CSI: Miami--'Cheating Death'

Discussion in 'CSI Files News Items' started by CSI Files, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. CSI Files

    CSI Files Captain

    Feb 28, 2003
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    <p><b>Synopsis:</b><p>A woman wakes up in a posh Miami hotel room with the dead body of a young man handcuffed to the bed beside her. The woman, Christina Dodd, claims she was drugged, and Horatio has her sent to the hospital for tests. Ryan finds the man's ID, identifying him as Steve Howell, and notices the handcuffs binding him to the bed have the hotel's logo on them. The concierge, Mario Vega, tells Delko that he brought the handcuffs to a woman in the room. After she finishes up at the hospital, Calleigh and Delko question Christina, who confesses to the CSIs that after an illicit encounter with a man in a hotel room who mistook her for a prostitute, she began having sex for money at the Tremaine hotel. She swears she didn't kill Steve, but Calleigh reminds her solicitation is a crime as well. Dr. Price is frustrated after Delko and Ryan play a practical joke on her that involves moving Steve Howell's body, making it more difficult for her to determine the weapon used to kill him him. She sends Delko up to the lab with scrapings from under Steve's fingernails. Valera is able to uncover multiple DNA hits from under his fingernails--the biggest contributor being a woman named Audrey Yates, who has a prior for pandering. Horatio questions the former madame, who claims she got out of the business after her arrest. She tells Horatio that Steve was her tanning butler, and suggests that perhaps one of Christina's other clients got jealous and killed Steve. Valera gets the results of Christina's sexual assault kit and finds another major donor: a man named Dan Becks, who is in the system for assault with a deadly weapon. When the CSIs track him down, Dan tells them he's Christina's husband--and that he was at their son's little league practice at the time of the murder. Ryan and Delko determine Christina was dosed with GHB in the room, while Calleigh helps Dr. Price recreate the position Steve was in when he was killed to make impressions of the stab wounds he sustained, in hopes of identifying the murder weapon.<p>Delko gets prints off tiny shards from a shattered glass vial found in the room and assembles them, matching them to a woman named Lisa Radley. Lisa, who tells the CSIs she had a personal shopping appointment at the time of the murder and shows a receipt to prove it, admits to getting a hotel room to sleep with Steve despite the fact that she's married. She tells the CSIs Steve drugged her and robbed her, even going so far as to steal her wedding ring. The CSIs realize that if Steve was drugging and robbing married women, one of them could have been his killer. Christina must have surprised him by handcuffing him--and then passed out, leaving Stephen a sitting duck for his killer. Calleigh and Natalia search Steve's house and discover pictures of Stephen's targets. Using state-of-the-art technology, lab tech Jane Barrett is able to get an image of the photographer off of reflections in the pictures: it's Audrey Yates. When questioned, Audrey admits to being frustrated that these soccer moms were horning in on her business, so she helped Steve find marks so that he could rob them. Horatio notices she's wearing Lisa Radley's wedding ring and confiscates it. Using a silicon mold, Dr. Price determines that the murder weapon was a double-edged knife with a single serrated side. Delko determines it's a combat knife, causing the CSIs to turn their attention back to Dan Becks, a former marine. Becks admits to following Christina, finding her in the hotel room passed out and to threatening Steve, but denies even hurting the man. When the CSIs learn that the hotel concierge was selling fake receipts as alibis, their suspicions fall on Lisa Radley, who gave them a receipt from a personal shopping trip. They question the woman, who says she went to the hotel room to get her ring back. When Steve mocked her, she picked up the knife Becks had left behind and stabbed him in a rage. She said he had to be stopped, but Horatio reminds the distraught woman that it wasn't her job to stop him.<p><b>Analysis:</b><p>Suburban housewives must be really bored in Miami. Is the shopping really so lousy that they have to turn to infidelity and prostitution to get their jollies? Are book clubs totally passé now? And wouldn't most women be insulted by being mistaken for a prostitute? <i>Miami</i> can at times be rampantly sexist--save for the crime scene investigators, most women in the show are either helpless victims or femme fatales (or sometimes both)--but there's something uncomfortably demeaning about the way Christina embraces the role of prostitute. Men don't fare much better on this show. Anytime a handsome young man is murdered, it turns out he did something to deserve it. <i>Miami</i> doesn't just play into sexual stereotypes, it embraces them shamelessly. Sometimes it's easy to overlook this amid the frothy fun, but every so often it just really grates beyond reason.<p><font color=yellow>Lucy Lawless</font> manages to rise above the melee, coming across as elegant and classy, even though she's playing a madam. Still, there are few sexual clichés this episode doesn't embrace: the sexy experienced madam, the soccer mom married to a guy who doesn't excite her looking for a little racy fun, the repressed married woman who pays heavily for her night of passion...not one of them transcends the cliché in any way. Steve is similarly a cardboard stereotype: a handsome young man who uses his looks and charm to seduce women and swindle them. The episode isn't horrible, but it never rises above its by-the-book premise.<p><HR ALIGN="CENTER" SIZE="1" WIDTH="45\%" COLOR="#007BB5"><p>To read the full reviews, please click <A HREF="http://www.csifiles.com/reviews/csi/cheating_death.shtml">here</A>.<center></center>
  2. Faylinn

    Faylinn Adam Fangirl Super Moderator

    Nov 30, 2005
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    Great review, as usual.

    I agree about the show being heavy on the gender stereotypes a lot of the time. It can be disappointing.

    At least the killer was somewhat sympathetic (although more stupid than anything - why not just tell your husband the ring got stolen and be at least that honest? Killing him didn't solve her problems), although the victim wasn't sympathetic at all. It's not that he deserved to die, but they didn't make me really care about the jerk. :rolleyes: (Although, admittedly, sometimes it's good to not just have a sympathetic victim and a ruthless killer.)

    I understood Tara losing her patience with the guys for messing with a body so they could play a joke, but I hope they don't keep doing that every week. (The latest episode also included a tense moment when Eric took her gizmo-whatsit without her permission.) It'll get old fast - and my mom already doesn't like her because of it. :lol: PTB, you don't want to upset my mama! :p

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