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Burned is the seventh episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Burned (CSI:Vegas)
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 7
Writer Tom Szentgyorgyi
Director Benny Boom
Original Airdate November 10, 2022
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Previous Episode: There's the Rub
Next Episode: Grace Note

Synopsis[]

A mysterious Bigfoot-like footprint found near a crime scene puzzles the CSI team as they work to uncover who or what killed a father and son.

Plot[]

Victims: Davis Painter and Elliot Painter (both deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Chris Park, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Det. Serena Chavez

A man is seen duct taped to his living room recliner as the room begins to fill with smoke. The team arrives on the scene a few hours later and learns that the now-extinguished fire tore through most of the house, killing two people inside. As she searches the perimeter of the house, Allie finds a size 17 footprint which appears to be too wide to be human. The inside of the house smells of gasoline, ruling out an accidental fire. Allie and Folsom soon come across the two burned bodies. They note that the bodies are in unnatural positions and figure that the victims were restrained; the restraints seem to have burned away in the fire.

The victims are soon identified as homeowner Davis Painter and his father, Elliot. In the lab, Chris goes over security footage from the house, observing the father and son entering separately a few hours apart. There are no signs of anyone else entering the house; however, a minute before the fire started, a figure left via the front door. Closer inspection of the video still reveals the creature to be similar to Bigfoot.

Max recognizes the name Elliot Painter, telling Chris that the deceased is a real-estate mogul who builds homes for celebrities and has a lot of juiced-up friends. Upon further analysis of the security video, Max notes that “Bigfoot” is walking upright. Since primates walk with their knees bent and humans walk upright, she deduces (unsurprisingly) that “Bigfoot” is someone wearing a costume.

Beau and Folsom look over the charred living room. Folsom notes the low line of discoloration on the wall, meaning that the fire stayed close to the ground. When combined with the badly burned carpet and the flooring underneath, the thought is that the floor was the point of ignition. The CSIs collect all of the ash and debris in order to sift through it later.

Max and Det. Chavez speak with Elliot’s ex-wife and Davis’ mother. She says that Davis was renovating the house in order to flip it; Elliot was likely there to help with the process. Mrs. Painter doesn’t know who would want to kill her ex-husband and son, but she does admit that Elliot was notoriously cheap when it came to building his houses, cutting corners in order to save money.

In autopsy, Sonya believes that Davis Painter was already dead when the fire started, as there’s no soot or particulates in his lungs. His cause of death is labeled as asphyxiation; however, his hyoid bone is intact, ruling out strangulation. Upon closer inspection of Davis’ face, Allie spots pieces of plastic embedded in the skin, which Sonya believes is shrink-wrap. Because there was no soot in Davis’ mouth, the belief is that his mouth and nose were covered in plastic. The father and son were bound and burned facing each other, making the murders quite personal. Allie examines Elliot’s corpse, but finds no evidence of shrink-wrap. When she pulls a piece of cloth from Elliot’s mouth, an alarm goes off in the morgue, alerting Sonya of the presence of a toxic substance. The cloth turns out to be marginally radioactive.

While digging through the crime scene, Beau and Folsom find puddles of melted plastic. Beau identifies the plastic as HDPE, which is commonly used in the making of gallon milk jugs. When all is said and done, eight different puddles are identified. The fire started in eight places at once, but the question is how.

Beau and Folsom sift through the rest of the debris back at the lab. They come across an unidentifiable substance along with an engagement ring that’s missing its diamond. Folsom confirms that the ring doesn’t belong to anyone in the Painter family. However, Allie notes that some diamonds have serial numbers etched into them; if they can find the diamond, they may be able to find the owner.

The mass spectrometer identifies the substance in the ash as phosphorus pentoxide. Beau notes that phosphorus ignites when exposed to air; adding gasoline can start quite a fire. There isn’t any sign of an ignition device, but a leaky coffee cup leads Folsom to a realization. He, Allie and Beau put rods of phosphorus in gasoline-filled jugs spaced out over their experiment site. When the jugs are slit and the phosphorus rods are exposed to air, each jug explodes at the same time, causing a fire that encompasses the area. This is how the killer was able to light eight fires at once. After the fire is extinguished, Allie notices some phosphorus pentoxide particles being thrown up in the air. She realizes that only half of the Painter house was searched; they need to look up.

At the house, she tells Folsom that if the shockwave of the blasts could throw bits of phosphorus in the air, it can throw other things that may have become baked into the ceiling. Her hunch proves correct, as the missing diamond is found embedded in the rafters; unfortunately, it has no serial number etched into it. The diamond does have a discoloration on one of its surfaces which turns out to be skin cells; however, no DNA hits are found in CODIS.

Allie and Folsom catch Max up on the investigation, noting that someone entered the house without triggering the security cameras. The thought is that the killer was in the house before Davis got home; they then forced Davis to call his father over to the house. Both men were then restrained, Davis was killed, and the fire was set. Folsom says that the fire’s signature indicates that the killer knows chemistry; the amount of gasoline used and the method of killings show that someone really hated Elliot. Max encourages Allie and Folsom to head back to the house and determine how the killer gained entry.

At the scene, Allie tape lifts dirt from the front porch. In the backyard, Folsom spots a screen attached to the back of the house that’s missing its screws. There’s a crawl space that leads directly to the basement, which would give the killer access to the house without going past the camera. The space itself is too small for “Bigfoot” to have fit through; however, Folsom spots a piece of fabric stuck in a wood splinter, meaning the killer definitely entered there.

Beau identifies the fabric as nylon, which is found in all sorts of fabrics. The dirt Allie tape lifted, however, is more interesting. It contains a high concentration of asbestos although there was no asbestos found in the house. Det. Chavez overhears and believes she can pinpoint the source. She recalls that Elliot cut corners on his construction; one such incident involved him not clearing asbestos from a development site, which caused a lot of homeowners to become sick. One such victim was Carlo Rey. Det. Chavez shows the team a video of Carlo and his fellow homeowners staging a demonstration in front of Davis’ house. In the video, Carlo said that he got sick and his wife died because of asbestos poisoning. He’s then seen throwing a bucket of the same asbestos onto Davis’ house. As it turns out, Carlo is a chemical engineer; therefore, he would know his way around phosphorus. He would also have motive to kill Elliot. The video also shows that Carlo was wearing a blue nylon sling consistent with the fabric found in the crawl space.

Allie and Det. Chavez pay Carlo a visit at his house. When Det. Chavez knocks on the door, he pretends to be getting dressed; in reality, he’s walked out the back door into an adjacent alleyway. Due to his limited stamina from the asbestos poisoning, Carlo doesn’t make it very far before he’s caught. He immediately knows why the police have come looking for him,

In interrogation, Carlo says that he has Stage IV lung cancer and only a few months left to live. He explains to Allie and Det. Chavez that Elliot Painter built on hazardous waste, hiring a shoddy disposal company who didn’t do what they were supposed to. As a result, Elliot got terminally ill, while his wife died and his son also got sick. Carlo says that he ran from the police because he didn’t want to spend one of his last remaining days at a police station. He adds that because Elliot lives in a gated community, the next best target was Davis’ house. Folsom and Max are watching the interrogation from behind the glass; they can see that Carlo is neither big enough to be “Bigfoot,” nor is he strong enough to drag around gallons of gasoline and make his way through a crawl space.

DNA taken from Carlo isn’t a match to the sample from the engagement ring; furthermore, a cloth sample taken from his sling doesn’t match the thread from the crawl space. After speaking with Carlo a second time, Allie decides to have the engagement ring tested again. It’s discovered that the DNA on the ring is from Carlo’s wife. It’s possible he was wearing her ring around his neck when he was in Davis’ house; it dropped to the floor when he set up the phosphorus ignition points.

When Chris asks why someone would don a “Bigfoot” costume instead of a simpler disguise, Max digs a little deeper into the surveillance footage from the house. In the video, she notes that the strides “Bigfoot” made were too small, as if he was carrying extra weight. Both Carlo and his son, Michael, are too small to be “Bigfoot.” However, she deduces that both men were inside the costume, one on top of the other.

Michael is in the hospital suffering from treatable thyroid cancer, which would also give him motive to kill Elliot. Allie and Folsom pay him a visit, showing him the radioactive cloth pulled from Elliot’s mouth. Michael has been undergoing radiation therapy for his illness, which would make his sweat radioactive. The CSIs conclude that Michael and his father were in it together—they broke into Davis’ house through the crawl space, forced Davis to call his father over, and tied both of them up. They then forced Elliot to watch his son die before setting the house ablaze. Michael denies any wrongdoing, but Folsom tells him that his father will never live until the trial. Confessing would allow both of them to get bail and Carlo to die at home instead of behind bars.

Michael confesses, much to his father’s disapproval. Under interrogation again, Carlo tries taking full responsibility for the idea; however, it seems that there’s nothing he can do to help his son. Allie asks Carlo why he killed Davis, as Elliot’s son did nothing to deserve such a violent death. Carlo replies that he watched his wife die and he wanted Elliot to know what it felt like. “He burned my family out of existence,” he says. “So, I burned his.”

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

  • Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby
  • Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan
  • Ariana Guerra as Det. Serena Chavez
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows (credited only)

Guest Cast[]

  • Luke Tennie as Bryan Roby
  • Robert Picardo as Carlo Rey
  • Sara Amini as Sonya Nikolayevich
  • Cyd Strittmatter as Eleanor Wilton
  • Brady Hender as Simon

Music[]

  • Truth is a Beautiful Thing by London Grammar

Notes[]

  • Marg Helgenberger (Catherine) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • In this episode, it is confirmed that Det. Chavez is attracted to women.

Trivia[]

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Burned (CSI:Vegas)


CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise


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