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Rat Packed is the third episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Rat Packed
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 3
Writer Marisa Tam
Director Omar Madha
Original Airdate March 3, 2024
Navigation
Previous Episode: Scar Tissue
Next Episode: Health and Wellness

Synopsis[]

The CSI team is called to investigate when the bodies of Frank Sinatra and Joey Bishop impersonators are discovered behind the drywall of a home construction project. Also, Folsom must face the review board about the future of his career.

Plot[]

Victims: Benji Herron and Sam Carriman (both deceased)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Catherine Willows, Chris Park, Maxine Roby, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

Homeowner Trish Eisenstein calls an exterminator and reports a problem—there are maggots crawling around the floor of her new guest house. Exterminator Rollie Emmer can see that they're coming from a hole in the wall. When the wall is torn apart, a dead body is found inside. Upon arriving at the scene, Catherine uses a radar stud finder and finds the exact location of the body.

When the CSIs get a better look at the body, they see that it bears a resemblance to legendary singer Frank Sinatra. The victim's license identifies him as Benji Herron, and his blue eyes are actually just contact lenses. Coroner Jack Nikolayevich estimates the time of death at 48 hours ago; however, the body smells like vanilla rather than decomp. Benji suffered numerous stab wounds to his torso, but otherwise looks unaffected by death. A maggot is seen crawling out of Benji's mouth, and Catherine notes that two days wouldn't be enough time for a maggot larva to hatch. Max wonders if the maggots are actually coming from another body. Her hunch is proven correct when more of the wall is torn down and another victim is found. This victim bears a striking resemblance to Joey Bishop, making it seem like someone is hunting down members of The Rat Pack.

"Joey Bishop" is identified as Sam Carriman; decomp suggests that he died a week ago. Both victims seem to have died a week apart but were put in the walls at the same. Construction workers relayed that the corpse-infected section of the wall was put up over the weekend without their approval, and nobody claims to have seen who finished the job. According to the homeowners, they hosted a party over the weekend; Benji was invited as an impersonator, while Sam wasn't. As she looks over Sam's body, Catherine pulls a feather from his mouth; however, there appear to be no other feathers at the scene.

Beau and Det. Chavez head to "Stars of the Strip", the agency that provided the impersonators. Owner Lynda Tasker, who is wheelchair-bound with a broken ankle, laments the loss of the "best Sinatra in town". She also reveals that she's pregnant with Benji's child. Lynda says that she last saw Benji three nights ago at the Einsteins' residence during the bat mitzvah they were performing at.

Beau and Det. Chavez then speak with the other impersonators—Whitney Houston, Elton John and Dolly Parton. All three say that Benji was an egotistical diva who knew he was the star of the show while Sam was well-liked by everyone. "Dolly" even adds that Sam was a huge talent who could've been Frank Sinatra himself; however, Benji wouldn't allow it and bullied Sam into playing "fifth banana". She recalls seeing both Benji at Sam at the bat mitzvah despite the fact that Sam wasn't on the list of performers; the two spent a part of the night arguing. Beau collects samples of feathers from each of the impersonators, but finds that none of them match the one pulled from Sam's mouth.

In autopsy, Jack concludes that both victims were stabbed to death with the same knife. However, due to the difference in the wounds inflicted, he believes that more than one killer is responsible—the wounds on Sam all hit vital organs, while Benji's wounds were rather haphazard. Jack is surprised when informed that both victims were alive three days ago, as their levels of decomp vary greatly. He pulls a blonde hair from one of Benji's shirt buttons, while he shows Max the broken fingernail and scratches Benji sustained during the attack. Benji's stomach contents contain an odd-looking green pellet, which Max identifies as strychnine. It appears someone tried to poison Benji in order to weaken him.

The main suspect is now exterminator Rollie Emmer, as he uses strychnine (rat poison) in his line of work. Not only was Rollie at the Eisenstein's property on the day of the murders, he seemed hesitant to look behind the wall the maggots were crawling out of. Rollie insists that he was only there to kill any insects that would interfere with that night's party. He then weirds Catherine and Det. Chavez by listing a bunch of places on the property where one could dispose of a body more efficiently than putting it behind a wall.

Penny observes that the flipside of the wall Sam was buried in has direct exposure to sunlight, while the wall containing Benji doesn't. Though the heat would accelerate decomp, this still wouldn't explain why Benji's body didn't deteriorate. Chris soon finds something shocking—bloody handprints on the flipside of the wall Benji was buried in. Benji was still alive when he was sealed up in the wall.

GCMS results show that the amount of strychnine Benji ingested wasn't fatal; the thought is that he tried eating anything he could to stay alive. Meanwhile, Chris and Penny try re-creating the attacks on Benji and Sam. Based on the wounds being different on the two victims, they conclude that the attacker was left-handed, having injured his good hand during the attack and switching to his non-dominant hand.

The Elton John impersonator is brought in for questioning, as he's the only left-handed impersonator in the group. When shown a recent video of him faking his piano playing (possibly due to injury), he admits that he always fakes it because it's hard to do that and remember the lyrics to all of Elton John's songs. He holds up his hands and shows Det. Chavez that he has no visible injuries.

The blood from the drywall is surprisingly a DNA match to both Benji and Sam. If Sam was killed before Benji like the team thought, there's no way his DNA could be on Benji. The new conclusion is that Benji and Sam fought each other and weren't attacked by an unknown assailant. Even if both men died during the fight, however, someone had to put the bodies in the wall. That person is responsible for Benji's death since he was buried alive.

According to the Eisensteins, the plastic used to wrap Sam's body was originally laid out on the floor of the guest house. Beau, Chris and Penny hang the large sheet of plastic up; the hope is that if they can identify the marks that came from Sam and Benji's deaths, any other markings could help them identify who put the bodies in the wall. They're able to separate out blood, shoe prints, and "mystery tracks", and the blood spatter and footprints give them a map of Benji and Sam's fight. Their re-creation of the fight shows that Sam stabbed Benji first, but Benji (who had military close combat training in the Army) took the knife away from Sam and started stabbing him in retaliation. The left-handed Benji stabbed Sam in his right side, creating a trail of low-velocity blood droplets. However, the CSIs don't see this trail of blood on the plastic sheet, which means something (or someone) was standing in the way of the spatter. Whoever it was watched the two men fight to the death.

Beau and Catherine head back to crime scene. There, they confirm their suspicions regarding the fight to the death and the mystery spectator. Catherine finds another blood drop outside of the "fight zone," while Beau gets caught on a nail sticking out from a wooden beam. He sees that someone else got caught on the nail, as well, for there's a feather and some fabric attached to it. Beau claims to know where the fabric is from.

Lynda Tasker hands over a blue feathered vest that she wore while impersonating Elizabeth Taylor at the bat mitzvah. When told that the feathers match the ones found at the crime scene, she recalls that the vest was given to her that night by Doug Pfefferman, the Dolly Parton impersonator. This would explain the blonde hair pulled from one of Benji's shirt buttons. Lynda tells Beau and Det. Chavez that Benji and Doug had a fling that apparently wasn't over.

Under interrogation, Doug admits to the affair and confirms that he was in the guest house with Benji earlier that night "having fun". In fact, the two were in a long-term relationship, but Doug soon realized that Benji only liked being with "Dolly". Doug swears that he's not a killer and recalls that Lynda saw him and Benji exit the guest house together.

Not only are the feathers from the vest a match to the crime scene, it's determined that they're genetically identical—they came from the same goose. This seemingly puts Lynda at the crime scene; however, it could be argued that only her vest was there. There's also doubt that a pregnant, wheelchair-bound woman with a broken ankle could stick two bodies behind a wall.

Beau, however, is convinced that Lynda is guilty and believes the victims can help him determine that. He collects the maggots found at the scene and in Benji's stomach and purees them in a blender. Test results show that the maggots ate something that contained a lot of chemicals. When put together, the chemicals form a fragrance that matches the one Lynda was wearing when she was impersonating Elizabeth Taylor. The thought is that her vest rubbed up against Sam when she was wrapping his body in the plastic sheet. Since insects are attracted to strong fragrances, this would explain why there was much more postmortem insect activity on Sam than on Benji.

Lynda is wheeled into the interrogation room and escorted from her wheelchair into a normal chair. Catherine and Beau reveal that Benji was filing for a change of address and that he was planning on leaving the agency. Not only was Lynda going to lose the father of her child, she was going to lose her headliner, as well. She's incensed that the CSIs think a pregnant woman with a broken ankle could wall up two people; however, Catherine accesses an Instagram post from eight weeks ago highlighting Lynda's injury. After eight weeks, the ankle would be almost completely healed and the brace Lynda is wearing wouldn't be causing her much of a problem. This would explain how her vest got snagged on a nail that was seemingly too high—she was standing up.

Lynda believes she can explain away the evidence against her—until Beau sprays her wheelchair with luminol. With the lights off, the luminol reveals blood spatter on the seat. The only way the blood could get on the seat in that pattern is if Lynda was standing up during the fight between Benji and Sam.

Lynda clams up, so the CSIs paint the picture of the night's events. At the party, she saw Benji and Doug leaving the pool house together; this was the last straw. She called Sam (proven by phone records) and convinced him to kill Benji, likely by offering him the Frank Sinatra role at the agency. Lynda then lured Benji to the guest house, where Sam emerged with a knife. Her plan went awry when Benji fought back and the two men ended up killing each other. The thought is that Lynda then used the dolly left behind by the construction crew to put the bodies in the wall; this would explain the tracks left behind on the plastic. Between the vest, the perfume, the blood on the wheelchair, and the motive, Lynda is sunk.

She finally opens up, telling the CSIs that Benji broke her heart, was going to ruin her business, and humiliated her with Doug. Sam wasn't supposed to get hurt, but the best laid plans often go awry. Lynda is arrested for murder.

Under Investigation: Joshua Folsom

Max has been asked to testify against Folsom in his hearing regarding the death of Kahn Schefter and the events leading up to it. Internal Affairs detective Nora Cross warns her to not pull any punches during her testimony and just present the facts to the review board as is.

At the review board hearing, Det. Cross lays out the facts against Folsom—he posted bail for his friend Trey and the two were alone for several hours with the man who killed Folsom's mother. Furthermore, the scene was cleaned up by someone who would possess Folsom's level of forensic knowledge. Finally, the only evidence from the missing hours is Folsom's fingerprint in his mother's blood on the photograph he was found holding.

When asked to explain the blood evidence, Max theorizes that Folsom took his mother's blood during one of his trips to the morgue; however, she can't say for certain what Folsom used the blood for. She gives a glowing review of Folsom's work as a CSI, but tells the review board that his behavior is unacceptable and believes he should be sanctioned in some way. Folsom later meets with Max privately, shocked that she would recommend termination. She tells him that choices have consequences, something he didn't consider when he hunted down his mother's killer.

Allie meets with Folsom privately and urges him to testify, as telling his side of the story is better than letting everyone blindly decide his fate. In the hearing, he forgoes his right to remain silent and decides to explain the evidence against him. He admits that he stole his mother's blood from the morgue, put it in a bag, and used the box cutter to pierce the bag, all in an effort to psychologically torture Kahn Schefter into revealing who killed his mother. Folsom adds that he used his CSI credentials to access Raphael Tarquenio's hangar. He acknowledges that his actions run counter to the standard of conduct expected of him and the department and that what happened is unacceptable.

The review board deliberates and comes back with a ruling: termination. Before Undersheriff Zhao can continue with the ruling, Max asks if she can have her say. She lets the review board know that losing Folsom, who she calls one of the best CSIs she's ever worked with, would be a massive loss for the lab. With a surprised Folsom looking on, she threatens to protest the ruling (at the very least). After more deliberation, Undersheriff Zhao informs Folsom that he can keep his job, but will be suspended for one month. Any further transgressions will certainly result in termination, and the undersheriff lets Max know that if that happens, her job will be at stake, as well.

Folsom thanks Max for her testimony, but she's still unforgiving towards him and what he did. She informs him that when he returns to the team, he'll be a CSI Level One. Furthermore, he'll have to keep her in the loop on everything he does. Folsom acknowledges that he'll be on his best behavior, but Max remains skeptical.

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
  • Lex Medlin as Beau Finado
  • Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows

Guest Cast[]

  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Kat Foster as Detective Nora Cross
  • Rory O'Malley as Doug Pfefferman
  • Dustin Ingram as Rollie Emmer
  • Elyse Levesque as Lynda Tasker
  • Reggie Lee as Undersheriff Bobby Zhao
  • Tessa Munro as Trish Eisenstein
  • Darren Dupree Washington as Marty Eisenstein
  • Henry Hereford as Elton John Impersonator
  • Shahene Ray as Whitney Houston Impersonator

Music[]

  • I've Got You Under My Skin by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
  • Burning by Matteo Tura

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Rat Packed
CSI:Vegas Season 3
The Reaper
Scar Tissue
Rat Packed


See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Rat Packed
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