When the episode begins, Horatio is at the steps of the giant Christ the Redeemer statue. I find it difficult to believe that place is ever empty as opposed to crammed with tourists. But this is where stories are built…you can call it a “previously on” montage, but I call it thinking about Marisol. He may only be one knee, but damn it, he’s praying. He’s praying for her and he’s praying for solace and he’s praying for guidance.
Scene 1: Horatio needs to find Riaz, and he doesn’t know where he’s gone…but he knows someone who does.
Strains of a pretty little Spanish guitar drift over the Slo-Mo of Former Almost-Lovers, as we focus in on Yelina in a pretty white sundress with a soft smile on her face, the detective routine left far behind as she delicately arranges pink flowers in a vase. She pauses, slowly turns her head…and finds Horatio on the other side of the patio door, watching her. The visit is unannounced, yet she almost seems like she expected him. He waits for her to come out.
“I heard about your wife,” she says softly. “I’m very sorry, Horatio.”
“Then you know why I’m here,” he answers, without even thanking her for condolences which is VERY VERY RUDE. “I’m looking for a man named Riaz.” Riaz is apparently a big name down here, everyone knows he’s a drug lord, including Yelina. She frowns and unconvincingly asks, “What makes you think Raymond has anything to do with that world--”
“Because I know Raymond, Yelina.” His voice is heavy, resigned, but very, very sure. Her face falls a little.
“Leopard doesn’t change his spots,” she whispers sadly. “I didn’t want you to know. You sent us here for a clean start. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault,” he says gently, then, “Can we go inside, please?”
She really does have a beautiful house. And I adore her in this scene. She tries so hard to keep her family together; she’s nearly as dedicated to it as Horatio, and it still crumbles around her.
“I’m scared, Horatio,” she confesses. [and here is the part where my tape went all warpy, and I missed a tiny segment, but no matter]
“Is he working for Riaz?” Horatio questions, but she only shrugs her shoulders helplessly. “With Riaz…against Riaz…I don’t know. He comes home, changes clothes, disappears again. He says he’s only dealing, but…I’m afraid he’s gone all the way over.” Horatio listens to this sadly, a look of empathy on his face because this is one thing he can’t protect her from.
“He says he does it for us,” she whispers, so faintly it’s barely audible, with tears in her eyes. “That’s a lie. The only person Ray Caine cares about…is Ray Caine.”
“Don’t listen to her, Horatio,” comes a new voice, the angry voice of a teenager. Yelina whirls, incredulous, and Ray turns his attention to her. “You’re always talking trash about him.” (Which: STORY FODDER!) “If Dad’s with Riaz, it’s because he’s trying to help us.”
“Get to school,” she snaps.
“Ray, do what your mother says. Go ahead, son.” With one last disappointed shake of his head, Ray obeys. Yelina turns back to Horatio helplessly, her voice even heavier, lifeless. “He idolizes his father. I’m afraid he’s going to turn out just like him.” Horatio, having no answer, purses his lips; then he notes Ray’s shoes and is back on the hunt.
Inner rainforest, where in the distance muffled yelling and what sounds like someone being attacked. They’re on it, following it to the greenhouse. Horatio and Eric carefully push open the door, and the former’s mouth falls open at the sight of a body hanging upside down from the rafters, badly beaten and covered in blood. “He’s still alive,” H realizes when the body gives a weak groan. Eric goes around to the front, and does an admirable job of keeping his reaction subdued. “H – it’s your brother,” he says.
No reaction from H, either, just a little flicker behind the eyes. “Eric? Get help,” he orders quietly, while he himself steps forward to cut down the rope. Damn time cut…
“Easy, easy,” he soothes, being careful to support his brother’s head as he lays him gently on the ground before crouching beside.
“Big…brother…” Ray rasps weakly in recognition. Horatio tries to smile, though it’s hard to tell if Ray can see it through his swollen eyes and the blood, the blood, the blood.
“Yeah,” he nods, voice thick with emotion (because I can hear stuff like that now, with my rose-colored hearing aid). “All right. Ray. Who did this to you?”
“Riaz,” he chokes out. Horatio stores this away to further fuel his rage. Later. Right now he just nods, encouraging the story, fully focused on his brother, who is still making a painful effort at a deathbed beg.
“I just…wanted to help…my family,” he wheezes, which: LIAR! And still sounding completely fake, even though it’s a different actor.
“Right now, let me help you, okay?”
“Not me,” says Ray, slowly shaking his head. “He doesn’t understand.”
“He’s just a kid.”
”I know. I want you to let me worry about Ray Junior.”
“You have to help him. Riaz - *cough* - has his hooks in him. He’s in danger…”
Horatio is leaning over him now, his voice lower, more urgent. “Ray? I want you to listen to me. I’m going to take care of that boy. Ray? Okay?”
But instead of answering, Ray’s head lolls to the side, and with a final shuddering sigh, he expels his last breath and falls still. I’m reminded horribly of Speed’s death, wonder if Horatio is too. Gradually, the hope fades from his eyes, creasing with sadness, and he bows his head. “I’m gonna take care of him,” he repeats, almost to himself. Slowly he gets to his feet and starts to move away, but then pauses another moment to gaze down at his brother’s body. “I love you,” he says softly, which turns my insides to mush every time I hear it. After everything he’s been through, everything they’ve both gone through, as angry with him as he was – he always loved him, and no matter what, that never changed. It’s a bond that I’ve never been able to understand, and I kind of knew it would take a death scene to make me see it, but hey. Now I can watch 10-7 without smashing TV screens. Er, I might still need to smash one, but then I can stop.
[a/n: Yup, beautiful scene. Now, if only one of the 200 people or so in charge of filming/production/editing had noticed how this camera angle did nothing but highlight David Caruso’s developing potbelly, it would have been incomparably powerful.]
Another brief time cut (damn those things!), we don’t get to see Horatio break the news. Can I pretend it’s the spoiler picture of him holding her hands, though? Okay. Yelina, overwhelmed and not quite crying but on the verge of it, is sitting outside at a table, striking her head into the heel of her hand. A saddened Horatio wanders up, giving her space (damn it, when was the last time he touched somebody that wasn’t dying?) but almost a comfort just by his presence. “The authorities have his body,” he says quietly. “I’m making the arrangements now.”
“Thank you,” she whispers. I love his reaction, not looking at her, just a vague nod. I think it really shows how overwhelmed they both are – for once, Horatio isn’t just comforting the woman; he’s dealing with his own loss.
“Somehow I always knew it would end up like this,” says Yelina, sounding like she can’t decide whether to be broken-hearted or just bitter. I wonder how she knew? Maybe because that’s how he died the first time?
“Yelina, there’s one other thing…” he says hesitantly. Bless Sofia for making this scene seem slightly less fake as jumps to her feet, face filled with dread.
“Ray Jr; is he okay?”
“Where is he?” Horatio non-answers. She leaps into action, grabbing her purse. “I can find him,” she says determinedly, pulling out a locating thingy-ma-bobber.
“You gave him a GPS watch,” Horatio notes, for the benefit of the audience.
“He started hanging around with those Favella boys; I was scared something like this would happen,” she explains, her voice starting out angry but cracking at the end and dying to a whisper.
“Hey, Ray.” Nephew’s head snaps up at the sight of his uncle approaching him in the crowded square. I think he knows who Eric is, but then again…eh. “Ray. Ray, this is not a good idea,” he says firmly, without elaborating, making it easy for Riaz – whom I picture in a red-devil suit – to yawn back, “I think he’s doing fine. So are you – you found me.”
“Ray, I want you to come with me,” Horatio says, eyes locked on the boy and utterly ignoring Riaz.
“Stay out of this!” Ray Jay spits back. “You don’t understand!”
“I do understand! I do understand, and that’s why I want you to come with me.”
“I told you, Caine,” smiles Riaz serenely. “I was going to take everything you loved.” This apparently does not even mildly unnerve the kid, as Ray bites his thumb at his uncle and stalks off with Riaz.
“Ray!” Horatio yells, to no avail, and then even more furiously, “RAY!” He is prevented from following by a fairly pointless scene in which 200 random street thugs encircle him and Eric and attempt to whack them with sticks and crowbars, which Eric single-stickedly defends them both against. Huh. At Riaz’ insistence, “in a final act of defiance,” Ray locks eyes with his uncle and then rips off the GPS watch and throws it off the trolley. Symbolic slo-mo slam of the watch striking the rocks and shattering. Also, I find it significant that there’s a scene of them in the trolley, just two quick flashes that zoom in on his face looking out at the view, and in the second scene he’s chewing on a nail, or something. I will call that “silent agitation” in my story in which Eric notes that his boss can’t quite hide his worry.
Yelina has Ray J’s backpack – odd, he never leaves home without it. She opens it up and rummages through the contents for Horaito. “Tape, this, and…why would anyone cut the tips off a latex glove?” She sounds truly puzzled. WOMAN! YOU WERE A DETECTIVE! H knows all too well, though. “To make heroin pellets,” he answers gravely. Oh, poor Yelina. This is a lot to hit her in a day. She almost loses it by this point as she asks, “Are you saying…my son is muleing drugs?” He doesn’t answer. His look says it all, and she looks like she’s going to be sick. They’re interrupted by the ring of his phone. It’s Calleigh – asking if Delko is with him, and Horatio is immediately on guard. “No, he’s not. Why?” Calleigh says she lost his phone signal, and Horatio promptly figures out that’s not good. “I gotta go,” he mutters, though clearly reluctant to leave the grieving widow alone.
KNIFE FIGHT ON THE CORCOVADO! Eric is losing, because for whatever reason, they do not have guns in Brazil. Probably some legal reason, though it’s not like they’re in a mood to obey the law today anyway…Okay, moving on.
So. Eric is on the ground, Riaz sneering and leering whilst Eric is desperately grappling with both hands to keep the knife about six inches away from plunging into his chest…and suddenly Horatio grabs Riaz around the neck, holding a knife to his throat. “Antonio…” he growls, so furious he’s all but shaking, “I unwisely showed you compassion last time we met. This time, you won’t be so lucky. Where is my nephew?”
Riaz just sneers that. “You’ll never find your nephew.” At this point, Eric throws all his weight into throwing Riaz off to the side, enabling him to scramble safely to his feet, though still weaponless.
“Easy, Eric,” Horatio says slowly, locking eyes with Antonio as they face off against each other. It’s a little scary right now, seeing him with a knife in hand that he looks fully prepared to use. “Now Antonio…this is your last chance. Where’s my nephew?” Looking rather pleased with himself, Riaz gloats, “You still don’t understand, huh Caine? RRRRRRR!” I am not making that second line up, as he lets out a battle yell and launches at H with knife outstretched.
And Horatio meets him in the first tackle, plunging the blade into his stomach.
World: O.O (Stunned silence.)
Riaz utters a dying gasp, looking, for the first time, shocked. He’s only still upright because he’s propped up on the blade, and Horatio mutters in his ear, “Don’t I? Don’t I, Antonio?” With completely deadened eyes, he yanks the blood-soaked knife free and lets Antonio’s body fall. The hand with the knife flexes once and falls still. Eric cautiously approaches, kicks the knife out of range, and verifies that he’s dead before picking the note from his front pocket. Horatio watches over his shoulder, but then turns his head and slowly raises his eyes to the giant statue of Christ looming over the scene. He all but shrinks beneath its penetrating gaze. You can literally see his guilt/sin complex screaming into action. It’s hard to describe the look, somewhere between dread and a plea for forgiveness, for understanding, and yet at the same time, how can he ask for forgiveness if he doesn’t feel worthy of being forgiven? Because even though it’s true, he was saving the life of a friend and then his own, he had vengeance in his heart when he went looking. This isn’t a bullet. He stabbed him, and this was a primal, vicious, kill. Eric is saying something (“Flag L?”), and his mind is processing and his tongue answers (“That’s Flagler, Eric”), but his eyes never leave the statue. “We’re headed home?” Eric asks, realizing that Ray is in Miami.
“We’re going home,” he agrees, finally tearing his gaze away. This was what they came for, wasn’t it? This was always the possible outcome, and they weren’t afraid to face that. So why doesn’t it feel like victory?----------
Phone rings – it’s Ray calling his mother, presumably to tell her not to worry.
Yelina: Ray? Oh my God, where are you?
Ray: I’m okay, Mom.
Yelina: Ray, honey, I’m in Miami, I’ve been looking for you!
Yelina: Listen to me, I know what you’re doing and you’re in real danger. (Yes, this is verbatim. Yes, I KNOW it sounds like it’s straight from a bad fan fic)
“I-I am if YOU’RE here, Mom, go home,” he pleads.
Yelina: Ray, please listen to me.
Ray: I have to do this. To save Dad. If you try to stop me, they’ll kill him.
OH SLAM. “Ray – about your father,” she says hesitantly. “There’s something I have to tell you.” This only riles him up.
“I don’t want to hear it. And don’t try to trace this call because I-I’m throwing this phone away
Showdown with Random Drug Lord #2 (I don't remember his actual name; I made one up that sounded similar, "Montego") Vs. Ray Jr., and Horatio showing up just in time to save his idiot nephew's neck AGAIN.
Horatio: Gentlemen. Put your weapons down. You too, Ray.
“I want to talk to my dad!” Ray yells.
Horatio is inching closer. “Ray? Your dad’s gone, son. He’s gone.”
This doesn’t calm him down so much. “You killed him?!” he shrieks at Montego.
“He deserves to die!” Ray screams back, his hands now shaking so badly that any bullet he fired wouldn’t hit the mark anyway. Horatio’s voice is urgent but still a powerful voice of reason.
“Listen to me, son. If you go down this road, there’s no going back.” The man speaks from experience. Kid, did you forget how horrible you felt the last time you witnessed a murder?!
Slowly they lower their guns. Then Montego stupidly raises his again.
“HEY!” Horatio yells, and fires, killing him. Ray looks a wee bit shell-shocked as he watches his uncle go up to the man, kneel beside him, confirm he’s dead. “You okay?” Horatio asks, back to the boy. Ray stares at his uncle and asks, instead, “Are you okay?” That’s an extremely good question, and the answer is NO HE’S NOT.
“I’m okay,” Horatio nods slowly. “I’m okay.”
And, the end. Mother and son happily reunited, son no longer sulky and disobedient. Nephew and uncle share a meaningful look (I love that; they don’t have enough interaction), and then Yelina tells him to get in the car while she hangs back for a second. Horatio tells her Ray’s body is in transport, and she nods. After a minute, she tells him, “There’s a Brazilian term, saudade. It means sadness for happy memories, like I have for Ray, and you have for Marisol.” (Marisol reference there? Gratuitous, and forced. Not by her, by the writers)“Now what?” he asks after a minute. She nods thoughtfully. “Brazil is…saudade too.” Another pause. “Although, I don’t know what there is for us in Miami.”
[a/n: Actually, it sounded more like she said "hadaj," but since I can't find anything resembling that word via Google and everywhere I go says the Brazilian term is "saudade," I'm going with that.]
“I do,” he replies immediately, and when she stupidly asks “What?”, he has never looked more pleased to reply, “Family.” His smile right there is so warm, it almost got me over all my sadness. It’s such a beautiful, reassuring, cautiously hopeful word. The UST will be back in six months tops - that is, IF they bring Yelina back full time, which, please please please? - but for now, they’re only two people who care about each other, true family love in the purest sense and nothing more.
I so can’t wait for the dance of metaphors to pick up again.