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No Man's Land = Mind-Blowing, Incredible

10:06 PM: DUDE.  I CANNOT BREATHE.  SCREW WHATEVER I SAID ABOUT LAST EPISODE.  THIS WAS FREAKING RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING, and I am pretty sure I will not be able to tolerate any grouchy opinions to the contrary.   This means you, TV Squad and Talk CSI.

12:04 AM Firstly, we're going to get the previews for next week out of the way because they're the biggest source of my squeeage right now.
After I finished gaping in shock and quickly rewound, I was all "Ehn!  Ehn!  Hands!  Handholding!  HAAAAANDS!!"  Then I decided to rewind again and play frame-by-frame to figure out whose hands they were.  I thought it was Horatio at Eric's bedside ala the end of NY's "Charge of this Post," but I wanted to make sure.  SO.  It only lasts about 5 frames, and my TV's all blurry and undefined, but when I looked, I immediately began flailing anew.  "Ehn!  Ehn!  ARE THOSE NAILS POLISHED?  Because the single hand between them looks kind of weathered.  Ehn!  Is it Calleigh?  Calleigh, Horatio, vigil comfort?  EHN!!!!!!  Please say yes, the H/C shippers will asplode themselves from excitement!"

[Before you ask: yes I've become addicted to cuteoverload.com, and all the accompanying vocabulary therein.  Snorgle.]

12:55 AM: I'm peering at it again - dang my reception! - and I'm pretty sure it's Calleigh, but I have a headache from trying to figure out anything else, least of all context.  Something being placed in someone's hand?  Evidence maybe?  Why does it look like a rosary to me?  I read too much fic.  I should never attempt to dissect previews; I always sound stupid later.  Um.  Ignore me!  Move along!

1:55 AM: I'm kind of proud of the following review, by the way.  Parts of it are even, dare I say, analytical. Read it.

For starters: Because I don't know when else I'm going to get it in, I want to open with the courthouse scene.  H called Alexx "sweetheart"!  AW!  I adore that tone of voice, the too light and casual "Alexx, sweetheart, where are you?" followed by the sudden quiet urgency, "I need you to get out of there right now."  And then there was an explosion!  And semi-panic!  Followed by definite worry when he came up to the courthouse and saw the damage, and rather than looking for the nearest wounded woman to comfort or even a dead police officer to cry over (what?  He does these things.  Sometimes it annoys me how personally he takes everything), he's got a 1-track mind looking for her, and nothing else matters until he knows she's safe.  I.  Love.  Lab-family loyalty.  Nobody on FFN ever writes fic about Alexx, but I've always particularly enjoyed their friendship - rarely highlighted, but beautiful - and scenes like this make me happy. 

So, Clavo!  (whom I'll bet you a Benjamin is not long for this world) You know what I like about Clavo Cruz, in a way I didn't fully realize before tonight?  He's the only nemesis whose ever really gotten under Horatio's skin.  You see H bristle at Stetler, and there's clear contempt on his features at their every encounter, but their vendetta is fairly shallow. You see him threaten to kill (or actually kill) various Mala Noche members, but he has plenty of excuses to mow them down.  You even see him take a swing at Walter Resden.  But Clavo?  Clavo bothers him because of his utter contempt for both humanity and the law, especially the lieutenant himself.  In a previous episode he spat on him; in every episode he sneers and taunts and takes pleasure in the fact that as much as he makes Horatio's blood boil, the lieutenant can't take any action against him other than to order him out of his sight.  Clavo is never intimidated in the slightest by Horatio's bulldogging, stonewalling, or threats.  In fact, he's downright chatty, calling every bluff.  Seems to view this all a game, not so much a “I’m a brilliant mastermind you’ll never catch meeeee!” game, but more of a “Even I can outsmart you without even trying, how’s that feel?” attitude. The stare doesn’t work on him.

Perhaps that's why I so enjoyed his scenes tonight.  His shanking the guard was so unexpected, it even startled Horatio.  (I really love it when you see his eyes snap open like that.  In fact, you really don't notice how much the man practically squints until you see a reaction like that.)  And later on, Cruz delivers perhaps my favorite bad-guy line ever: "You gonna keep making threats, or you gonna come catch me?"  See what I mean about calling bluffs?

Then there's their first face-to-face meeting on level ground:
"Clavo, this is between you and me, why don't we leave her out of this?"
"You took everything from me.  And now it's time for you to give something back."

Right about here is where I started wondering if Clavo knew about Marisol.  I'm assuming no, or I'm sure he would have brought it up, probably applauding the Noches in the process.  (Now there's a reaction I would have liked to see.)  Even so, it got me thinking that now would be a really good time to threaten Yelina.  She DID stay in Miami, yes?  I'm sure Clavo would like revenge on her too, since I seem to recall she got rather pushy with him a time or two while she and H were trying to pin him for murder.  Sofia Milos really needs to be hired by this show again.  But alas, no women in H's life to threaten at the moment (especially since Cal is made of rubber or something and injury bounces off of her), so a random female hostage will have to do.   And yes, I know why he grabbed a random hostage at the scene as opposed to specifically targeting someone connected to Horatio, but give me my fantasies.  Speaking of which, as soon as I post this, it's off to la-la land where I intend to have AU dreams with Marisol herself in this scenario.  Um.  But that's neither here nor there.

Moving on...the scene in the bank?  I got a great kick out of seeing him order Horatio around.  I mentioned this in a review for a story once, and it's worth saying again:  Along with hurting the people he cares about, the way to cut to the quick with Horatio is to take away his authority.  He's used to being in charge; more than that he *needs* to be in control.  There is nothing he hates more than being puppeteered (see: general disgust with federal authority). You take that away from him, take away his pride, you're one step closer to winning.  You also sign your death warrant, but I'm sure it's fun while it lasts.  And Clavo is clearly getting off on bending Horatio to his will. 

[Fangirly side note: Despite my lack of HD and my notably fuzzy reception, I was dead set on reading what all was in the bank statement, because I like random prop details like that.  (should have seen me dissecting Marisol's day planner in One of Our Own)  I could make out that the available balance was a good $21,000 *before* the million was transferred into it.  I'm fairly sure all of the above say things like "check card purchase" and "online transfer" and "direct deposit." The right-hand column looks like time-stamps, and the middle column lists the dollar amount, at least on the deposits, but the specific numbers are unreadable on my TV.  I don't know if any of this is worth knowing, but my Muse appreciates having it as a resource.]


I loved that you could see him the whole time in the bank trying to think of a way to buck that control, only to realize he'd have to play along, at least up to a certain point.  Because innocents always come first, so if there's a chance to save that woman, he'll take the risk on letting Clavo escape in the wind and hope he can catch up later.  It's not a total risk, anyway.  I am just...generally in love with his expression when he nods at the uncertain teller, keeping everything calm and under control despite the fact that something is clearly not right.  (press the silent alarms!  Rig the money with dye packs!  TRACERS!  I learned a thing or two from Urban Hellraisers, when I wasn't screaming "shoot Natalia please.")

They never did get around to finding the missing woman, despite the taunt that "she's only got five minutes' worth of air left."  Of course, we've seen what Horatio can do in five minutes - "burn, baby, burn" and rescuing a bound hostage from an imploding building come to mind - but I'm inclined to believe that she's nowhere near that parking lot.  Considering the gun battle that went down, I'm guessing revealing her location was only a ploy to get them into firing range - and frankly, it worked frighteningly well.  He called Eric but otherwise they came without backup, never expecting an ambush.  Of course, neither was I (despite the fact that I was spoiled to the gills and there were less than 10 minutes left in the ep before Eric was due to be shot), but I think it speaks to Horatio's single-mindedness that he was focused on nothing but rescuing the hostage.  Seeing the aftermath, I don't know if that was a good or a bad thing.

The shoot-out was magnificent.  Ordinarily such gun battles merely hurt my ears and make me want to fast-forward quickly, but this time I was like a cat watching a laser pointer, eyes darting back and forth intently, trying to follow the flying bullets and wondering which one was aiming for Eric.  To my great delight, it still surprised me.  Some great acting by Rodriguez there (yes I winced at the part where I saw him slam his hand between gun and ground).  Loved Horatio darting out into the open and dragging Eric to (relative) safety.  And then...then it's all a blur.  Until the last word.  

"Eric?" HIS VOICE.  And his expression.  The look of blank shock, of not knowing what to do.  I had forgotten how much I love Horatio when he looks like that.  Though I could swear he moved a whole lot faster to Speed's side, whereas with Eric he just looks paralyzed.  I somewhat understand the difference, since Speed was lying there choking and convulsing while Eric was in pain but still conscious until suddenly he was...very, very dead-looking...but a little part of me still wanted to yell "HEY!  Get out your phone already and call an ambulance!  Check for pulse!  Do something!"  [And wasn't he just the slightest bit worried about him bleeding out, given that he was hit in the thigh?]

Anyone else think Eric's parents might have a few issues to take up with Lieutenant Caine after this?  Two of their children shot & mortally wounded in less than a year's time?  :D 

Lastly, the vocals that ended this ep were a perfect blend of haunting and heart-breaking. Reminded me of the way some of the more emotional X-Files cliffhangers would end.  If at all possible, I would like to get my hands on that music.

Other good things: yes, there was a B-plot, and yes it was definitely in secondary plot land.  But unlike the POS that was the B-plot in Rio, this one moved along quickly without taking up too much time, and for the first time in a while I cared about the crime, felt bad for everyone involved.  As for specific goodies, there was Calleigh's Voice of Steel Fury when she was dealing with the dad who walked away from his son's dead body ("What else could I do?" "Be a human being, for starters."), and Ryan showing off some seriously prizewinning Looks of Compassion.  I could feel the empathy flowing through my screen.  Must hug Ryan!  It flared up a spark of love that I haven't felt since the end of season 3.  Yay for that!

Plus, until 9:40, Boa was confined to the lab where she belonged, which I thought was great.  I was hoping it would stay that way and make the episode perfect.  Alas, t'was not to be; however even when she slithered into the field she got extremely minimal screentime, which was beautiful.

I have only two complaints, the first being editing tricks (specifying which ones will just drive me to rage) and also - Horatio jumping onto the side of the Hummer and riding it like damn fire truck.  Show, you almost lost me there.  I dropped my face into my hands, moaning, "Oh, oh, you were so CLOSE to going one episode without campiness..."

Then, of course, then there was shooting and bleeding... so I forgave and overlooked that stupid moment.

In short, this episode was, as previously stated, incredible. And not just "incredible for season 5," but able to hold its own with the best eps of seasons past.  Before it started I was thinking that next week was the money maker, and I'd spend most of part 1 just waiting for those last five minutes - but no.  It was a solid piece of storytelling.  I love February sweeps.
----------------
9:52 AM: And now there are stories to be worked on.  *rubs hands devilishly* I'm the same kind of fired up I was after Rampage, and when the first spoilers for Rio hit, and those turned out pretty well, so I am almost ready to promise you that I am wreaking a story out of this.  So says the 800-word sketchy-looking but nevertheless outlined rough rough rough draft I've been working on all morning.  I don't care how many people do it first; I've got blinders on and I'm not reading any other post-ep stories until I finish my own.  Muse is back and I'm having fun writing again.  YAY!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
friendsholic
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
I was left shocked after CSI:Miami last night. OMG, i can't believe it.
He's like "I'm going to be okay, i'm going to be okay" then BAM, he gets shot in the neck. I screamed "Nooooooo!"
I would have prefered if it would have been that annoying little dick instead(Ryan). I can't stand that guy.
And i was so scared for Alex too. I thought for sure she was under the mess when Horatio came in looking for her. But she was fine. I like Alex.

I think Eric is going to die :( I don't want him to but judging by the previews for next week, it looks like he's going to. Why him? I'd sacrifice Ryan instead.

I think the Delko family is going to have a bone to pick with Horatio now, first Marisol now Erik...
It's for sure yet that Erik is dead but he's looking very close to it.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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