My thoughts on CSI: Miami’s 10th season (with some finale spoilers & screencaps)
This is one of those shows that I’ve been watching from the very first season, and oddly enough I think it’s more because I like the cast than the overall storyline. I was kind of sad when one of my favorite cast members (Khandi Alexander) left the show, and I almost quit watching entirely when it seemed like Adam Rodriguez and Jonathan Togo were going to bow out too, but luckily they didn’t. I also adore Emily Procter. I’m not a huge fan of anything bloody or gory, but I stick through CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds because of the appearances of my favorite actor(s)/actress(es) on the show.
Which is why I was sorely disappointed with this latest season of CSI: Miami. My favorite cast members hardly got any screen time (at least in my opinion, anyway), and we got to see more of the newer cast members, whose acting I didn’t really care for. Probably didn’t help matters that each episode was also pretty mediocre too.
Except for the finale this past Sunday night. Out of all the episodes this season, this was sadly the one I enjoyed the most, and after watching it I couldn’t help but wonder why the writers couldn’t have made all the episodes like that. We had Rodriguez and Togo’s character sort of working together again, and I’ve always thought that there was a solid chemistry between Rodriguez and Togo on set that I have no idea why they decided to change it so much and keep sticking Togo with Miller, which I didn’t think worked nearly as well. I also really enjoyed seeing more of Procter’s character. Procter’s character (Calleigh Duquesne) really appeals to me because she’s got the right amount of “girl,” toughness, and spunk, making her a really well-rounded female character that’s not weak and helpless or a total b****. Which is something that’s pretty hard to do, because I think when most people write female characters they always seem to be one extreme or the other—damsel in distress or pretty much cruel and heartless.
I meant to rant a little about this season while it was going on, but life got busy and the season finale just crept up on me before I knew it. On the one hand, I’m glad it’s over because for the most part the season was pretty darn awful. On the other hand, I hope the series isn’t completely over because I feel like there’s still plenty of unanswered questions left to resolve and I’m not personally ready to see the series sign off for good yet either. I hope though that if they do another season, that they’ll put Rodriguez and Togo’s characters back together as a team and definitely show more of Procter.
As I said before, I actually did enjoy Sunday night’s episode, so I’d just like to conclude by sharing some of what I thought were the highlights of the season finale. Just to put it out there though, I’m one of those people that sometimes thinks a scene is funnier than it actually is, so I hope you’ll please forgive any over-exaggeration in this post.
This episode was pretty hilarious to me, because for me it just seemed like the veteran CSI: Miami characters kind of squeezing out the newer ones, with the exception of Walter (played by Omar Benson Miller). Jury still seems to be out on that one. I’ll admit he does have his moments. Maybe he’s growing on me, I don’t know, but it would help if the writers would stop trying to make him Ryan’s new partner. In my mind, it should always be Wolfe and Delko as a team, processing the scenes, because that’s how it always was before Walter showed up.
Anyway, before I get too far off track, here’s my highlights of the season 10 finale (with plenty of pictures—click to enlarge them :p):
Highlight #1: “Ryan Wolfe is dead.”
…or not. Hahaha. Honestly when I saw the close-up of Jonathan Togo’s face at the very beginning of the episode, I thought “No way, did they actually kill off his character?” Of course, the only reason why I was even thinking this was because my one guy friend ridicules my CSI: Miami obsession and he said to me just before the episode started, “I hope your favorite characters get killed off and join the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Now that’s real television.” I beg to differ, but I digress. Anyway, my state of horror was incredible short-lived, because in the next instant, Wolfe gets up. Which totally follows the unwritten rule that in CSI: Miami, CSI Wolfe is pretty much invincible. I mean this guy has survived a nail gun to the head (S04E08), rebounded ridiculously quickly from the injuries he received after being swept away by a tornado (S10E03), and I swear he’s had at least 1-2 near-death experiences every season since that nail gun episode.
Anyway, after it’s established that Ryan is alive and well (though perhaps a bit banged up…then again, that’s nothing new for Togo’s character either), we then segue to yet another unwritten rule of the series that again, only happens to CSI Ryan Wolfe.
Highlight #2: “Ryan Wolfe got himself in a mess again, and it’s eventually going to be up to Horatio and the rest of the CSI team to clean up after him.”
In this case, it appears Ryan has killed someone. Specifically ASA Josh Avery, who happens to be boyfriend to Samantha Owens, who is fairly new to the CSI team, and someone Ryan has an interest in (and of course Eric Delko was interested in her too at one point—Wolfe and Delko have “love tangoed” over a girl before)…but I’ll cover the whole “girl” thing later. Anyway, already here we have several other “Ryan-esque” things going on worth noting first.
Let’s start with the fact that he’s potentially killed ASA Avery. Now granted, Avery turned out to be a very bad egg in the few episodes he’s appeared in this season. (Which was totally fine by me, because as attractive as he is to look at on screen, I wasn’t particularly charmed by his acting. Then again, we weren’t given a lot of time to warm up to his character, so who knows.) Anyway, this isn’t the first time Wolfe’s gotten himself into trouble. There was the time he got fired by Horatio for not being completely honest (S05E22), the time where he pretty much turned on the team and dug his hole a little bit deeper (So6E03), another case where he was connected to the investigation (S07E13), and the list actually kind of goes on and on. Not exactly a sunny track record.
Which is why this time, Ryan doesn’t really bother to swear up and down that he’s innocent this time around. In fact, it appears that he’s finally learned from his mistakes after about 2-3 (fairly huge) blunders each season, and he just calls up Horatio and comes clean immediately. He’s then faced with an all-too-familiar situation of being handled by his fellow teammates.
Since Ryan isn’t completely sure whether or not he killed Avery, the team members seem to process him with something more like resignation (something along the lines of “Really, Ryan? Again? Can’t you stay out of trouble for more than five minutes? Come on!”) rather than with hostility. I’m sure even if he had killed Avery, accident or not, Horatio and the team would have found some way to sweep it all under the rug, mafia style (if you catch my drift).
And this leads to…
Highlight #3: “Our Ryan did what? No. There’s no way. We refuse to believe it.“
As the saying goes, “s*** happens.” The thing is though, Ryan seems like he keeps getting into these types of situations over and over again. So what does this mean? Well, either it’s all secretly intentional and no one’s figured it out yet, or Ryan is just one of those people that’s got incredibly bad luck and always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time about 99.9% of the time. (The 0.1% of the time he’s not in trouble is when he’s hardly got a spot in the episode. I think it’s safe to say his character has become a bit of an inside joke for the writers, and his many missteps on the show are clearly meant to be comic relief because in the real world, he probably would have been fired long ago for being a work hazard and a liability.) Ryan Wolfe is like the kid no parent wants to believe is bad, and so they will continue to be in denial until evidence pops up that allows no room for doubt. Although even then I’m sure some kind of magical exception would be made. After all, this is Ryan we’re talking about here.
Luckily, turns out Ryan is innocent and everyone lets out a breath of relief. And then Ryan is immediately allowed to help out on the case…wait, what? Yeah, you heard right. This is how the CSI mafia rolls. Hahahaha.
Highlight #4: “So if Ryan didn’t kill ASA Avery, who did??”
I’d answer the question, but then I’d be getting way too ahead of myself. I’ll admit though, the answer to this question made me smile with glee. (Hint: It looks like character I really don’t care for may have been written out of the show. Of course, nothing’s set in stone and they could make a miraculous comeback like Ryan seems to, but I hope not.) So then if I’m not going to talk about it yet, why mention it? Well, because I thought that picture up there was pretty hilarious. Ryan’s recounting to Horatio what happened before he apparently got knocked out, and as much as I like Ryan, I think if I was a tall guy like Josh Avery, I’d probably be laughing too. If looks could kill, it is possible Ryan could have had a shot, but since they don’t, well…
Highlight #5: “There’s a bug in Avery’s phone! That could only mean one thing…Darren Vogel must be involved!!”
And Horatio is super excited, because Vogel’s been a thorn in his side for quite a few episodes now, and it appears he finally has the man cornered. Except unfortunately, it turns out that’s not true.
According to a lab tech (sorry, I feel like I should know this guy’s name, but I don’t, haha), the bug that Ryan found in Avery’s phone is actually one of their bugs. Which means one of their CSI’s was responsible for checking it out. Of course, it doesn’t take long for Horatio to make the connection.
Highlight #6: “Ryan has no luck with women.”
Or maybe he just has bad taste in them. I can’t think of all the episodes off the top of my head, but there have been several throughout the seasons of this series featuring Ryan’s failed attempts at picking up girls. They’re either taken, prefer Delko, secretly evil…well, I’m sure you get the picture. The character Samantha Owens is no exception, and will soon be added to Ryan’s continually lengthening list of romantic failures. In the meantime, he briefly enjoys what he believes is slight progress—ASA Avery not only turned out to be one of the baddies, he’s also conveniently deceased, meaning that in Ryan’s line of sight, all obstacles are out of the way. The only real obstacle that seems to remain is that Owens may be needing some time to emotionally recover, but that’s okay. Ryan seems okay with taking his time…for now.
Highlight #7: “The CSI’s are family. Don’t mess with the family, and don’t question the family. End of story. Thank you. This message was brought to you by CSI Eric Delko.”
Haha, I just had to put this in here. One of the many random storylines that don’t exactly have to do with the main story is Calleigh trying to adopt a pair of kids. I guess we can safely infer from this that she has lost all hopes of finding a “real man,” and her biological timer is either up or close to it, and so now she just wants kids. Of course, it helps that the two she wants and her have some history together, so it’s clear to everyone (but the adoption agency, apparently) that she’s the perfect match for these kids. Since the adoption agents need some convincing, Delko takes a few minutes to stop by and pop some sense into them, and of course the message clearly gets through. Now, since we’ve gotten past that obstacle, we now briefly entertain the question, “So who was ASA Avery, really?”
Highlight #8: “ASA Avery was a drug dealer.”
Uh, do what? Now that he’s dead and his character has been written out, the writers have decided to go ahead and have some fun with his back story for the sake of giving him one, and they’ve definitely come up with all kinds of random. Remember that conversation Ryan was having with Samantha earlier? Well, Samantha mentions that her evil deceased boyfriend owned a boat that he never let her on, not even ones during the two years that they had been dating. (Two years? Really? She acted like she was totally single this whole season until Ryan was about to ask her on a date, and then suddenly this boyfriend just miraculously appears. Yeah, clearly another random element to this crazy back story.) Anyway, did Ryan take this in as suspicious information? You bet he did! And, one unfortunate dead innocent civilian and another not-so-innocent individual gunned down later, it is discovered that Josh had been hiding his stash on that boat.
Okay, so that’s great, but why is this even important? Oh, because maybe that’s why ASA Avery was killed, because of a drug deal gone wrong. (But they left Ryan alive? Hmm…maybe they thought he was dead since he wasn’t moving on the ground…all right, I guess I can kind of buy that…)
And we are then given a few wonderful minutes of Delko and Wolfe working together to process the cocaine and figure out who could have been Josh Avery’s supplier. As it should be. No Ryan being flustered around Samantha and definitely none of the forced banter between Ryan and Walter. Cue rocker music, scenes of the men swiftly and efficiently doing their job, and getting straight to the point of the matter. Excellent. Hope there’s more of it next season.
Highlight #9: “Darren Vogel is like the white collar version of Esteban Navarro.”
One gets his hands dirty by gouging his victims’ eyes out (and his grandmother is no better, she’s a cold-hearted killer too), and while the other doesn’t, he still manages to keep giving Horatio and the other CSI’s a big fat headache. What do the two have in common? They’re both pretty darn good at not getting caught.
Anyway, it is discovered that the person who made the drugs, Eddie Coster, was represented by Darren Vogel, who managed to get him off his charges. Yeah, small world. Said drug chemist is then brought in for questioning. Horatio makes sure to chaperone the interrogation. If you’ve been following this season, you’d know that his CSI’s have made way too many clumsy mistakes and he’s not going to allow for any more slip-ups, not when it seems like he’s so close to squashing one out of three of his bigger problems for good (the other two problems being the Navarros).
Highlight #10: “Eddie Coster is a junkie with a mission.”
How in the world the guy manages to do this, I don’t even know. During the questioning, Horatio and Walter basically tell Eddie that his stash isn’t completely gone, it’s currently in their facility, safely tucked away in evidence storage. After it’s determined Eddie can’t help the team corner Vogel, he’s let go. Without an escort. Of course, normally this wouldn’t be a problem with most of the criminals that won’t cooperate with them, because they’re just happy to get the heck out of there. Eddie, on the other hand, has different ideas.
Long story short, somehow this guy manages to take both Samantha Owens and Darren Vogel hostage, forces Samantha to check out all the packs of cocaine and replace them with flour, and then by blade point forces Samantha to be his getaway driver while Vogel is shackled in the back. Okay, what? Hahaha. The taking hostage thing I can see, but how in the world did he force Samantha to do the switch without getting caught? Surely he couldn’t have followed her into the evidence storage facility; I would imagine no one else would have allowed that, and seeing as how Eddie only had a blade and not a gun, shouldn’t have that made it easier for Samantha to alert a cop at the facility and then they could have taken care of Eddie? Also, how did he manage to get her to do that switch in such a short time? Crazy questions that never quite get answered…
Highlight #11: “Seriously. Ryan has no luck with women.”
In a last ditch effort, Samantha runs the car over a bridge, seemingly killing Eddie and severely injuring herself and Darren Vogel. Yup, that’s right. Small baddie conveniently dies, but Vogel is still alive and…not really kicking, but alive nonetheless. I’m sure he’ll be back for yet another season, if CBS decides to allow for a next season. So what about Ryan’s woman problem? Ah, we’re getting there…
Highlight #12: “Oh no she didn’t!”
Anyway, while Samantha is being carted away by paramedics, Ryan notices something very interesting about his crush’s shoes. There’s a glass shard on the bottom of them that somehow has been lodged there all this time. Ryan had pulled out a similar shard out of his hand at the beginning of the episode. That other shard had been linked to the murder weapon that killed ASA Avery, the broken wine bottle. And don’t gasp just yet, because it just gets better.
Highlight #13: “Oh yes, she did.”
Not only did the shard match the murder weapon, and it is determined that Samantha did indeed kill her not-so-innocent-anyway ex-boyfriend, she also did the unthinkable. Well…unthinkable to Ryan, anyways, hahaha. Instead of thoroughly checking to see if Ryan was all right, she was so consumed by her panic of having killed ASA Avery that she just bolted from the crime scene, and just leaving Ryan there. Yup, simple as that. Left him there on the ground, possibly passed out, possibly dead. Lucky for her (or more like lucky for him), Ryan is definitely like a cat with nine lives.
And judging from his facial expression there, this is a heartbreaking moment that even this clumsy romantic just can’t forgive. So long, Samantha.
Highlight #14: “Conclusion: Ryan has no luck with women, and bad luck follows Ryan around like a lost puppy in general. Despite all this, it’s okay, the important thing is that the original CSI’s, with the occasional inclusion of Walter, are one tight family. Meaning, they’ll always have each other covered, no matter what. Don’t mess with this family. This message once again brought to you by Eric Delko, CSI.”
And it’s all right in the end, because even though the rest of the CSI’s will joke that maybe Ryan should try some online dating (they actually did say that), and even though Ryan gets himself into a lot of trouble just about every other episode, when it comes down to it, Ryan knows that he’s got a good group of real friends that will always love him no matter what…even if he makes it really, really hard to sometimes. (And I just had to put that picture of Eric telling Ryan that the CSI fam will always have his back, no matter what, and the little “godfather”-like pat of affection afterward. Like he’s a boss, hahaha.)
Gosh, I wish this season hadn’t been cut so short though. Curse you, NYC 22!! Hahaha.
Thanks to all those who managed to stick to the end of this post! See you all again next time!