Paint It Black
Paint It Black
Season 9
Number 20
Writer Krystal Houghton Ziv,
Melissa Scrivner-Love
Director Gina Lamar
Original Airdate April 17, 2011
Previous Episode: Caged (Miami)
Next Episode: G.O.

Paint It Black is the twentieth episode in Season Nine of CSI: Miami.


Horatio and Eric try to figure out what role a coed with dual personalities played in the murder of her roommate in a spa.


Monica Dow and Corinne Palmer are relaxing in a hot tub, but Monica feels like someone is watching them. She goes to retrieve her phone so she can call campus security, but she returns to find Corinne’s dead body. The killer shoved her under the water repeatedly before stabbing her. Monica pulls herself together and calls 911. When the team arrives, Horatio speaks to Monica and realizes that she seems forgetful.

Corinne has scaling on her hands, which was caused by thallium on her keyboard. The computer was a gift, and whoever gave it to her has been trying to poison her. Meanwhile, Frank speaks to the artist in residence, William Oslo, and agrees that Monica can attend a big art show if she passes a polygraph test. During the test, Monica shows signs of deception when answering questions about being in the hot tub with Corinne. However, Calleigh explains to the polygraph technician that Horatio believes Monica is experiencing memory loss. She has no previous brain injuries, but this means Monica could have witnessed the murder without remembering what happened.

Horatio gets a call from Monica, and she says something bad is about to happen. They arrive to find that she has been attacked, but she doesn’t remember anything. They process her, and Tom says the wounds look self-inflicted; however, he doesn’t know why she would use her non-dominant right hand to inflict such serious wounds on her dominant left arm.

Horatio runs Monica’s social security number, but she doesn’t exist beyond the university’s records. They believe the young woman has dissociative identity disorder, and the host personality attacked Monica—Monica is just the alter. Corinne and Monica have a third roommate, but she’s a “registration day roommate”. According to the school’s records, Alexis Taymor lives in the dorm with them, but she actually has an apartment off campus. When the team searches this apartment, they find a diary with Monica’s handwriting in it, along with very different handwriting on some of the pages. Alexis is the host personality, and Monica doesn’t really exist. They talk to Monica and explain the situation, and they show her the newspaper clipping from when her parents were killed in a plane crash. She says this could explain a lot—the world has never made much sense for her.

The team forces Alexis to come out, and she reveals that she created Monica’s personality after her parents’ death to help her deal with the pain. Up until she came to college, Monica only came out once or twice a month, but now she’s out all of the time. Alexis wanted to hurt Monica because she was taking over her life, but she would never hurt Corinne. Corinne was her friend, and she knew Alexis’s secret—she thought Alexis needed a new doctor because her medication stopped working. Alexis was the one in the hot tub with Corinne that night, and when she saw her dead body, the switch happened—Monica deals with things that Alexis can’t handle.

Oslo has been paying Corinne’s boyfriend Jared $500 a month to sabotage her medication by filling the capsules with sugar. He points out that a lot of famous artists had a history of mental illness. They test Oslo’s jacket and find chlorine on his cuff. He wanted Monica to be in charge of Alexis’s body all of the time so she could create more art, but Corinne was trying to help Alexis regain control. Oslo tried to poison her with the thallium on the computer keyboard, but it didn’t work fast enough. He says that Monica is a once-in-a-generation talent, and it was worth killing Corinne to keep her around.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


  • The story of Monica Dow’s artistic abilities and mental illness are in part inspired by the novel Trilby.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 9
FallenSudden DeathSee No EvilManhuntSleepless in MiamiReality KillsOn the HookHappy BirthdayBlood SugarMatch Made in HellF-T-FWheels UpLast StandStoned ColdBlood Lust (Miami)Hunting GroundSpecial DeliveryAbout FaceCaged (Miami)Paint It BlackG.O.Mayday