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|Original Airdate||March 25, 2009|
|Previous Episode: Point of No Return|
|Next Episode: Prey (NY)|
Communication Breakdown is the nineteenth episode in the fifth season of CSI: NY.
CSI tries to figure who is responsible for the death of the chief of a Native American tribe that was one of the original inhabitants of Manhattan.
An altercation on a train reveals the dead body of a Native American man. The man is identified as Amos Delaware, the chief of the Montiquan Indian Nation. The man appears to have been killed by a bullet that was fired outside the train and slammed into Delaware. Using the trajectory and speed of the train as well as the time the bullet hit Delaware, Hawkes and Adam are able to come up with an origin location for the shot. Mac and Stella knock on the door of the apartment the shot was fired from and speak with the Paiks, whose daughter Gahee tells them her father fired his gun at her boyfriend that morning. Mac and Stella arrest Lee Paik, but Sid and Hawkes soon learn that the case isn't as clear cut as it seems when they perform the autopsy and discover that a thin, black string-like object caused sepsis in Delaware and apparently led to his death. While Hawkes works on identifying the item, Danny, who is fixated on picking out a name for the baby he is certain will be a boy, and Stella go to the hotel room where Chief Delaware resided. They find a maid cleaning it and Liam Connover, the hotel's I.T. expert in the process of removing Delaware's computer. Stella puts a halt to both processes and the two scour the room for clues. Stella finds a diary and a torn blueprint for a Montiquan Cultural Center.
Back at the lab, Hawkes is able to ID the black object as baleen from a whale's mouth. It was tied up in a neat little bow and inserted into food--likely an oyster--and given to Delaware. Hawkes has found one company licensed to sell baleen in Manhattan: Agra Imports. Stella finds a motive in Lexus Nexus when she discovers that Agra Imports and the Montiquan Tribal Nation were in a dispute over a piece of land. Flack and Angell pay Leila Vara, the current owner of Agra Imports, a visit and are surprised to learn that she bears no ill will towards Chief Delaware: he visited her a few days ago and promised to return the piece of land. Mac and Danny pay a visit to the building owned by the Montiquan Tribal Nation, but without a warrant, they can't go inside. Danny notices a sophisticated new telecom connection on the side of the building. Stella pores over the Chief's diary, but she's not able to translate most of it, though she does encounter one word several times: tehonzuk. Adam has identified splinters in Delaware's leg as coming from a stick used in a hurling game, and he zeroes in on Finn Wexford, the captain of the Queens Hurling Club, who lost his practice field to the Montiquans. Flack and Angell go to question the aggressive young Irishman, who tells them that Delaware came and broke his stick when Finn threatened him. But after doing so, the Chief told them they could continue to use the field. Finn gets aggressive with Flack and finds himself in cuffs.
Adam determines the baleen sample is 300 years old, sending Stella back to Delaware's hotel room. When she discovers baleen was used as a method of killing wolves by the Montiquan, Mac gets a list of Montiquan tribe members and finds only one in New York: Liam Connover. Stella recalls meeting him briefly at the hotel. Danny and Adam crack the case: they've discovered the Montiquan building is being used as a house for servers hosting online poker games, which are illegal in the U.S. Danny points out that a company named LCV--Liam Connover Ventures--paid for the servers, and Mac notices a user named LCV cheating at poker. Mac, Flack and Danny go to the building and apprehend Liam. Mac and Stella interrogate the young man, telling him they know Chief Delaware figured out what he was doing and decided to pull the plug on the operation. Liam pretended to make peace with Delaware, but poisoned him with the baleen. Mac and Stella join the rest of the team in the break room where Danny is continuing his search for a boy's name--until he gets a text from Lindsay informing him that the baby is a girl.
- Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor
- Melina Kanakaredes as Stella Bonasera
- Carmine Giovinazzo as Danny Messer
- Anna Belknap as Lindsay Monroe (credit only)
- Robert Joy as Sid Hammerback
- A. J. Buckley as Adam Ross
- Hill Harper as Sheldon Hawkes
- Eddie Cahill as Don Flack
Guest Cast Edit
- Emmanuelle Vaugier as Jessica Angell
- Jackie Quinones as Puerto Rican Woman
- Daniel Tatar as Isaeli Guy
- Andreas Lyon as Danish Man
- Meena Serendib as Sri Lankan Mother
- Grace Matias as Filipino Girl
- Paul Morente as Filipino Guy
- Filip Ivanov as Bulgarian Man
- Gregory Cruz as Amos Delaware
- Jean-Michel Richaud as Frenchman
- Antonia Raftu as Greek Woman
- Christina Khoo as Tran Paik
- Tom Yi as Lee Paik
- Arden Cho as Gahee Paik
- Sam Page as I.T. Guy/Liam Connover
- Jon Woodward-Kirby as Hotel Manager
- Kavi Ladnier as Leila Vara
- Derek Craigie as Finn Wexford
- Ben Morrison as Teammate