I started watching CSI shows way back, when the CSI (Las Vegas) was the only one around. Then came CSI:Miami and I never looked back. Las Vegas became an option, and CSI:NY was cool but never could hold he water, or the gator or the sun and guns, to CSI:Miami.
Yeah, I know, David Caruso, a.k.a. Horatio Caine, a.k.a. 'H', is an arrogant pain in the ass. He has some very annoying habits, and Caruso wears him like...well, Caruso. But he's infinitely more interesting as a character than the other leads from the CSI shows. So are the other characters. There's a good reason for that because, as someone once said, everybody in CSI:Miami walks around as if they expected a bomb to go off at any moment. It's been like that since day one, and it never stopped, and it keeps working.
Above all, CSI:Miami minimizes the 'procedural' aspects over human drama. 'H' is happy to push the notion that 'the evidence' will get the bad guys behind bars or under ground, but he doesn't have the fervor of Gil Grissom or Mac Taylor. Also, Grissom and Taylor, despite being 'edgy', are just about as law-abiding as you can get; with occasional lapses. 'H' on the other hand is much more visceral end emotive. He's painted as a very ambiguous hero, but still a definite 'hero'; definitely larger than life. Cross him the wrong way and you're meat. But he's also your classic chivalrous guy when it comes to women, has almost infinite compassion with children and teenagers even if they're on the way to being scum, and he's fiercely loyal to his friends and family. When his wife of just a very short time, Marisol—sister to one of Caine's underlings and friends, Eric Delco—is murdered, he has no qualms about following the murderer to Brazil and offing him there.
When later that year (Episode 6-15) the thing comes home to roost, and Horatio is extradited to Brazil to face charges of murder there, he is confronted with an official who basically hands him a gun, tells him "good luck" and sends him out to face down a bunch of gangland buddies of the man Caine killed.
And it is here that the incredible genius of the whole damn show is revealed. Because I always kind of thought that maybe if Sergio Leone had ended up producing a CSI show, CSI:Miami would have been the outcome. If you play the first clip below, the homage to Sergio Leone is completely in-your-face, with a variation on the harmonica theme from Once Upon A Time In The West as the soundtrack. This is from the beginning of Episode 6-16, All In.
There, hope you enjoyed that.
The next clip is from the end of the same episode, where the boys from the crime lab rescue their kidnapped colleague, Calleigh. Note the reprise of the Western themes, together with a homage to Tarantino flicks as well.
Genius. As I said, the other shows don't even come close.