CSI: Miami--'Tipping Point'

Discussion in 'CSI Files News Items' started by CSI Files, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. CSI Files

    CSI Files Captain

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    <p><b>Synopsis:</b><p>A man buried alive at a construction site dies a gruesome death when a drill slices into him. The workers are surprised to discover blood on the drill, and when Horatio and his team arrive, the manager tells the CSI leader the site is a new one and that they had no idea someone was beneath the soil. Dr. Price finds a cardio messenger in the dead man's pocket which gives them his identity: Michael Olvera. In addition to being buried alive, he was shot once in the abdomen. The CSIs go to his residence and learn from a young man named Freddie Granada that Olvera was a Reverend who opened his house to kids in need and tried to keep them out of gangs. He points them towards some recent graffiti Olvera painted over and Delko uses an imaging machine to strip it away, revealing the logo of a gang known as the Craneos. Tripp follows up on a tip from a tipsters’ hotline given by a young woman named Yolanda Ramoz, who tells him she heard a gunshot while she was distributing fliers. Calleigh and Delko go to the location and find a 9-millimeter bullet and blood drops, as well as a small St. Jude medallion. Calleigh is able to match the bullet to a bullet from a shooting 10 years ago by a man named Hector Salazar, the former head of the Craneos who was released from prison just days ago. Horatio questions Hector, who shows him a scar he received in jail and insists he has no desire to go back: he's reformed.<p>Tripp and Natalia follow up on another tip from the same area, a report of a heated argument from a woman's apartment. Gloria Nunez tells the pair that she was arguing with the funeral director in charge of her daughter Laura's burial, claiming he's trying to scam more money from her. Gloria's young son Matteo beseeches them to help, and while Tripp wants to get back to the murder case, Natalia is torn. Valera traces blood on the St. Jude's necklace to a man named Raphael Vargas, but when Horatio and Ryan go to question the man in his shop, he admits to threatening Olvera--but not to killing him. Outside, Horatio catches sight of Yolanda putting a flier on his car with an urgent message: the Craneos are hitting a shipping site. Delko and Horatio rush to the site and discover the Craneos have stolen explosives. The security guard at the site recalls being grabbed by a man with a scar on his arm, leading the team back to Hector. Hector tells Horatio and Tripp that he wanted to be found: he's trying to work from the inside and lead the CSIs to the Craneos. He told Yolanda about the explosives. He claims Reverend Mike visited him in prison and opened his eyes. He also knows of Tobey Hollins, the man Horatio helped in prison; he believes Horatio is someone he can trust and implores the CSI to let him find out what the Craneos are planning to use the explosives for. Horatio agrees. Natalia pays the swindling funeral director a visit and gets him to back off Gloria Nunez, and upgrade her daughter's funeral. When she goes to tell Gloria the good news, she's surprised to discover Matteo with a gun, and is forced to take both into custody.<p>Calleigh confirms the gun is the same one used to shoot Olvera, and Delko is able to match a partial print on the trigger to an unlikely suspect: Freddie Granada. When the CSIs apprehend Freddie, he claims Reverend Mike failed him by telling him life outside the Craneos would be easier. He killed the Reverend to get back into the gang. As soon as he's taken away, Hector calls--the Craneos are going to bomb Olvera's house. The CSIs rush there and discover Yolanda tied up inside, the explosive already set. With seconds on the timer, Horatio rushes in and saves the girl. Looking at video footage of the house just before the explosion, Ryan recognizes the explosive canisters inside the house as ones he saw in Raphael Vargas's shop. Horatio goes to apprehend Vargas and finds him arguing with Hector. Horatio takes Raphael down but Raphael fires a shot off and hits Hector, fatally wounding him. Horatio mourns the loss of the reformed young man while Natalia attends Laura Nunez's funeral. The Craneos are rounded up and arrested by the police. Afterwards, Horatio and Natalia go to see Reverend Mike's house being rebuilt and learn Yolanda is donating her tipster reward money to buy a new computer for the kids at the house.<p><b>Analysis:</b><p>Yes, it's another <i>CSI: Miami</i> episode about gangs. But what sets "Tipping Point" apart from the umpteen <i>Miami</i> episodes about gangs that have preceded it is the genuine human element that runs throughout the episode. Sure, the two bad guys are cardboard cutout baddies, sneering disdainfully when they're caught. But the other characters in the episode, from the victim who was trying to help kids in his neighborhood to the gang leader who actually reformed in jail to the snitch trying to make a buck who turned around and donated the money in the end, the characters in the episode actually made me feel something. If <i>Miami</i>'s slick, trendy tone is sometimes its Achilles Heel, the last few episodes of this season have shown that the glossy look of the show and the cutting edge technology can co-exist with more meaningful stories.<p>The episode surprised me on several levels by bucking some <i>Miami</i> trends. For one, I fully expected some dark secret to come out that indicated Michael Olvera wasn't the good person he appeared to be. More often than not, victims on <i>Miami</i> turn out to have done some misdeed that would lead to someone wanting them dead--especially when the victim appears too good to be true. But Olvera was every bit as good as he seemed; he was genuinely trying to do right by the kids in his care, his only apparent failure being that he set up unreasonable expectations in at least one of them. It's refreshing to have a victim that really is what he seems, and it makes the horrible way in which he died even more tragic.<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/tipping_point.shtml">here</A>.<center></center>
     
  2. Faylinn

    Faylinn Adam Fangirl Super Moderator

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    Great review, as always. :)

    My mom freaked out a bit at the beginning - she has a fear of being buried alive, so she was not pleased to learn that they didn't find Reverend Mike in time to save him.

    It was a pretty interesting storyline - like you say, it was nice to see a 'gang' story that wasn't more of the same. This was really a chance to see how the gang affects the rest of the neighborhood.

    I felt bad for Hector - however, I called it. I literally wrote this down after he told Horatio he was reformed: "My guess: Salazar either dies to save the chillunz (while Horatio stands over him), or he continues the Reverend's work."

    I was hoping for the latter, but the former was totally expected. How many years is it going to take before even Super H has enough victims on his conscience to pull a Grissom and get the hell outta dodge?

    See, I didn't make the connection - I didn't really think about it, though. I just assumed that 'Tobey' was made up to service the plot here. When you mentioned it, I remembered the case. It works either way, though, which is good - it gives a touch of extra depth for fans who remember, but for those who don't (or for newer viewers), knowledge of the original episode isn't necessary to understand the context of that scene. Definitely a good job on the writing there. :)

    I liked Natalia's story with the grieving mother - I didn't really think Mateo would accidentally kill himself, but I did worry for a minute that he might get hurt. That poor woman didn't need any more pain.
     
  3. adamandeva

    adamandeva Witness

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    love the reveiw
     
  4. koshi700

    koshi700 Dead on Arrival

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    The episode was good. I'm actually starting to enjoy this series again so I hope they keep up the good work. The only thing that annoyed me about this episode was that we once again had Super H to the rescue. I mean seriously, he was able to run into a house find the girl lying on the floor, take the time to untie her hands, picke her up and basically walk out of the house all in 30 seconds???? Then when the house explodes, Eric who is standing much farther away is knocked over by the blast, but H who is basically in the yard and holding a girl is able to remain standing and looking heroic. :rolleyes: Give me a break, please.

    But other then that it was a really good episode. I'm looking forward to seeing where they take the kid was saw Ryan dropping off a few weeks ag.
     
  5. Finch

    Finch Funnier in Enochian Super Moderator

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    Great review!

    Agreed 100%. The episode was excellent, I just wished they had left SuperH out of it--I much prefer humble/human H like we had a glimpse of when Hector died. (But SuperH is typical Miami so it's understandable)

    The end scenes were a semblance of the Miami from yesterday (first few seasons) which I loved. :) And the end song was a perfect fit.

    It was a great way to approach this episode. It wasn't so cardboard cut-out and dealt with real people. And I'm still bummed about Hector. That's probably a good sign with this show. :p

    I was a little surprised when they mentioned Toby but they spun it in really well with the episode. My family probably thinks I'm a bit 'out there' for gasping and pointing at the screen though. :lol:
     
  6. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly ~Queen of Sarcasm~ Moderator

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    Great review!

    Super H strikes again :rolleyes: I could have done without that, but otherwise a good episode.

    Hector was such a great character. A nice change from what we normally get. It's too bad he had to die, but almost necessary. And I loved the reference to 48 Hours to Life. I picked that one up right away.

    I don't usually like Natalia, but I really enjoyed her role in this. It's nice to have a human touch every now and then.
     

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