Dead Memories is the twentieth episode in Season Two of CSI: Vegas.

Csi vegas lg
Shell Game
Csi vegas
Season 2
Number 20
Writer Marisa Tam
Director Omar Madha
Original Airdate May 11, 2023
Previous Episode: Dead Memories
Next Episode: Dying Words


The CSI team investigates a case where an ambitious investigative reporter is found dead at a nut factory. Also, everyone in the crime lab buzzes over who Max will promote to day shift supervisor.


Victim: Ned Kirby (deceased)

On the case: entire team

At the KPYT Channel 9 news studio, meteorologist Ned Kirby gives his weekend report. A joke directed towards anchor Tawny Tyler goes over poorly, and the two exchange verbal insults with each other after the cameras stop rolling. Station manager Larry Torres pulls Ned aside and gives him a pep talk—stop doing investigating reporting on the side, for the only thing it can lead to is trouble.

Ned's body is soon discovered in a nut factory, face down on a conveyor belt layered with pistachios. He suffered two gunshot wounds to the clavicle and the torso along with a nasty bump to the back of the head; however, there's no high-velocity blood splatter near the body. A smaller blood pool nearby can't be immediately explained. Suddenly, the conveyor belt begins to move, and the team has to quickly lift Ned's body to safety. Unfortunately, the blood evidence is now compromised.

Factory owner Mark Ivanishvili tells Det. Chavez that the equipment in the facility is fully automated; he conveniently forgot to shut down the automation once a dead body was discovered. The nuts, both bloodied and unbloodied, have been transported from the conveyor belt into large barrels, and the team will have to go through every barrel to try and find the missing bullet.

Allie and Beau print the news van that was parked outside in an effort to determine whether Ned drove himself to the factory or if he had help. Evidence points towards the latter, as Allie spots blood on the front passenger's seat that lines up with Ned's head wound. The blood indicates that Ned was beat up before he was even placed in the van; however, dozens of prints are recovered, likely from the various station employees.

In autopsy, Dr. Hudson determines that Ned was shot in the shoulder at close range, possibly during a struggle. Unfortunately, the recovered bullet shattered when it hit the clavicle, making it difficult to recover striations from. Dr. Hudson informs Max that while Ned's injuries may have been survivable on their own, his extreme allergic reaction to the pistachios eventually shut down his respiratory system. It's quickly determined Ned wouldn't have voluntarily driven himself to a nut factory with such an allergy. Max spots a mark on Ned's forehead that she determines is makeup.

At the station, Larry is in disbelief that someone would want to hurt Ned in such a way. Ned's fellow meteorologist, Autumn Skye, admits to Allie that she and Ned were the only two members of the station's weather department—Ned's death means a promotion for her. Tawny, meanwhile, is caught kissing a politician after wrapping up an interview. She tells Catherine that Mayor Chip Tyler is her husband. Station assistant Gabi Sandoval informs Allie that Ned was trying to be an investigative journalist, something he preferred over just giving the weather.

The team is directed to one of Ned's investigative pieces, which shows him approaching Mark Ivanishvili at the nut factory. This led to a physical confrontation, with Mark getting shoved into the news van. The video was shot 12 hours before Ned's death, and Larry reiterates that he warned him to back off the investigation. Under interrogation, Mark says that his company is in a water rights dispute; however, Ned wouldn't get the story go and was determined to slander the company. This led to to the fight seen on camera. Mark explains that his prints were on the van because he was shoved into it; furthermore, he claims that he wouldn't be dumb enough to kill someone over "fake news" and dump the body in his own factory. As for his whereabouts at the time of Ned's death, Mark says he was at a strip club.

While fishing through the piles of nuts, Beau uncovers a strip of fake eyelashes, which seemingly lines up with Mark's supposed alibi. Det. Chavez relays that none of the dancers at the strip club remember Mark; however, he falls down the suspect list when it's revealed that the residue on Ned's forehead was actually foundation, something prominently used at the news station. The foundation was laced with pulverized Valencia peanuts, meaning someone at the studio knew Ned was allergic to nuts and tampered with his makeup. Whoever killed Ned tried to poison him first.

Allie and Beau find Ned's foundation in the news station's dressing room; the bottle has the faint smell of peanuts. Prints from the bottle and DNA from strip of fake eyelashes both come back to Autumn. Under interrogation, she admits to tampering with Ned's makeup so he would be too "rashy" to go on camera. She also claims to have been doing Ned a favor, as he really wanted to be an investigative reporter. Ned's nut allergy was common knowledge at the station, as he had posted signs around the kitchenette alerting everyone; therefore, she's not the only one who could've used the allergy to their advantage. When told that her prints were also inside the news van, Autumn says that she was at work, something that's confirmed when her keystroke logs are analyzed. Despite evidence that Autumn was at the crime scene, Max believes that the strip of fake eyelashes could've come from incidental contact since Ned and Autumn sat next to each other in the station dressing room.

So far, the only blood found amongst the nuts is Ned's; the separate blood pool at the scene remains unexplained. A piece of purple fabric is found in one of the barrels, and there's a green substance in one of the corners. Allie guesses that the substance is algae, and she soon realizes that the fabric is Ned's pocket square, which he was wearing the last time he was on camera. There were no visible signs of the substance on camera, nor did it transfer to any of the nuts. Beau points out that every microbiome is unique; if they can get their hands on a database of local microbial samples, they can narrow down potential sources of the substance.

Chris shows Folsom another one of Ned's investigative videos regarding the nut factory. This video is interrupted by Tawny, who berates both Ned and Gabi for wasting station resources instead of doing the jobs they were hired to do. As it turns out, Tawny has eight firearms registered in her name. At his residence, Mayor Chip Tyler refuses to surrender his wife's firearms without a warrant. While leaving the premises, Allie fixates on a fountain that has been recently drained; the fountain contains splotches of green algae that match the substance on Ned's pocket square. When she also finds a hair, Allie theorizes that this is where Ned's murder started. Someone pushed him backwards into the fountain, fracturing his skull and causing the head wound.

Using a fully charged metal detector, Folsom finds the missing shell casing in one of the barrels. Meanwhile, it's proven that the algae sample from Ned's pocket square is statistically consistent with the sample from the fountain. Under interrogation, Tawny denies having anything to do with Ned's death and plays off the fact that Ned may have been investigating her husband. When alerted to some grease on her shoe, she claims it was from the mechanic; however, Max believes it may have come from the conveyor belt at the nut factory.

Allie and Folsom head back to the nut factory and swab the conveyor belt. They're soon startled by an alarm blaring out; Mark explains that it's a safety alarm that goes off when the machinery is about to start in one minute. Allie notes that the alarm didn't go off earlier when they were processing the scene, and Mark says that someone can override it by powering on the system manually. Upon inspecting the electrical box, Folsom swabs a brown substance from one of the switches. Allie remarks that she knows someone who wears the same foundation on her hands.

Meteorologist Autumn Skye is brought in for questioning; the evidence is stacking up against her, as the shell casing recovered is a match to one of Tawny's guns. Allie and Max conclude that while Autumn didn't have access to the guns, Tawny's husband did. Autumn and Mayor Chip were having an affair, and she admits that Chip was the one who killed Ned. Using his investigating skills, Ned caught Autumn and Chip having one of their trysts. They confronted Ned, and Chip pushed him into the fountain. Autumn then says that she saw Chip forcing Ned into the news van at gunpoint. Having seen the video of Ned's earlier fight with Mark, he took Ned to the nut factory in an effort to frame the factory owner. Based on Chip's testimony, Autumn says that the murder was in self-defense. Since there was no way to make the murder look like an accident, Autumn snuck into the factory and turned on the manual power switch. Chip is arrested for murder, while Autumn is an accessory.

Meanwhile, the lab is buzzing with the news about who Max will promote to day shift supervisor. After much deliberation, she promotes Allie despite the fact that she has less experience than Folsom does. Max reasons that Allie wanted the job more and will also work harder.

Elsewhere, Folsom enlists the help of a sergeant friend of his to look into drug dealers in his mother's trailer park. Det. Chavez finds out that Folsom not only went behind her back, but he kept Allie in the loop and not her. This causes her to temporarily break up with him. Folsom is later seen following his mother to her meeting with a known drug dealer. He calls her and leaves a message, theorizing that she's running product for someone; if she is, he can't help her. His mother then gets into a car with the dealer and drives off, while Folsom hides from view and hits his steering wheel in frustration.


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[]

  • Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Natalee Linez as Autumn Skye
  • Lisa LoCicero as Tawny Tyler
  • Lolita Davidovich as Jeannette Folsom
  • Ross Partridge as Mark Ivanishvili
  • Al Coronel as Chip Tyler
  • Giavani Cairo as Ned Kirby
  • Makyra Alexander as Gabi Sandoval
  • Lawrence A. Mandley as Larry Torres
  • Kari Nicolle as Zoey Snyder


  • The Drop (ft. Azteck) by Dimitri Vegas, David Guetta & Nicole Scherzinger

See Also[]

  • Category:Images from Shell Game
CSI:Vegas Season 2
She's GoneThe Painted ManStory of a GunKoalaIn Harm's WayThere's the RubBurnedGrace NoteIn the White RoomEyeballsTrinketWhen the Dust SettlesBonedThird Time's the CharmAshes, AshesWe All Fall DownThe Promise