Rock and a Hard Place
Rock and a hard place
Season 6
Number 19
Writer Marc Dube
Director Gina Lamar
Original Airdate May 5, 2008
Previous Episode: Tunnel Vision
Next Episode: Down to the Wire

Rock and a Hard Place is the nineteenth episode in Season Six of CSI: Miami.


When Alexx's son becomes a suspect in a murder, saving him has dire consequences for the team.


Jim Barber ends up dead in the water after a friendly jet ski race with a woman named Mary Landis. Mary tells Tripp she didn't know Barber at all—they'd just met that morning. Alexx discovers debris in Barber's head wound, leading her to conclude that something hit him from above. Calleigh learns that the man was recently released from prison after serving an 8-year drug sentence. Delko takes a dive and discovers a piece of slate—the possible murder weapon. Ryan inspects the bridge above where Barber was killed and finds a Y2K pill—the same kind Barber was put away for dealing 8 years ago. Calleigh pays a visit to Agent Brad Sylvestri, the officer who busted Barber and confiscated his drugs. The agent surmises Barber was done in by his competition and promises to deliver any pertinent information to Calleigh if he comes across it. Horatio and Natalia track the slate to a specific seller, but are shocked when they learn the specific piece of slate they have was sold to Henry Woods—Alexx's husband. Alexx herself makes the same startling discovery in the lab when she recognizes the slate—and the writing on the back of it. She leaves a message for her husband and calls her son Bryan in to ask him who he's had in the yard. He tells her he thinks someone must have stolen the slate, and then drops a bombshell: the last person in their yard was Horatio Caine just this afternoon.

Horatio brings Valera a cigarette butt he retrieved from Alexx's yard to run through DNA. She gets a match to Trey Holt, a friend of Bryan's. Trey denies stealing the slate, and refuses to talk further. Alexx gets a frantic call from Bryan some time later—he's in trouble. He gives the the location of the warehouse where he's at, and she finds him holding a knife, standing over a bleeding Trey. He insists he didn't stab Trey, claiming he found the boy with the knife in his back and pulled it out at Trey's behest. Alexx sends Bryan out to the car as she tries to stop Trey's bleeding. Delko arrives and is surprised to find Alexx there as Trey is loaded into the ambulance, and she tells him about Bryan's connection to the boy. Delko and Alexx rush out to her car to find Bryan, but he's fled the scene. Delko tells Alexx he'll process the DNA on the knife before the prints. He returns to the lab and Natalia recovers DNA from between the hilt and the blade, getting a surprising hit: Mary Landis. Horatio and Tripp interrogate Mary: they think she lured Jim to the bridge where Trey was waiting to kill him. Mary will only cop to stabbing Trey because she paid Trey for something she never got. Bryan Woods is located on a bridge holding a brown paper bag. He drops the bag, which Ryan opens, discovering a baggie of Y2K pills inside. Bryan insists he didn't know what was in the bag, but Horatio is forced to bring him in. Horatio tries to find out who gave him the bag, but Bryan won't answer and Alexx ends the interview.

Delko prints the plastic baggie the Y2K pills are in and gets a hit to Bryan Sylvestri, the DEA agent. Horatio questions the man, but he brushes it off: his prints are on numerous bags because it was his job to deliver phony drugs to dealers. Alexx is finally able to get Bryan to tell her that Trey gave him the drugs—and was the one who took the slate out of the backyard. Calleigh confronts Trey in the hospital, and the kid tells her he got in over his head after being busted by the feds. First they wanted him and Mary Landis to be snitches—but then it turned to murder when Barber was released. Horatio and Delko confront Sylvestri: he pocketed much of the Y2K when he busted Barber 8 years ago, and when Barber was released, he threatened to expose him, so he forced Mary to lure Barber to the bridge and Trey to drop the slate on him. Sylvestri is unrepentant—he claims Y2K is better than money. Horatio stops by the morgue to tell Alexx Bryan has been released, but Alexx has some shocking and sad news for the CSI: she's quitting to spend more time with the living—specifically, her family. Horatio understands and tells her the door is always open for her to return. Alexx performs a final autopsy and bids farewell to her beloved colleagues.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
  • Harrison Knight as Bryan Woods
  • Basil Wallace as Henry Woods
  • Jack McGee as Agent Brad Sylvestri
  • Katherine Moennig as Mary Landis
  • Scott Elrod as Jim Barber
  • Toby Hemingway as Trey Holt
  • Stoney Westmoreland as Phillip Rockland
  • Sam Younis as Hotel Manager
  • Chad Henderson as Paramedic
  • Sydney Dace as Bartender
  • Zachary James Rukavina as Body Double

Major Events[]

  • In the aftermath of the case, Alexx quits her Medical Examiner to spend more time with her family.

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 6
Dangerous SonCyber-LebrityInside OutBang, Bang, Your DebtDeep FreezeSunblockChain ReactionPermanent VacationStand Your GroundCSI: My NannyGuerillas in the MistMiami ConfidentialRaising CaineYou May Now Kill the BrideAmbushAll In (Miami)To Kill a PredatorTunnel VisionRock and a Hard PlaceDown to the WireGoing Ballistic