David Caruso as Horatio Caine
|First appearance||Cross Jurisdictions|
|Last appearance||Habeas Corpse|
|Portrayed by||David Caruso|
|Date of birth||April 7, 1960|
|Position||Head of MDPD Crime Lab &
Day Shift Supervisor
|Seasons||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10|
Horatio Caine is a fictional character and the protagonist of the American crime drama CSI: Miami, portrayed by David Caruso. He is the head of the crime lab, under the rank of Lieutenant of the MDPD.
Fictional character biography
Horatio Caine formerly worked in New York City as a detective with the NYPD, before moving to Miami where he worked as a detective lieutenant with the MDPD. He killed the man who murdered his mother; his own father. In 1995, while on the job, he was stabbed while investigating a case in which children were locked in closets while their parents were murdered. The perpetrator, Walter Resden, harbored a grudge against Caine, collecting the blood from the stabbing and preserving it for 10 years in order to frame him for the murder of Caine's girlfriend, Rachel Turner.
After his arrival in Florida, Caine joined the Miami-Dade Police as a homicide detective but later transferred to the bomb squad, where he was mentored by Al Humphries, an older cop whom Caine highly respected and considered a good friend; Humphries was later killed after accidentally triggering a bomb he was attempting to disarm. Caine worked undercover as "John Walden" in Pensacola, Florida for sometime during the early 1990s (this is the date given on the show, despite the fact it was previously understood on the show that he worked in New York until at least 1995). During his time there, he dated a woman he believed to be named Julia Eberlie, and the two conceived a son named Kyle. Caine would not be aware of Kyle's existence for another 16 years. Sometime later he returned to Miami and to being a detective, in "Out of Time" he references previously working on the bomb squad. Finally, Caine moved to the crime lab, accepting a promotion to lieutenant, which earned him the animosity of Sergeant Rick Stetler, who was also vying for the position. When veteran CSI Megan Donner went on personal leave following the death of her husband, Horatio became the permanent head of the lab. In early seasons, Horatio frequently confirms his dedication to the job with the catchphrase "We Never Sleep", an homage to Pinkerton Agency. Caine is known for wearing sunglasses (known by fans as the 'Shades of Justice'); one of his trademarks is to put them on prior to making a dramatic remark. In season 8, we learn that this style of sunglasses were originally a gift from Eric Delko in 1997.
In the season nine finale, Caine is shot down by Randy North, the unwilling accomplice of convicted felon Jack Toller, who also kidnaps Caine's co-worker Natalia Boa Vista and puts her in the trunk of a car. North closes the trunk with Natalia inside and pushes it off the pier. After North pushes the car away, the wounded Caine attempts to shoot North, but is unsuccessful. Caine, unable to stand, attempts to stop the car with Natalia inside. Natalia uses her cell phone to call for help, but nobody answers as water drips over her.
In the tenth season premiere, Caine begins to have hallucinations of Marisol, his late wife, saying she is glad to see him but he needs to go back. He is next shown back at the dock where he was shot, managing to get himself back up to his feet. Still bleeding from his gunshot wound, he jumps into the water to save Natalia, managing to free her from the car. As they are rushed to the hospital, he repeatedly calls Marisol's name. Against doctor's advice, and still visibly in pain, he leaves the hospital to work on the case. He and the team manage to find North, and they try to get him to tell them where Toller is. Despite setting him up, Toller slips through his fingers once at a rail yard, but Walter discovers that the chemicals in the soot from Toller's old clothes could only have come from trash burned at a particular landfill. Horatio manages to find and capture Toller there after he very nearly sets another woman on fire. After leading Toller back to jail, Horatio finally concedes that he is not all right and agrees to get checked out.
Head of the day shift crime lab
In the CSI continuum, Caine is a day shift supervisor at the Miami-Dade crime lab, a forensic analyst and former homicide detective and bomb squad officer (his forensic specialty is arson and explosion evidence). He is very protective of his team, who affectionately call him "H". He is very concerned about the reputation of his lab, and takes great care to keep them clean, likely because of his experience with his tarnished younger brother, Ray. When his staff fall under suspicion in several episodes ("One of Our Own", "Internal Affairs"), he immediately jumps in their defense, especially from IA investigator Rick Stetler, and tries his best to prove their innocence.
Unlike his counterpart in Las Vegas, now former CSI Supervisor Gil Grissom (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), he is a sworn police officer, and thus carries a badge and gun. A superb marksman, Caine doesn't hesitate to use deadly force when the situation calls for it. He is also an ardent advocate of the death penalty for particularly heinous crimes, and doesn't think twice about threatening suspects with it in such cases. He is also known to reserve a special wrath for those who would dare to harm children. Caine is truly color blind, treating all victims and their families equally, regardless of their ethnicity, background, or other circumstances, and often goes out of his way to ensure they are alright, frequently giving his number to them, stating that he is available day or night to take their call. Despite being a civil servant on a county wage, he has helped others financially with such expensive things as providing private funeral arrangements for an indigent murder victim named Eugene who previously helped in the case of a murder commited during a diamond theft, rent and living expenses for his brother Ray's mistress and his niece, as well as medical costs for his niece's cancer treatment, purchasing an apartment for his son Kyle, on top of living expenses for himself, likely due to a number of extremely shrewd financial decisions and deals Caine made over the years leading up to the series.
In the first two seasons, Caine carries a Beretta Cougar on the job. Since the beginning of season three, he has been shown carrying a SIG Sauer P229. He is very insistent on gun maintenance, especially since team member Tim Speedle was killed in a shootout after his gun misfired because of his lax maintenance. In fact, one of the reasons for Caine's nearly on-the-spot selection of Officer Ryan Wolfe as Tim Speedle's replacement (in episode 303, "Under the Influence") is Wolfe's compulsive care of his firearm due to OCD.
He is later forced to fire Wolfe, as the younger CSI compromised himself during the course of the investigation due to his gambling debts and lack of honesty regarding the situation (episode 522, "Burned"). Wolfe also previously violated protocol. Caine indicates a willingness to allow Wolfe to redeem himself, however, and possibly allow him to return to the team after reviewing all the files from his previous cases (episode 523, "Kill Switch").
At the end of Season 2 (episode 223, "MIA/NYC — Nonstop"), Caine travels to New York City in pursuit of a murder suspect and meets Detective Mac Taylor and his team, inaugurating the first season of CSI: NY. Caine later reunites with Detective Taylor and the New York CSIs to track down and arrest the murderer, Henry Darius, who would be extradited to Florida to face the death penalty (CSI: Miami episode 407, "Felony Flight," CSI: NY episode 207, "Manhattan Manhunt"). This appearance would make Horatio Caine the first character to appear at least once in all three CSI shows.
He has many recurring enemies throughout the series, from serial killer Walter Resden to abusive internal affairs agent Rick Stetler to corrupt judge Joseph Ratner. Some he thought had been put away for good come back to haunt him. Clavo Cruz, serving a life sentence for murdering a woman (episode 201, "Blood Brothers," episode 315, "Identity"), escapes custody in a dramatic rocket attack on a courthouse (superficially injuring coroner Alexx Woods). Cruz then kidnaps a court stenographer and forces Horatio to bring him $1 million in exchange for her location. It is all a set-up, however, and Caine and Delko are ambushed on the roof of a parking garage. Though Horatio shoots down one man and escapes without injury, Delko is critically wounded even as Caine fires at the fleeing gunmen (episode 514, "No Man's Land"). Horatio eventually forces Cruz out of hiding by removing all his avenues of escape. Cruz approaches Horatio outside the Miami-Dade Crime Lab, and Caine kills Clavo with a single shot to the chest (episode 515, "Man Down").
Caine finds himself targeted by the son of Argento, a crime lord whom he helped put in jail some years earlier. After the young man vandalizes Caine's vehicle, then smugly denies culpability; he then shoots Caine. However, the rounds from his gun were replaced with blanks, Caine leaves without injury and the son is arrested afterward (episode 602, "Cyber-lebrity").
In the episode "Bone Voyage", when Raymond Langston comes to help Caine and his team, he mentions deceased CSI Warrick Brown and asks Langston to tell Catherine Willows that he is sorry for their loss.
In the end of the Season 8 finale, Caine receives a shocking message from the man he arrested. The message said: "THEY ALL FALL DOWN". In the Season 9 premiere, he rushes to the crime lab, fearing for the team's lives. When he got out of the elevator, he finds everyone down and Eric barely conscious. Eric tells him to shoot the windows out for oxygen. After Caine does so, everyone gets back to their feet, except for Jesse Cardoza, who dies from the fall. Caine then tries to comfort the devastated Natalia, who unsuccessfully attempted to revive Cardoza. Caine finds the killer, and then joins the team on a game of basketball, in honor of Cardoza.
In "See No Evil" a large prison break occurs and one of the inmates, Joe LeBrock, states that they were planning on targeting Caine.
In the episode "Manhunt", he and the team track down Memmo Fierro, the man who was serving time for killing Marisol (Caine's wife and Eric's sister) after he is one of the eight people who broke out in the previous episode. Memmo (under orders of Antonio Riaz of the Mala Noche) had shot Marisol, then blocked the ambulance, trying to get Caine to come out, forcing the ambulance to drive over a center median. At the hospital, a doctor states that the car was worse than the bullet. Both the shooting and the blocking proved fatal to Marisol. At the end of the episode, Memmo takes a hostage, his daughter's social worker. Eric has a clear shot of him, but Horatio tells him not to shoot him in front of Memmo's daughter. After Memmo sees his daughter, he leaves with the hostage, who is later found dead.
In "Happy Birthday", Caine is seen driving at the beginning of the episode with a bouquet of flowers on the passenger seat and leaves Eric a message on his phone asking him to take over from him for a while so he can run an errand. He is distracted by a pedestrian, who informs him a pregnant woman has been assaulted on the side of the road. Leaving his errand behind, he helps the woman and spends the rest of the episode looking for the people who did this to her, while the mother and the baby are fighting for their life back in the hospital. At the end of the episode, the mother gives birth to a baby girl, and her husband is arrested because he did not want her to have the baby and rigged the car to so that she would hit the steering wheel in her midsection during a staged car accident & force a miscarriage. We see Caine at Marisol's grave; he tells her the baby is "beautiful, just like you". He then wishes her 'happy birthday'.
In "Last Stand", Memmo returns with a gang of drug cartels, and Caine lays a trap for him, alone. Caine kicks Memmo multiple times and holds him at gunpoint. Memmo states to him that killing his wife was not personal, but Caine responds that it was to him. Memmo asks if what Caine is doing is "righteous" and if he is at peace with his decision. Caine responds that he is, and places him under arrest, and waits for backup to arrive.
In "Crowned", Caine does not help a kidnapper, who kidnapped a girl who participated in a child's beauty pageants, and lets him fall off the edge at an abandoned movie theater, after shooting him (not fatally).
Over recent years and presumably due to the fact that he was left gravely injured after being shot, Caine has become more aggressive than usual when it comes to dealing with suspects and he has been seen on at least two occasions apparently assaulting a suspect in a locked room (the actual assault is only implied as it takes place off camera). In both these cases the suspect was accused of abuse (one child molestation, the other domestic violence).
Further evidence of this can be found in the season 8 episode "Kill Clause", the ending of which implies that Caine has sanctioned the murder of a corrupt CEO who had his employees murdered for their life insurance.
The character of Horatio Caine received very positive feedback from critics, with David Caruso's performance as the character being the most praised. Horatio gathered a cult following as well. On an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman that aired on March 8, 2007, comedian Jim Carrey professed to being a fan of the show and went on to satirically impersonate Caruso. Carrey asked for an "intense close-up" from the camera, spoke in a deep voice and put sunglasses on. Caruso later said in an interview with CBS that he was impressed with the impersonation.
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