''CSI'': Starting off with gunplay in a hospital, Miami came on like gangbusters; Vegas' organ-harvesting mystery got under your skin

By Ann Hodgman
Updated December 28, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
David Caruso: Robert Voets

CSI: Miami

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”CSI”: Hospital gunplay and organ harvesting


Crimes Blood bags explode right and left as rival gang members start shooting each other in a crowded hospital emergency room. In the aftermath of the gunplay, Ryan notices that a baby in the ER shows signs of abuse and begins his own investigation of the baby’s mom (who, by the way, isn’t nearly cute enough for cute, cute Ryan).

Worst line While grilling a suspect, Horatio spits out the following cumbersome mouthful: ”A phone call you made caused quite a hefty body count — and in my book, that’s called accessory to felony murder.” In my book, that’s called building up to an anticlimax.

Second-worst line ”Sunflower seeds!” cries Eric joyfully, spotting a few on the floor of a suspect’s car. ”I think they’re still moist!”

Coolest prop Shooting-trajectory dummies! Naked shooting-trajectory dummies!

Most implausible notion A child who has witnessed a murder mistakes a tattoo on someone’s chest for actual flames.

Most absolute positive proof that Calleigh really is blind Is it the time she tells a technician that the video he has just shown her doesn’t really work for her and asks him just to hear the audio? Or the time she peers at an onscreen image and says, ”It’s kind of hard to make out”? Whichever, I don’t think she can keep her secret from her fellow CSIs for much longer.

Thing that most makes me wish I were blind, so I didn’t have to see it Sunlight shining through people’s ears in both Vegas and Miami — one of the rare times I actually would have preferred less light on these shows.

I rest my case This was a stronger Miami than many, though the laser sequence lasted for about 600 hours and there were almost too many gang-member suspects to keep track of. For some reason, Horatio seemed less irritating than usual, though I hate the flourish with which he puts on his sunglasses. Just put them on, H — you’re a busy man.


Crime In this rerun of an October 2004 episode, 12-year-old Alicia Perez disappears and is found dead, her little Mary Janed feet sticking out of a blanket in what Captain Brass calls ”the woods,” even though it’s a meadow. Almost as criminally, Alicia’s troublesome older sister — who phoned in the news of her disappearance — is named April. Two closely linked characters should never have names that start with the same letter; it makes the first few minutes of a story much too confusing.

Worst line When Brass asks a convenience-store worker whether he witnessed the kidnapping, the boy chuckles, ”The chica had a nice round ass, and that’s what I was scopin’.” Way to talk to the police, dude!

Most meaningless line Brass angrily accuses a murder suspect of having dosed her victim with Oxycodone. ”Only you gave her too much,” he growls. How much is ”too much” if you’re trying to murder someone?

Spine-chillingest moment As Sara searches through the computer in Alicia’s bedroom, she discovers a bunch of kidney-transplant sites. Ghoulishly, I hoped that this meant Alicia’s kidney had been stolen — but the real answer was almost as scary.

Spine-chillingest visual The spontaneous nosebleed of Alicia’s older brother, with the crucifix on the wall right behind him. Talk about stigmata!

Worst ”educate the public” fact Oh, why did Mia have to tell us that most restaurant meals are covered with expectorant? It’s not going to stop me from going to restaurants, but from now on I’ll know that there are several DNA samples coating every dish I order.

Best evidence that I would be a better CSI than these guys Only when Alicia is found dead does Grissom’s team really start combing over her home, providing them with several essential clues. Why didn’t they do this earlier, after they went through her bedroom (see above)? Hasn’t the JonBenet Ramsey case taught us anything, people?

I rest my case Although Catherine’s problems with her hideous daughter obtruded in this episode — you know I want the CSIs keeping their personal stuff at home — the problems of the hideous Perez family more than compensated. Mrs. Perez was an especially effective character. Didn’t you just want to squish her whenever she was onscreen?


Miami must have been reading this column — they’re making progress! Vegas was sturdy and reliable. Miami: B. Vegas: B+. I didn’t have to watch New York this week, because it was a rerun I’ve already ”dissed” (as the New York hip-hoppers around whom the episode revolved might say). Go here if you want to read what I said before.

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What did you think? Is Miami heating up? Did you care at all about Catherine’s daughter’s little rebellion?

CSI: Miami

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