Spotlight on the episode Kill Zone

Hello my dear CSI: Miami Maniacs! It is the time for me to give you the next post. Today I really would like to focus on the episode Kill Zone.

Plot summary

Kill Zone is the ninth episode of the first CSI: Miami season. This time the CSI team led by Horatio Caine is trying to capture a sniper targeting downtown Miami during rush hour. A broker, a janitor and a secretary are expertly shot on a Miami shopping street, a fourth person in a passing-by buss with untraceable plastic-coated bullets. They aren’t relevantly linked, but the team works out the sniper’s position and from particles there correctly constructs his USMC-champion-MO and secret ‘target-range’, which ultimately yields a chilling ‘motive’.


When Calleigh states that the sniper was likely Marine Corps trained and they were among the best in the world, it is not an exaggeration, as Marine Corps trained snipers routinely win or place in the top five of many of the most rigorous/challenging sniper competitions in the world. Because of the October 2002 DC-area sniper killings, CBS considered delaying the broadcast of this episode. However, when the two suspects were arrested and charged with the sniper slayings at the end of October, the network reconsidered and chose to air the episode during the November 2002 sweeps as originally planned. The story’s similarity to the DC-area sniper killings was purely coincidental and in no way inspired by the DC-area sniper slayings since the script was written several weeks prior to the attacks taking place. Horatio Caine when going over the evidence says, “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind”. This is a quote from a Bob Dylan song.


Character error

Horatio repeatedly refers to the Japanese miniature tree as a banzai. In fact, it is a Bonsai, which is pronounced, “BONE-SIE”. A meticulous intellectual such as Horatio should know better. Since then some airings in syndication, an on streaming services have overdubbed it so that he now pronounces it correctly.

Factual errors

During the part where Calleigh is testing the ballistics of the bullets, the rounds are shown and labeled “28 GRAIN”, “21 GRAIN”, “14 GRAIN”, and “7 GRAIN”. Those bullet weights in the .223 Remington caliber do not exist. Those are too light. Real .223 Remington bullets weigh no less than 40 grains.

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