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CSI: Miami (Season 6) - Permanent Vacation

David Caruso as Horatio Caine

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the eighth episode of CSI: Miami in season six, one entitled Permanent Vacation.

What’s the story? The team investigates the death of 18-year-old Brian Partney who was shot and fatally wounded in the elevator of the hotel in which he was staying with his parents and younger brother.

Why so good? A convoluted plot involving the Cobra Gang, initiation rites and jealousy tears an innocent family apart.

Digging a little deeper: The ending was particularly shocking as, I for one, didn’t see it coming.

Permanent Vacation demonstrates, all too well, the pain of losing a son/brother and the different emotions such a loss engenders. Roger, the father (Dean Cain) reacts angrily, not only towards his surviving son Shane, who fails to give Horatio (David Caruso) the description of a suspect, but also towards Luis Mendoza (Andres Perez-Molina), another of the suspects – there’s never just one, is there? But here we have a red herring of sorts.

For when Luis is later found badly beaten up, the finger of suspicion inevitably points Roger’s way when it is, in fact, the work of Shane (Michael Welsh). I must confess to some initial misgivings about Shane but only because there was just the hint of a suggestion early on that he might have been jealous of Brian (remember the watch?). But then it would have been far too obvious and that’s not CSI‘s style.

On the other hand, Denise, Brian’s mother (Leslie Hope), whose screen time is, I suspect, deliberately kept to a minimum to deepen the final impact, remains outwardly calm. It’s only in the concluding moments that you realise the extent of her pain as she slowly and deliberately approaches the killer and cold-bloodedly shoots him.

Not knowing how American police operate with regards to transporting prisoners, I wasn’t total convinced by his accessibility. It did, however, give her the opportunity to exact revenge. And how many mothers, I wonder, would condemn her for such an action?

This is an episode that gives Caruso the opportunity to shine as the compassionate but determined CSI. A man of few words, he can convey emotions as diverse as anger, disgust and sympathy in an expression. And you just knew he would do all he could for the young Shane.

We also see Natalia (Eva La Rue) arrive first at the crime scene, a timely reminder that she is the least experienced of the CSI’s and not always the confidant young person she appears.

In many ways, Permanent Vacation is a sobering episode, not least because it demonstrates how innocent lives can change in the blink of an eye. And all credit must go to the cast for handling difficult subject matter with such aplomb. Praise too, for Antonio Jaramillo and Jesse Garcia for their portrayal of the real and thoroughly nasty villains of the piece.

What did you think?