CSI: Miami: One Step In The Right Direction, And Then Some

Last night's season premiere of CSI: Miami didn't really add much. Just forty minutes' worth of backstory, of looking back at how the Special Investigations Unit evolved with the help of science, a tow truck driver, and the need for a pair of shades. And, perhaps most importantly, a look back at how long Horatio's tied with Eric have been--turns out, really, really long, longer than the twelve years back in time we've traveled.

That aside, I absolutely love this episode. Perhaps it's the power of good editing--the episode's first five minutes, anyone? Sure, that gimmick eventually dried up, but there's something pretty heart-warming with this episode that I haven't seen the show do right in a really long time. I can't really explain it. The only thing is, they got it right.

It was also nice seeing Khandi Alexander return again--that gap that's pretty obvious for most of the last season. The references to Megan and Speed, too. And Natalia suddenly showing up--I did not expect to see her there. The only thing I was looking for was a reference to a younger Eric, although that didn't happen because Rory Cochrane wasn't in this episode, and if I remember correctly, Speed and Eric were supposed to cross paths in this episode, in some odd twist of fate.

Sentimentality aside, last night's premiere managed to highlight how different things were way back. They almost locked up the wrong guy, you see, if not for Calleigh's seeming geeky nature (expanded on by her squeakier voice) and Horatio acting like The Mentalist's Patrick Jane.

That show's main play is the way certain unnoticed details add up together. This show's been doing that for eight years, but we've gotten so used to it that we take it for granted--and seeing Horatio pay close attention to the clean shoes and the muddy floor felt a little odd at the start. It was perhaps the one thing they dialogue was playing at: "why don't we see this on TV?" Eric asked.

So, where exactly will this season go? They promised that this would mark the show's return to its roots. This is a step in the right direction--although a bit literal, and understandably slow--and I hope it doesn't lose sight of the destination along the way. Really, we've had enough of the soap opera tendencies that the last couple of seasons have shown, and we need less of the outrageous (but plausible) and more of the puzzle-piecing. But it won't be boring, I think--we have the Eric-Calleigh story to deal with.

Speaking of which, how'll that pan out? Present-day Calleigh's face, from the rescue to the hospital, says it all. It's going to be a heavy, heavy thing for her. At least Eric's awake, and we can strike the possibility of him dying off the list. Now, whether they'll have good closure, and whether Eric'll just leave the MDPD or find himself fired, I don't really know. We'll see.

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