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Last Supper
Lastsupper.jpg
Season 14
Number 4
Writer Treena Hancock,
Melissa R. Byer
Director Frank Waldeck
Original Airdate October 16, 2013
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Next Episode: Frame by Frame

Last Supper is the fourth episode in season fourteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

When contestants on a reality cooking show accidentally eat human flesh during a competition, the CSI team is brought in to investigate.

Plot

Victim: Derek Barlow (deceased)

On the case: D.B. Russell, Greg Sanders, Julie Finlay, Morgan Brody, Kevin Crawford

On the culinary competition show Elite Chef, four competitors remain: Ray, Curtis, Cici and Michelle. The challenge awaiting the four is to identify the mystery protein in the dishes placed in front of them. Things go awry when Michelle tastes an eyeball and finds a contact lens. Finn and Russell soon arrive on the scene. The blood tests positive for human blood, and Russell notes that there are two ways to get a body: you steal it or you kill it.

There isn't enough meat in the dishes to indicate that the entire body was used, so the team must look for the remains. Finn mentions that once human flesh is cooked, the DNA becomes denatured, which will make it tougher to identify the victim.

Executive producer Nadine Bradley tells Finn and Russell that one of the show's rivals could've pulled off something like this in an act of sabotage. Finn wonders if an eliminated contestant could also be responsible, as winners of the show have gone on to fame and fortune. However, Nadine replies that those who have been eliminated are sequestered at a nearby hotel in an effort to disguise who has already been kicked off the show. Cameras on the set have over 500 hours of footage, and Nadine mentions that a team of prep chefs cooked the food. As it turns out, over 100 members of the cast and crew had access to the kitchen the night before.

Finn and Morgan process the kitchen, and Morgan finds evidence of human blood in the drain in the floor. When the area is sprayed with luminol, they find a much larger blood pool, indicating that the body was dismembered in that spot. Since the prep chefs left at 9:00 PM, the murder happened afterwards. Finn spots a gel mat on the floor and notes that they hold shoe impressions for up to 12 hours; it's possible that the killer stepped on the mat recently.

In the lab, Hodges converts some blood into a spherical caviar-like form, similar to the way it was served. This means that whoever did the same thing for the show had to have had an extensive knowledge of chemistry, something not all chefs possess. Elsewhere, Finn believes she knows who the victim is: Graham Deveraux, a recent guest judge on the show. He taped an episode of Elite Chef the day before; however, he didn't show up for work the following morning. She and Russell watch a replay of Graham's appearance on the show, where he berated constestant Derek Barlow's presentation. This led to Derek rolling up his sleeves and verbally threatening Graham; a tattoo is seen on his right forearm in the process.

The truck containing the garbage from the show is tracked down. Greg and Morgan go through it's contents, finding a dismembered arm that appears to belong to a male. Back in the lab, Finn and David Phillips analyze the dishes that were prepared. They conclude that human testicles were used in one of them, and Finn notices a dark pigmentation on the meat in another dish. When she reconstitutes the pigmentation, she sees that it's a tattoo - the same one that was on Derek Barlow's forearm.

DNA confirms that Derek is the victim, but Graham Deveraux is still unaccounted for. Finn sits down with Nadine Bradley and is shown raw footage of Derek's behavior on set, where he berated the other contestants and made sexist remarks. He tried to sabotage all of the contestants, which means his murder could have been personal. But which contestant hated Derek enough to kill him and cook him?

Most of Derek's body is recovered from the trash and brought to autopsy. Doc Robbins concludes that Derek was already dead before his body was dismembered. Based on bruising, a injury to Derek's head is thought to have occurred at least 48 hours ago, meaning it's unrelated to his death. The cause of death is labeled as exsanguination due to multiple sharp force injuries; Derek was stabbed several times. Based on the width and depth of the wounds, Doc Robbins believes that the killer used a single-edged knife with approximately a seven-inch blade. However, flesh was removed from the radius and ulna with such great precision that it's likely that a boning knife was used - something a professional chef would be in possession of. The stabbing left behind tool marks on the ribs, and Morgan sets out to identify the specific knife from the marks it made.

The shoe impression from the gel mat matches a high-end men's shoe worn by Graham Deveraux. The previously-missing judge is located and brought in for interrogation. He seems somewhat satisfied when told about Derek's murder, but denies his involvement, as judges aren't allowed in the kitchen. However, when told about his shoe impression on the gel mat, he admits to being there and spending some "quality time" with with contestant Cici. Derek's blood was turned into caviar, something Graham would be able to do with his background in molecular gastronomy. Graham replies that anyone can buy a kit online and says that, at the time of Derek's death, he was in a limousine with two women.

Hodges analyzes Derek's stomach contents and finds kratom, a leafy herb from Thailand. The herb makes its ingestor irritable and is lethal in high doses; this may explain why Derek attacked Graham the night before. It's possible that someone tried to poison Derek, but when that failed, the killer had to stab him instead.

Morgan analyzes the tool marks on Derek's rib cage and determines that he was stabbed with his own knife. Greg runs fingerprints and discovers that contestant Curtis LeBlanc (formerly Curtis Gant) has a record, having served four years for possession with intent to sell. It's possible that Derek found out Curtis' secret and threatened to expose him.

Curtis is questioned by Russell and Det. Crawford. It's revealed that Curtis and Derek were fraternity brothers in college and have been friends ever since, as well as roommates on the show. Derek knew about Curtis' past, and with $500,000 on the line, he could've ratted him out in order to gain the upper hand. Records show that Curtis special-ordered the kratom from Thailand two weeks ago, and he admits to giving it to Derek to make him sick and throw him off his game. Curtis says that he only wanted to win the competition and denies killing his friend. He also claims that he went back to their hotel room after filming and drank until he passed out.

Based on the timeframe Curtis provided, it's possible he left his hotel room and went to the kitchen while the cameras weren't rolling. Finn and Morgan search the room, finding an alarm clock under a bed. The clock has a bloody fingerprint on it, and Finn remembers that Derek sustained a blunt force trauma to the head two days ago. She theorizes that this is when Derek confronted Curtis about his past and threatened to go to the producers. However, the bloody fingerprint comes back to contestant Michelle Rowlands.

When questioned by Finn and Morgan, Michelle quips that Derek "got what he deserved" when he was kicked off the show. The CSIs then present her with the evidence of her bloody fingerprint on the alarm clock. Michelle tearfully admits that a few nights ago, Derek invited her up to his hotel room, spiked her drink with something that tasted like licorice, and raped her. In order to get him off of her, she hit him with the clock. Knowing that it would be her word against his, she decided not to contact the police. She's adds that she's glad Derek is dead, but insists that she didn't kill him.

Greg looks through surveillance from the hotel and spots Michelle coming out of the room around the time she said. She has a distressed look on her face, which is also consistent with her story. However, shortly after her leaving, Curtis is seen closing the door. Michelle had claimed that Derek was in the room alone, so it seems possible she was drugged and raped by both men, but she only remembers seeing Derek.

Nadine Bradley shuts down production of the show and dismisses the crew. Before everyone leaves the set, a scream is heard - and Curtis is found dead in the walk-in freezer. Curtis is a victim of blunt force trauma to the head, and Greg finds a frozen and bloody leg of lamb near the body. Morgan also picks up the soda cup that Curtis was drinking. With the evidence that Curtis was in the room when Michelle was raped, the thought is that she came back and murdered the other person who violated her. Both men involved in the rape are now dead.

Realizing that Michelle's rape was very well-planned, Finn enters the specifics into VICAP. She eventually comes across an unsolved case from 15 years ago where a college freshman named Sally Lennon was raped and murdered at a music festival. The college she was attending was the same college Curtis and Derek attended. Two unidentified semen donors were entered into CODIS, and when run against Curtis and Derek, matches are found. Sally's cause of death was manual asphyxiation, so Michelle is lucky to be alive.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins surprises Greg by labeling Curtis' cause of death as anaphylactic shock. Curtis had a severe almond allergy, and even trace amounts would cause his throat to shut, resulting in asphyxiation. The doc theorizes that the frozen leg of lamb was already on the ground and that Curtis' head collided with it when he went down. There are no needle marks on the body or almonds in the stomach contents. Doc Robbins mentions that the only thing in the stomach contents is soda, and Greg remembers the drinking cup collected at the scene.

Almond extract is found in the soda, but Greg figures out that the source was actually the straw. When processing the straw, he found a sugar straw laced with almond extract, made precisely to fit inside Curtis' straw. When Curtis took a sip of his soda, it passed through the sugar straw, which picked up traces of almond extract that entered his system. The person who rolled the sugar straw left a fingerprint behind and Greg finds a match.

Executive producer Nadine Bradley, who is also a classically trained chef, is interrogated. It's revealed that her maiden name is Lennon and that Sally was her younger sister. Curtis and Derek were her friends in college and had been there for her ever since the incident. However, upon going through raw footage, she saw Michelle leave the guys' hotel room half naked and crying. Michelle told Nadine about the rape and mentioned being drugged with something tasting of licorice. Nadine knew that the same thing happened to her younger sister. Putting two and two together, she realized that Curtis and Derek raped and murdered Sally. In an act of revenge, she stabbed Derek to death and served him up as food. With cops all around the set, she then got creative and killed Curtis with the sugar straw.

Through tears, Nadine smiles and says that she finally got justice for her sister.

---

In a separate storyline, Hodges and Elisabetta are planning their wedding, and Finn convinces Hodges to get involved in the decision making. However, while the happy couple is sampling wedding cakes, Elisabetta mentions that once they start a family, they'll be moving back to Italy. Hodges, who has worked very hard to get to where he is, is incensed at the idea. Later, realizing that neither of them can be truly happy with their future living arrangements, they tearfully call off the engagement and part ways.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Alimi Ballard as Detective Kevin Crawford
  • Catrinel Menghia Marlon as Elisabetta
  • Wolfgang Puck as himself
  • Holley Fain as Nadine Bradley
  • Matthew Holmes as Curtis LeBlanc
  • Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Michelle Rowlands
  • Alastair Duncan as Graham Deveraux
  • Kristen Kassinger as Cici
  • Coby McLaughlin as Derek Barlow
  • Charles Malik Whitfield as Ray

Notes

  • George Eads (Nick), Jorja Fox (Sara), Jon Wellner (Henry) and Paul Guilfoyle (Brass) are credited but do not appear in the episode.

Trivia

  • David Philips mentioned a case of a Japanese chef cooking and serving his own genitals. This is based on the case of Mao Sugiyama.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 14
The Devil and D.B. RussellTake the Money and RunTorch SongLast SupperFrame by FramePassed PawnsUnder a CloudHelplessCheck In and Check OutGirls Gone WildLost ReindeerKeep Calm and Carry OnBoston BrakesDe Los MuertosLove for SaleKiller MovesLong Road HomeUninvitedThe FallenConsumedKittyDead In His Tracks


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