CSI: Miami is exploring new boundaries - geographic and cinematic.
Monday's episode (10/9c, CBS) stretches its borders as Horatio (David Caruso) and Delko (Adam Rodriguez) leave Miami to investigate an old case involving team member Jesse Cardoza (Eddie Cibrian) in Los Angeles.
And the episode also pushes the boundaries of network television, thanks to director Rob Zombie, co-executive producer Barry O'Brien tells TVGuide.com.
"It's a very, very cinematic episode," says O'Brien, who wrote the episode. "It has very classic and iconic Rob Zombie visual touches, and it's really a groundbreaking hour for CSI: Miami. Rob really pushed the limits in an appropriate and wonderful way. The episode begins with an explosive, very cinematic murder at a high-end masquerade ball. It's a very Rob Zombie party and it's a very Rob Zombie murder."
The episode's guest cast includes Zombie's wife, Sherri Moon Zombie, and Malcolm McDowell, who appeared in Zombie's two Halloween films. Also keep a lookout for Michael Madsen and a cameo from ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
Madsen's and McDowell's characters both have connections to Bruce Enright (Paul Blackthorne), a man who hosts a murderous masquerade ball. Madsen plays Enright's bodyguard and McDowell plays the lawyer who twisted the facts to keep Enright from going down for killing his own wife.
Jesse's overeagerness to put Enright away for that murder is the reason Horatio and Delko head west. "Jesse was accused of tampering with evidence, right before his return to Miami," O'Brien says. "And thus, everything he has done and will do as a CSI is put into question. So, Horatio and Eric throw themselves into that old case with the hope of clearing his name."
But can Jesse be trusted? O'Brien says this episode really lays the groundwork for Season 8's final episodes, which explore that very question, as Jesse comes face to face with Enright - who Jesse now believes is responsible for his wife's death as well.
"He'll finally face the man who may or may not have killed his wife," O'Brien says. "That's going to be an explosive confrontation, and perhaps a deadly one, which would put Jesse in tremendous jeopardy and outside the protection of the team.
"Horatio and the team are going to have to make a determination about who's right, and what justice side of justice Jesse has landed on," O'Brien says. "That question and that confrontation will hurtle us right toward the season finale. ... It's a very explosive end of the season with Jesse walking a very dangerous line between justice and revenge."