|Original Airdate||April 24, 2006|
|Previous Episode: Free Fall|
|Next Episode: Open Water|
Dead Air is the twenty-first episode of season 4 of CSI: Miami.
The CSI team must locate a woman who has been kidnapped and dialed a wrong number on her cell phone. To try and find the woman the team must first figure out whom the kidnapped woman was trying to call in the first place. Marisol has a difficult decision to make and Horatio helps her. Natalia is surprised when Ryan asks for Delko’s permission to take her out on a date.
Two young women are lunching at Biscayne Bay Cafe when one of their cell phones goes off. The girl, Chelsea, at first thinks it's a prank when she hears a woman pleading for help on the other end and asking for someone named Mitch, but when she realizes it's serious, she runs to police officers at a crime scene nearby and gives the phone to Horatio Caine, who realizes the woman on the other end of the line is in serious danger as soon as he hears her. The connection is severed abruptly after a gunshot is heard, and Horatio fears the woman is in grave danger--if she isn't already dead. Dan Cooper runs a probability matrix on the phone number she called to find out what one she was trying to reach--when he puts the name 'Mitch' in, he come up with a hit on a similar number to Chelsea's phone: Mitchell Collett, the chief financial officer for the Abex corporation. The CSIs pay Mitch a visit and learn he already knows his wife, Brenda, has been abducted: he got a phone call earlier from the kidnappers and was told not to contact the police. Dane Daniels, the company's CEO, offers the CSIs the tape of the kidnappers' call, noting that the company records all the in house calls.
Ryan and Delko head to the Colletts' house and find signs of a struggle. Delko finds a piece of plastic from the grip of a gun and takes it back to the lab hoping to find a match to a type of gun. While he processes the evidence, Ryan expresses interest in Natalia Boa Vista and asks Delko if they're done--he thinks he has a connection with her and wants to ask her out. Delko gives him the go ahead. Afterwards, he tracks her down and asks her about a party at her house that Ryan mentioned, and she tells him she was trying to set some boundaries since they mutually decided to slow their relationship down. Calleigh interrupts them--they were able to get a GPS trace on Brenda's cell phone, which has been turned back on. They rush to the house they traced the signal to and are shocked when a young man with a gun comes running out, firing. The police shoot him down, but it turns out he's not the kidnapper--his girlfriend, who was also in the house, found the phone in a nearby ally when she was looking to score drugs. She takes Calleigh and Delko to the alley where they find a casing from a .45 and tire tracks.
Calleigh matches the casing to an entry in IBIS--a gun belonging to a man named Rick Miller. Horatio and Tripp interrogate Rick, who admits to having an affair with Brenda, who he met while working the docks at Abex. He was dismayed when Brenda suddenly broke off the affair. He met a man in a bar, Club 560, named Charlie and hired him to go to her house and scare her by staging a mock kidnapping. Calleigh and Ryan go to Club 560, but the bartender, Jack Hilson, doesn't recall Rick or Charlie. The waitress does, though--she remembers Charlie as a lousy tipper--he did give her a key chain, though, with the initials C.P.E., which she turns over to the CSIs. The key chain leads them to Charles Pelson, who admits to the kidnapping, but also says he hired someone to help him, and it was his partner who wanted to turn the faux kidnapping into a real one. When they argued over it, the partner drove off in the car with Brenda in the trunk. Charles refuses to give up the man's name.
Marisol Delko pays Horatio a visit--she's debating stopping her chemotherapy so that she can get pregnant. Horatio, who is going with her to her chemo appointment that evening, expresses concern but tells her he'll support her in whatever choice she makes. A distraught Mitch shows up at the station with a box he received from the kidnappers; Delko opens it and finds an ear inside, with an earring Mitch recognizes as his wife's, and a note demanding five million dollars. When Alexx examines the ear, she notes a lack of blood, so Horatio asks Mitch to bring a sample of Brenda's hair in. Dan Cooper has discovered someone was monitoring Brenda's calls, but Mitch claims he had no idea someone was monitoring her cell phone calls. Elsewhere in the lab, Ryan asks a surprised Natalia out, puzzling her even more when he tells her Delko gave him the okay. Natalia says yes, but tracks down Delko and confronts him--she thought they had a chance, but he's blown it.
The cell phone was being taped by the Abex CEO, Dane Daniels, who claims it was a routine trace put on all company cell phones. At the lab, Valera confirms the ear doesn't match Brenda, while Cynthia Wells discovers a corporate watermark on the ransom note--an 'A' for the Abex corporation. Horatio heads to the company offices where he discovers an unhinged Mitch holding Dane at gunpoint, convinced the CEO kidnapped his wife. Horatio talks him down and vows to find his wife. Delko gets an asbestos trace off the severed ear, and Ryan notes small holes on its edges--suture marks? Ryan wonders if it was severed from a corpse at a medical program at a university. When they investigate Dade University, they discover Club 560 bartender Jack Hilson working there; he was Charlie's partner. Jack has an asbestos permit for a house by the bay, which Horatio and Ryan storm. Horatio notices a small boat with a tarp over it floating just off shore, and he pulls it in to discover Brenda tied up inside. He frees her, and she recognizes his voice. Back at the lab, Ryan asks Delko to borrow money for his date with Natalia, and Delko loans it to him and watches the pair leave. Marisol decides to go through with the chemotherapy, and Horatio sits by her and holds her hand as she receives treatment.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Khandi Alexander as Alexx Woods
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Alana De La Garza as Marisol Delko
- Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
- Brendan Fehr as Dan Cooper