CSI: Miami--'Rampage'

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at May 17, 2006 - 10:40 PM GMT

See Also: 'Rampage' Episode Guide

Synopsis:

In an ambulance speeding towards the hospital, Horatio leans over his new bride, Marisol, who has been shot in the stomach. A black car cuts off the ambulance and Horatio gets out, knowing they have come for him.... The scene flashes back to eight hours earlier: Horatio and Marisol enjoy breakfast outside the Biscayne County courthouse not long after their wedding. Horatio receives a page--it's time for him to testify against Mala Noche mob boss Rafael Sifuentes. After Ryan's testimony, Antonio Riaz takes the stand--and pulls a gun in evidence from the ADA prosecuting the case, tossing it to Jose Truillo, who begins to fire into the courtroom. Sifuentes and Riaz escape, but Horatio takes down Truillo with a single shot. Horatio realizes Riaz's testimony was a set up to get him close to the gun--to spring Sifuentes.

Natalia confronts Delko after she finds her car windows smashed: his ex-girlfriend, Gloria, pestered her while they were dating and apparently is still keeping it up. Delko promises to take care of it. Ryan and Calleigh discover how the bullets for the gun were snuck into the courtroom--they were taped under a bench by the courthouse janitor, Alan Parker. Parker claims the Noches threatened his family, forcing him to plant the bullets during a ten minute recess after a spectator threw up in gallery. The CSIs turn to the man whose DNA matches the traces of vomit from Parker's cleaning supplies--Benito Sarosa. They lean on him, and gives up the location where the Noches are hiding--a Japanese restaurant called Sonju. Delko confronts the unbalanced Gloria, who has threatened all of his girlfriends, but she is now focusing on Marisol, whom she believes Delko has married. Delko realizes she's been following him, and tells her to stay away from him or she'll be arrested. She doesn't heed his advice, this time breaking the windows of Marisol's car and stealing her purse, forcing Delko to go to her house to retrieve it.

The SWAT team storms the Japanese restaurant, but the Noches are already gone, tipped off by Alan Parker, who Horatio has learned didn't even have a family--he was on the Noches' payroll. Delko meets Marisol to return her purse, but he notices a glint on a high floor of a nearby hotel. Suddenly, shots ring out--a bullet whizzes past Delko's arm, grazing it, and Marisol is hit in the abdomen. Horatio rushes to the scene and rides with Marisol in the ambulance, but the black car cuts them off. Horatio sends the ambulance on its way and approaches the car as three Mala Noche gang members open fire on him. He takes down two but the third man escapes. Horatio goes to the hospital, where Marisol is in critical condition, with damage to her kidneys and spleen. Her husband and brother look on, concerned, before going to find out who fired the shots.

Delko and Calleigh trace the bullet's trajectory to a nearby hotel and go over the balcony of one of the rooms the gun was possibly fired from. Delko finds a press-on nail in a plant on the balcony and recalls Gloria had similar ones on. He goes to her house and arrests her after he finds a sniper rifle in the trunk of her car. Ryan is able to trace dye on the wheels of the car that cut off the ambulance to a water flow test on Star Island, leading the CSIs to suspect this where the Noches are holding their universal meeting. Using heat sensor technology to locate them, the Noches storm the mansion where they're meeting and arrest them. Horatio tries to get Sifuentes to give up Memmo Fierro, the man who was driving the car, but Sifuentes refuses to talk. Delko is surprised when Calleigh tells him the striations from Gloria's gun don't match the ones from the bullets fired at the Delkos. Gloria tells Delko she heard shots coming from a room above hers. A gun from the Noche's safe house proves to be a match.

Before Horatio sets out to track down the shooter, he goes to the hospital to see Marisol. They quietly talk about their dinner plans for that evening--plans they will not be keeping. Marisol passes away quietly as Horatio sits by her bedside. Delko gets the call that his sister has died while he and Calleigh are in the hotel room the Noche shooter used. They find rum bottles from the Morano hotel, which allows Tripp to track down Memmo Fierro. He leaves him a car trunk for Horatio and Delko. The two enraged men confront the killer, who has a message from Antonio Riaz: he claims the city is his. Horatio has a reply: he tells Memmo to tell Riaz he's a dead man.

Analysis:

Talk about an exciting episode! Say what you will about Miami, the show knows how to do action. The hour went by quite quickly, and when "to be continued" flashed across the screen, I knew it was going to be a long wait to next week. Combined with the cliffhanger ending to last week's episode, Miami has been breathtakingly fast-paced lately.

I'm enjoying the new trend Miami has of dropping us into the story in medias res right as the action begins and then flashing back to what happened earlier. It was particularly effective in "Recoil" and "Nailed" and works particularly well in this episode. Seeing Horatio and Marisol in the ambulance doesn't give away anything about the moment she was shot, nor does it give away Horatio's confrontation with the Noches before it flashes back to eight hours before the shooting, to the morning after Horatio and Marisol's wedding.

We still never do get a kiss from the newlyweds, not when Horatio leaves her to go to court and not when she's dying and they exchange their last few words. I know why we never saw Eric and Natalia exchange a kiss--we've only seen them at work--but for Horatio not to kiss Marisol goodbye the morning after their wedding seemed off. Nonetheless, I did sense more romantic chemistry between the two in that breakfast scene than I have in previous episodes, and their softly spoken "I love you"s were incredibly sweet. It made for a bittersweet contrast to Marisol's deathbed scene, when they softly recount their broken dinner plans. The moment is quietly tragic and both David Caruso and Alana De La Garza hit all the right notes in this sad scene.

I can't help but wish we'd seen more of Eric and Marisol together over the past few episodes she's been in. De La Garza and Adam Rodriguez have an easy, natural chemistry in the scene when he returns her purse to her that makes them completely believable as siblings. Rodriguez has a moment with his sister by her bedside after she's died, but it seems he's been pushed out of the way during the course of Horatio's romance with her. No wonder he had reservations about their wedding.

I'm impressed with the continuity in this episode, which goes back to the season four opener, "From the Grave", when Horatio first tangled with the Noches. They put a hit out on him in that episode, and they make good on that in this episode, or at least try to, by first shooting his wife and then trying to kill him. I still wish Sifuentes or Riaz had been set up as a truly scary villain, but I did enjoy the scene in the courtroom when Riaz, who seems to be a timid snitch, turns the tables. I was also surprised to learn he was the real villain of the piece, the one who presumably ordered the hits executed on Marisol and Horatio.

Gloria's presence in the same hotel as the Noches with a gun similar to theirs was a bit too much of a coincidence to swallow. Gloria was completely creepy, and it was fun to see a guy with a scary stalker for once and not a woman, but it's a big leap from smashing car windows to sniper-style shooting, and I didn't believe that Gloria was actually responsible for shooting the Delkos.

Only one more episode to go in the season, which means that pesky mole that has eluded Horatio and Ryan all season is about to be revealed. The CBS CSI: Miami page has a poll where you can take a guess and vote in their poll for who you think the mole is. Save for Horatio and Ryan, everyone's a suspect. I'll be honest--I don't really have a guess at this point. I've thought it was Valera for most of the season, and if forced to vote I'd probably still guess Valera--after her forced leave in "Killer Date", she does have motive. But Calleigh has been a bit off these past few episodes, answering pages late and barely able to muster up any sympathy for her best friend, Delko, after he's lost his sister. But I simply can't imagine CSI: Miami without Emily Procter, and once the shock value wore off, the show would be missing one of its primary assets and most likable characters. So I'm at a loss for a real guess--and really looking forward to next week's conclusion.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.