CSI: Miami

Season 5 Episode 5

Death Eminent

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 16, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
184 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The body of a local politician is found in an empty house. The entire neighborhood was upset that he was backing the use of eminent domain, allowing the government to force them out of their homes.

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  • Startling Visual Accuracy: Nero's Great Song 'Fugue State' Accompanies Imagery Of Radical Mortification. And From This, We Look At What A CSI Really Is.

    AMAZING MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS A SHOCKING EPISODE in one of the best TV series in the burgeoning field of forensic-themed thrillers.

    This is a Commentary on the powerful impact of the Music and Imagery that kicks off (figuratively and literally!) the episode.

    In a series that strives for scientific factual accuracy (if not necessarily for concomitant accuracy in the areas of procedural/law-enforcement specifics per what, precisely, a CSI truly does), this episode, with its deliberately gruesome beginning, doesn't pull its punches. It starts out shocking to the senses and becomes moreso. In short, it's a very good episode.

    I wanted to comment especially upon - of all things! - the Music that introduces the episode to us as viewers: Nero's "Fugue State" from their album 'Welcome Reality'. This song sets the tone and mood, accompanying our grisly discovery of the decomposing cadaver of the nasty politico, as it passes through the early stages of decomp and - right before our eyes, with Nero's riveting song pounding along - plows its hideous way right into the process of radical mortification.

    I don't need to describe that itself, as the special-effects and animation folks on CSI Miami's big budget do a commendable job of it. Plus, anybody who saw the episode (and who doesn't have ice-water in his/her veins!) won't soon forget the imagery, no matter how desperately he or she may try. Some remember it in nightmares years after having first seen the episode. Not me, because I have seen the real thing, death eminent, with my naked eyes, close up, more than once. Which is why I can attest that this episode's visual aspect is admirably rendered. That's what death looks like.

    I'm unsure who in the development of this episode selected Nero's hard-hitting song "Fugue State," but whomever chose it picked just the right song for the job. It fits perfectly.

    So much so that the reason I knew what band it was and which song was this: years after the fact, a friend of mine was looking for a certain type of music and bought a number of songs to load onto her iPod, plus bought some CDs from a local Hot Topic; then she shared her computer with me. I synced my own Nano after designing a few playlists with my own music and some of hers that I liked, including intense electronic music. I crafted playlists that worked into their collections Nero's album 'Welcome Reality'.

    During playback last night, after the end of a long grueling workday, I recognized the tune and started shrieking in delight. I'd heard merely the first few notes of the Nero song and that was enough for me to identify it, such had been the impression it'd made upon me: I suddenly startled my housemates by suddenly shouting triumphantly, "DEATH EMINENT!!! DEATH EMINENT!!!! This is the song they played whilst they showed the politician's corpse rotting!"

    After persuading my housemates NOT to call 9-1-1 and have me committed (which took some work!), I recapped the plotline and discussed the pros and cons of the episode, mostly pros. My roommate here where I recently took up residence (I formerly did consultancy work for the staff of this homesteading project but as of mid-month I have been taken on indefinitely as a full-time administrator, whoopee for me!) expressed keen interest in both the episode and the series, so nothing would do but that we watch the DVD after work.

    I had already fallen in love with Forensic Sciences in High School, in an era when it was most certainly NOT cool or glamorous to do so! But though I have done some lesser work in forensics for the locals from time to time, I stuck with my first career choice and haven't ever regretted it (my formal job title is omitted deliberately for privacy reasons).

    That's because the people who create CSI Miami episodes (and who choose the music to accompany them!) are very, VERY gruesomely GOOD at what they do.

    Yes, the series glamorizes the CSIs themselves. That is in fact part of what makes it work. In the nature of human beings telling each other heroic tales, a practice thousands of years old, the three CSI series have brought the attention of the public to the formerly-under-appreciated career category known as Crime Scene Investigation.

    I've seen essays written by CSIs themselves, amusement mixed with chagrin. With a dash of wonderment thrown in.

    You see, it all makes it seem as if being a CSI means carrying a high-powered weapon, driving one of a beautifully-maintained fleet of Hummers (usually at breakneck speeds, always fearlessly, and often in a hail of bullets; once, Horatio himself calmly drove one with a bomb on board, to where he could let it detonate safely; he strode away unhurriedly with grim panache, slipping on his well-known trademark shades, and saying, "Burn, baby, burn!"), and constantly being hot on the trail of power players in the nefandous fields of terrorism, espionage, and drug-cartel activities, to name but a few of the types of arch-villains who confront our brave-hearted and apparently incorruptible heroes weekly.

    No, in real life, CSIs are not so glamorous or so dazzlingly beautiful (the men and women on Horatio's noble Team look like the heroes of Mount Olympus or Valhalla, they are so blindingly perfect!); likewise, in real life, a CSI's average workday is not so magnificently epic as are the workdays of their TV-land counterparts. They ARE, however, every bit as IMPORTANT.

    So, am I finding fault with CSI Miami and its sister-series CSI NY and the original Vegas-set series CSI for this? Heck, NO. It's all part of what endears them to me, as well as to most of my friends and housemates, as well as to the millions upon millions of other viewers who made these series great.

    We love the way a certain job (a job which is, ironically, genuinely heroic in the real-life sense of the word, and is utterly crucial to the proper functioning of law-enforcement) is transformed from mundane and too-often-prosaic to the cutting edge of sizzling, sexy suspense.

    We love seeing science geeks get some action. (Being a science geek myself, I definitely approve. Smart is the new Cool. Brainiac replaces simply maniac.) We love learning about what CSIs actually do. It's why we tune in every week, many million strong! And, if the numbers are anything to go by (and they are!), it's why we'll go right on tuning in to watch our favorite fictional CSIs.

    The shows offer tutorials on the science itself, accompanied by catchy and often addictive pop music. And the Villains or Victims: like the nasty politician in this episode here, 'Death Eminent,' sometimes the most striking thing a guest star can do is to...well...DIE. Graphically. And to one who has seen the real thing close-up, I can say that the dead body depicted in 'Death Eminent' is very realistic, in the worst, most gross, and therefore most successful sorts of ways.

    In reality, CSIs are much too busy doing all the time-consuming and meticulous tasks that comprise their own jobs to be doing the jobs of the detectives and hostage-negotiators and bomb-squad member and what-not that their TV counterparts emulate. But despite all that, CSIs are heroes, as much as their far more glam TV counterparts are. Because even though I have just said that the real-life job is far less glam and far more prosaic, I firmly believe that the CSIs of the real world are doing an extremely necessary job. And it isn't easy for them. They deserve to be appreciated.

    Our way of appreciating them, and appreciating what they do to help keep us all safe, is to tune in each week as their fictional counterparts race the clock in shiny Hummers, dodge bombs a split-second within time to avoid being blown to smithereens, and dangle precariously from nosebleed-inducing heights; our favorite fictional CSIs are doing all this just as their real-life counterparts are combing over hours and hours' worth crime evidence, and crawling over none-too-comfortable surfaces in search of that ever-elusive bit of forensic evidence bearing a latent thumbprint or hair with a follicular tag or daub of degraded but still-useable DNA, hoping to help break the case...

    What they do, and do very well, is go over every tiny detail of a crime-scene and collect the evidence they find with a meticulousness and exactitude that, to attempt, would give the average person a migraine headache. They seem superhuman in this way. Without their excruciatingly perfectionistic labors, criminals would get away with, well, murder.

    Law-enforcement needs more personnel in CSI fields, and due to the expansion of technology, it is offering more jobs and more TYPES of jobs with every passing year.

    If you're interested, look online and/or check with your local law-enforcement agencies. Universities and Colleges tend to have Forensics programs these days; hell, High Schools sometimes have them, something I'd have loved when I was back in HS, long ago.

    If you become a CSI, you can be a hero - for real.moreless
  • Neighbourhood of lies.

    Wow, talk about a scary neighbourhood filled with people who'll do anything to keep their home. They didn't show very much of Eric or Horatio (the Horatio part is nice because he's shown way too much). Was it just me or did Horatio seem really...I dunno, depressed, sad or just tired? Maybe he needs to talk some time off. I really liked this episode becaused they showed a lot of Ryan in it. Lol, I was all like OMG! when Ryan shoved that dude who evicts people from thier homes.

    When Boa Vista's ex showed up and started amking those comments, I personally would have filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. That guy really creeps me out. Erika Sikes showing up. Well, at least she wasn't trying to pry a story out of Ryan...much. I think the only stickler I have is that the writers really need to upgrade their writing style of the suspects/criminals. I hear the same thing over and over in a lot of episodes. The word "Look..." is becoming a cliché amonst the suspects.moreless
  • Judge (Rat) Ratner is finally judged, many scumbags, Ryan in trouble and H is as heroic as ever

    The story was engaging, got me hooked right away. Forensics were nicely used this time around. The way they showed the passage of time for the decomp body was interesting, still I was very happy that I was not eating a sandwich when Alexx popped the bloater. I loved how H dealt with his old nemesis, judge Ratner. Yeah! I love it when in the end the bad guy gets it..... Finally, a comment on the 'I've lost everything'.... remark by H (some people seemed ot be irked by it) I think that H is entitled to such a comment and it seemed to me that he just wanted to get through to the guy to make him realize that one CAN loose more than one's property....H has seen his parents, his wife and his brother killed. THIS is loosing everything! So, give H (and the writers) a break!!!!! remark about Rob Estes: ....he just shows up, annoys everybody and leaves the scene.....TPTB, please just write him out of the show!moreless
  • A developer trying to take people's homes is found murdered.

    The only reason this gets a semi-good review is because it makes the short list of "planning in pop culture" references. The title, Death Eminent is a play on the concept of eminent domain, which is when the government can take your property for public good, like a road. In this case, the homeowners were receiving some money on the deal, even after their property had been condemned. It seemed like someone got a planning book and tried to use as many words as possible. I don't know the laws in Florida, but I don't think the writers do either.

    The fact that the body Calliegh and Natalie found was somehow connected just reminded me that I was watching a TV show where everything is wrapped up by the time the news starts.moreless
  • dead politician, bad judge again, ryan wolfe violent, sad H

    Guess i have to change my mind , i just rewatch this episode and its not bad after all, RW is stupid for being such a fool but finally is not that bad. But come on ERICA sikes is a bit too much. this judge is awful, is this possible that after the first girl he killed he still have the right to be in court ? seriously i prefer believe that in the reality this can't be possible. Althought i always dont understand boa vista and her hubbie they backk together or what?? and what was that story about the wedding ring if someone explain it to me i think i can put a 10 on this episode. I can wait to see that haloween epie seems too fun !!!!!

    I swear i've seen RW fainted in the preview when that dead guy wake up uugh creepy !!!moreless
David Caruso

David Caruso

Lieutenant Horatio Caine

Emily Procter

Emily Procter

Calleigh Duquesne

Adam Rodriguez

Adam Rodriguez

Eric "Delko" Delektorsky

Jonathan Togo

Jonathan Togo

Ryan Wolfe (Episodes 54+, Recurring Previously)

Khandi Alexander

Khandi Alexander

Chief Medical Examiner Alexx Woods

Rex Linn

Rex Linn

Detective Frank Tripp (Episode 98+ Recurring Previously)

Rob Estes

Rob Estes

Nick Townsend

Guest Star

Amy Laughlin

Amy Laughlin

Erica Sikes

Guest Star

William Allen Young

William Allen Young

Judge Joseph Ratner

Guest Star

Boti Bliss

Boti Bliss

M. Valera

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Toward the end of the episode, you can see that the actors were green screened because they don't match the lighting in the cemetery.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Ryan: (about the bloated body) Wait a second. You are not going to pop that body in here, are you?
      Alexx: If I don't, Mr Man is going to blow in my nice, clean van.

    • Alexx: Don't tell me this is your first bloater.
      Ryan: It's my third. And it just reinforces the fact that we are... we're all meat.

    • Ryan: H, can I just say something first?
      Horatio: Please.
      Ryan: I know I crossed the line when I shoved Biggs. And I'm gonna take whatever IMB gonna dish out for me. But I got one unfinished business here.
      Horatio: Does it have to do with Wells family?
      Ryan: Yeah. I told that kid I was gonna show up at his hearing. But, the other reason I wanna go there is 'cause every single suspect in this case is gonna be there.
      Horatio: Mr. Wolfe, you have to be careful that you're not creating conflict of interest.
      Ryan: I will. So I am deep with IMB?
      Horatio: Ryan. I have talked to deputy Biggs. He's agreed to drop the complaint. But I need something from you.
      Ryan: (sighs)I know. No more blow ups.
      Horatio: Mr. Wolfe, I may not be able to help you next time.

    • Horatio: A man was stabbed to death 4 days ago in an empty house, but no one notices.
      Frank: First murder on the books in this part of town, not what you bargain for when you buy your chunk of the American dream-
      Horatio: And then your dream becomes a nightmare.

    • Ryan: So Alexx what did you find out about the councilman?
      Alexx: Wound traces are shallow, the cuts almost seem... tentative.
      Ryan: I don't think you can be tentative 8 times.

    • (Horatio and Ryan interrogate an evicted suspect)
      Ryan: So you got violent? I mean you had plenty of reasons to get angry.
      Suspect: Are you kidding me? For what these people are doing they deserve to die.
      Horatio: That... is an interesting choice of words.

    • (A man threatens a suspect Miami real-estate developer)
      Preston: See this? Now you know what I'm up against, I want Police protection.
      Horatio: You'll probable get it Mr. Preston… but who's going to protect you from me?

    • Ethan: You dont know what it's like to lose everything.
      Horatio: You know what, I do. Because I have lost everything.

    • Judge Ratner: Caine, you ought to know better than that. You can't touch me.
      Horatio: Your Honor, I don't have the slightest desire to.

    • (Talking to Natalia at crime scene)
      Nick: Heard you had a 'popper'. Biohazards. That's extra OT for us.

  • NOTES (3)