CSI: Miami--'Target Specific'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at March 26, 2009 - 4:06 AM GMT

See Also: 'Target Specific' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

Megan Hamilton walks into her house only to be surprised by an intruder, who stabs her twice before running off. She manages to fire at him twice with her gun, hitting him once, before crawling to her phone and calling 911. She is hanging on when the paramedics arrive, though her prognosis isn't good. The CSIs begin processing the scene: Ryan notes a bullet hole in the wall while Horatio recovers the gun, noting blood drops leading to the door. Ryan follows the trail and discovers the knife the attacker used outside in the bushes, but is thwarted in his attempt to retrieve it by Megan's protective guard dog. After the knife is retrieved, Delko lifts a print off of it that he matches to a man named Patrick Garrety. Garrety, an antiques collector, claims that the knife is an ancient Roman one that was stolen from him a week before. He tells Horatio that Megan worked for him--and that he suspected her of stealing the knife from him. Horatio visits Megan, who has stabilized, in the hospital and she insists she didn't steal the knife. She tells him she thinks she was the target of a robber because of money she keeps in her kitchen and implores him to go look for the box of money. Horatio sends Calleigh, who discovers the box and notices an unscrewed light bulb. Just after she's removed the bulb, a man comes up behind her and puts a plastic bag over her head! He grabs her gun and holds it to her head, but when she identifies herself as a police officer, he runs off. Hearing the commotion, Delko comes in and helps her to store the plastic bag with gauze in order to lift any scent from Calleigh's attacker off of it.

Ryan retrieves a small bit of cloth from Megan's dog's tooth, which Michael Travers identifies as a bulletproof cloth not on the market yet, designed by a woman named Zoe Belle. Horatio and Natalia pay Zoe a visit and find her with her trainer, Tony Ramirez. Zoe tells them she's only supplied the cloth to a few celebrity clients--and admits that some of it was stolen from her a few weeks back. Horatio catches sight of a photographer hiding in the trees and confronts him. The man, Cameron West, claims he's just hoping to catch shots of Zoe's celebrity clients, but Horatio gets a warrant for his camera and Ryan and Delko go over the photos on it and discover shots of wealthy homeowners in the neighborhood--as well as pictures of the CSIs, both on and off duty. Delko confronts the photographer, but West denies any part in Megan's attack--or in the robberies that the people in his photographs suffered. Delko asks about the photos of the CSIs, prompting West to mention his Russian father. Realizing the photographer knows a lot about the team, Delko calls Horatio and tells him that West is working for the Russians. Horatio visits imprisoned Russian mob boss Ivan Sarnoff, who tells him that he can't prevent what's about to happen. Delko warns Calleigh about the surveillance photos--and asks her about the man with her in one of them. She tells him the photo was snapped before they got together.

Ryan and Natalia come up with a suspect: Zoe Bell's trainer, Tony Ramirez, who was also photographed with Patrick Garrety. When they go to question him, they find he's been stabbed, but quickly realize his wounds are self-inflicted. Tony admits that he knew he was in trouble once the CSIs showed up at Zoe's. His job was to make sure the houses were empty so that the third man involved could rob the houses. He insists that he didn't stab Megan, but he refuses to give up the name of the man working with him and West. Calleigh gets a scent hit off the gauze she left with the bag from her attacker: the man had on an antibiotic cream. Delko thinks of Megan's dog and, though the dog has been washed down, he does find human blood on her collar. The blood is a match for Sergei Patrenko, who visited Ivan Sarnoff in jail just before Horatio did. Horatio and Calleigh catch him in his car, and he tells them he never intended to hurt Megan. He was surprised to find her there during the robbery. Horatio and Calleigh arrest him but just as they're getting him into the police car, Calleigh spots a gun. She cries out, but a shot is fired, killing Sergei. Ryan is on his way to track Cameron West down when he gets a flat tire. He pulls over to the side of the road to check it and a man comes up behind him and knocks him out. While Sarnoff receives news from someone in jail, Ryan is interrogated and beaten by Sarnoff's men. He refuses to tell them anything, causing them to hit him repeatedly....

Analysis:

Poor Ryan Wolfe! The episode certainly ends on a cliffhanger, with Ryan abducted by the Russian mafia, who are apparently intent on getting something from him. Just what that is remains a mystery, at least as far as this episode is concerned. As we know from "And They're Offed", Ivan Sarnoff has orchestrated the stalking of Horatio's team, but to what end? Was he looking for the team's weak link, or some vulnerability he could exploit? He apparently thinks he's found it in Ryan, whom has been targeted for abduction. So what's Ryan's Achilles heel? His past gambling problems? His firing from the lab back at the end of season five? His wayward sponsor and the man's young son, Billy? The Russians targeted Ryan for a reason, and whatever that reason is, I'm glad Ryan was the one chosen. Jonathan Togo has had far too little to do this season. It's about time he was handed something meaty to tackle, given that his last major storyline came at the end of season five/beginning of season six, when he was grappling with being let go from the lab when his gambling proclivities jeopardized a case.

While Andrew Divoff plays Ivan Sarnoff with an appropriately evil sneer and conniving attitude, I'm still uncertain as to whether or not he'll be able to rise above the standard for the typical Miami villain. They huff, they puff and they threaten to blow Horatio's house down, but in the end, the red-headed CSI always defeats his nemeses in a rather pat and predictable showdown. First they take something from Horatio--like Riaz having Marisol killed in "Rampage" or the way Clavo Cruz shot Delko in "NoMan's Land". Horatio took Riaz down in a gunfight in "Rio" and even Clavo Cruz, arguably Miami's most interesting villain, was rather easily dispatched in "Man Down". Ron Saris attempted to lay claim to Horatio's ex, Julia, and their son, Kyle--and take Horatio out of the equation--and he appeared to meet a similar fate in "Resurrection" when the boat he leapt on to escape Horatio exploded. Does this mean Sarnoff is destined to be released or escape from jail, only to have the inevitable showdown with Horatio? I hope the inevitable showdown between Horatio and Sarnoff is more novel and that this enemy isn't so easily dispatched.

Though it holds the viewer's attention throughout, especially once Sarnoff is connected to the case, the plot isn't a new one to Miami: wealthy Florida denizens are being robbed by those working for them. Cameron, Tony and Sergei are a stock group of characters: Cameron sneers at the CSIs and refuses to give up any information; after a failed attempt to make himself look like a victim, Tony similarly clams up; and Sergei barely gets a chance to tell his side of the story before he's gunned down, no doubt by one of Sarnoff's cronies. Miami more than occasionally squanders talented guest stars, and that's the case here with the talented Ashley Scott, who starred in Birds of Prey and Jerico but is barely a blip in this episode as a designer of cutting edge bulletproof fabric. One question: what kind of celebrities does she cater to if they're clamoring for bulletproof garments?

Calleigh once again finds herself the subject of an attack--the third time in two seasons she's been victimized. In season six's "Stand Your Ground", she was almost run over and killed, and a handful of episodes later, she was abducted in "All In". This time around, an attacker throws a bag over her face and holds a gun to her head. Being a CSI in Miami is clearly a dangerous proposition, but how many times in the last six and a half seasons has Calleigh been held at gunpoint? Far too many, especially given that Natalia Boa Vista has had little to do for the last few seasons. Couldn't the writers send a little action her way? Like Ryan, Natalia has largely sat on the sidelines for the last two seasons while Calleigh and Delko get the rich storylines. It looks like Ryan might be finally getting something to do, but I hope the same will be true of Natalia.

Calleigh also has to grapple with Delko's jealousy over a picture he discovers of her with hunky jockey Terrance Chase from "And They're Offed." Delko is visibly disturbed when he sees the shot, something Ryan immediately picks up on. Ryan asks him if Terrance is "competition," prompting an irritated brush-off from Delko. Ryan pushes it, noting that he's seen how Delko and Calleigh are around each other. Ryan is a bit of a busy-body: he brought up Delko and Calleigh's relationship with Natalia in last week's "Flight Risk" and now he's clearly digging for information with Delko. Ryan clearly likes being in the know, and has always worked hard to be a part of the team, both professionally and personally. Though Ryan and Delko have clashed in the past, the two have forged a tough, if not always completely amicable, bond, and Ryan obviously genuinely cares about what's going on in Delko's life.

Is Delko and Calleigh's new relationship already showing signs of strain? Though Calleigh takes Delko's jealousy in stride, pointing out that her ride with Terrance was before the two of them got together and promising him they'll talk about it later, the last two episodes have subtly suggested that Delko might be a little too into Calleigh. He fantasized about the two of them sipping champagne in first class seats on a plane while working a case in "Flight Risk" and here he's obviously unsettled--deeply so--to see her in a photograph with another man. Are Delko's feelings for Calleigh venturing into the realm of fixation? It's too early to tell, but the incidents in the last two episodes could be an indicator that Delko needs to get a grip on his emotions--or else there might be trouble ahead for the new couple.

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.