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Coinkydink is the seventh episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Coinkydink
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 7
Writer Jason Tracey
Director Safia M. Dirie
Original Airdate April 28, 2024
Navigation
Previous Episode: Atomic City
Next Episode: The Artist is Present

Synopsis[]

When a fitness guru is found dead in a gym sauna and his soon to be son-in-law is found dead from an apparent hunting accident, the CSI team investigates to see if these deaths are unrelated tragic accidents or if they're connected.

Plot[]

Victims: Dirk Cantor and Warren Lopez (both deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Catherine Willows, Joshua Folsom, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill

At a fitness studio, a cleaning woman in the midst of her responsibilities finds a dead man on the floor of the steam room. The victim is identified as Dirk Cantor, who co-owns the studio with his wife, Libby. There are signs that Dirk suffered a heart attack, something that's relatively common in steam rooms. The steam is still going off every three minutes, which Beau says will keep the fingerprints intact. Without the steam, the prints will dry up—and so will the evidence.

Libby arrives with her daughter Ella, who is Dirk's stepdaughter. When told that the incident occurred on Saturday night, Ella claims that Dirk was supposed to have been hunting with her fiancé Warren up on Spring Mountain. Calls to Warren's phone initially went unanswered due to the poor signal up there; however, when Ella is finally able to get through, someone unexpected answers the phone—Folsom. Catherine takes the phone from Ella and is informed that Warren is also dead, the victim of an alleged hunting accident. Is this just a coincidence or are both cases connected?

Max and Allie discuss the two cases over the phone. Allie notes that Warren wasn't wearing a fluorescent hunting vest at the time of his death, while Max relays that Dirk was fit enough to tolerate the heat of the steam room. For the time being, both cases will be treated as suspicious deaths.

After taking a break from processing the steam room and helping himself to some complimentary hard candy, Beau heads back in. With the steam still going off every three minutes, Beau is able to power through and fully process the room. He finds a mostly empty water bottle with some particles settled at the bottom of it along with a crumpled up piece of paper. Upon spraying every surface with some small particle reagent, he discovers large streak marks on the floor. Dirk didn't go peacefully, he struggled mightily before he succumbed to the heat.

Up on Spring Mountain, Allie observes Warren's gunshot wound and believes that it could've been made by a .308. She and Folsom determine that Warren was standing when he was shot and, based on the direction he fell, figure out where the fatal shot was fired from. Their hunch is correct, as they come across a muddy field 40 yards away from the body that's littered with shoe impressions—along with a .308 shell casing. Mixed in with the impressions is another impression that was made by a foreign object, possibly some kind of hunting equipment.

Tests on the bullet casing found reveal that it came from a Remington 700 rifle; however, there are no matches in the database. In the layout room, Folsom has re-created the mud and weather conditions from around the time Warren was shot. He and Allie are able to determine that their killer is of below average height and weight.

Back at the fitness studio, Catherine takes fingerprints from Kendall Lacey, one of the studio's regulars. She admits that she and Dirk were in love and that Dirk thwarted their weekend plans by wanting to go hunting with Warren. With some prodding from Catherine, she adds that Warren was a "good kid" who just happened to borrow money from her for a business venture, but instead spent it all on Ella. Twist ("full name: Twist"), an instructor at the studio, sees through Kendall's lie, calling both Dirk and Warren "villains". Both men were responsible for taking away Twist's prime 1PM time slot and giving it to Libby; however, he got it back by "being the best". Twist wonders aloud what else Dirk and Warren were capable of.

Beau goes through the photos he took in the steam room and believes that, based on the marks on the floor, Dirk wasn't alone at the time of his death. Catherine, however, posits that the mess could've come from one guy having a heart attack. As the two CSIs debate whether the deaths are coincidences, they're interrupted by the sound of glass cracking and something catching fire. Beau puts the fire out with an extinguisher. A spooked Libby claims that "they" are trying to kill her and her daughter, admitting that Dirk apparently borrowed a lot of money from loan sharks.

Back at the lab, Beau revels in the fact that the cases are linked and that there's no such thing as coincidences. However, Max presents him and Catherine with a Remington 700 rifle that was dropped off to the police by a hunter who claims that she shot Warren while hunting on Spring Mountain. Under interrogation, the hunter, Netty Reynolds, says that she tracked a buck all day until sunset. Despite low visibility, she lined up her shot and fired, finding out shortly thereafter that she hit a person. She tearfully apologizes before being taken away. Watching from the observation room, Catherine tells Max that despite the fire at the fitness studio, signs are pointing towards a string of bad luck for Libby, Ella and those close to them.

The preliminary photoionization detection on the fire shows no signs of accelerants or explosives, nor were there any foreign objects present. Chalking another one up in the coincidence column, they could be just looking at a freak electrical mishap. A lack of security cameras at the fitness studio is of no help to the team. Allie observes that nothing was thrown through the window, making it likely that the glass cracked from the heat of the fire. Folsom examines the burned cables from the back of the computer and notes that the electrical plug is intact. This would seem to indicate that the fire came from inside the computer. Upon opening it up, he and Allie smell something fermented on the hard drive.

As they investigate, Ella walks into the studio to retrieve her mother's insulated mug. Catherine informs her that Warren's death was a hunting accident, making it unlikely the family is being targeted by loan sharks. When told that she's only 19 years old and has her whole future ahead of her, a despondent Ella rejects the idea of going to college and says that it's her responsibility to build the company with her mother.

In autopsy, Dr. Hudson informs Max and Beau that Dirk suffered a collapsed lung, had tubular necrosis of the kidney, and had blood in his spinal fluid—all resulting from severe dehydration from the steam room. He explains that the body was so desperate to cool itself down that it excreted fluids at an accelerated rate and desiccated the organs. The official cause of death is cardiac arrest, and a tox screen shows that Dirk not only had supplements in his system, but enough opioids to cause him to pass out. Beau figures that the mess of prints in the steam room all came from Dirk because he was "out of his gourd" from the drugs. Dr. Hudson also points out perimortem hematoma up and down Dirk's arms, all created just before he died. Max figures that this was from Dirk banging on the steam room door in an effort to get out. But if the door doesn't lock, why couldn't he escape?

Beau and Catherine head back to the scene and find no dents or bent metal in the door. However, they notice a trail of ants making their way up the door frame. Green dust at the base of the door turns out to be the hard candy Beau was sampling earlier; the ants are making their way to a bigger piece that got stuck in the door. Beau comes up with an idea. With Catherine in the steam room, he takes a piece of candy and wedges it in the door; Catherine is unable to let herself out. The killer wedged the door shut with the candy, and the steam from the room melted most of it. Unfortunately for the killer, not all of the candy disappeared.

The infamous "Twist" is the team's new prime suspect. Despite claiming his innocence as it pertains to Dirk's murder, Max informs him that he was at work when the fire in the computer was started. Test results show that the fire was caused by someone spilling raspberry kombucha—which just happens to be Twist's drink of choice—all over the computer's hard drive. Twist admits that he was upset that his prime 1PM time slot was taken from him and given to Dirk. With the knowledge that Dirk was having an affair with Kendall, he used the studio's computer to send a blackmail letter to Dirk. His conscience got the better of him, but by then, it was too late. Not knowing how to delete the letter, he sabotaged the computer instead. Twist says that his plan worked—Dirk broke up with Kendall and he got the 1PM slot back. He repeats that he's no killer, but Max informs him that he's guilty of blackmail and arson.

It turns out that Kendall and Libby are best friends and that it's possible Kendall snapped after Dirk broke up with her. While going through the family photos, Penny comes across one of the two couples on a hunting trip together—and all four hunters are holding Winchester rifles. Meanwhile, Beau processes the crumpled up paper he found in the steam room. Using alternative light sources, he's able to reveal a handwritten message that reads "PLEASE FORGIVE ME, WARREN. I DESERVE THIS." It would seem that Dirk is confessing to Warren's murder; however, hunter Netty Reynolds already confessed to doing the deed. Beau points out that Neddy thinks she killed Warren, but admitted that she never really looked at the body before running away. Since there's no way Dirk could've locked himself in the steam room by using the candy, it seems that Warren's killer was framing him to cover their tracks. Once again, the theory that the murders are connected is back on the table.

The ballistics report shows that Netty's rifle didn't kill Warren; the casings don't match. It's likely a casing from one of Dirk's rifles will match, something the team didn't look into earlier because of Netty's confession. The hunch is correct, as ballistics proves that Dirk's rifle shot Warren. But, who pulled the trigger? With the belief that whoever shot Warren also killed Dirk, the CSIs head back to the mountain to look for more evidence. The small boot prints in the mud indicate that they're looking for someone of small stature. This would point towards Kendall, who is an experienced hunter. However, Catherine takes a look at a photo of the cast taken earlier at the scene. While Allie and Folsom believe the impression was made by a piece of hunting equipment, Catherine claims that she knows who the shooter is.

Libby is brought in for questioning despite her claims of being the actual victim. Max accuses her of shooting Warren, something she denies. However, Allie points out that one needs to be hydrated on their long trek into the woods, and Libby brought her insulated mug with her, which she had to lay down when she took the shot. Libby scoffs at this evidence until shown the cast of the grooves in the mud; her mug lines up perfectly with them. While the mug itself isn't enough to prove guilt, Max informs her that there were traces of dirt caked in the mug's crevices; the soil is a match to what's found on the mountain. Libby killed her daughter's fiancé, but she strongly denies being involved with Dirk's murder.

Watching from behind the glass, Catherine tries sympathizing with Ella. However, Ella believes there isn't enough evidence to convict her mother, as all the only evidence is Dirk's gun, a cup imprint, and "some candies". Catherine notes that nobody mentioned the candy being involved and realizes what actually happened. Libby had discovered that Warren was trying to convince Ella to go to college, so she killed him to make Ella stay. However, her approach to the murder was so sloppy (using Dirk's rifle) that the super-intelligent Ella had to cover for her. Ella dosed Dirk's water bottle with opioids and wrote the suicide note in block letters so the handwriting would be hard to match. She then slipped the note into the steam room and locked the door with the candy, trapping Dirk inside. What Ella didn't anticipate was the moisture from the steam making the note unreadable; otherwise, Catherine says, Dirk's death may have been ruled a suicide and the case would've been closed.

Catherine tells Ella that she didn't have to kill Dirk for her mother; however, the 19-year-old acknowledges that her mother didn't want the two to be apart. "She needs me," she tearfully says while offering to fix everything. Before being hauled away in handcuffs, Ella once again professes that she loves her mother. When Libby sees Ella in cuffs, she realizes that her daughter killed to protect her. She claims that they'll always be together as they're escorted to jail.

The now exonerated Netty has her rifle returned to her and is informed that she was in the wrong place at the right time. "One hell of a coinkydink," she remarks before walking away.

Under Investigation: Valerie Hammond

On the case: Catherine Willows, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

With the robot "Ocho" present, Catherine and Penny interrogate Valerie Hammond regarding the deaths of Robert Cuevas and Cliff Roland, two employees of the previously investigated robot factory. When a sliver of film that was found in Cliff's camera was processed, Valerie was the identified as the mystery person in the photo on the night of the Robert's murder. Valerie claims that she met Cliff at a bar; afterwards, he took her to the robot factory. This would explain why she was in the photo and why she was signed in as a visitor that night. The clipboard Robert was using has a set of unidentified fingerprints that Catherine believes are Valerie's; if so, she's an accessory to murder. However, throughout the interrogation, Valerie's body language shows that she's extremely confident that the police having nothing on her.

With no other way to get to Valerie, Det. Chavez comes up with a plan. She's able to get a job working undercover posing as a brand hostess named Melanie and will work the same event that Valerie is. The hope is that she if she can get close to Valerie, she can get some answers in addition to a DNA sample. Det. Chavez bonds with Valerie at the event they're working when she overpowers a guy who was hitting on Valerie. She then takes a few strands of Valerie's hair as evidence while fixing it for her after the ordeal. Valerie thanks Det. Chavez by inviting her out for a drink after their next assignment. Det. Chavez later finds out that the hair she pulled as no bulbs; no bulbs means no DNA.

As they sit at the bar and shoot the breeze, Det. Chavez begins asking Valerie some personal questions. Valerie sees right through the ruse and knows that something is up. As she gets up to leave, Det. Chavez calls an audible, saying that she's really Mia Roland, Cliff's sister. Valerie denies knowing who Cliff is, but soon says that she and Cliff were "set up". She refuses to elaborate and invites Det. Chavez to her apartment the following night to speak in a more private setting. As she walks away, Valerie calls someone and informs them that they have an issue.

When Det. Chavez goes to Valerie's apartment, she finds the door wide open. She draws her gun and enters, finding signs of a struggle and Valerie nowhere in sight. She contacts the LVPD and calls in a kidnapping.

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 (credit only)
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Guest Cast[]

  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
  • Natasha Hall as Valerie Hammond
  • Melanie Minichino as Libby Darling
  • Paola Andino as Ella Darling
  • Jalen Gilbert as Twist
  • Jen Kater as Netty Reynolds
  • Ogy Durham as Kendall Lacey
  • John Tague as Dirk Cantor

Music[]

  • Water by Tyla & Marshmello
  • Into the Night (MANT Remix) by Nero
  • Landslide by Robyn Sherwell

Notes[]

  • Jay Lee (Chris) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • Catherine tells Max that her daughter Lindsay used to be a CSI. Lindsay was only seen as a CSI in the two-hour CSI movie (and series finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) entitled Immortality.
  • The deaths of Robert Cuevas and Cliff Roland were investigated in the episode It Was Automation.
  • Folsom's horse Dennis is mentioned a few times. He had purchased the horse in the Season One episode In the Blood.

See Also[]

CSI:Vegas Season 3
The Reaper
Scar Tissue
Rat Packed


See A[]

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