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Health and Wellness is the fourth episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Health and Wellness
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 4
Writer Tom Szentgyorgyi
Director Stephanie A. Marquardt
Original Airdate March 17, 2024
Navigation
Previous Episode: Rat Packed
Next Episode: It Was Automation

Synopsis[]

As the CSI team investigates the death of a man visiting Vegas for a health and wellness convention, a fiery explosion traps Allie in the basement of an abandoned hospital.

Plot[]

Victim: Andre Luckett (deceased)

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

Two thieves break into an abandoned hospital in search of copper wire to sell on the black market. They seemingly strike it rich when they happen upon a backup generator. However, while taking a celebratory selfie, one of the thieves leans up against a rusty railing. The railing gives way, sending the thief tumbling below—onto an exposed pipe that pierces through his body. As the other thief rushes down and starts to call 9-1-1, he spots another dead body just a few yards away. The injured thief ends up surviving.

When processing the scene, Beau and Catherine analyze that their victim hasn't been dead long—there are no signs of rigor, nor is there much blood. The victim's chest cavity was cut into with extreme precision, suggesting that the killer has done this before. Beau collects a liquid sample on the ground nearby, while Catherine tests another sample on the ground that comes back positive for dried blood. Allie observes that the blood is quite a distance from the body, meaning that it could've come from the killer.

On her way out of the building to call her daughter after receiving a text message from her, Catherine passes by an officer setting up a lamp to help combat the darkness of the abandoned hospital. Unbeknownst to them, the filament in the lamp breaks, creating a spark. The spark, in turn, causes an explosion that traps Allie in the hospital's basement. Max informs her that the city engineers will have to examine the site to make sure it's safe before going to get her—something that will take eight to 12 hours. Any attempt by Allie to get out herself could cause further damage.

Beau concludes that the explosion was a dust explosion—the ceiling tiles, which were made of cellulose, dried and flaked, making them prone to an explosive ignition. When the filament in the lamp broke (which the CSIs didn't witness), the ensuing spark caused the explosion. Meanwhile, Allie, now alone, is alerted to a sound coming from somewhere else in the basement. Folsom, back on the team as a CSI Level One, is instructed to stay on the premises and keep in contact with Allie.

In autopsy, Dr. Hudson deduces that due to the lack of blood, the cuts and excisions made to the body were made postmortem. Though he doesn't have a conclusive cause of death yet, he believes it could've been asphyxiation. Curiously, he shows Max that not only did the killer remove the victim's heart, they also removed the thymus gland. The clean cuts made to the sternum leads to the thought that this was done by either a medical professional or someone with a lot of training. Max notices a mark around the victim's torso made by something that pressed against the flesh shortly after death; Dr. Hudson is tasked with making a cast of the marking.

Fingerprints identify the victim as Andre Luckett, a personal trainer from St. Louis who was in town at the Health and Wellness Convention. Records show that he checked in and went straight to his booth to sell dietary supplements. Max has Det. Chavez pull all of the day's security videos from the area around Andre's booth; the thought is that he may have met his killer there.

Results show that mystery liquid collected at the scene earlier contains a myriad of acids; neither Beau nor Catherine can make heads or tails of what the substance is. Meanwhile, Dr. Hudson provides Catherine with the cast of the markings around the victim's torso. He also informs her that the victim had alcohol and GHB in his system that would've rendered him unconscious. There's still no official cause of death, as the physical signs don't point towards asphyxiation just yet.

Back in the hospital basement, Allie is going stir crazy, so she decides to lay down a grid and process the scene. As she brushes away dust, she uncovers a streak of blood that appears to be older than the blood found earlier. She applies luminol to the area and discovers a trail of old blood, suggesting that something was dragged across the floor. The trail leads her to a door blocked by a cart. Upon moving the cart out of the way and opening the door, she finds an adjacent room that has two skeletons strapped to bed frames.

Allie calls in her findings to the lab and uses the video on her phone to document the scene. Like Andre, both victims had their sternums cut open with extreme precision. The fungal growths under the beds indicate that the victims died at different times, likely a year apart. It would seem that their killer is striking once per year. Max's attention is turned to a sawhorse propped up in the corner of the basement. In the lab, Catherine finds an almost identical sawhorse and theorizes that the markings on Andre's chest came from the wood on the top of the beam. She questions whether Andre died from positional asphyxiation—his lungs couldn't fill with air because he was bent over. Due to the alcohol and GHB in his system, Andre was likely unconscious when the death occurred, which is why no ligature marks were found on the body. Furthermore, this manner of death would prevent the organs from getting damaged, which is what the killer would want.

Det. Chavez accesses the LVPD missing persons case files and finds two John Does who are connected to the Health and Wellness Convention. Both victims were young men who came to the convention alone and disappeared after their first day. The first incident occurred two years ago, while the other occurred last year. They appear to be looking at someone's hunting ground.

With Beau at a dead end identifying the mystery liquid collected at the scene, Catherine enlists Max for help. The tests Max runs show that the liquid contains fish DNA; more specifically, DNA from a bonito. When combined with the other acids on the list, she concludes that the substance is ponzu sauce, a Japanese condiment used on sushi. It's composed of citric acid, soy sauce, and bonito flakes, among other things. Catherine realizes that the killer brought the sauce with them. Since both the thymus gland and heart are delicacies, they reach a shocking conclusion—their killer is a cannibal.

Back in the basement, Allie decides to look around some more. She gets a text from Folsom about the killer being a cannibal; soon thereafter, someone grabs her from the shadows. Allie finds herself being held at gunpoint by a sickly looking man who compliments her on her investigating skills and essentially admits to his crimes. The man forces Allie to an adjacent room and shows her a narrow opening near the ceiling that he says is his way out; Allie's job is to make the opening big enough to fit through. When Folsom tries calling Allie and gets no answer, he fears the worst.

Det. Chavez finds surveillance video of a masked man approaching Andre's booth multiple times at the convention. Though the team can't see the man's face, Max notices that his right hand is shaking and that he has a limp on the same side of his body. Signs point towards the man having a neuromuscular issue. The team goes to Dr. Hudson, who provides insight about cannibalism. He mentions that those who engage in cannibalism can contract kuru, a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that destroys nerve tissue. Kuru, he adds, is incurable and inevitably fatal, and some of its symptoms include palsy and an altered gait. Dr. Hudson can't tell from the video whether the man has kuru, but he mentions that they can run a blood test. Catherine recalls that she collected blood from the scene, and the tests conclude the presence of kuru.

Though the test is positive for kuru, Dr. Hudson says that the disease takes years to develop, meaning that it wasn't contracted from one of the three victims in the basement. The cannibal has been at work for years but has never been on the LVPD's radar. This leads to the thought that their suspect worked in either a coroner's office or funeral home, which would explain the skillful knife work on the corpses. Since every case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob has to be reported to the county, the team might be able to identify the corpse that transmitted the illness, as well as every coroner and funeral home that handled it.

Det. Chavez visits one of the two remaining funeral parlors who handled people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the past 15 years. The funeral director refuses to divulge any information about the incident or provide a list of his employees—until he's threatened with jail time. Allie's captor is identified as Calvin Wawrzecki, a former employee of the funeral parlor who was fired after he was caught eating raw flesh from a client he was supposed to be preparing for burial.

In the basement, Allie chisels out the opening by using a rock, cutting up her hands in the process. With Calvin's attention diverted, she presses down on a wound and starts to bleed on the floor. A little while later, the city engineers give the OK to enter the building. However, by the time Folsom makes it down to the basement, Allie and Calvin are gone; all that's left is the opening they crawled out of.

Folsom concludes that Calvin was in the basement the whole time and was surprised by the two copper wire scavengers while he was still dealing with Andre's body. He then stayed out of sight until it was just him and Allie. Folsom recalls the David Hodges case and how Hodges left clues behind; he hopes Allie remembers the case and did the same thing. His hunch is proven correct, as he finds a pile of rocks in the corner of the room. Underneath the rocks is a blood smear that, when sprayed with luminol, reveals the words "JohnnyCa$h" and "smart". Folsom realizes that Allie's smartwatch is still active; since they now have the password, they can track her movements. This would be why she purposely bled on the floor earlier; she needed the blood to write her message.

Calvin forces Allie into the trunk of his car and drives her to his makeshift home in a storage unit. As he points his gun at Allie, he launches into a soliloquy about not being a bad guy—just a guy who loves eating human flesh, especially when paired with a nice ponzu or balsamic. Calvin forces Allie to turn her back on him and apologizes for what he's about to do. Before he can, police sirens are heard and an officer calls out Calvin's name. Now identified and cornered, Calvin drops his gun and surrenders.

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[]

  • Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
  • Andrew Elvis Miller as Calvin Wawrzecki
  • Mark Daneri as Scott Morrison
  • Ali Eldin as Thief One
  • Peter Jang as Thief Two
  • Alonzo B. Slater as Andre Luckett

Music[]

  • Destroy All Humans by Deadly Avenger
  • Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash

Notes[]

  • Jay Lee (Chris) is credited but does not appear in the episode.
  • Catherine mentions working a case involving a rancher who died via positional asphyxiation after getting tangled up in a barbed wire fence. No such episode exists in the CSI universe.
  • Folsom recalls the David Hodges case and the message Hodges left behind before he was taken captive to another location. This occurred in the Season One episode Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

See Also[]

CSI:Vegas Season 3
The Reaper
Scar Tissue
Rat Packed


See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Health and Wellness


  • Category:Images from Health and Wellness
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