deep freeze (5/21)

The sixth season of the Miami-based crime drama continues. This week, when a retired star quarterback is murdered in cold blood, a trio of embittered women make up the list of suspects.

On arrival at the victim’s home, Horatio learns that the deceased is none other than footballing legend Doug McClain. He was found by his wife, Elissa, lying on the floor with a stab wound to the neck. While Jake takes Doug’s phone away to be analysed, Alexx sets about examining the body. She is fascinated to discover that Doug’s carotid artery has been severed cleanly and perfectly with a knife – yet there are no other wounds. “A man like this would never go down without a fight,” she muses to Horatio. “Until today,” comes his answer.

Alexx’s investigation is thwarted when it emerges that Elissa plans to have Doug taken away to be cryogenically frozen. She waves a court order under the CSIs’ noses and refuses to let Alexx perform an autopsy. “I have jurisdiction over the remains of his body,” retorts Alexx. But Elissa’s documentation is iron-clad and Alexx has no choice but to perform a ‘virtopsy’ instead. This virtual autopsy involves scanning the body in its cryo-pod. Unfortunately, Alexx’s analysis is limited and does not throw up much useful information.

Meanwhile, Jake’s investigation into Doug’s final phone call turns up some interesting results. The call came from one Wendy Legassic, who is immediately brought in for questioning. Calleigh finds out that Wendy is a reporter who prepares obituaries in advance of celebrities’ deaths. “That is morbid,” observes a suspicious Calleigh. Wendy explains that footballers have a high mortality rate due to their fast-paced lifestyles, and Doug was no exception. She admits to shamelessly flirting with him over the phone in order to get the information she needed to update his death notice. It later transpires that Wendy was actually recording her conversation with Doug and plans to sell the scoop in order to propel herself towards journalistic infamy. “I’m not a monster, officer,” she says. “I just wanted to get out of the obituary business.”

Now that the CSIs are furnished with the tape of Doug’s final moments, they can carry out a more thorough investigation. Wendy’s recording ran for a full 25 minutes after the murder, and in the background someone can be heard dialling a phone. The tones are matched to Elissa’s number. Horatio hauls Elissa in to be interviewed, but she flatly denies being involved in her husband’s murder. She claims that the person who phoned her was Doug’s manager, Martin Wilson, who was at the house for a meeting with his client.

According to Elissa, Martin knew the McClains’ marriage had been over for a year and that they were no longer living together. She claims that he understood their wish to maintain the public illusion of the “perfect infallible ideal” and that he alerted her first in order to protect this facade.

However, Elissa insists that this does not make her a killer. It becomes clear that Doug’s womanising ways were too much for his wife. In fact, his mistress’s DNA is found at the crime scene. Her name is Rita Sullivan and she already has a conviction for breaking and entering into the McClains’ home. Calleigh’s interest in Rita increases when a photograph of a young boy turns up in Doug’s personal effects. The child is identified as Caleb Sullivan – and he is dressed in a football shirt emblazoned with Doug’s team number. Could this be Doug’s illicit love child? Is his murder the work of a jealous lover? “I think you got tired of being second choice,” Eric tells Rita.

After further questioning, Rita openly admits to knifing Doug. But the case is turned on its head when an intriguing new forensic lead casts doubt on the notion that Doug died instantly – which can only mean there is more than one person responsible for the attack.

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