The series follows the CSI model set forth in the original Vegas version of the franchise. The lead CSI here is Horatio Caine played by former NYPD Blue actor David Caruso. Caruso left that series because he fancied himself better as a big movie star. Several failed leading roles later he finds himself back playing virtually the same character here. It’s the same Caruso odd speaking pattern, only this time he has a lab coat to go with that gun. Adam Rodriguez plays Caine’s favorite among his lab partners, Delko. He shares a bit of history with Delko. They’ve had a few off the reservation missions together and have bonded somewhat. Delko wants to be just like Caine. Next in the pecking order is Ryan Wolfe, played by Jonathan Togo. Togo is the Greek tragedy character here. It seems that every year this guy is getting the worst of it, from losing his hearing to getting roughed up by the Russian mob. He was a cop and transferred over to the CSI unit in season 2 under Caine’s wing. Emily Procter plays Calleigh. She’s the ballistics expert and all around tough girl with a disarming southern accent. She makes a living by being underestimated. By far the most annoying character is Eva La Rue’s Natalia. Her love lives and former life baggage turn her more often than not into the helpless whimpering damsel in distress. She’s by far the most frustrating character in the entire franchise. If I have to hear her whine one more season… Rex Linn plays the crew’s uniformed cop buddy, Frank Tripp. He’s getting more and more screen time and acts as the audience’s representative on the show. He’s a good tough cop, but the science just goes over his head. New to the 7th season was Megalyn Echikunwoke, please don’t make me spell that last name again, as the new medical examiner on the series, Dr. Tara Price. She’s a huge change from the previous pathologist whom I’m sure fans are already missing. She’s got a bit of a ‘tude. She also flirts too much, while Alex always had this almost unnatural respect for the dead.
The 9th season sees a few big storylines develop. This version of CSI has always been the more explosive action version of the franchise. That usually played out mostly with Caine and Delko. A big improvement to this season is that everyone gets to do a lot more running and jumping this year. The season begins with a full out assault on the lab and the action never really lets up for one episode. Emily Procter had a baby this season so the Calleigh character doesn’t get near as much to do as all of the others. The lab rats had to step up and I even found myself enjoying Eva LaRue a bit more that usual. She’s still annoying but a little less so when she’s running for her life.
Each episode of CSI Miami is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There isn’t anything at all to complain about in the transfer. Colors are bright and vibrant, always jumping from the screen in wonderful detail. Sharpness is tight, perhaps too tight. The overall look leads to a bit too much of a sterile feel. Like the plethora of models who strut their stuff on the show this year, there isn’t a blemish to be found. Black levels are rock solid. Flesh tones are a bit too bright, but this is apparently an intended effect.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is as sharp as the picture. All of the dialog comes through just fine. The musical montage moments always sport a dynamic range of sound from lows to highs; there is excellent production value all the way around.
Miami Milestone – The 200th Episode: (8:08) The cast and crew celebrate the show’s 200th episode.
Behind The Scenes With Adam Rodriguez: (17:59) The actor got to direct an episode and this feature follows his journey.
The Whole Nine Yards: (25:21) The season recap.
To Be Continued – The Season Finale: (7:19) Go behind the scenes on the season’s last episode.
I think the show stepped up its game in the 9th season. There was far less of the over-stylized frames and more hard-core action. Caruso doesn’t dominate the playing field as much. It’s notable that he’s the only cast member not to participate in any of the interviews and features. He’s never struck me as much of a team guy and the show is much better as an ensemble. Caruso’s showing his age and maybe this is the future of the show, “You know what? Believe me that’s a tempting offer”