CSI: Cyber Season 2 Episode 13: “The Walking Dead” (Sorry, no zombies)

We’ve all heard of identity theft, where your entire life is taken away from you, but what if there’s a way to kill you, leaving you helpless trying to confirm your identity? That’s what Team Cyber is dealing with in this week’s episode of CSI: Cyber.

The hour begins with Deputy Director Ryan’s ex-husband Andrew Michaels driving along a darkened highway when he encountered a couple arguing. He got out of his car to help the damsel in distress, not knowing that he is going to fall victim to a cyber attack that will turn his life upside down.

Two weeks later, Deputy Director Ryan celebrates with Agent Mundo in CTOC after she had succeeded in making the black hat hacker she arrested confess. The Deputy Director then received a phone call from the life insurance company, stating that her name is listed as the beneficiary of her ex-husband Andrew’s life insurance. This shocked the Deputy Director as she absorbed the news of her ex-husband’s death.

I knew that the ex-husband’s not physically dead as I have written a sneak peek article about this episode a couple of weeks ago, but as I watched the scene where Deputy Director Ryan was making phone calls to her former sister-in-law to tell her the news and various other parties I was on the verge of tears and my heart went out to the emotionally distraught Deputy Director as the rest of her team gathered outside her office door, feeling the same that I am for their boss.

When Agent Mundo informed Deputy Director Ryan that there’s someone claiming to be her ex-husband called the FBI and is being held at Customs at JFK Airport, the look of disbelief on Deputy Director Ryan’s face made me smile a little in giddy anticipation because she’s in for a surprise when she got there and saw her ex-husband sitting in the chair in the detaining room. The relief that washed over the Deputy Director made my heart swell. I know, I’m a hopeless romantic, give me a break, okay?

After running diagnostics on Andrew’s laptop, the team found that there was a piece of code embedded in the hack that’s written by someone named Stella Kaine (guest star Kelly Osbourne), a black hat hacker-for-hire who “kills” people online by creating real death certificates for each of her victims. Agent Krumitz had arrested Stella before when she tried to create hake admission letters that will get her into the East Cambridge University by hacking into the school’s network. Turns out that Stella was the one who “killed” Andrew as she pretended to be a damsel in distress on the highway and when Andrew helped her into his car, she took advantage of the time it took Andrew to get to the driver’s side and plugged in a USB that infiltrated his laptop that was placed on the backseat. Sneaky.

I didn’t like when Andrew dropped the “I’m getting married” bomb on Deputy Director Ryan after the latter admitted to D.B. before finding out that her ex-husband is alive and well that she still loves her ex-husband and fantasizes that someday they will get back together and repair their marriage. I can only imagine the devastation and heartbreak that the Deputy Director is going through but she wanted her ex-husband to be happy so she told him to call his fiancee to assure her that he’s not dead. I face-palmed when Deputy Director Ryan assumed that her ex-husband has come out of the closet and is marrying someone named Dennis Booker, but hey, it’s 2016.

The idea of wi-fi signals making plants decay intrigues me. The router gives off heat, which evaporates the water inside the leaves of the plant which, over time, caused them to dry out or decay because they’re not getting enough water. Note to self: don’t put plants near wi-fi routers unless you want to kill them.

That fake story that Stella made up about her past employment at an accounting firm had me for a minute much like Agent Krumitz had been when he interrogated her. Using various objects in the room as elements of her story was well done. Diabolical, but well done. She could be a decent writer if she doesn’t spend her time hacking and digitally murdering people. Just saying.

My eyes were as wide as dinner plates when I found out that Stella and Reaper32 are one and the same. She used lackeys in her schemes and perhaps make them take the fall for her if need be. The digital killer would’ve gotten away with it all had it not been for the fact that she used her credit card to purchase a bus ticket out of town. The black hat hacker was arrested and in the words of Agent Krumitz: “Bye-bye! Enjoy prison!”

I found this episode to be a decent one. I was hoping that Andrew would kiss his ex-wife one last time before he goes off and marries that other girl after confessing that he, too, still has feelings for Deputy Director Ryan. Alas, that was not to be as Andrew turned on his heel and left the FBI and a heartbroken Deputy Director Ryan in her office. Oh, the heartbreak!

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