Sink or Swim
Sink or Swim
Season 7
Number 16
Writer Marc Dube
Director Sam Hill
Original Airdate March 2, 2009
Previous Episode: Presumed Guilty
Next Episode: Divorce Party

Sink or Swim is the sixteenth episode in Season Seven of CSI: Miami.


During the murder investigation of Derek Powell's fiancée, Eric is thrown in jail due to his failure to come to terms with his fake birth certificate and his father is no help. After that Calleigh and Eric share their first canon kiss.


Derek Powell, the defense attorney introduced in "Presumed Guilty" is hosting a yacht party with his fiancée, Nadine Alcott. He and his guests invite two speedboaters, Jack and Abby, aboard, only to have the pair turn on them and rob them at gunpoint. While the guests are lined up along the edge of the yacht, a shot rings out and Derek is horrified to look over and see Nadine has been shot. She dies in his arms. When the CSIs arrive, Horatio has them process the guests for GSR. He tells Derek he thinks the robbers had help. The Coast Guard spots the boat and Natalia and Ryan rush off to the location, discovering a man named Ken Vogel repainting it. He claims to work for the Parks & Recreation division, and says he found the boat abandoned. Natalia and Ryan discover a bag filled with the stolen jewelry from the yacht, but Vogel insists it was on board when he found the boat. When pressed, he admits to wanting to turn around the boat and sell it, but denies any involvement in the robbery—murder. Derek tells Calleigh and Tripp that Vogel wasn't the man who robbed the yacht. Calleigh points out that Derek's laptop is now the only item still missing, and wonders if the robbery was targeting Derek specifically. Horatio approaches Delko in the lab to tell him that the city has revoked his protection detail, making Eric once again vulnerable to any attempt Alexander Sharova, the Russian Mafioso Eric investigated after learning the man was in fact his father, might make on his life. Calleigh is able to trace the laptop to a coffee shop, where Abby and Jack are found by Ryan. Both deny murdering Nadine—they claim that after the robbery there were so many cops around they had to ditch the jewelry, and they fled with only the laptop. Yelina Salas approaches Gregor Kasparov pretending to be a hit woman inquiring about the woman who was hired to kill Delko—and failed. Kasparov sizes Yelina up and hires her for the job. Yelina covertly meets up with Horatio, giving him a notebook with information about Sharova in it—and telling him she's been hired to kill Delko. Horatio finds Sharova and brings him to Delko. Delko tells Sharova that he's his father, and asks the man how he could have abandoned his mother. Sharova maintains he owes Delko nothing and the younger man punches him in frustration, knocking out one of Sharova's teeth. Sharova walks off, leaving Delko disappointed.

In the morgue, Dr. Price shows Calleigh the object that killed Nadine, which Calleigh recognizes as a projectile from an underwater assault rifle. Horatio tells Derek that Nadine was the target; the robbery was just a distraction. Derek claims Nadine didn't have any enemies, and bristles when Horatio suggests he might have had her killed over their very public prenuptial dispute. Horatio sends Delko on a dive to see if the shooter left anything behind. He discovers a sophisticated scuba tank tangled in a fishing net that nearly takes Delko down as well. Delko brings the tank back to Natalia in the lab, only to be interrupted when immigration officers come in to arrest him, claiming they've learned Delko is not a U.S. citizen. Over Natalia's protests, Delko is taken away. Natalia recovers DNA in the tank linking it to Ken Vogel but tells lab tech Michael Travers that because the evidence was collected by a CSI whose citizenship is being called into question, the evidence might be inadmissible. Calleigh visits Delko in jail to bolster his spirits. Wondering how immigration got the information on Delko, Horatio turns to Derek's laptop and discovers Delko's Cuban birth certificate on it. Horatio confronts Derek, who admits he was gathering evidence to discredit Horatio's team during their investigation of his client, Kevin Sheridan. Horatio questions Ken Vogel, noticing the man is showing signs of decompression sickness. He wants to know who hired him to kill Nadine, but Vogel insists that he doesn't know the man's name—he just took the cash from him in exchange for the job. He does recall that the man was vocal about Derek, claiming he defended murderers and "took my whole heart." Horatio relays the information to Derek, who thinks the killer is Paul Garland, the father of Lindsay Garland, who was killed by Derek's client Kevin Sheridan.

Tripp brings in Paul Garland, who tells Natalia he didn't pay someone to kill Derek's fiancée. He points out the evidence Delko collected will be discounted because of his citizenship status, and Natalia realizes he was the one who pulled Delko's birth certificate off Derek's computer and got Delko arrested. Paul maintains he simply learned to manipulate the information he has to his advantage—a skill he picked up from watching his daughter's murder trial. He turns to Derek in the mirror, saying he took the thing Derek loved most and got away with it. He asks the defense attorney how it feels. Yelina tells Horatio she's done some digging into Alexander Sharova's past and has discovered he didn't exist before 1960—she can't find any legal documents or a birth certificate for him. Calleigh and Horatio use Sharova's tooth to find an isotope that indicates where the tooth developed. The isotope is unique not to Russia but to New Mexico. Horatio confronts Sharova, telling him that he knows he was born in New Mexico and is an American citizen. Sharova tells Horatio he was in Cuba just prior to the Bay of Pigs in the early 60s, and that after the incident the CIA threw him over—so he in turn rejected his American citizenship and reinvented himself as a Russian. Horatio persuades Sharova to come forward and reveal his citizenship so that Delko will be released—and have his status as an American citizen confirmed. Derek makes a case for getting the evidence Delko collected admitted in court, while a happy Calleigh meets a now free Eric at the jail. The two embrace and kiss, and he goes home with her. As Paul Garland is led away, Derek tells Horatio that he doesn't want to defend criminals anymore. Horatio points out that the county is always in need of prosecutors. When Derek asks Horatio about the loss of his wife, Horatio tells him that "you don't get over it, and you never will."


Main Cast[]

 Guest Cast[]

  • Sofia Milos as Yelina Salas
  • Rade Sherbedgia as Alexander Sharova
  • Christopher Redman as Michael Travers
  • Sean Combs as Derek Powell
  • Scott Klace as Paul Garland
  • Ella Thomas as Nadine Alcott
  • Danneel Harris as Abby Dawson
  • Johnny Messner as Ken Vogel
  • Mark Ivanir as Gregor Kasparov
  • Michael Rodrick as Jack Ladner
  • Karen Austin as Judge Stets
  • Ben Cain as Leonard
  • Francisco Viana as I.C.E. Agent
  • Allen Haff as Yacht Guest #1
  • Jason Graham as Yacht Guest #2
  • Cynthia Harmon as Yacht Waitress

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 7
ResurrectionWon't Get Fueled AgainAnd How Does That Make You Kill?Raging CannibalBombshellWrecking CrewCheating DeathGone Baby GonePower TripThe DeLuca MotelTipping PointHead CaseAnd They're OffedSmoke Gets in Your CSI'sPresumed GuiltySink or SwimDivorce PartyFlight RiskTarget SpecificWolfe in Sheep's ClothingChip/TuckDead on ArrivalCollateral DamageDissolvedSeeing Red