Season 13
Number 20
Writer Gavin Harris
Director Eagle Egilsson
Original Airdate May 1, 2013
Previous Episode: Backfire
Next Episode: Ghosts of the Past

Fearless is the twentieth episode in Season Thirteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.


The CSI team investigates a popular spiritual retreat when a body is found floating in a mud bath. Meanwhile, Hodges questions his marriage plans to Elisabetta.


Victim: Justin Wade (deceased)

On the case: entire team

At his spiritual retreat, Alan Quinn gives a motivational speech to those attending his week-long "Force Of Mind" seminar. One of those attendees is Elisabetta, Hodges' fiancée. After chatting with Hodges on the phone, she gets into a mud spring with another scantily clad man. As the two goof around, a body floats up between them.

The victim is an unknown male who has no I.D. on him. David Phillips puts the time time of death at between 24 and 36 hours ago. Greg and Russell see that one of the bathers is Elisabetta, and they find out that she and her mystery partner are sharing a room. The CSIs question whether she and Hodges are still engaged. Bruises on the victim's chest indicate he was held down, which points towards this being murder.

Alan tells the police that every guest and employee has been accounted for. He figures the victim is probably a hiker who wandered into the retreat because he couldn't afford it. The following morning, Hodges arrives at the scene and goes to find Elisabetta. They talk privately, and she reveals that her mystery roommate is her brother, Santo. She adds that she and Santo have different last names because she was married before and kept her husband's last name, something she neglected to tell Hodges. Hodges clearly has a hard time believing his fiancée's story.

Greg and Morgan drain the mud spring, finding loose change, a condom, and a feather, amongst other things. Morgan finds a leather bracelet wedged between some rocks that appears to be rather clean, meaning that it wasn't in the spring very long. The bracelet could belong to someone who was in the spring with the victim.

Back at autopsy, Doc Robbins confirms that the victim drowned, as he found mud in the stomach contents. In addition to the bruises on the victim's chest, the doc finds an abrasion on the forehead. Wood splinters are found embedded in the wound tract, possibly from a weapon. The victim appears to have been beaten, then drowned. Doc Robbins also finds a partial denture with four numbers engraved on the framework. He tells Sara that dentists usually I.D. their patients using the last four digits of their social security number.

The victim is identified as Justin Wade. Sara speaks to his widow, Mary, who says that Justin was on a corporate retreat with his sales team from Bixton, a pharmaceutical company. She laments the fact that she made Justin go against his wishes, as she had previously stayed at the spa and thought it would be good for him.

Finn, Nick and Russell go through the items retrieved from the spring; the only clean item is the leather bracelet. Russell gets an idea and combines the bracelet with the feather. He guesses that the feather is an eagle feather; when combined with the bracelet, it makes a "smudge feather," which is used by Native American Indians to waft incense around or cleanse negativity. Finn recalls seeing a smudge feather and grabs the spa's itinerary. As it turns out, on the first day of the retreat, Alan divided everyone into teams of three and named each team after a type of eagle.

Finn and Nick talk to Heather Conner and Jessica Lowell, respectively. Both women are members of the Bixton sales team and were part of the same team with Justin at the retreat. Finn reveals that Justin's feather was found in his room, but Heather refuses to say who the muddy feather belongs to. Jessica tells Nick that Heather wanted to have a team strategy meeting in the mud bath; the three shared the bath, much against Justin's wishes. Heather admits that she was mad at Justin for refusing to do the firewalk; a negative score on their team-building assessment would be sent back to Bixton. However, she denies killing Justin, telling Finn that she left Justin and Jessica in the mud bath. Jessica tells Nick that she and Justin left the mud bath together at 11:00 PM; she even watched Justin go back to his room.

Histology results of Justin's tissue reveal fluid loss from damaged blood vessels; the skin was burned, which occurred before he drowned. Justin also inhaled something, with Hodges believes to be smoke. The splinters of wood pulled from Justin's forehead are from the Northwestern Red Cedar, a tree used by Native Americans in rights of passage. All of this points to one location—the firewalk. Hodges theorizes that Justin gave the firewalk a shot after being berated by Heather for refusing to do so. Unfortunately, Justin panicked halfway across, tripped, and fell. His forehead hit a piece of unburned cedar, and the hot coals caused the burns on his chest. The firewalk is fenced off from the rest of the resort, and only one person conducts it—Alan Quinn. A client accidentally drowning in a mud bath is better for business than a client being admitted to the hospital with third-degree burns.

Under interrogation, Alan admits that Justin reached out to him and showed interest in doing the firewalk; however, Alan felt he wasn't ready. Justin was told to go to bed, while Alan flew back to his home in California.

Doc Robbins examines Justin's bronchial tissue under a microscope and concludes that smoke from the firewalk didn't cause the inflammation. Instead, it's determined that Justin suffered anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction to something. Hodges runs a test and finds that Justin was allergic to latex. Based on the fact that he inhaled the latex, the thought is that it was in the burning coals of the firewalk. Sara notes that a latex allergy is a personal thing that only a spouse may know of. Mary Wade admits to having been to the spa before, so she would know where the firewalk is located. If she saw her husband sitting in a mud bath with two women, she might have motive for murder.

Mary is told about her husband's cause of death, and phone records reveal that Jessica Lowell recently started making late-night calls to Justin. Furthermore, on the night of Justin's death, Mary got a speeding ticket ten miles from the spa. The widow admits to driving to the spa because she had a bad feeling about Jessica; however, she ultimately decided to trust her husband and drove home, instead.

Greg searches the coals at the firewalk, eventually finding drug implant pellets with the Bixton name etched into them. The pellets are made of latex, and Jessica's fingerprints are found on them. Jessica, however, has disappeared; she hasn't answered her phone and she didn't show up to work. Her employee file shows that she was suspended three years ago under suspicion of selling company secrets. If she's doing so again and Justin found out, it's possible she killed him to keep him quiet. This would also put her other teammate, Heather Conner, in danger, as well.

Heather is brought in for questioning again, only this time, she's completely frazzled. She asks Finn for water, then begins to rant about Jessica stealing company secrets. Her belief is that Justin found out, which cost him his life. Heather begins to talk at an alarming speed, then starts wheezing. Soon thereafter, she goes into shock. She's brought to the hospital, but doesn't survive. Both Justin and Heather, two seemingly healthy people, have died out of nowhere. The common denominator is Jessica, and Brass wonders if she poisoned both of them. However, she's still in the wind.

A white substance found under Heather's fingernails is identified as magnesium sulfate, a common dietary supplement. Receipts show that she had been stocking up on nutrients and powders, so it's possible someone spiked her vitamin shake. Strands of goat hair are also found all over the body, which puzzles Finn.

When Heather's tox report shows that she overdosed, Morgan realizes that magnesium sulfate is also used to manufacture meth. The thought is that Heather was tweaking on meth, got called in for questioning, and tried taking downers to calm down. However, the combination of drugs ended up killing her. Hodges notes that meth users tend to get very thirsty, which would explain Heather's desperation for water. Her stomach contents included goat's milk, and Morgan notes the presence of goat hair on the body.

Jessica ends up turning herself in, claiming she was on a business trip. When told that her fingerprints were on the latex pellets found in the firewalk, she says that they were drug samples that every Bixton employee was in possession of. She soon reveals that she's an undercover FBI agent investigating Justin and Heather, both of whom were stealing research and drugs to manufacture meth. The belief is that they set up a lab somewhere and were working for drug distributor Rolan Zahl. Once Justin was done with the lab, he became expendable, and it's possible his murder was actually a drug hit.

Meth confiscated from a gang member a few days earlier contains the same trace components found in Heather. Nick digs into Heather's financial records and finds that she ordered 200 pounds of magnesium sulfate from a medical supply company. The order was shipped to an address the CSIs figure is the secret meth lab.

Nick, Sara and Officer Mitchell head to the house. As they search the premises, they find a goat chained up in the backyard. Nick and Sara enter the house, finding piles of tools and ingredients used for making meth. The place has been trashed; whoever was there left in a hurry. In another room, the CSIs find a setup too elaborate for just making meth. They also find an industrial refrigerator that contains a few vials of goat's milk. They're soon alerted to a noise from an adjacent room, where they find Mary Wade hiding.

Back at the station, Sara guesses that they're looking at a husband and wife cooking team. However, she's still perplexed as to how the goat milk fits into everything. Based on the sophisticated equipment in the house, the Wades were cooking more than meth.

Sara questions Mary again and correctly guesses that Mary is sick. Mary explains that she has a deficiency of the anticoagulant antithrombin; without it, she's in constant danger of blood clots, which could lead to a pulmonary embolism. Justin was using a Bixton drug formula to help his wife, and the goat milk is used to make the antithrombin protein. He took a job with Bixton in order to steal the recipe. The company had canceled it during clinical trials three years ago because they deemed it too expensive. So, Justin started making the drug himself, with Heather supplying the money. It was Heather's idea to set up the lab, and Mary insists she had no idea that her husband was making meth. Mary also denies destroying the lab, as she was only there to get her last dose.

Morgan and Nick process the smashed drug lab and find some blood drops in the sink. Whoever destroyed the place cut themselves and tried to wash the blood off. As it turns out, the blood belongs to Mr. Spiritual himself—Alan Quinn.

Russell confronts Alan at the spa and presents him with the evidence that he broke into the meth lab and destroyed it. His credit card records show that he was sending Mary cases of a drink called "Spirit Force." Alan admits that he's in love with Mary; he also knows she was sick and was trying to help her. Mary, however, wanted nothing to do with Alan. Justin had found a successful cure for her, rendering Alan's assistance unnecessary. Alan destroyed the lab in retaliation when he found out Justin's remedy worked. He soon confesses to killing Justin in order to "save Mary's life," as he believes Justin was actually poisoning her. Russell thanks Alan for his confession and has him arrested.

At the station, Sara gives Mary her husband's wedding ring and expresses hope that a cure is found for her disease.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Larry Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Catrinel Menghia as Elisabetta
  • Matthew Del Negro as Alan Quinn
  • Daniel DiTomasso as Santo
  • Emma Fitzpatrick as Mary Wade
  • Ashlee Nichole as Heather Conner
  • Dichen Lachman as Jessica Lowell


  • Jessica Lowell mentions the name Rolan Zahl. The drug lord was first investigated in the episode Strip Maul.

See Also[]

CSI:Las Vegas Season 13
Karma to BurnCode Blue Plate SpecialWild FlowersIt Was a Very Good YearPlay DeadPick and RollFallen AngelsCSI on FireStrip MaulRisky Business ClassDead AirDouble FaultIn Vino VeritasExileForget Me NotLast Woman StandingDead of the ClassShelteredBackfireFearlessGhosts of the PastSkin in the Game