|Writer||Krystal Houghton Ziv|
|Original Airdate||March 8, 2010|
|Previous Episode: L.A.|
|Next Episode: Dishonor|
Getting Axed is the seventeenth episode in season eight of CSI: Miami.
The team does not have any difficulty finding suspects when a hated receptionist is murdered.
A fire drill at Tabula Rasa ad agency almost disrupts the plans for a surprise birthday party for the office assistant, Valerie Metcalf, but the party goes as planned… until Jeffrey Lipton gets in the elevator and is hurt in an accident, which also reveals the body of receptionist Renee Dorsett, tangled in the elevator cords, an ax sticking out of her head. When the CSIs arrive on the scene, Horatio surmises that the fire drill was pulled as a distraction. Calleigh notices that the alarm contained an identifying liquid that would have sprayed the hands of whoever pulled it. Calleigh and Walter test the employees on the 19th floor and Valerie’s hands are the ones that test positive for the liquid. Valerie admits that she pulled the alarm to buy herself time to pick her boyfriend up from the airport during work hours. Though she denies killing Renee, she describes the woman as the “office Nazi,” who was always out to criticize people. Valerie suspected she was getting people fired. Ryan believes he’s found a lead when he discovers a broken piece of a ceramic mug with a child’s face on it. There’s a picture of the same child on Kent Ackerman’s desk, but Walter opens the frame and pulls the picture from it—revealing that it’s actually a page from a magazine. Kent admits that he faked having a family in order to be able to take time off from work for supposed familial obligations, and not get stuck working late like the single people at the office are expected to do. Renee confronted him and told him he needed to come clean—the mug broke during the confrontation. Kent swears he had nothing to do with her murder. Horatio and Jesse are interrupted from going over Renee’s desk by a noise in the ceiling. They follow it and are surprised to find Teddy Enwald crashing through the ceiling. The Tabula Rasa employee admits he’s been living in the corridor above the ceiling to save on rent. He ran to avoid getting found out, but the CSIs become suspicious of him when they search his living space and find bloody paper towels among his possessions.
Calleigh matches the blood on the towels to Renee in the lab, but Teddy professes his innocence. In the morgue, Calleigh asks Dr. Loman to remove Renee’s nail polish and discovers mees lines on her fingernails, indicating Renee was being poisoned. When low levels of arsenic are found in Renee’s system, Calleigh tests a food wrapper from Teddy’s hideout and find it has arsenic in it. The CSIs question Teddy, but he claims he simply takes other people’s leftovers and is disturbed to find he’s been ingesting poison. Valerie is the one who distributes the lunches. Calleigh obtains a warrant and finds the poison among Valerie’s possessions. The office assistant admits she was poisoning Renee—but only a little bit. After Renee brought up Valerie’s herpes medication in front of a bunch of their co-workers, Valerie decided to get revenge, but just by making her sick… not actually killing her. Calleigh informs Valerie that what she did is just a felony. Ryan finds a threatening letter written to Renee tucked away in one of her books reading: “You ruined my life. You’ll pay for what you’ve done.” Horatio notices the postmark on the letter is dated July 2007—before Renee came to work for Tabula Rasa. Calleigh, Ryan and Jesse go to Renee’s house to get some background on her and are impressed by the size of her abode, given her meager salary as a receptionist. Calleigh and Ryan are surprised to find a diploma on Renee’s wall from a prestigious MBA program, and the pair discovers that in 2007, Renee worked at a big investment firm as a broker. Ryan discovers that in 2007, Renee started making monthly payments to a local cemetery. Back at the lab, Jesse gets Travers to run some motor oil he found in Renee’s front yard, near tire treads from a vehicle that apparently drove on her lawn. Travers reluctantly runs the test and finds the motor oil is from an older car, likely a classic model. Horatio and Tripp find the classic car owner among the Tabula Rasa employees: Mark Bullock. They discover lemon trace from Renee’s lemon trees in Mark’s tire treads, confirming he was the one who vandalized Renee’s property. Mark admits he went to confront Renee after getting a call from HR. He assumed Renee ratted him out for bringing his dogs to work, and that he was going to be fired. But when he confronted Renee she covered for him, telling their boss that the dogs were service dogs—she was riding the employees to save their jobs, not sabotage them.
The graveyard proprietor, Luis Velasquez, tells Horatio and Ryan that Renee was paying to maintain the grave of Paige Shorehaux, who died at the age of 28. Renee visited her grave every Friday, apparently with a guilty conscience. Calleigh asks Dave Benton to look up Paige’s death report and learns the young woman committed suicide. When Calleigh sees the handwriting on the suicide note Paige left, she recognizes it as the same writing on the note Ryan found in Renee’s book. A little more digging reveals that Paige was fired from her job by Renee shortly before killing herself. Calleigh also learns Paige was engaged—to Jeffrey Lipton, who worked with Renee at Tabula Rasa… and found her body in the elevator. Calleigh and Walter try to question Jeffrey, but he puts them off. The CSIs realize they need a warrant, and Jesse finds a reason for one on Jeffrey’s clothes from the elevator. His shirt is covered in blood splatter from when Renee’s body fell into the elevator, but Jesse discovers a blood drop that isn’t like the others: it’s medium velocity splatter, from when the ax connected with Renee’s head. Horatio and Tripp confront Jeffrey: he killed Renee during the fire alarm, then dumped her body down the elevator shaft—only to be shocked by the body falling out on him in the elevator later. Jeffrey relents and admits that he took the job at Tabula Rasa to figure Renee out. When the fire alarm went off, he confronted Renee and accused her of killing Paige—and then attacked her with the ax. After he killed her and dumped her body, he cleaned up the blood and left the bloody paper towels up in the ceiling. Jeffrey is arrested and the CSIs go to leave for the day… and opt out of taking the elevator.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Eddie Cibrian as Jesse Cardoza
- Omar Benson Miller as Walter Simmons
Guest Cast Edit
- Christian Clemenson as Tom Loman
- Wes Ramsey as Dave Benton
- Christopher Redman as Michael Travers
- Bridget Ann White as Renee Dorsett
- Kaylee DeFer as Valerie Metcalf
- Daniel Roebuck as Mark Bullock
- Matthew John Armstrong as Jeffrey Lipton
- Adam Wylie as Teddy Enwald
- Bryan Callen as Kent Ackerman
- Daniel Zacapa as Luis Velasquez
- Raquel Bell as Paramedic