Thanks to Charge! and my habit of leaving the TV on in the background while I work, I’ve been half-ass rewatching CSI:Miami. I watched this show first run back in the aughts (though I was in and out on the final few seasons) and it is just as bonkers as I remember it. Which is absolutely not a bad thing. Of the three CSIs that were running at the time, it definitely trotted into nighttime soap territory while proceduraling and I find that to be good fun.
As I’ve been rewatching it, I find myself remembering some of the episodes and the character arcs. But I’m also picking up on things I didn’t really notice before. Or maybe care about.
This time through, I’ve found myself somewhat captivated by Horatio Caine aka David Caruso. Now, I’m not a main guy kinda gal, so it’s not surprising that I didn’t pay that much mind to him during my original watch. No slight against him. His sunglasses-quip one-two is iconic, after all. But the main has never been my bag.
(If memory serves, my favorite character back in the day was Tripp, and if you’re wondering why I would pick this sarcastic, no-patience, no fucks to give detective over the young, pretty CSIs, let me tell you that even in my twenties, that man spoke to my soul. It’s speaks even louder now that I’m his age.)
So, I’ve been puzzling about this. Because there’s something about Horatio Caine that’s caught my eye now, something that’s captured my attention that didn’t before, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it.
Until the other night when it hit me and the epiphany lit up my brain in such a way that I think I might have actually cried out “Eureka!” Also, my eyes might have bulged out of my skull. It wasn’t pretty, but it was satisfying.
There is something very Steve McGarrett about Horatio Caine.
Obviously, this is probably just me, though it could be argued that Jack Lord set a certain standard when it came to good looking justice seekers with fab hair and impeccable style when playing Steve McGarrett, and David Caruso kind of followed along with that with Horatio Caine. But truly, this is an all-in-my-head vibe kind of thing that I now cannot unsee and so I shall gift it unto you.
I’m not apologizing.
Here’s my vibe comparison.
Steve McGarrett and Horatio Caine have a lot in common. They’re both the leaders of their law enforcement teams, something they take very seriously. They both take their jobs as a whole seriously. They are justice seekers and that is serious business. They have a tendency towards stoicism when they’re hunting down bad guys, and it’s no surprise that since they’re the pinnacle of good guys, they almost always get their quarry. And damned if they don’t always have the line that puts anyone and everyone in their place.
This, of course, is sort of the backbone to the leads on this sort of show. That strong, in charge, can’t be beat personality.
But, both Steve McGarrett and Horatio Caine have softer sides that tend to be forgotten amongst the Book ’em, Danno and sunglasses of pop culture.
For all of their tendency to the serious, both men have a sense of humor. They find things funny. And there’s something sweet and glorious when they smile. Perhaps because they’re so serious so much of the time a quirk of the lip means that much more.
The way Horatio Caine interacts with children is reminiscent of the way Steve McGarrett interacts with them. Both men have the ability to be soothing without being condescending. They have a knack for making a kid feel safe. Also, the little ones seem to adore them. I don’t know what faces they’re making when we’re not looking, but babies and toddlers think they’re great. Likewise, these serious business, childless men (okay, Horatio acquired a teenage son in the later seasons thanks to a before-times thing with Elizabeth Berkley because why the fuck not) are just as happy with the little ones. They look nothing but completely comfortable with them and their reputations do not suffer a bit for it.
The biggest vibe for me, though (aside from the smiling thing because my laws the sweetness) is the affection and even tenderness each man has for the members of his team. It’s anticipated that they will have their team’s backs if someone comes for them or implies that they are anything other than terrific humans. There are no doubts that these two men will have the heads of anyone who hurts one of their crew. And that injured party in peril will have the love and support of their leader. Always.
But it goes beyond that given.
These two men care about their team beyond the work and it’s shown in ways both surprising and mundane. Steve thanking Danny for a birthday party at the office with sincere gratitude and a touch of physical affection is as sweet as it is surprising (almost as surprising as Steve getting blown up 30 seconds later…well, as surprising as it can be when it happens once a season). He’s truly touched. Meanwhile, Horatio offering to be the DD during a night out could be written off as a Drive Sober PSA and a given for a responsible cop. However, the implication goes beyond that. He’s there to make sure his team gets home safely. Period.
It’s a likeness that struck me hard.
As iconic as Steve McGarrett is, I never thought anyone could, intentionally or not, compare.
Leave it to a ginger in Miami with a pair of excellent shades to do just that.