CSI: Miami: Season 8, Episode 3

Bolt Action (5 Oct. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 128 users  
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A "cougar" is romantically connected to three victims who were electrocuted during a beach volleyball tournament, and the internal investigation into Calleigh and Delko comes to a conclusion.

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Title: Bolt Action (05 Oct 2009)

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Jacqueline Parsons
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Walter Simmons (as Omar Miller)
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Ben Milliken ...
Chad Bowen
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Hailey Collins (as Kate Lang Johnson)
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Troy Billings
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Dean Collins
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Storyline

Chad Bowen survives, unlike beach volley ball mates Troy Billings, Randal and Peter Markham, a massive current suddenly electrocuting them during the wealthy Dean and Hailey Collins's annual beach volleyball tournament. The boys had little in common, except one night stands with a single cougar, who turns out the mother of one's steady girlfriend. IAB Lieutenant Rick Stetler concludes the investigation to determine whether Eric Delko can be reinstated or Calleigh must be removed with him. Written by KGF Vissers

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5 October 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Goofs

During the investigation a golf club shaft is found under a lawnmower. The shaft is determined to have been used as a lightning rod. After the lightning bolt hits the lightning rod, part of it is shown to be knocked off. But at most it would have flown a couple of hundred feet and landed on the beach. Not the thousands of feet it would have had to fly to land in the residential yard. See more »

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Det. Frank Tripp: I don't say this very often, but I think I found a lightning rod.
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Perhaps the worst photography I've ever seen
10 August 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I need to echo the negative comments of Barry from Australia -having just watched a rerun of this episode I was shocked at its low quality. I see that producer/director Gina Lamar still works on the show, and more's the pity.

Granted, the "hip" storyline focusing on the phenomenon of women as cougars almost guarantees a shallow, insulting segment. But the writing was so bad, and acting to match, one would think this show had been done out of spite -trying to get back at the network or someone. But no, it turned out to be pretentious swill.

Lamar and her trusty camera crew bombarded the viewer with the lousiest visual onslaught in memory. Half-way through the segment I was racking my brain trying to think of a precedent. I remember R.W. Fassbinder and his soon-to-be-acclaimed d.p. Michael Ballhaus experimenting in the '70s with a pointlessly mobile camera and distracting reflections/foreground objects and the like in the film "Chinese Roulette", a picture I got to like after a couple of theatrical viewings, but which was at odds with the more invisible, brick-by-brick construction of his best films. But that RWF experiment did not prepare me for Lamar & crew.

It's a given that we live in a visually polluted era, nearly 3 decades worth of MTV (and its training ground for hack directors) and even more of the hokey "look" of video games has spoiled a couple of generations for such old-hat photographic notions as composition, perspective and the like. They'd have to watch a European film by Angelopoulos to get that nowadays, or any of the thousands of classic movies (start with nearly anything shot by John Alton or James Wong Howe) that have been forgotten.

So Lamar trots out every trick in the book, NON-STOP. Lens flares (I've always hated them) attack us constantly; every exterior has a carefully coated haze of orange miasma to remind us we're in Michael Mann land; the camera moves from side to side tracking restlessly, or in closeup scenes jitters to and fro, up & down as if the operator were on crack. Transition scenes are a mishmash of overcranking and undercranking, de rigeur for these "modern" TV shows.

For the most retarded (and addicted to the gore/porn/procedural CSI genre) whenever a somebody name-drops some procedure we're treated to an idiotic SPFX sequence burrowing into the human body or remaking Richard Fleischer's FANTASTIC VOYAGE. The modish equivalent of lights & shadows flowing across the walls in an empty room is trotted out constantly so that even a simple conversation involving Caruso or La Rue has their faces frequently masked or blotted out by extraneous light. The backgrounds have all sorts of artificial colored light sources doing a Fourth of July celebration, all to distract us from the clumsy dialog.

I think some Florida university student could do a useful master's thesis on this single episode, dissecting shot by shot, or nearly frame by frame, what's wrong with the over-busy technique. It's virtually a time capsule of what's gone wrong with our entertainment industry -sensationalism replacing story values.

So I'm on my soap box today, angered by this apotheosis of entertainment that I suffered through last night on the telly. Having been addicted to the tube in a big way since the '50s, but a lifelong film buff, I posit a simple proposition. The black & white series of the '50s and '60s are simply superior to crap like this CSI: Miami; they are almost in another universe in terms of quality. The level of writing, directing (check IMDb randomly for director credits on any Drama shows of the period and you will find a who's who of some of the greatest talents of all time, from the famous (Sam Peckinpah and Ida Lupino) to the underrated (Alexander Singer and Richard C. Sarafian). The guest stars are a fabulous set of character actors, maybe not as great as the feature film character players of the '30s and '40s, but brilliant compared to the tired same-o group of "Lost", "Alias", etc. graduates who pop up night after night.

And I haven't even mentioned the oxymoronic "Reality TV" genre, which I blessedly escaped, having been born too soon. What a load of mindless, ephemeral drivel.


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