Put it this way, I have not put the usual spoiler warning on this episode. That’s not just because it’s the last season to American viewers and we’ve only just watched it this week in the UK. Any charming family scene in a show like CSI/Miami only serves to make the episode predictable.
It’s not even predictable in a good way like Law and Order Criminal Intent where you are either shown the killer, or spend 40 minutes taking a guess. This episode lets the second case unfold right at the end and is a cutaway that continues to the penultimate episode of the whole season. Since child abuse is suspected, this is another annoyance, if the abuse storyline can’t carry the whole episode when it’s the lead case, it feels like lazy shock value however well written and however good the acting.
That’s the greatest problem; Mommie Deadest feels recycled from Season 1 of the original CSI (Vegas) episode “Blood Drops”, except for the shift to physical and emotional abuse. It might be well done but without letting the other case become part of the story as with the Vegas episode “Lost and Found” from last season, “Mommie Deadest” was doomed to be half a good episode. It’s sad that child abuse is still filler on American television especially for a show that had at least one good, multilayered and intelligent episode in season six about the tracking of offenders (“To Kill A Predator”).