High school drama is not exactly your normal “CSI: Miami” fare, but after the climactic events of last week’s episode the gang needed a suitably weird murder to get back into action.  And boy, did they get it: There’s public stoning, vindictive pranks, and murderous anger aplenty – plus, some new blood on the team.  Read on to find out the details:

The Players:

  • Director: Allison Liddi
  • Written By: Tamara Jaron
  • Cast: David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, Eva LaRue, Jonathan Togo, Rex Linn, Omar Benson Miller
  • Music: “Ten Cent Pistol” by The Black Keys

Episode Title: “Stoned Cold”

When a popular “mean girl” is found stoned to death in the middle of her high school’s football stadium, the CSI team has to figure out who would want her dead.  The short answer?  Pretty much everyone.  The girl, Blaine, had a whole host of students who hated her guts, and it’s up to H and the gang to find out whose hate turned murderous.

The Good:

  • Mean Girls: There’s a reason Mean Girls was such a hit film, and it’s not just because Lindsay Lohan wasn’t an incredible wreck back then – it’s a compelling, darkly humorous, and biting look at high school and cliques.  This episode of CSI: Miami (much like a recent episode of the TV show Community) is trying to get that same vibe across, and for the most part it succeeds… except for the “humor” part.  Blaine does a great job coming off as an utter bitch, her pranks are vindictive and insanely evil, and we really feel for her victims.  Really, the only moment of levity we have is when Ryan relates a sympathetic (and pretty funny) anecdote about his bullying experience.
  • New Kid on the Block: The introduction of Molly Sloane, the “new girl,” was brief but well-handled.  She gets a quick moment of awkward flirting with Ryan – which in turn sets up Ryan to make a minor ass of himself – and then she gets down to business.  It added a funny scene to an otherwise fairly depressing episode and introduced a new castmember without breaking the flow of the story.

The Bad:

  • Second Thoughts: We’ll try not to spoil the ending here, but we can reveal that at no point during the episode did the CSI team ever wonder whether the murder of Blaine was justifiable.  Now, we’re not saying it was – in fact, the stance that human life is sacred no matter who did what is an admirable one.  But the portrait we’re given of Blaine is of a person with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever: She’s terrible to everyone and has driven at least one of her classmates to attempted suicide, making her stand out in stark contrast to the usual CSI: Miami victims who are killed because of their money, their romantic interests, or because of poor timing.  Given all that, the fact that they didn’t bring up whether her killing was “just” – even if to totally dismiss the idea – seems a little off.
  • The Computer Hears All, Knows All: And CSI’s god computer is back in another thrilling installment of terrible science.  This time around, it manages to read a broken fragment of a CD with almost no loss in audio quality, just a few minor skips – not only are the techs able to hear a name, they can positively identify a voice to go along with it.  Just to drive home the point, they don’t even insert the CD into the computer, they just put it on top of a screen.  Because hey, who needs disk drives when your computer knows everything?

The Quotable:

  • “What’s the new girl doing here? She’s totally going to ruin my party!” “I invited her. She’s the entertainment.”
  • “It wasn’t a beating. It was a stoning.” “Really? That’s archaic.” “Downright biblical.” “YEEEAAAAAAAAAH!”
  • “My very first case of laipidation.” “What?”
  • “You’re talking to a guy who alphabetizes his cereal boxes.” “Really?” “Yeah that’s weird, right?”
  • “I was waiting for the mom to tell me that bullying builds character.”
  • “Too many vodka martinis.” “And you’re, what, 16, 17?” “I meant too many glasses of milk! No underage drinking here, officers.”
  • “Come on.  Do I have to do all of your thinking for you?”
  • “Fun with knots!  Thank you Walter, what are you getting at?”
  • “Can I go now?” “What do you think?”
  • “Do we have a winner yet?” “We’ve got a whole roomful of them.”

Overall:

A gripping, emotionally-moving episode, our only gripe is their failure to give complete consideration to the implications of their story.  But since we don’t watch “CSI: Miami” for its intense philosophical debates (and we’re pretty sure you don’t either), we’ll just say that this is an excellent murder mystery and a total turn-around from last week’s debacle of an episode.

Rating: 9/10

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