CSI: Las Vegas - Tuesday January 15

csi: crime scene investigation
a la cart (2/24)

The hit forensic crime drama continues its eighth season. In tonight’s episode, while trying to deal with the revelation that Grissom and Sara are an item, the CSIs investigate two bizarre deaths: the stabbing of a magazine mogul in a hip new restaurant, and the decapitation of a teenager.

Conrad Ecklie is not happy about the fact that two of his staff have breached protocol by engaging in a romantic relationship, and is trying to interview Sara about it. He is desperate to speak to Grissom as well, but the CSI supervisor is out in the field investigating the grisly death of a high-school student –and is ignoring Ecklie’s calls.

Grissom, Greg and Nick are on the scene trying to figure out why a young man’s head has been found wearing a football helmet and sitting in the middle of the highway. Observing the black tyre marks on the helmet, Nick suggests that it may have “pin-balled” down the road, hitting cars and trucks on its way. The CSIs follow the blood trail and find the boy’s body, which is also missing the left hand.

Prints on the remaining hand identify the victim as high-schooler Vincent Bartley. Traces of a black rubbery substance on his body are found to be from a go-karting track, and it turns out that Vincent was a big fan of the sport. When it emerges that the victim had an ongoing rivalry with a teenager called Rodney Banks, Nick and Greg realise that this boy – known as ‘Hot Rod’ on the track – could be their suspect.

Rodney rejects the suggestion that his rivalry with Vincent had turned deadly, and explains that the pair of them had taken the go-karts off the track to see whose skills could translate to the highway. “One minute he’s staring at me,” says Rodney of the last time he saw Vincent alive. “The next, the Headless Horseman’s driving his kart.” If Rodney’s claims of innocence are true, then what could have lead to Vincent’s strange demise?

Meanwhile, Catherine and Warrick are investigating the bizarre case of a murder at a new, high-concept restaurant called Blind. Hampton Huxley, a Hugh Hefner-esque adult-magazine mogul, has been stabbed in the head during dinner. The twist is that nobody saw what happened – because dinner at Blind is served in pitch-black darkness by blind waiters.

Pippa Sanchez, the owner of Blind, says that she called 911 after one of Huxley’s ‘kitty girls’ realised what had happened and a waiter raised the alarm by switching on emergency lights. As they process the scene, Catherine and Warrick find a pair of night-vision goggles. “Kind of defeats the purpose of dining in the dark,” comments Catherine. “Unless you don’t come here for the food…” replies Warrick. However, the owner of the goggles merely turns out to be a jealous husband who had brought them along in the hopes of catching his wife cheating on him with another diner.

As well as a dearth of eyewitnesses, the CSIs are also confounded by the apparent absence of a murder weapon – all of the metal skewers that had been used at dinner are free from traces of blood. When the autopsy reveals that the weapon was actually a pen, one of the ‘kitty girls’ comes under suspicion as her ink-stained handbag is found to contain the rest of the writing implement. She points out that Huxley was her “meal ticket” – why would she want to kill her provider?

The case is soon wrapped up when an inky print on a napkin leads the CSIs to the real killer – someone whose jealousy, anger and bitterness were all motivations for this dark crime…

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