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|Director||Matt Earl Beesley|
|Original Airdate||October 10, 2010|
|Previous Episode: Fallen|
|Next Episode: See No Evil|
Sudden Death is the second episode in season nine of CSI: Miami.
When a bottle girl is murdered at an exclusive club, Horatio must search through Miami's most elite guest list to find her killer.
Brady Jensen, a college football star being courted by agents, flees from the Dorset Club the morning after a night of partying—which left bottle girl Kristen Banks dead. After Brady flees from Delko and Ryan, Horatio catches him and arrests him. Brady insists he’s innocent, but Delko tells him innocent men don’t flee the scene of a crime. Dr. Victoria Mercier, filling in for Dr. Loman, recovers Kristen’s body from the club pool, while Walter discovers the girl’s cell phone stuck in a pool drain. Natalia is able to dry it off and sees Kristen’s last call was to a fellow bottle girl named Sara Walker. Horatio questions Sara, a single mom, who tells him Kristen wanted to stay with Brady in the cabana and asked Sarah to cover her tables. In the morgue, Dr. Mercier determines Kristen didn’t drown in the pool; her lungs were filled with alcohol. Dr. Mercier shows Delko and Ryan that one of Kristen’s teeth was chipped, indicating the alcohol was forced on her. Ryan and Natalia examine Brady but find no evidence of alcohol runoff on him. Calleigh is able to recover the last text Kristen sent from her phone to her boss, Amanda Calaveras, saying, “I’m not doing this anymore. It’s not right.” Amanda insists to Horatio that she never forced Kristen to do anything and posits that maybe the girl was tired of pushing top shelf liquor onto high-end clients. She presses Horatio about reopening the bar, but he tells her it won’t happen until he finds out who killed Kristen.
Michael Travers is able to identify the champagne that killed Kristen as a 1957 vintage, and Ryan traces the bottle through the bar system to a patron named Richard Ellison, who ordered the bottle at 11:57am the night before. Horatio goes to Ellison’s boat and asks for the jacket that he was wearing that night, but Ellison tells the CSI it’s at the dry cleaners. Horatio is surprised to find Sara serving Ellison and his clients on the boat, but she tells him her job is a 24-hour one and brushes off Horatio’s offers of help. When they’re unable to find any champagne castoff on the cabana beds by the pool, Delko and Natalia test another theory: that Kristen died due to delayed drowning, meaning she didn’t die for several hours after having the champagne forced down her throat. Newswoman Erica Sikes offers Ryan a scoop: someone is shopping a photograph of Brady’s arm by Kristen’s body in the cabana. Horatio questions Brady and his new agent, Chip Ford, and learns that Brady woke up to find Kristen dead, and that Chip persuaded him to cover it up. Chip is the one who tossed Kristen’s body in the pool, and Horatio arrests him for the act. In the morgue, Dr. Mercier recovers a piece of gold confetti from Kristen’s lungs, as well as part of her chipped tooth. After learning from Amanda that the confetti drop in the club occurs at midnight, Delko determines that this is when the champagne was poured down Kristen’s throat.
Ryan and Dave Benton determine the height of the person that took the photo of Brady and Kristen, which leads them to Sara. She admits to Horatio that Amanda forced her to take the picture, but that she had no idea Kristen was dead. Horatio goes to the club and forces Amanda to turn on the confetti machine, and the team learns that the gold confetti was released near Richard Ellison’s table. Tripp, Delko and Walter go to Ellison’s boat and find the jacket that was supposedly taken to the dry cleaners. Delko arrests Ellison, and in the lab he finds confetti on Ellison’s jacket—as well as the missing part of Kristen’s tooth in his pocket. When Horatio confronts him, Ellison claims he got angry after Kristen said she wouldn’t be his bottle girl anymore. He’s shocked that the champagne killed her, but is more concerned about possible jail time than Kristen’s fate. Brady is released, and when he’s cornered by Erica Sikes, he calls her a jackal for buying the picture of him and Kristen. In the locker room, Calleigh bids Eric goodnight, telling him they’ll always be friends and that she thinks of him like family. Horatio buys Sara and her young son a ticket to go home to see her family, and she thanks him.
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Omar Benson Miller as Walter Simmons
Guest Cast Edit
- Wes Ramsey as Dave Benton
- Christopher Redman as Michael Travers
- Amy Laughlin as Erica Sykes
- Nicole Taylor as Kristen Banks
- Zane Holtz as Brady Jensen
- James Frain as Richard Ellison
- Nadine Velazquez as Sara Walker
- Glenn Fitzgerald as Chip Ford
- Krystal Harris as Club Girl
- Peta Wilson as Amanda Calaveras
- Meta Golding as Dr Victoria Mercier
- Al Carabello as Bus Boy