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Take the Money and Run
Takethemoneyandrun.jpg
Season 14
Number 2
Writer Andrew Dettmann
Director Louis Shaw Milito
Original Airdate October 2, 2013
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Previous Episode: The Devil and D.B. Russell
Next Episode: Torch Song

Take the Money and Run is the second episode in season fourteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSI team is called in to investigate a murder and robbery at a poker game that had more than a million dollars in chips on the table.

Plot

Victims: Clint Tyree (deceased), Paul Brantson (deceased)

On the case: entire team

At the Four Kings Casino, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet shuts down the casino's power, breaks into the poker room, and steals over $1 million in cash. Outside, he rides his motorcycle down the adjacent streets, trying to knock over everything in his path. The robber is finally shot and killed by a security guard. However, at the scene, David Phillips tells Nick and Sara that the victim has no bullet wounds and there's no blood, either. When the victim's helmet is removed, they see that his entire face is inexplicably swollen. Furthermore, the cash and chips the victim was carrying with him are all fake.

In the poker room, Morgan photographs the body of deceased security guard Paul Brantson, who was shot during the robbery. Brass talks to the dealer, Audrey; like everyone else in the room, she can't remember exactly what happened. Greg fills Russell in on the case and notes that the robber knew exactly what time to hit, meaning he likely had eyes in the room. Poker player Robert Gentry, who lost the $600,000 pot, is unaccounted for, and witnesses remarked that he collided with the robber when everything was going down.

In the morgue, the deceased robber is identified as Clint Tyree, a motorcycle stunt driver at the Four Kings Casino. Clint's entire body is swollen, the result of a possible allergic reaction. Doc Robbins finds an injection mark on Clint's shoulder, possibly from an insect bite, and Finn finds the corresponding injection mark on Clint's jacket. Someone did this to Clint on purpose.

Hodges is tasked with analyzing the different components used in the heist. The explosives used are untraceable Chinese fireworks, while the strobe ball thrown into the room is the same device used in the Four Kings Casino stunt show, so it's possible Cliff stole the item from his job. Casino surveillance is also a dead end, as the strobe ball essentially jumbled the camera. Before the video becomes unwatchable, Robert Gentry is seen doing something on his phone seconds before the power went out.

Maintenance worker Ryan Archer shows Morgan and Sara that the lights in the casino are all automated, controlled by a central system. The system is controlled through an app on a cell phone, and it's only accessible via an access code. Once the user is in, they can manipulate the lighting any way they want to. Therefore, whoever killed the lights should be in the Four Kings Casino system. Ryan adds that a select handful of people have the access codes, but the hotel manager controls the access.

Robert Gentry is found trying to use the Four Kings chips at another casino. In interrogation, he tells Nick that he's been in possession of the chips for quite a while; however, the RFID chips embedded in the poker chips indicate that they were scanned in by the Four Kings Casino the night before. Nick accuses Robert of being involved with the robbery, but he only admits to stealing some chips from the chip cart while the robbery was occurring. He denies killing anyone, and adds that when he slipped out of the poker room into a service hallway, he saw someone in motorcycle gear running away. Nick finds this odd, as it's the opposite direction from where Clint was seen.

Finn procures security footage from the east side of the casino. The footage shows someone in motorcycle gear running from the poker room and leaping over some boxes on the floor. Finn remembers that Clint's x-rays showed extensive past injuries to his legs, meaning there's no way he could run and jump like this. She then shows Russell the boot Clint was wearing; the wear pattern indicates that Clint walked with a limp. When the boot in the new security video is enlarged, it shows no wear pattern - it's a different boot. The CSIs determine that there were two identically-dressed robbers. The unknown thief stole the money and handed it off to Clint, who was used as the decoy (and the patsy). Before Clint took off, however, his partner injected him with something deadly.

Doc Robbins determines that Clint was injected with snake venom from a viper. He shows Russell that the venom is capable of completely clotting someone's blood; however, Clint died before the venom took full effect. As it turns out, Clint had an allergic reaction to the venom itself; if he hadn't, he would've been in for a slow and painful death. Russell notes that Clint was a professional stunt driver, meaning he could've led the police on a chase for hours. It's possible the real robber had to change his plans and carry things out a little faster.

Nick informs Russell that within an hour of the robbery, the robber had cashed in the chips at six different casinos. One casino got a shot of the robber, but he's only seen wearing a disguise. Morgan researches the species of viper and discovers that a permit is needed to own one. Records show that the same type of snake is owned by Julian Reese, a valet at the Four Kings Casino. Julian is soon found dead in his car, the victim of a gunshot wound to the temple. He's been roughed up, as well, and there's some trace on his shirt collar. The viper in question is in a cage in the backseat of the car and motorcycle gear is found in the trunk - along with a syringe. Two casino employees are now dead, but there's still at least one player left in the game.

The syringe is confirmed to be the murder weapon, as it contains venom from the snake, as well as DNA consistent with Clint in the hypodermic tip. However, Henry is unable to confirm that the leather clothes in the backseat of the car were indeed worn by Julian during the robbery. When he processes the leather, it turns the water in the beaker orange. Hodges identifies the trace from Julian's shirt as pumice, which can be an ingredient in soap. Sara remembers that maintenance worker Ryan Archer was using mechanic's soap when he was questioned earlier.

An agitated Ryan is brought in for interrogation. He frantically tells Sara and Brass that he'll explain everything eventually, but he can't be holed up in interrogation for the time being. Sara reveals that it was Ryan's access code that shut down the power to the poker room for the robbery, and she figures that he was in on the theft and shot Julian in order to have the money all to himself.

Greg and Morgan search Ryan's house, coming across a picture of Ryan with his wife and baby, Christopher. There's no sign of the money, but Morgan finds condolence cards and medical bills on the living room table; Ryan's wife died recently from cancer. When Greg searches Ryan's laptop, he makes a startling discovery - Ryan's son has been kidnapped. Back in interrogation, Ryan tells Sara that his son is going to be killed because the police have gotten involved.

Ryan is released from custody and brought back to his house in case the kidnappers call. He tells Nick that Julian had approached him a few months back and told him about the robbery that was being planned. Ryan refused to participate, something Julian seemed okay with. However, on the morning of the robbery, Christopher was taken while Ryan was in the shower; the kidnapper wrote the threatening note on the laptop. Ryan admits to confronting Julian at work and getting physical with him, but says that he didn't kill him. Despite doing everything the robbers asked, Ryan doesn't have his son back. During the conversation, Ryan takes a rifampin pill, explaining that he's taking it as a precaution against meningitis.

Noting that the kidnapper knew the exact moment to strike, Greg and Morgan search outside Christopher's room. They find fresh shoe impressions in the dirt outside the bedroom window, and Greg unearths a foreign coin. Morgan recognizes the coin as being from Afghanistan, and she remembers that security guard Paul Brantson did four tours there. A search of Paul's background reveals that he left the military with a bad-conduct discharge for trying so smuggle various items out of Afghanistan. Additionally, he wasn't even supposed to be working the night of the casino robbery; he traded shifts with someone in order to be in the poker room. Finally, fibers from the baby's crib were found in the backseat of Paul's car along with traces of diaper paste.

Greg speaks to Paul's widow, Karen. She recognizes the coin as Paul's, but denies that it's his when told that it was found at the scene of the kidnapping. Greg confirms that Paul's fingerprint is on the coin and passes along the information about a baby being in the backseat of his car. Karen denies her husband's involvement in anything nefarious and asks to speak to a lawyer.

Russell recaps the case and wonders why Ryan is the only one of the four main players still alive. He notes that there's still one more player out there - whoever shot Julian and took the money. The odds are that the mystery participant is another casino employee, but it will take too long to search every one of them, as the baby has been missing for more than 36 hours. Morgan interrupts the meeting and informs the team that Ryan left his house. At the house, Morgan finds an e-mail on Ryan's laptop telling him to go to the fourth floor of the casino parking garage. Ryan has left to get his son back and could likely be killed in the process.

Morgan and Nick head to the garage where they're eventually confronted by a frantic Ryan, whose shirt is covered in blood. Ryan admits that while waiting in his car, someone came up to him and put a gun to his head. When he was trying to get out of the car, the gun accidentally went off. Morgan runs over to the car and sees that the victim is Audrey, the dealer from the poker room. Audrey is dead, and she was the only one who knew where Christopher was. Using Audrey's keys, Morgan finds her car nearby with Christopher safe in the back.

A search of Audrey's house reveals that she was in possession of a lot of kids stuff, indicating that she was planning on keeping Christopher for a long time. A disposable phone was also found; it contains the text message signaling Ryan to turn off the lights to the poker room. Ballistics on the gun found next to Audrey's body are a match to the gun that killed Julian. Audrey may be the mastermind, but there's still one thing missing - the money.

Sara and Henry process the baby's clothes and find orange sweat stains on a onesie; the color matches the tint that came off the motorcycle leathers. Henry explains that chromidrosis (colored sweat) is usually a side effect from something, possibly a medication. In the hospital, Morgan reunites Ryan with his son. The reunion doesn't last long, however, as Sara arrives with the new information. Blood tests show that Christopher was given a dose of rifampin ten hours ago, and she asks Ryan how the kidnappers knew to give the baby that specific medication.

In interrogation, Finn and Sara congratulate Ryan for pulling one over on them. Ryan again denies his involvement and insists that he would never kidnap his own son. However, the CSIs conclude that Ryan planted the Afghani coin in his garden and put diaper paste in the backseat of Paul's car in an effort to frame him. Both Ryan and his son have orange sweat, a side effect from the rifampin. The sweat on the motorcycle leathers prove that it was Ryan who robbed the poker room, shot Paul, and stabbed Clint with the snake venom. After the robbery, he killed Julian and tried to frame him by planting the motorcycle leathers in the trunk. The leathers absorbed a lot of sweat, and it matches the sweat on a shirt taken from Ryan.

Ryan tearfully says that his son was only five months old when his wife died. When she died, she left behind a mountain of medical bills that needed to be paid. The robbery was planned in an effort to alleviate the debt and provide a better life for Christopher. Sara notes that Ryan killed four people in the process and asks him how he's going to provide a better life for his son from behind bars.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Larry Sullivan as Officer Akers
  • Chad Brannon as Ryan Archer
  • John Allen Nelson as Robert Gentry
  • Sean Riggs as Paul Brantson
  • Teyonah Parris as Karen Brantson
  • Tyler Kain Hargis as Audrey
  • Seth Fisher as Brandon
  • John Aprea as Pit Boss

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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