|Writer||Jeremy R. Littman|
|Original Airdate||November 23, 2009|
|Previous Episode: Point of Impact|
|Next Episode: Count Me Out|
Kill Clause is the ninth episode in season eight of CSI: Miami.
Horatio and his team investigate when deadly jellyfish are used as murder weapons. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman from Jesse's past unexpectedly shows up.
Ryan Wolfe, moonlighting as part of a security detail at a charity event for Renovation Warehouse, is surprised to spot Jesse Cardoza as a guest at the party. Jesse tells Ryan he’s there as a guest of someone else, but before the two can talk further, they hear the screams of a man who is hanging from a rail on the second floor, about to fall. The man plunges into a gigantic fish tank and though Jesse tries to save him, he’s stung to death by deadly box jellyfish, one of which also stings Jesse. When the team arrives, Calleigh finds the man’s wallet, identifying him as Jeff Lofton, a custodial employee for Renovation Warehouse. Calleigh catches sight of Jesse’s eyes following a beautiful woman, but he deflects her questions. Horatio and Walter recover a palm print from the railing where Jeff fell, and question the company’s CEO, Max DeSalvo, who is wandering around upstairs. He has cleaning fluid on his pants, which he claims came from tripping over Jeff’s cleaning bucket. Horatio has Walter take the man’s palm print. In the morgue, Dr. Loman observes that Lofton did indeed die of the jellyfish poison, and points out that the man had a bad knee and bruising on his body that indicate he was in a fight shortly before his death. Lofton’s wife, DeeDee, comes into the station to get her husband’s death certificate in the hopes of collecting on a life insurance policy taken out in his name that she found among his things. Calleigh offers to take a look at the policy for the desperate woman, to see if she can hurry the process along. Ryan is going over the palm prints of everyone at the party and has yet to find a match–until Jesse thinks to lift DeeDee Lofton’s print off the envelope she gave Calleigh. Sure enough, it’s a match, but DeeDee tells Calleigh and Jesse that she had come to help her husband clean before the party. His knee was bothering him, and the company medical insurance didn’t cover his leg issues.
Calleigh asks Jesse to impersonate Jeff and make a phone call to the insurance company to find out who took the policy out on Jeff. When he does, he learns that it was Jeff’s employer, Renovation Warehouse. Horatio speaks to DeSalvo, who tells him that the company takes out policies on all of their employees and offers the CSI access to the company’s employee records–but nothing more. Jesse and Ryan return to the scene and drain the jellyfish tank. Jesse discovers a small strand of black sequins in the tank and decides to call back the women from the party to come into the station–with their dresses from the night of the party in hand. Jesse and Natalia examine the dresses, and Natalia notices Anna, the woman from the party that Jesse seemed to be observing, watching him. She accuses him of following her from Los Angeles, and storms off in a huff after he clears her. Natalia asks Jesse about Anna, and he tells her it’s business, and offers to explain over drinks if she’ll get everyone in the office off his back. She agrees. The two don’t find a match to the sequins, but Natalia notices one woman didn’t come in: Caroline Berston. Tripp and Walter go to retrieve the files from Renovation Warehouse and the CFO, Garrett Yates, turns over more than a hundred boxes to them. The team goes over the records and notices a high number of employee deaths each June–the end of the company’s fiscal year. The find several accidental deaths and one recent suicide–a young secretary named Hannah Wilcox. Hannah’s brother, Aaron, tells the CSIs that Hannah wanted her body donated for scientific research prompting Walter and Dr. Loman to take a trip to the local university to recover the body. Loman notices petechial hemorrhaging in Hannah’s eyes, which is typical of manual strangulation–not death by hanging.
Horatio and Walter visit Hannah’s house and find evidence that someone strung Hannah up. They go back to the evidence from the case and examine the rope, matching epithelials on it to Gabriel Yates, the CFO of the company. Yates confesses in exchange for a deal, telling the CSIs that he was offered lifetime employment in exchange for knocking off some of the company’s employees. He isn’t responsible for the death of Jeff Lofton, however. Natalia and Jesse manage to track down Caroline Berston, whose dress proves to match the sequins Jesse found in the jellyfish tank. She’s afraid of losing her job, but she admits to the CSIs that she’s DeSalvo’s girlfriend, and that Lofton caught the CEO giving her an expensive diamond bracelet and got angry with DeSalvo. She hurried away, part of her dress catching in DeSalvo’s watch. Horatio and Jesse have DeSalvo brought in and the CEO claims Lofton attacked him, and that he fought back in self-defense. Finding they have nothing concrete to hold him on, they’re forced to let DeSalvo walk, though Horatio notes these things have a way of working themselves out. His statement proves prescient: Hannah’s brother, Aaron, tracks DeSalvo down and shoots him. Natalia orders drinks and waits for Jesse, who is sitting in his car outside Anna’s house…
- 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
- Ciro Suarez as Jeff Lofton
- Laura Ceron as DeeDee Curson
- Sam Hennings as Max DeSalvo
- Chris Eigeman as Garrett Yates
- Michaela McManus as Caroline Berston
- Sherman Augustus as Lyle Durbin
- Ian Anthony Dale as Aaron Wilcox
- Mini Anden as Anna Kitson
- Tara Erica Moore as Woman
- Adam Donshik as Professor
- Alesa B. Gantz as Med Student
- Ward Horton as Toastmaster