CSI: Miami--'No Man's Land'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 15, 2007 - 3:54 AM GMT

See Also: 'No Man's Land' Episode Guide


A dispo truck carrying weapons assigned for destruction is overturned and Chris Ryder and Matt Cranby, the officers driving it, killed. The CSIs quickly determine it was not an accident--the truck was cornered and an explosive detonated underneath it. DNA on hair found on Ryder's body is traced to Pedro Salvado--a relative of Clavo Cruz, whom Horatio put away for murder several years ago. Suspecting Clavo's involvement in the theft of the weapons, Horatio pays the felon a visit in jail only to witness Clavo stab a guard right in front of him. Clavo sneers that he's entitled to a fair trial. Not far from the dispo truck's crash site, a little boy, Jesse, is found dead in the front yard of his house. Jesse and his siblings are being raised by their older sister Camille, who is working several jobs to support them. The CSIs track down Gilberto Tavez, the children's father, recently released from prison. There's blood in his truck, but he claims he was looking for Camille when the gunshot went off, and fled afterwards.

The CSIs locate the man who detonated the explosive, Richard Williams, and find evidence he handled a military grade weapon. They find a rocket launcher on the list of weapons lost in the theft, and Horatio realizes what Clavo is going to do: escape from the courthouse by hiring someone to fire a rocket into it. Horatio calls Alexx, at court to testify, to warn her, but it's too late: the rocket slams into the building. Alexx is unharmed, but Clavo escapes. The man with the rocket launcher is found dead in his hiding place in a nearby truck. Ryan and Calleigh return to the Tavez house and trace the trajectory of the bullet that killed Jesse. Ryan is chagrined to discover that the shot came from the bedroom of Jesse's older brother, Ben, and the boy sadly confesses that he found the gun abandoned in the trash and took it and played with it, only to have it go off and kill his brother.

Horatio and Dan Cooper review surveillance footage from the courthouse and see that Clavo escaped with a young court stenographer named Kathy Gibson. Horatio gets a call from Clavo, who demands the CSI meet him at the Golden Bank, where Clavo has had a million dollars placed into Horatio's bank account. He demands Horatio withdraw the money, and in exchange gives Horatio Kathy's location: the trunk of a Mercedes in a nearby parking garage. Horatio calls Delko and the two CSIs scour the rooftop level, until they're interrupted by gunfire. Delko is shot in the leg, but Horatio drags him to cover and kills the shooter. But then shots are fired from a different direction, and Delko is hit again, this time in the head....


Delko got shot! And not just in the leg or arm, but really shot. Shot so that he looks downright deceased at the end of the episode. Injuring a main character in any way is shocking, but seeing him lying on the ground, blood pooling behind his head while his eyes stare straight ahead is about as jarring as it gets.

The scene is reminiscent of Tim Speedle’s death in "Lost Son". Once again, Horatio and a member of his team are under fire, having walked into a situation that is essentially an ambush. And once again, Horatio watches in horror as a member of his team is shot. The result--at least in the closing shot of this episode--appears to be the same: Horatio is looking down at the body of a member of his team he wasn't able to save.

The action in this sequence is a little easier to follow than the average shootout in Miami (or any other action-oriented show), making the two instances where Delko is shot crystal clear to the audience. The first one is surprising enough--Delko gets hit in the leg, and Adam Rodriguez convincingly portrays the agonizing pain that must accompany having a bullet tear through one's leg. But the second one is totally unexpected, in large part because the audience has already been shocked by seeing Delko get shot once. The final moment, where Horatio looks down at him and calls his name, makes for one hell of a cliffhanger. We know from the trailer for next week that he's not, but Delko does look dead in that closing shot.

Clavo Cruz made his first appearance in "Blood Brothers" and last seen when Horatio finally put him away in "Identity", and he's still something of a character. He's played with no small amount of relish by Gonzalo Menendez, who flippantly calls Horatio "dude" and brazenly stabs a guard right in front of the CSI.

Clavo isn't your average Miami baddie, and that's a good thing. The big bad gang leaders who often face off against Horatio are often big dull snoozes who spout off the typical "I'm going to get away with this and there's nothing you can do about it" lines to Horatio, the verbal equivalent of waving a red flag in front of a bull. Was there anything to distinguish Antonio Riaz in "Rio", other than the fact that he was a sinister drug dealer who killed Horatio's brother? Clavo thankfully has more character to him, though as the shootout on the roof of the parking garage proves, he's no less deadly. And his plan to use Horatio's own bank account as a funnel for his funds is not only clever, but also a way to make his conflict with Horatio even more personal.

One minor irritation: why does Horatio refer to the young woman Clavo abducted from the court as a "girl"? Miami has an irritating habit of marginalizing women--they're so often helpless victims or inconsequential accessories in this show. "Where's the girl" is tough guy talk straight out of the movies--fifty years ago. Miami needs to catch up a bit in that regard.

The episode's B-story is born out of the theft of the weapons in the A-story and is a good example of how well Miami does at linking the crimes in their episodes. In this case, a young boy has been killed because one of the guns from the dispo truck fell into the hands of the boy's brother, who was playing with it in his room when it went off, shot through the wall of the house and hit is his brother in the yard. Children inadvertently killing other children with guns isn't exactly a new storyline, but it feels fresh for Miami because Miami murders are rarely this simple.

The case also gives Jonathan Togo a chance to shine. Ryan is affected by the boy's death as soon as he arrives on the scene, and Togo conveys Ryan's chagrin at the sight of the young boy lying dead in the grass with grace and subtlety. He's equally good in the scene where he confronts the boy's brother and realizes that he was the one who fired the fatal shot. Much in the way Horatio might if he were working the case, Ryan offers the boy solace and empathy. Ryan definitely takes after his mentor when it comes to compassion for the plight of children affected by crime.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.