Miami. Dusk. Ominous music tells us that something very, very bad is about to happen. An unseen man sticks push pins into a department store dummy. Moments later, we see his filthy hands sewing something.
Meanwhile, an attractive brunette tries on a dress inside an upscale clothing store. As she zips up, a hidden bomb explodes, sending her hurtling through the store! Shoppers look on in horror! The woman dies.
Caine arrives. The victim, a girl named Kim, was only 17 years old. "Why target a fashion boutique?" Price asks. "It seems so random."
"On the contrary, this was by design," Caine growls.
Caine and Eric meet with store owner Oscar Serino, who theorizes that perhaps a competitor planted the bomb. Caine is suddenly distracted by the sound of a familiar screechy voice. It is Julia, arguing with a beat cop outside a nearby store. "I wrote a bad check in there and now keystone cop is turning it into a big deal," Julia says. The officer explains that Julia is a repeat offender to the tune of $6,000. Julia blames a business manager named Leonard McBride, who was hired to watch her money.
Caine goes to see McBride, who denies all allegations of stealing. "You're misinformed," McBride said. "She squandered millions of dollars." And McBride has more unsettling news: He thinks Julia is spiraling out of control -- even losing touch with reality.
Back at the scene, Calleigh photographs the dressing room, where an LCD touch-screen was installed so customers could scan wardrobe pieces. Eric suggests that LCD drive could tell them the exact time of death. Calleigh nods. Smart kid, that Eric.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Price examine the body back at headquarters. Oddly, the woman's torso has been torn to shreds while her face remains intact. "The trauma caused by the explosion is completely localized," Price says. But wait! There's more. Price has discovered two copper wires at the top of the womans zipper. He quickly puts it all together. Explosives hidden in the dress were triggered by the zipper: It was an exploding dress. "My God," Price says, "she was wearing the bomb!"
Back at the store, Calleigh and Serino watch the last few moments of the victims life unfold on LCD device. Serino claims that the dress is unfamiliar to him. In fact, he doesn't sell that style at his establishment. "All my clothes are 100-percent animal friendly," Serino says. "That's suede". So where did the girl get the dress?
"Someone walked into the store and delivered the bomb personally," Calleigh says.
Caine drives his Hummer through suburban Miami when he sees Kyle in a fist fight with the next-door neighbor. Caine breaks up the scuffle. "Hes' a jerk and he has a big mouth, OK?" the boy tells his father.
Back at the lab, Frank brings Natalia a gift: the victim's scorched purse. It's filled with $5,000 in cash, matches and a small knife. No dummy, Natalia quickly surmises that the victim was a shop lifter (matches heat the knife to cut through the plastic tags). The money is probably the result of selling hot items. Frank suggests going to see the victim's shopping buddy at the hospital.
Moments later, Eric interviews the young blonde, named Amy. "I need you to lift up your shirt," he says. The girl does so and reveals a shirt underneath with tags still attached. The girl refuses to say who was buying the merchandise, however. She is arrested as a result.
Caine, meanwhile, confronts Julia outside a real-estate agency. Julia, it seems, is selling the house. "When was the last time you took your medication?" Caine asks. "You're sliding and I can see it." Julia admits that she has gone off her medications, but remains defiant. Caine scowls.
Back at the lab, Eric has the victim's wad of cash in hand and begins looking for prints. One short montage later, he comes up with a name: Dr. Robert Langley.
Calleigh questions Langley, a plastic surgeon who admits that the victim came to him looking for a breast enlargement. Langley turned the girl down because she was too young. "I gave her money back along with some sound advice," he says. Langley then asks to leave. His well-dressed teenage daughter is waiting in the lobby.
Back in domestic hell, Caine arrives at Julia's home to find an ambulance and police. The next-door neighbor has been killed in a hit-and-run. The man had a bipolar medication bottle in his pocket that was prescribed to Julia. Also: Kyle is missing. Inside, Julia explains that the neighbor has been stealing her medication, which resulted in Kyle fighting the neighbor. "He was just trying to protect me," she says. "Who is going to protect him now?"
Horatio informally interviews his son, who denies driving the car. The son volunteers to take the fall for his mother, however. "That's not how it works, Kyle," Caine growls. Montage time. Caine and Eric examine Julia's car, looking for clues. Eric finds a piece of crab shell near the accelerator. Well, what do you know? A certain Leonard McBride was eating crab when Caine interviewed him earlier.
Caine interviews McBride, who explains that he took the car as collateral because Julia clearly wasn't going to pay him the money she owed for his services. In the process, McBride accidentally hit the neighbor. "The guy came out of nowhere," he says. "I am not a criminal." Growls Caine: "You are now, Leonard."
Case closed. But what about the case of the exploding dress? Luckily, Ryan and Calleigh are on it. After a quick montage of Eric examining the dress, he discovers a speck of blood. That speck of blood ends up belongs to a Stan Carlise.
Moments later, Eric and Ryan visit Stan's apartment. His roommate Barry points out that Stan's room is locked tight. That doesn't stop the CSI boys, however. They kick down the door to discover wires, a shopping bag full of clothing from a store across the street from the bombing, a sewing machine and bomb materials.
Calleigh then goes to Feratelli's clothing store to interview the owner. Feratelli Porter explains that the dress the victim was wearing was recently stolen from her store by a woman with a stroller. When the owner gave chase, the thief ditched the stroller and ran with the clothes.
Back at the lab, Eric and Natalia examine the stroller. They find a baby blanket infused with aluminum foil so as to bypass the stores security. "I think I know who this belongs to," Eric says.
Moments later, Amy is back under the hot lights. She admits to pulling the stroller scam, but denies knowing a Stan Carlisle. Calleigh takes the teenager's cell phone, which contains a picture taken moments before the bomb exploded. Ryan examines it -- and notices a hand in the background holding the exploding dress. He seems to recognize that hand.
Sure enough, Ryan brings in roommate Barry for questioning. "I got a photo of you delivering the bomb that killed Kim Walderman," Ryan says. How does he know? The watch in the photo matches the one on Barry's wrist. "Barry, Stan, whatever your name is, you're the same guy," Ryan says. Stan, it turns out, had plastic surgery to become Barry after badly burning himself. "I am sorry for what happened to that girl," Stan/Barry says. "But you don't understand. He saved my life ... the man who gave me a face."
Calleigh confronts Dr. Langley, who quickly crumbles. "I live a high profile life," he says. "My daughter, my wife -- I need to take care of them like people expect me to." He confesses that it was cheaper to have Kim and Amy steal for him. Kim got greedy, however, and demanded more money. Instead of paying, the good doctor hired Stan/ Barry to create and then plant the exploding dress. Before you can say "outlandish even for this show," Langley is in custody. Case closed.
Julia, meanwhile, studies a bottle of prescription pills with Caine at her side. Sunglasses off, he smiles at her. Things might be OK on the home front, after all.