David Caruso, CSI: Miami

CSI: Miami's 10th season premiere will find Horatio seeing ghosts.

Fall Preview: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows

Picking up from last season's cliff-hanger, Sunday's episode (10/9c, CBS) begins with Horatio (David Caruso) badly injured from a gunshot wound but still desperate to rescue Natalia (Eva La Rue), who's trapped inside the trunk of a car that's been pushed off the pier. But never fear: Horatio's deceased wife Marisol (Alana De La Garza) is on the job.

"We're really telling a story about how these predicaments affect these characters on a deep, personal level," co-executive producer Barry O'Brien tells TVGuide.com. "Our premiere has Horatio Caine in a very surprising, but very revelatory, encounter with Marisol. It is a very personal encounter that gives him inspiration and insight into his predicament and ultimately how that predicament resolves."

More importantly, Horatio's vision may finally help him say goodbye to Marisol. "He is able for the first time to deal with and perhaps process that intimate and devastating loss in his life," O'Brien says. "Horatio is in that phase where, as closure is happening, all sorts of powerful emotions rise to the surface, and there's also ... an opportunity for transition, for moving on."

CSI: Miami scoop: Alana De La Garza returns for the season premiere

Moving forward in life may be a theme for multiple CSIs, this season. Calleigh, whose portrayer Emily Procter was sidelined for a part of Season 9 because of pregnancy, will begin searching for fulfillment outside of the crime lab by considering starting her own family.

"We're sort of playing with the maternal instincts and a sense of journey for Calleigh," O'Brien says. "She's looking for what may be more of a complete life for her. She does have a very tender interaction with a child ... and they're brought together in a very intimate, tender way. It certainly opens her eyes to a deeper sense of what's out there for her."

Consequently, Calleigh may give a second look at resuming her hot-and-cold relationship with Delko (Adam Rodriguez). "They work together in such an intimate fashion, and they've had such a history together," O'Brien says. "You see the power and depth of their feelings toward each other. The door is open, and we see them step through just a bit. They're certainly examining the possibility of what their future holds, and we might see them taking just a few more steps together."

Check out our list of TV's sexiest crime fighters!

Natalia's season won't be as cheery. After surviving a number of brushes with death last season, Natalia will be a bit shaky. "It has a profound impact on her," O'Brien says. "You'll see her look for support from the team around her as she gets her legs back underneath her and regains her confidence. [CSIs'] instincts have to be sharp, and Natalia has a little bit of a distance to travel to get back to that place."

Indeed, all of the team members will have to be on their A-game when they have to reconstruct a crime scene that has been shattered and scattered by a tornado. And the team will have to help a female Mexican police chief who flees to Miami to prevent a drug cartel from murdering her family.

But perhaps this season's most disturbing story is that of a depraved serial killer whose terror spree is able to continue because of his father's deep pockets. 24's Carlos Bernard will recur as the patriarch of this rich family who will taunt Horatio all season long.

CSI: Miami exclusive: 24 vet is Horatio's new nemesis

"There will be a very high-octane relationship between the two," O'Brien says. "A hero is only as heroic as his opposition is deadly, so we're really going to go there with this character.

"We're going to discover that over the course of the season that they may be pulling a lot more strings politically than meets the eye," O'Brien continues."That will be a driving theme through Season 10 — that Horatio may not completely understand the face of evil that is facing him. ... Horatio's fight for justice might just get compromised."

CSI: Miami premieres Sunday at 10/9c on CBS.