Synopsis for
"CSI: Miami" Tipping Point (2008)

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Miami. Dawn. We see the world from the perspective of a man bleeding in the back seat of a car. Before you can say "Reservoir Dogs," we CUT to a construction site. A giant drill strikes something solid in the dirt. The man has been buried alive! "Please!" the man pleads. Too late. The drill, well, drills him through the chest.

Looks like a job for a man fond of sunglasses. Indeed, Caine is soon on the scene. He talks to the drill operator. "First day on an 18-month build," the shaken man says. "What the hell is going on here?" Caine doesn't know. But you can bet your last pair of shades that won't be the case 58 minutes from now.

YEEE-OWWW! Cue opening credits! The CSI team won't get fooled again -- again.

A series of suspense-building commercials later, Calleigh and Tara on are on the scene. Tara finds a bullet home in the man's chest. "So he was shot, put in a box and then buried," Calleigh says. Frank approaches. A tipster called in about a murder earlier in the day; the description matches the victim. Tara also finds a cardio messenger in the man's pocket. It could be linked to a pace maker in his chest.

Back at the lab, Tara identifies the victim: Michael Olivera. The cardio messenger reveals two interesting facts: the time of death and when the man was shot. The latter occurred 90 minutes before the former. "So were looking for a primary crime scene," Tara explains to Caine, who should already know that, and the audience, who almost certainly does.

Caine and Eric visit the victim's address and discover that Olivera was a reverend. The man of God had devoted his life to keeping kids away from gangs. Outside, the dynamic investigating duo discovers a gang tag on the wall: "Craneos" and "Zar." What does it all mean? Well, the first inscription is the name of a gang. As for the second, it's possible we'll never find out.

But not likely. Minutes later, a young woman named Yolanda Ramoz shows up at HQ looking for Caine. She explains in convenient FLASHBACK form that she heard a gunshot earlier in the day and then saw Reverend Mike fall to the pavement. The team now has a primary crime scene.

Calleigh and Eric search the scene. The former finds a bullet while the latter finds a St. Jude pendant. Easy as pie. Back at the lab, Calleigh discovers that the bullet matches another found at a drug bust 10 years prior. The bust was pinned on Hector Salazar, head of Los Craneos. The man was released from prison just a week ago.

Seconds later, Hector is under the hot lights. Not surprisingly, the man denies any involvement in the shooting. "I'm reformed, Lieutenant," the ex-con says. "I'm walking proof the system works." Growls Caine: "So am I, Hector." Ohhh, snap! Frank, in the meantime, has followed up on another tip. A woman living across the street from the shooting called that morning. Frank and Natalia head out to do a little questioning.

The woman admits to making the call. She heard the shots while on the phone trying to arrange the burial of her daughter, who was shot just three weeks prior. "The funeral director won't let me see her not until I pay," she says. Natalia wants to help the woman out, but Frank warns her to stay on task. Something tells us she won't listen.

Back at the lab, Valera uncovers blood on the St. Jude medal belonging to gang member Raphael Vargas. Seconds later, Ryan and Caine interrogate Vargas, who admits to roughing up the reverend. Not surprisingly, he denies killing him. Caine returns to his car to find a note from Yolanda Ramoz: Los Craneos are heading to a nearby dock. Eric and Caine arrive at the dock to find a security guard. Three gang members jumped the man and stole enough explosives to "take out of a city block." The guard says one of the men had a nasty scar on his arm -- just like Hector Salazar. Time to bring "Zar" back in for a bit more of the old ultra-questioning.

Hector, however, throws the team a curveball, claiming to have intentionally been identified. I"'m the one who fed information to Yolando Ramoz," he claims. Turns out Zar has turned on his own gang. Why? Because Reverend Mike visited Hector in prison and opened the man's eyes to a moral life. Caine takes a calculated risk and releases Hector. "Don't disappoint me," he growls.

One too-long commercial break later, Natalia visits the crooked funeral director, threatening to have the man's license revoked. Chastened, the man agrees to bury Mr. Nunez's daughter. CUT to the Nunez home, where Natalia gives the heartbroken woman the good news. Suddenly, a gun shot! Natalia rushes into the room of Ms. Nunez's little boy, Mateo, who was playing with the gun when it went off. The boy refuses to say who gave him the gun.

Montage time. Calleigh discovers that Mateo's gun killed the Reverend. Eric runs prints and gets a match (besides Mateo's): Freddie Granada, one of the Reverend's converts. Or was he? We'll soon find out as Caine and Eric arrest Freddie. In a FLASHBACK, we see Freddie giving the gun to Mateo. Even more incriminating: the backseat of Freddie's car is covered in blood. But why? "Price of admission to get back with my boys," the gangbanger explains. Ah, but what a price.

Case closed, right? Not quite. There is still the small matter of the stolen explosives. And wouldn't you know it? At that exact moment, Hector calls with news: the explosives are about to be used to blow up the Reverend's home. Caine and Eric hightail it to the house in a Hummer. Eric, using a remote control camera, spies a bomb and a body. "I'm going in," Caine growls. Of course he is. Lt. Sunglasses KICKS down the door and discovers Yolanda Ramoz. The bomb ticks down from 30 seconds to zero just as Caine emerges from the front door with the girl. BOOM! The house explodes in a hail of wood and siding.

Back at HQ, Yolanda explains that the gang found out she was snitching. Caine puts the girl in protective custody while Calleigh and Ryan examine the video from Eric's super-cool remote gadget. Calleigh notices cans in the background. Ryan recognizes those cans! He saw them at Rapheal Vargas's garage!

Before you can say "before you can say," Caine arrives at the garage to find Raphael holding a gun to Hector's undercover head. "This is your last chance to leave this room alive," Caine growls. Hector ducks out of the way and Caine fires, shooting Raphael dead. But Hector has also been wounded in the exchange. He struggles for breath ... and then dies. Caine is stricken, feeling somewhat responsible.

In fact, the good lieutenant is so upset that we see a montage of various gang members being arrested. Apparently, CSI: Miami has declared war on Los Craneos. As the montage ends, we find the community rebuilding the Reverend's house -- with Yolanda leading the charge. "Lieutenant, thank you," she says.

We ALL thank you, Lieutenant Caine -- the designer sunglasses industry most of all.


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