gone out on a date with Ryan in "Dead Air", but it's clear she still cares about Delko. Though we're not quite sure what exactly convinced Delko to go to the wedding (aside from the fact that he loves his sister and ultimately wants her to be happy), Natalia is the last person who tries to persuade him to go to the wedding before he actually does end up going, so it's safe to assume her words had some sort of impact.

I was a little surprised Calleigh didn't have anything to say to Delko about the wedding, given their long-established friendship, and I'm not sure that one can be chalked up to a division in the lab. Calleigh and Delko have been drifting apart all season, and Calleigh's worries over Delko's odd behavior earlier in the season when he was covering up the lengths he was going to in order to help Marisol and his failure to confide in her about his personal problems seem to have divided the formerly close colleagues. She and Ryan are closer these days, and Natalia seems to be making serious bid to get Delko to open up a bit.

I also really enjoyed the send up of socialities Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The portrayal of the shallow heiresses Nikki and April were spot on, down to the reality show they were doing together and their "frenemy" relationship for the cameras. Miami is well-suited for spoofing the rich and the shallow, and it's done quite well here. I could have done without the umpteenth drug-related plotline, though, and I'm starting to wonder how many nefarious Miami men are keeping helpless foreign female slaves (see "Legal").

One thing that genuinely puzzled me is Marisol's health. Just a few weeks ago, in "Dead Air," Marisol was receiving chemotherapy treatment. Horatio and she had discussed the dangers of her stopping treatment, but there was no mention of Marisol being in remission. But when Delko expresses his concerns, he makes mention of what will happen if Marisol comes out remission. And what about Delko's grim pronouncement to Horatio at the end of "Silencer" about how Marisol is very sick and probably only has a few months left? I'm a bit confused, though I'm not sure how much it will matter after next week.

Which brings me back to that cliffhanger. I suspect that one way or another, Horatio isn't really going to get to enjoy a long and happy marriage to Marisol. I feel bad for the guy--his other love, Yelina, married his brother Raymond, dated his rival when it seemed Ray was dead and then jetted off to Brazil with Ray when it turned out he wasn't. Now it seems Horatio may have found happiness with Marisol--albeit probably not lasting happiness given that Marisol is/was seriously ill--but happiness. Is that going to be ripped away from him now? Stay tuned.

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.