Krystal Houghton Ziv
|Original Airdate||December 11, 2011|
|Previous Episode: Long Gone|
|Next Episode: Friendly Fire|
Crowned is the eleventh episode of season 10 of CSI: Miami.
The death of a mom sends CSI to the strange world of child beauty pageants, and it also sheds light on an even more sinister crime from years ago.
Young girls are participating in the Royal Azalea pageant, but the competition takes a tragic turn when Suzanne Gramercy is found dead with a crown jabbed into her eye. Suzanne’s daughter Melrose was in the pageant, and they find a bead in her hotel room from a dress belonging to another little girl, Tori Haverford. Tori’s mother Alicia left her room and visited Melrose’s room to confront Suzanne, whom she suspected of trying to sabotage Tori’s dress to prevent her from winning.
A doctor speaks with Melrose to find out if she saw the killer. She says her mother fell, and she ran into the bathroom and closed the door. When Dr Porter asks if anyone yelled at her mother, Melrose says she doesn’t know; however, when asked if anyone hurt her mother, she says her father did. Suzanne was spending half of the family’s income on pageants; Larry admits that he fought with his wife when he thought Melrose was asleep, but he denies killing her.
The truth is revealed when a delayed chemical reaction brings out previously-unseen marks on the band of the crown. Suzanne was trying to apply bronzer to Melrose’s skin, but the little girl was jumping on the bed. She was holding the crown while her mother sprayed the chemical, causing some of the bronzer to end up on the band. After a while, the chemicals reacted to the sweat in the band, leaving the impression of small hands. Suzanne tripped over the bronzer hose and fell on the crown. Her death was a tragic accident, and Calleigh tells Larry that the case will be closed. Melrose won’t be punished for what happened to her mother.
Suzanne’s death is an accident, but the team discovers another crime during the course of their investigation. When Calleigh and Ryan look at surveillance footage from the pageant, they notice that someone paused or repeated certain sections, seemingly only those with Suzanne in them. However, when they find a spot where Melrose and her mother are separated, the camera focuses on Melrose. They also find that the same person was watching Tori. Eric rushes to Tori’s hotel room, but she’s missing.
Calleigh confronts the pageant director, Darla Chambers, and she finds videos on the phone focusing on the girls. Darla was helping her husband Edwin target these children. They rush to the Chambers’ house, but there’s no sign of him; however, Eric finds a hidden section of the backyard with a place to keep a child chained up. Natalia finds a hair clip that belongs to Tori, but there is no sign of the little girl. A music box from the scene has a fingerprint belonging to Melrose’s older sister Jan. She was there when she was a child, but she says she can’t remember.
Horatio convinces Jan to talk to Dr Porter, hoping she will be able to remember something that will help the team find Tori. She remembers being in a movie theater, and the team locates a theater that is closed on Tuesdays—Edwin’s “special day”. Horatio and Natalia rush to the scene, and they find Tori tied up and crying. Edwin pulls a gun, threatening to kill the child if they don’t let him go. Horatio tells him to run, and he chases after the man while Natalia stays to free Tori. They don’t have Edwin’s keys, so Natalia pulls out a bobby pin.
While Natalia is freeing Tori, Horatio races after Edwin. They exchange gunshots, and Edwin falls over the balcony railing. He’s barely holding on, and he begs Horatio to help him. He says he can change, but Horatio isn’t buying it. Instead, he just stands by and watches Edwin lose his grip, falling to his death on the chairs below.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Omar Benson Miller as Walter Simmons
Guest Cast Edit