|Writer||Brian L. Davidson|
|Original Airdate||December 15, 2008|
|Previous Episode: The DeLuca Motel|
|Next Episode: Head Case|
Tipping Point is the eleventh episode of season 7 of CSI: Miami.
The CSIs investigate the murder of a neighborhood do-gooder who was known on the streets as Reverend Mike for his work trying to keep kids out of gangs.
A man buried alive at a construction site dies a gruesome death when a drill slices into him. The workers are surprised to discover blood on the drill, and when Horatio and his team arrive, the manager tells the CSI leader the site is a new one and that they had no idea someone was beneath the soil. Dr. Price finds a cardio messenger in the dead man's pocket which gives them his identity: Michael Olvera. In addition to being buried alive, he was shot once in the abdomen. The CSIs go to his residence and learn from a young man named Freddie Granada that Olvera was a Reverend who opened his house to kids in need and tried to keep them out of gangs. He points them towards some recent graffiti Olvera painted over and Delko uses an imaging machine to strip it away, revealing the logo of a gang known as the Craneos. Tripp follows up on a tip from a tipsters’ hotline given by a young woman named Yolanda Ramoz, who tells him she heard a gunshot while she was distributing fliers. Calleigh and Delko go to the location and find a 9-millimeter bullet and blood drops, as well as a small St. Jude medallion. Calleigh is able to match the bullet to a bullet from a shooting 10 years ago by a man named Hector Salazar, the former head of the Craneos who was released from prison just days ago. Horatio questions Hector, who shows him a scar he received in jail and insists he has no desire to go back: he's reformed.
Tripp and Natalia follow up on another tip from the same area, a report of a heated argument from a woman's apartment. Gloria Nunez tells the pair that she was arguing with the funeral director in charge of her daughter Laura's burial, claiming he's trying to scam more money from her. Gloria's young son Matteo beseeches them to help, and while Tripp wants to get back to the murder case, Natalia is torn. Valera traces blood on the St. Jude's necklace to a man named Raphael Vargas, but when Horatio and Ryan go to question the man in his shop, he admits to threatening Olvera--but not to killing him. Outside, Horatio catches sight of Yolanda putting a flier on his car with an urgent message: the Craneos are hitting a shipping site. Delko and Horatio rush to the site and discover the Craneos have stolen explosives. The security guard at the site recalls being grabbed by a man with a scar on his arm, leading the team back to Hector. Hector tells Horatio and Tripp that he wanted to be found: he's trying to work from the inside and lead the CSIs to the Craneos. He told Yolanda about the explosives. He claims Reverend Mike visited him in prison and opened his eyes. He also knows of Tobey Hollins, the man Horatio helped in prison; he believes Horatio is someone he can trust and implores the CSI to let him find out what the Craneos are planning to use the explosives for. Horatio agrees. Natalia pays the swindling funeral director a visit and gets him to back off Gloria Nunez, and upgrade her daughter's funeral. When she goes to tell Gloria the good news, she's surprised to discover Matteo with a gun, and is forced to take both into custody.
Calleigh confirms the gun is the same one used to shoot Olvera, and Delko is able to match a partial print on the trigger to an unlikely suspect: Freddie Granada. When the CSIs apprehend Freddie, he claims Reverend Mike failed him by telling him life outside the Craneos would be easier. He killed the Reverend to get back into the gang. As soon as he's taken away, Hector calls--the Craneos are going to bomb Olvera's house. The CSIs rush there and discover Yolanda tied up inside, the explosive already set. With seconds on the timer, Horatio rushes in and saves the girl. Looking at video footage of the house just before the explosion, Ryan recognizes the explosive canisters inside the house as ones he saw in Raphael Vargas's shop. Horatio goes to apprehend Vargas and finds him arguing with Hector. Horatio takes Raphael down but Raphael fires a shot off and hits Hector, fatally wounding him. Horatio mourns the loss of the reformed young man while Natalia attends Laura Nunez's funeral. The Craneos are rounded up and arrested by the police. Afterwards, Horatio and Natalia go to see Reverend Mike's house being rebuilt and learn Yolanda is donating her tipster reward money to buy a new computer for the kids at the house.
- 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
- Megalyn Echikunwoke as Tara Price