CSI Season 14 Review “Des Los Muertoes”

On the latest episode of “The Bridge”…er, make that “CSI,” the show tilted its hat south of the border with a spin on that former show’s plotline, in the pun-tastically titled “Des Los Muertoes.” If you haven’t seen the former, this was a good self-contained take on a similar case, in which a body was found near the border of Mexico that got the attention of our gang when a friend of the Doc’s, Gabriel (former “The Shield” star Benito Martinez) approached him at his daughter’s funeral, aka the victim in question. The Mexican powers-that-be had declared it a drug overdose, but Gabriel insisted otherwise and asked Dr. Al to personally investigate, which he did, with Nick wisely in tow.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang caught a seemingly unrelated oddball case in which what appeared to be a couple was found encased in cement in their garage, looking like a concrete version of that scene in John Carpenter’s “The Thing” where they burn one of the creatures while it’s trying to change and it gets stuck mid-change and frozen in a horrific mélange of half-man, half-thing. It was pretty creepy, to be sure, but also, much like “The Thing,” pretty cool-looking, too. It seems that faulty cement mixing caused the bodies which had been intended to be buried in the garage under concrete to rise up out of the ground and in the form of the most horrific sculpture ever, which was fitting given the culprit, who turned out to be an artist himself.

I like it when two cases dovetail together, at least when it’s not one of those crossover franchise episodes, which can be hit-or-miss, and often a bit of a stretch. By limiting themselves to Vegas and Mexico, though, the show didn’t bite off more than it could chew, and there was enough red herrings and false leads that it was ultimately a pretty engaging show. The stuff with Nick and the drug cartels and with the Mexican detective that was assisting Nick getting arrested at gunpoint by Mexican officials was pretty intense, and the fact that it really had nothing to do with that was actually quite satisfying.

If anything, if it had been the cartel, that would have seemed a bit too obvious. The fact that it was a trucker who intentionally left the body at a crime scene so it would get noticed and result in outside help getting involved was a nice touch as well, even if, like I said, it was cribbed from “The Bridge” to a certain extent. Still, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, consider this a winner all around, as it at least did something original with the material.

The plotting was tight, the humor was where it needed to be, from the aforementioned title (a misspelling of “Muertos,” which means “the dead” to reflect a key bit of info relating to the victim’s feet, which showed signs of frostbite) to some amusingly quotable dialogue. My personal favorite was Hodges’ dismayed reaction to the Mexican coroner’s digs: “Promise me I can’t get a staph infection through the internet?” LOL.

Also, could there be a cooler method of death than “heavy metal poisoning”? (Cue the Styx.) That was a pretty interesting COD, to be sure. The showdown between the grieving father who figured out who did it before the cops and took matters into his own hands before they got there was also suitably tense, and put me in the mind of “Se7en,” only with a thankfully happier outcome for Martinez, if still a bit bleak. I mean, his daughter still died, so it wasn’t exactly a happy ending, even though they caught the guy. I’m sure if he’d known about the husband who also lost his wife he might have invited him to the party, too, but I suppose that’s just as well. As awful as Ana’s death was, dude’s wife and brother were poisoned, shot, then buried in cement which was mis-mixed and ended up not only disfiguring the bodies, but turning them into a sculpture from Hell that guy won’t soon forget. Yikes.

All in all, another great episode. The show is really on a roll as of late, and I hope they keep it up. What did you think of “CSI” this week? Did you like the way the seemingly disparate plotlines came together to form one case? How about the Mexican angle? Did you like the chemistry between the Doc and the Mexican coroner? Did the concrete nightmare freak you out? Let me know down below and I’ll see you next time!