We cut to a party on a yacht thrown by none other than hotshot defense attorney Derek Powell. Powell snuggles with his favorite girl as a speedboat approaches. It carries -- wait for it -- pirates! Granted, these pirates are well-scrubbed and quite pretty, but they take over the yacht all the same. The guests are forced to give up their valuables. One of the pirates, a sexy brunette woman, takes Powell's laptop. Just then, shots are fired! Powell's gal goes down.
Could this be a case for an aging redhead with an extensive collection of sunglasses?
Indeed, it is. Caine quickly arrives at the scene, where Powell's girl has been pronounced dead. "I'm sorry for your loss," Caine growls. Delko, meanwhile, has news: the Coast Guard has found the speedboat. The CSIs rush to the scene, where they find a man named Ken Vogel repainting the getaway vehicle. "I found it abandoned!" Ken protests. Delko finds a bag of jewelry from the yacht ... but no computer.
So the pirates were not after the jewels, after all. Powell, under questioning by Calleigh, claims that there was nothing on the laptop except for "work stuff." Suddenly, Calleigh has a brainstorm. Turns out Powell's laptop is of a particularly fancy variety. So fancy, in fact, that the pair can watch whoever is working on it via remote (and track it's location to boot). Seconds later, Ryan plops down in front of the pirate woman, Abby. She is with her fellow attractive pirate and boyfriend. Ryan explains that the pair was tracked via Powell's stolen laptop and that a woman is dead. "We may be thieves, but we'd never take a life," Abby protests.
We then cut to Yelina Salas, who has been hired to kill Delko. Luckily for us (and Delko), Yelina is a double agent. "Eric's the target," she explains to Caine. Caine tracks down Alexander Sharova, kindly asking that the gangster remove the price from Delko's head. Also, Sharova happens to be our moody CSIs father. "I don't like it any more than you do, but I'm your son," Delko explains. Sharova promptly insults Delko's mom -- so Delko knocks one of his teeth out. All in all, the gangster takes it well. "I owe you nothing," he says.
Back at the lab, Calleigh and Tara examine the body of Powell's favorite lady. They discover a dart from an underwater assault rifle. The victim was killed from below the surface of the sea! Sure enough, we FLASHBACK to someone in scuba gear shooting up at the yacht. The robbery was a diversion. "Nadine Alcott was the target," Calleigh says. Seconds later, Powell is back in the hot seat. Turns out that the defense attorney and his fiancé had a loud, public argument over the pre-nuptial agreement. "I don't have to listen to this!" Powell roars at the insinuation. "Do better, Caine!"
And he does. The team dives underwater at the spot of the murder and soon uncovers a gigantic net. Inside the net, which briefly ensnares Delko, is a scuba tank. "He got caught in the same fishing net I did and he wasn't able to pull himself out," Delko later explains to Natalia. The latter takes the former's advice and agrees to look for DNA inside the breathing apparatus. Just then, a couple of mean-looking immigration officials enter. They demand to take Delko into custody after discovering his "Cuban birth certificate."
Natalia is flustered but goes through with the DNA test anyway. And a good thing too. The person wearing the scuba tank was none other than Ken Vogel, the man cleaning the getaway boat. The shooter has been found. But there's a rather large hitch. "The DNA evidence may not hold up," Natalia tells Travers. "The CSI who collected it was detained by the Feds." Calleigh goes to visit Delko, who now wears prisoner orange. His deportation case is being "fast tracked." "You could have told me," Calleigh says. "We'll get through it." Not exactly taking the relationship to the "next level," but there is still a good 23 minutes of show left to go.
So how will the team solve the murder and spring Delko? There's only logical place to start: a montage. Cue a very serious Caine examining Powell's impounded laptop. He discovers Delko's birth certificate! "I was attacking the credibility of your CSIs," Powell admits. "Turns out I never needed to use it." Explains Ryan: "We can't get any of the evidence past the judge because of this!" Powell agrees to "fix it."
In the meantime, Ken Vogel is brought in for questioning. Not surprisingly, he denies all knowledge of the murders. Unfortunately for Ken, he is also showing signs of decompression sickness. "Your DNA is in the tank," Caine growls. The man caves. He explains that he was paid to shoot Nadine and make it look like an "act of piracy." Alas, Ken doesn't know the name of the man who hired him, though he would recognize a face. Powell has a theory. The mastermind might be Paul Garland, the father of a murdered woman from a past episode. Powell tried to protect the girl's killer.
We cut to Garland, who stands at his daughter's grave. Not surprisingly, he denies any involvement in the murder. Besides, Garland notes, the evidence collected by Delko is inadmissible. Hmm. For an innocent man, Garland sure seems to know quite a bit about Delko's birth certificate. "You see, it's just about using the information you have and manipulating it," he sneers. "I learned that during my daughter's murder trial." Clearly, Powell's laptop -- and the Delko-related info contained on it -- were unexpected and convenient spoils of the crime.
Montage time. Caine examines the tooth that Delko knocked out of Sharova's mouth. The results: enamel on the tooth reveals that Delko's father actually hails from New Mexico. Alexander Sharova wasn't born in Russia, after all. Why does it matter? Because Sharova can tell immigration that he is a natural-born citizen, thus saving his son from deportation. "You are an American citizen and your survival isn't the only thing at stake here," Caine tells Sharova. The faux Russian somberly considers Caine's offer.
Cut to Caine telling Delko about his impending release. "How did you pull this off?" Delko asks. Growls Caine: "It wasn't me." Delko stands to find Sharova hovering in the background. The two almost manage to smile at each other. It's a touching father-son moment by tough-guy standards. Better yet: the DNA evidence can now be used to put away Ken Vogel and Paul Garland. Powell, in fact, argues eloquently to that very notion in court. The judge, swayed by the great defense attorney turned apparent prosecutor, agrees. Case closed.
But not the episode. There's still the small matter of Calleigh and Delko taking it to the fabled "next level." The pair meets on a pier. "Why don't I take you back to my place?" Calleigh asks. "I'll make you a traditional American dinner." The two kiss. They are clearly madly in love. Welcome to the next level, kids.