|Original Airdate||January 30, 2006|
|Previous Episode: Silencer|
|Next Episode: Skeletons|
Fade Out is the fourteenth episode in season four of CSI: Miami.
When evidence shows that a series of murders is linked to organized crime, Horatio and the team are instead led to a pair of film students who have a screenplay that contains the details of the crimes.
The arrest of a pair of bank robbers at a drawbridge as it is in the process of being raised reveals the body of club owner Jake Richmond, hanging from beneath the bridge, sporting twin gunshots to his eyes. Alexx determines he was dead before he was hung--he was shot first. A Joker playing card in his pocket lead Horatio and Frank Tripp to believe his death was a mob hit. Horatio sends Ryan back to the lab with the velvet rope Jake was hung with. In the morgue, Alexx recovers one of the bullets from Jake's head but notes that the other was a through and through and is probably at the primary crime scene. Calleigh runs the bullet they have and matches it up in IBIS with a bullet from a murder a year ago that mobster Joey Salucci was implicated in but never tried for. Horatio questions Salucci who is dismissive of Horatio's suspicions, claiming he's just in 'real estate.' Calleigh and Delko go to Jake's club, The Burgundy Club, where they notice tread marks and a bloody scantron sheet, but no large blood pool, leading them to conclude the primary crime scene was in the car that left the tread marks. The CSIs talk to bartender Cesar "Cuzz" Morales, who tells them Jake was so worried about Joey that he would have Cesar taste test his drinks for poison. Cesar writes down his number for the CSIs, offering to help with any additional information they might need.
Back at the lab, Horatio learns Ryan got into a minor car accident on his way back to the lab with the velvet rope. Horatio tells the young CSI it's time to go in for an eye exam and Ryan reluctantly agrees. In the DNA lab, Cynthia tells Delko that the blood on the scantron sheet is indeed Jake's, and is able to trace it back to a screenwriting course at Dade University. The class's teacher, Professor Meyer, tells Calleigh and Delko that he just ordered a new batch of test answer sheets, which he kept in the back of his car. He's shocked when he opens his trunk and discovers a blood pool next to the new sheets, but tells the CSIs that he keeps his car key in his desk drawer and anyone could have borrowed it. The CSIs impound the car and Calleigh discovers the missing 9 mil bullet in it, while Delko finds an ear bud from an iPod, indicating someone younger than the professor did drive the car at some point. Valera gets DNA results off the rope, which provide a match to Norman Stein, a movie producer. He admits to getting into an altercation with Cesar at the entrance of the Burgundy Club--he was trying to get two writers into the club who are writing a screenplay that involves a club, despite the fact that the young writers clearly have no experience of the club world. The two young men, Patrick Wilder and Ben Williams, are only up to page forty on their script, "The Clubland Murders"--a script they claim is the brainchild of Professor Meyer.
Ryan finally gets his eye examined, and the doctor diagnoses him with an infection of the tissue behind his eye. She cautions him against working, warning that surgery is the next step if this course of antibiotics doesn't help, and warning that he could lose his sight permanently. Horatio questions Professor Meyer, who admits to helping Patrick and Ben with the story for their script and Horatio thinks he may have killed Jake to prove to his students that he was the real deal. He denies a handwritten detailed description of the murder in the script is in his handwriting. Delko matches the writing to Cesar, who tells Horatio and Tripp he was helping the boys with the script and that the idea just came to him. But when Horatio and Tripp discover a gun in the bar, they arrest Cesar. Cesar used to work for Joey Salucci around the time of the earlier murder, and the CSIs think he dosed Jake with GHB and killed him. The gun is a match to the one from the previous homicide but the print isn't Cesar's, forcing the CSIs to release him. Stein brings the latest script pages into Horatio, which involve the murder of 'the snitch.' Horatio takes the pages to Patrick, whom he and Delko think planted the murder weapon in the bar. Patrick IDs Cesar as the snitch, but it's too late--he's already been killed.
Calleigh and Delko go to the Burgundy club where Cesar has been beaten to death. They are able to eliminate both Norman and Patrick as suspects, but when they find Ben at the scene holding a deck of cards, they immediate suspect him. They haul Ben back to the station where he spills all: Norman had Cesar take the boys under his wing because they clearly had no knowledge of club life. Cesar wanted to run Jake's bars so he got Patrick and Ben to drug Jake and hang him, but things got out of hand when Patrick instead shot Jake through the eyes in Meyer's car and decided to put the card in his pocket to make it look like a mob hit. It was Patrick who convinced Ben to go back to the club to get the cards, and he discovered Cesar dead. Patrick may have fired the gun, but it's Ben whose print is on it, pinning it entirely on him. Horatio is able to arrest Joey Salucci for Cesar's death: Joey beat him to death after getting a note on his car that Cesar was going to snitch about the murder he committed while working for Joey. Joey is arrested, but Patrick walks out of the police station a free man. He orchestrated the whole thing, including leaving the note for Joey, but managed to avoid being implicated directly in it himself. Delko promises him it isn't over. Ryan Wolfe, worried that his career as a CSI is indeed over, punches his locker in frustration as Horatio looks on from the shadows.
- 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
- Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
- James Russo as Joseph Salucci
- Brooke Bloom as Cynthia Wells
- Ana Alexander as Sienna Stone
- Chris Batstone as Leo Riggs
- Matt McColm as Jake Richmond
- Jsu Garcia as Cesar 'Cuzz' Morales
- Zach Grenier as Professor Meyer
- Austin Nichols as Patrick Wilder
- Michael Mitchell as Ben Williams
- Evan Handler as Norman Stein
- April D. Parker as Dr. Medby
- Mike Lane as Officer
Major Events Edit
- Ryan learns that the eye injury he recieved after being hit with a nailgun in "Nailed" is making his eyesight much worse than usual and if it doesn't clear up, then he stands a very high chance of going blind altogether which could end his career at the Miami-Dade Crime Lab.