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Funhouse
Funhouse
Season 1
Number 6
Writer Samantha Humphrey
Director Benny Boom
Original Airdate November 10, 2021
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Previous Episode: Let the Chips Fall
Next Episode: In the Blood

Funhouse is the sixth episode in Season One of CSI: Vegas.

Synopsis[]

CSI goes on lockdown when evidence in a new murder tip off Grissom and Sara to a new suspect in the crime lab. Meanwhile, the CSIs investigate a series of murders at a dilapidated clown-themed motel.

Plot[]

Victim: Deedee Hall (deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Joshua Folsom

An unseen figure makes an origami flower out of a granola wrapper, sticks it to a body, and drags the body out where it can be found. We soon see that the victim is dressed like a clown; her neck has been slit and sewn back together.

Allie and Folsom arrive at "Funhouse," a run-down clown-themed motel. As they look around, an ice cream truck eerily drives by, playing music for the very few customers it might attract. The CSIs make their way to the main office, which is decorated with clown figurines; a sign on the door indicates that the owner is away. State Trooper Bernice Stubb arrives and leads Allie and Folsom to the body. The victim appears to be a female in her early 20s; no form of ID has been found. Folsom observes tear stains on the victim's makeup, indicating that the killer made her up like a clown before they killed her. Since there's no blood on the victim's clothes, the assumption is that she was killed, then redressed; otherwise, there would be arterial spray everywhere.

Before the body is hauled away, Allie collects trace from the victim's outfit that appears to be dust. Motel owner Seymour Finch is unsure of who the victim is, but thinks it might be 22-year-old Deedee Hall, who checked in a few days ago. He also recalls that Deedee wasn't into the whole clown theme; it was clear her boyfriend picked the place. Seymour describes the boyfriend as a guy who was wearing eye makeup, had black hair, and had a lot of tattoos. Allie finds Deedee's Facebook page and is able to get a positive ID on the boyfriend—Dane Bash.

On their way to the room Dane and Deedee checked into, Allie and Folsom pass a couple sunbathing next to an empty pool; they appear to be the only other guests at the motel. In the room, the CSIs observe a large amount of blood on the bed and drag marks leading out of the room. Based on the blood pattern, Folsom guesses that the killer knelt over the body. Dane's clothes are on the floor, and Allie sees that his shoes are missing shoelaces; the laces were used to sew Deedee's neck wound shut. Allie also finds a prescription bottle for divalproex in Dane's name; based on the date, Dane was out of medication. Seymour calls the room with information on the poolside guests. Allie finds more dust in the blood streaks on the floor and sets out to follow the trail.

Allie follows the dust trail around the property and runs into Tom, the motel's cleaning attendant. Tom is less than thrilled to be speaking to someone from the crime lab, as he blames a criminalist for placing him at an earlier crime scene, resulting in him serving jail time. When asked what the dirt smudge could be, the unhelpful Tom identifies it as dirt.

As she makes her way further, Allie stops in her tracks and radios Folsom—another dead body dressed as a clown has been found in the exact same spot as the first victim. Folsom compares the victim's facial features to a picture of Dane Bash and concludes that Dane is under all that makeup. They're going to need a new suspect.

There are no defensive wounds on either body, nor are there any abrasions from some sort of restraint. Based on the blood on the bed, Allie guesses that the couple was killed in their sleep. Dr. Ramirez stops by and observes that the teardrops on the victims' cheeks don't actually start from the tear ducts. Something dripped on them, and Allie wonders if the bodies were stored in the ice machine. Dr. Ramirez approximates times of death at 40 hours ago, and dual lividity suggests that the bodies were moved shorty after. The thought is that the bodies were stashed somewhere dark and cool; sunburn lines and mosquito bites on the arms lead Dr. Ramirez to guess that the bodies were stored in a room with a window. Allie takes the origami flowers to see if she can get viable prints off of them. After Dr. Ramirez leaves, the CSIs spot the sinister ice cream truck idling in the parking lot. Folsom notes that the truck would be a good place to stash the bodies. The truck soon drives away, and we see that its customers are the couple who were sitting poolside earlier.

Allie, Folsom, and State Trooper Stubb visit the couple in their motel room. Freddy and his girlfriend Marjorie are meth addicts who are currently high. Allie finds more dust in the room, and they soon hear glass shattering in the bathroom. Marjorie tried to escape, but ended up cutting herself badly on the broken window. While Marjorie gets bandaged up, Allie and Folsom conclude that the addicts were too high to have committed the murders by themselves. The couple also refuses to identify their friend in the ice cream truck, saying that they only buy "ice cream" from him. Allie sees Marjorie scratching mosquito bites on her arm, and Marjorie says she got the bites out by the empty pool.

Folsom examines a crack in the empty pool and deduces that the bodies were held underground; the crack matches the jagged sunburn patterns on the victims' arms. Seymour informs Allie and Folsom that the area under the shallow end of the pool was supposed to be for kids; it's now used for storage. Tom the cleaning attendant has the key and leads the CSIs underground. He shows them an unlocked padlock, which he says was like that when he found it this morning. Inside the dark, musty storage room (happily known as "Funland"), Folsom finds more dust along with creepy crown paraphernalia. Meanwhile, Allie come across a sign that's covered in blood; there are six more origami flowers on the ground, indicating that the killer isn't done.

Prints on a granola bar wrapper come back to Jeremiah Dalt (aka "The Gemini Killer"), a serial killer who slashed five women's throats across rural Nevada in 2013. Jeremiah is currently in a super-maximum security prison (supermax), but is set to be released because of the problems related to the David Hodges case. The question is why Jeremiah's prints would be at the crime scene; Tom appears to be hiding something, but refuses to say anything.

Allie researches Jeremiah's background. He always killed young couples by slashing their throats and would then stage their bodies. Jeremiah chose his victims based on their locations, researching them for months. His kills tracked the Gemini constellation, and Allie notes that the Funhouse Motel fits the pattern perfectly. Her thought is that Tom wanted to help Jeremiah complete the pattern.

Allie and Folsom visit Jeremiah in prison and find the inmate talking to himself. He's impressed by the origami flowers but can't explain how his prints ended up on them, as he says he's never been to the Funhouse Motel. He also doesn't recognize Tom from his photo. When told about the murders, Jeremiah insists that the victims didn't feel a thing, correctly guessing that they were killed in their sleep. He then ends the conversation, warning that "it's not over."

Outside, Folsom wonders if Jeremiah has been pulling the strings, forcing someone to kill for him. He has Allie reenact a murder, asking her how she would feel if she was forced to go through with it against her will. When she replies that she would be upset and cry, Folsom realizes that the streaks on Deedee's cheek were tears from the killer, and tears have DNA.

Allie and Folsom go back to the motel and confront owner Seymour Finch. He reveals that the guard on Jeremiah's cell block sent him multiple letters with the origami flowers inside. The first letter said that the Funhouse Motel was always supposed to be part of the completed Gemini constellation. Jeremiah knew everything about Seymour and threatened his family if he didn't carry out the murders. Dressing the victims up as clowns was also Jeremiah's idea. Having no choice, Seymour killed Deedee and Dane, sobbing as he did so; he left his tears (and DNA) behind on Deedee's cheek. Seymour says he followed the instructions in the letter because Jeremiah is scheduled to be released; Jeremiah would kill his family if he didn't comply.

Allie and Folsom head back to the prison. The guard on Jeremiah's cell block is arrested; as he's hauled away, he, too, claims that Jeremiah threatened his family if he didn't send the letters. Jeremiah is still insistent that he's getting released, and he tells the CSIs to thank Hodges for him. The threat of his release forced his accomplices to carry out murders for him. As Allie and Folsom leave, Jeremiah begins to rant about a "flood coming that can't be stopped."

Under Investigation: David Hodges

On the case: Gil Grissom, Chris Park, Maxine Roby, Sara Sidle

Martin Kline, the main suspect in the framing of Hodges, has been blown up with a grenade in his own home. Grissom is ecstatic that they've found new evidence—a wall in the house that was sprayed with luminol. Since neither Grissom nor Sara sprayed the wall, the assumption is that the killer cleaned up with bleach, then followed up with the luminol to cover any missed spots. The theory is that the killer took cover behind the wall when the grenade went off. Shrapnel from the grenade went through the wall, injuring the killer and getting his blood on the wall. Police are checking the local hospitals, but Grissom believes the luminol is a better lead.

The chemical composition of the luminol is analyzed in the lab with the hope that it can be traced to a specific buyer. However, a shocking discovery is made—the composition matches what's used in the lab. Sara relays this finding to Max, adding that Grissom himself came up with the formula. Max assembles everyone working in the lab (except for Allie and Folsom, who are out in the field). She orders them all to surrender their sidearms and kits. There has been a breach, and the lab is being locked down pending an investigation.

Det. Cross confronts Grissom and Sara, upset that she was lied to and manipulated into giving them access to confidential files. Grissom, however, wants her to listen to their most recent finding—the chemical composition of the luminol had traces of ninhydrin in it. Ninhydrin is a chemical reagent used for finding latent fingerprints, so there's no reason it should be mixed in with the luminol. Grissom's guess is that someone accidentally capped their bottle with a ninhydrin nozzle by mistake. They need to find the CSI who has the reverse in their kit—a ninhydrin bottle with a luminol nozzle.

Tech Penny Gill interrupts Max and Det. Cross with another disturbing find—the lab has seven grenades on hand for testing purposes, all of which are missing. Records show that they were never signed out by anyone. While this isn't the news she wanted to hear, Max points out that they now have another lead. She orders Penny to keep the discovery a secret for the time being.

Tests are able to identify which ninhydrin bottle has a luminol nozzle; the bottle was in the supply room. Meanwhile, Max and Det. Cross go over the footage from the security camera, which has been blown up to focus on the ballistics lab. Someone is spotted walking the empty grenade bin back to the lab; the time stamp is only five minutes before the entire lab was put on lockdown. Therefore, whoever took the grenades is still in the building.

Sara prints the ninhydrin bottle and finds a dozen prints overlapping each other; however, modern technology can separate them. Meanwhile, Max continues to look through the security footage. She can't get the mystery person's face on camera, but she's hoping to identify them by their gait. When the person in question slips, Max realizes they aren't wearing any shoes. She tells Det. Cross that she knows who the grenade thief is.

The CSI in question is Chris Park, who explains that he isn't wearing any shoes because his ankle is sprained and a little swollen. All seven grenades are accounted for and still safe-tied; Chris explains that he was using them as references to determine which kind of grenade Martin Kline was blown up by. He adds that he didn't sign them out because he was interrupted by the alert to drop everything and report to the lobby. Chris appears to be in the clear until Grissom reveals that the ninhydrin bottle in question is his.

Chris is flabbergasted that he's the main suspect and denies blowing up someone he doesn't even know. When told that his prints were on the bottle of ninhydrin in question, Chris reveals that he lost a bottle of luminol at a crime scene last month; the scene was a parking garage where a court bailiff was murdered. He claims that someone stole the bottle when he briefly left the unsecured crime scene to get some evidence tents.

Grissom and Sara confirm that none of the grenades have been tampered with or swapped; Martin wasn't killed by a grenade from the lab. Max fills them in about the murdered court bailiff, and Sara wonders if there's a connection to the Hodges case. Grissom asks to see the evidence from the case to try and prove this.

The car the bailiff was murdered in is brought to the CSI garage for processing. The case is still open, and Sara is hoping that solving it could help exonerate Hodges. Grissom observes the blood in the car, noting that luminol wouldn't really be needed in this instance; however, he spots a pool of luminol on the floor under the driver's seat. He believes that it leaked, indicating that the bottle may have been on its side for a while. They theorize that the killer came back to the scene after Chris processed the car, looking for something that could help frame Hodges. Sara takes a closer look at the floormat and spots dandruff, which is out of place since the victim was bald.

Sara informs Grissom that she knows who took the luminol, killed Martin Kline, and framed Hodges. She points to a television screen, where Anson Wix is giving a press conference. Anson's name is in the evidence file on the murdered bailiff, and he was at the crime scene two days after Chris lost the bottle of luminol. Sara assumes that the dandruff she found is Anson's, as well. Anson is the attorney for the class action suit against the state, and he also had access to the luminol Chris lost—the same luminol used at Martin Kline's crime scene. He has been trying criminal cases for 27 years, which means he would have enough forensic expertise to pull this off.

Sara recalls that Anson was representing everyone associated with the attack on Jim Brass, making it likely that he was calling the shots. Martin was working for him as an expert witness and could handle the technical aspects; when he got too close, Anson killed him to keep him from flipping. Grissom guesses that Anson's motivation for all this was money—wrongful imprisonment lawsuits pay a lot of money, and lawyers take 40%. Unfortunately, they can't make a case off of flakes of dandruff and a visit to the impound yard. Anson didn't kill the bailiff, and he was hired by the family to represent them in a wrongful death suit. He also had a legal right to search the car at impound. Finally, there's no proof that he stole the luminol. Det. Cross encourages them to get concrete evidence, which she says she'll take to the district attorney herself.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Jamie McShane as Anson Wix
  • Jay Lee as Chris Park
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Kat Foster as Det. Nora Cross
  • Kirk Bovill as Seymour Finch
  • Rebecca Metz as State Trooper Stubb
  • Tobias Jelinek as Jeremiah Dalt
  • Rebecca Noble as Marjorie
  • Nick Pupo as Freddy
  • Shane Graham as Tom
  • Jonathan Stanley as Mason Federate

Goofs[]

  • The report on Jeremiah Dalt that Allie reads is riddled with misspellings, including "savery" (instead of savory), "all though" (instead of although), and "countles" (instead of countless).

Music[]

  • Your New Normal by Nine Inch Nails

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Funhouse
CSI:Vegas Season 1
Legacy (Vegas)Honeymoon in VegasUnder the SkinLong PigLet the Chips FallFunhouseIn the BloodPipe CleanerWaiting in the WingsSigned, Sealed, Delivered


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