Jerry Bruckheimer is feeding my already natural paranoia. I mean, here I sit, a wide-eyed innocent watching this show he produces, and I begin to think it would be best if I cut the main power line before wrapping the house in heavy-duty tin foil. I can’t help but think he must own stock in Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops or some other purveyor of survival gear. Because the end is nigh, and our tech is going to be our downfall. Like a cave painter warning against this newfangled fire everyone’s been using, CSI: Cyber seems determined to make me think twice about using ANY electrical appliance. Ever. Agent Avery begins by retelling her origin story, just like always. And, as in previous episodes, it ends with a whispered reading of the on-screen text: “It could happen to you”. That’s the first faint scratching of dry fingernails around the corners of my paranoia. We jump to Louisville, KY. It’s the middle of the night, and everything electric in a small two bedroom apartment inexplicably springs to life. It’s safe to assume that someone is somehow controlling these things remotely via some complexly devious computer hackery. I mean, that’s what this show is all about, right? The TV springs to life. OK. Assuming it is a Smart TV, I can accept that it might be possible to remotely gain control of a unit that has remote internet connectivity. Then the clock radio next to it flips on. Maybe one of the roommates set the alarm wrong and this one is a coincidence? I’ll offer a charitable explanation that perhaps this Dollar General special could be BlueTooth capable. I should be getting a No-Prize for this. Moving to the kitchen counter, the Keurig coffeemaker begins pouring brown water all over the counter. Uhh… Well, I suppose that if they bought a really really nice single-serve… Nah. What if the hacker was somehow able to shift the time zone of a pocket surrounding Louisville so that the automatic timer mechanism could be tricked into… No. I got nothing here. I find myself to be distracted enough by the coffee thing (and the fact that these people must never ever clean the filter cup on it, judging by the color of the water pooling on the counter around it) that I couldn’t even tell you what else springs to life. I think the toaster does. This might be one of those fancy British toasters. I would have to imagine that the UK would be light years ahead of the rest of the planet in their toasting technology. Hey, what if this apartment is configured like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse so that everything operates as if Rube Goldberg’s been eating too much candy? Everything else might be triggered by the sound waves from the TV. No? A resident of the apartment emerges from her room, where (I can only assume) a wild buzzing from her dresser drawer has awakened her. She plays a frustrating game of Simon with the buttons on the remote for the TV before becoming distracted by a light from under her roommate’s door. Opening the door, she is blasted back by the flames on the other side. We cut to Agent Mundo in hot, action-movie star pursuit of a fleeing suspect. When Mundo fills out dating profiles, he always puts “chasing down runners” in the box next to hobbies. It’s the top bullet point under job responsibilities on his resume. I just don’t know how he does it, particularly in those skinny jeans. I’d be chafed as hell. He must go through baby powder like Sam Elliot goes through moustache combs. Well, of course he catches the guy. He always catches the guy. He even gets a chance to slide across a couple of car hoods and jump over some trash cans to earn style points. The pursued, it turns out, is one of the network of black hat informants that Mundo and Avery keep on a long leash. He has a hot new piece of code, it turns out. Agent Krumitz, back at the office, does everything in his power to hide his raging tumescence over the prospect of new code. He hits a bunch of buttons on a keyboard and determines that this code would enable the user to set a fire anywhere that there might be a particular brand of printer, using the internet to disable a thermal dampener that keeps the paper inside the printer from catching on fire. Zoinks! Now I have to empty the printer and unplug it every night? What if there’s some backup generator hidden in the printer I don’t know about? What if the ink cartridge is flammable? There’s my scaredy-cat paranoia swelling into an inchoate lump of fear in my chest. Somehow everyone makes their way back to the office in time for Mundo’s ex-wife to show up and drop the bombshell that she has taken a job in San Diego, and will be taking their daughter with her when she moves. She’s probably taking the ottoman and mantle clock too, so Mundo is appropriately upset. In the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter, though. Dude’s gotta get to Louisville. Remember last episode when I had to grudgingly admit that I was at least somewhat interested in the character development of one of the guys? That was merely a hiccup in the grand scheme of CSI: Cyber, it turns out. We’re not going to waste much time on that nonsense this week, let me tell you. In the burned-out apartment, Mundo deduces that there was a fire in the apartment by looking at all the blackened things on the shelves and counters. Sherlock Holmes, he’s not. Unless Moriarty ran away across the waterfall. Then, he’d be all over it. Avery lectures the two residents of the apartment on the importance of a good wifi password, before we are told (for the second time since we saw it happen) that someone is hacking into appliances and causing fires. And then the Who plays the theme song. It should be noted that eleven and a half minutes were spent setting up the premise I just explained in the last half of the sentence before last (less the parenthetical). It’s not that I’m keeping score. I’m just pointing out that… No. I’m totally keeping score. At this rate, the season finale will be forty minutes of premise buildup with three minutes of story. Time will tell. Tonight’s glossary term appears for our edification. Knowledge is power! Zero-day – A flaw in software on our personal devices that is unknown and can be hacked. As an armchair etymologist, I will stick my neck out to say that tech-speak terms are stupid. It makes me unreasonably angry that the term “creepypasta” even exists. I digress. We follow White Hat Brody to his old stomping grounds in Baltimore. Didn’t Avery bust him a couple of episodes ago for visiting his hot hacker girlfriend because he isn’t supposed to have contact with anyone from his past? She helicopter-parented then, so wouldn’t it stand to reason that this would be a risky social call for him to make? Did we drop that thread? Oh, I see. He has to be able to retrieve the mysterious flash drive hidden behind the toilet which will presumably become important to the plot later, so he couldn’t get caught this time. Back at the office, Simon, whose hobby of collecting glass leprechauns is far overshadowed by that of summarizing plot points and describing things we’ve seen, is telling Krumitz all about a phone conversation he just had. Krumitz is almost as uninterested as I am at this point. Source code was put in the blabbity blah to lead us to the informant yada yada yada. He ends by summarizing again. I’m about to nod off. Must be time for Mundo to CHASE A GUY! Once caught, Avery shows the bad guy video of fire and confirms her suspicions that he really likes looking at fire. Like, he looks at fire like I look at that Kate Upton cat-daddy video. Avery’s mutant tic-reading ability gets to take the easy base with this one. The poor guy practically pitches a tent right there in interrogation room #3. Mundo seems discomfited by being in the room with a man in such a state of arousal. My guess is that Elijah probably avoids saunas. The fetish-arsonist is able to offer them one important lead, at least. He got the program to burn the girls’ apartment from a hacker who uses the leetspeak handle JU5TU5. Leetspeak. More hacker jargon. I feel like a dick just typing it as a point of reference. Brody asks for a moment of Avery’s time to show her the toilet drive (ew.) and admit that he backed up all of his best code work and his iPod and his favorite guacamole recipe and whatever else on this drive. Oh, and by the way, boss, one of the codes was the basis for the one which allowed the arsonist to set fire to that apartment in Kentucky. My bad. Really. Heh. Oops, right? The awkward, lingering moment doesn’t last long, though. There’s another fire in Atlanta at a community college. As the team descends on the new crime scene, it seems that Mundo has developed an impassioned personal stake in this case. He’s driven, hyper-focused, single-minded… Oh. Nope. He’s just being a moody bitch. Avery, ever the one-woman intervention team, corners him and convinces him to bail. See, even she realizes there isn’t enough story here to fill the episode. Maybe if we eliminate a member of the team we can stretch this out to fill the hour. Krumitz calls with an address. This fire was set by someone at a computer repair shop. This guy Dave turns out to be a disgruntled former employee of the community college. He must really be into scrapbooking, as evidenced by the carefully cut out pictures of computers glued to the wall behind him. Seriously, the set decorating team went all-out for this scene. There are a couple of loose wires and a keyboard on the counter and everything. Brody sneaks away again and meets up with a skater buddy in a Baltimore skate park. SK8TRBOI (not really his handle), it turns out, was the hacker responsible for selling out Black Hat Brody to the feds a while ago. He tells Brody he’ll keep an eye out for JU5TU5. Simon and Avery’s evening walk/episode recap is interrupted by a call from Raven back at the office. There’s a message on the interwebs from JU5TU5 that says “I’m just warming up…” JU5TU5’s logo has taken over the screens in the office. Now, if they can just find the guy who designed the title card for the second season of Supernatural, I think they’ll probably have their guy. It most likely won’t be that easy, though. Our supervillain is demanding $10M or else he’s going to post this code online so that any schmuck with a smart phone will be able to gain access to coffeemakers everywhere. Avery rewards us all for sticking with the episode this far with a surprise bonus glossary term! Professional torch – Someone who burns for profit. Yeah, I know. Sort of underwhelming, wasn’t it? I mean, one could pretty much suss out that definition from the term itself, if you ask me, but the effort does not fall completely unappreciated, Avery. Keep on keepin’ on, girl. We are then assaulted with a confusing, vertigo-inducing double aerial shot of Jefferson Memorial. It has nothing to do with anything happening in the episode, and is (presumably) meant to serve as a transitional device and a reminder that we are in Washington, DC. Still, I can’t help wishing they could have used the interstitial triple starburst from SuperFriends. That would have been far less confusing. All the white hats have been tasked with setting fire to things in the lab. This should be a lot more fun than it is. Instead, Brody ignites his laptop battery while he’s typing on it. What’s leetspeak for dumbass? He splits. Krumitz points out his unscheduled break to the boss and all of a sudden Avery is ALL OVER IT. I guess her Brody subdermal implant tracker app needs an update. Krumitz must have stopped at the snack machine on his way to snitch, because Brody has a massive head start. As they move out to track down their lost sheep, Avery and Mundo have a meaningful-sounding conversation about someone named Tobin and his betrayal of the team. Is this a hint of things to come? I have to appreciate the optimism of the writing staff if they’re planning anywhere beyond the next episode. But then, I remind myself that this is CBS, where such artistic achievements as Two and a Half Men thrived for years. I’m afraid I’ll be writing these articles when my kids graduate from high school. I need to take a knee. Is this almost over? Brody, back in Baltimore, finds SK8TERBOI from earlier and confirms that he is, in fact, JU5TU5. Brody’s White Hat gets righteous on his “bro,” trying to convince him to turn himself in. When it becomes clear that JU5TU5 ain’t playin’, Brody quite impressively cold-cocks him in the jaw. Better watch yourself, Mundo. You’re not the only stud on the team anymore. And I’ll bet Brody’s contract is one hell of a lot cheaper than Dawson effing Leary, know what I’m saying? Anyway, JU5TU5 makes a run for it. Luckily, Avery and Mundo turn up so that Mundo can go chase him. Avery stays behind to play Coach Bombay to Brody’s Charlie Conway (don’t worry, dear reader, you won’t be charged anything extra for a Mighty Ducks reference). I guess we’re all done here. Time to turn out the lights and put this one to bed, right? Not yet. Mundo meets with his ex to have words. Oh, yeah. That. He demonstrates that he remembers how she takes her coffee, which I guess is enough for her to not see that he’s being an incredible asshat by demanding that she give up the job prospect in California and stay back in DC to “try again.” I mean, to be fair, I’m not sure I’d be able to say no to those velvet-painting puppy dog eyes, and I am far from his type. He whispers, “Please don’t go,” and she melts into his arms. What? Just like that? What sort of throw rug is this chick, anyway? Considering we’ve only seen her for, like, thirty seconds total, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see next week. And Bruckheimer continues to slowly, imperceptibly wear down my already tenuous grip on sanity… Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Scott D Yeah… I’m not going to bother with this series. I like what’s left of my brain cells right where they are. I can handle bad movies, not paranoid fears of a computer hacker uprising and AIs rebelling and destroying humanity. Man, I feel your pain. Here’s hoping CSI:Cyber gets a mercy cancellation for your sake. Shawn EH No, it’s good! It’s good! Really ….. reallly ……. dave …. Dave, I can’t hear you anymore …. Dave?