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The Reaper
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 1
Writer Craig S. O'Neill
Director Brad Tanenbaum
Original Airdate February 18, 2024
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Previous Episode: Dying Words
Next Episode: Scar Tissue

The Reaper is the first episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas.

Synopsis[]

With Folsom under arrest for the death of Kahn Schefter - the man responsible for killing Folsom's mother - the CSI team combs through every crumb of forensic evidence to determine his innocence or guilt.

Plot[]

Victim: Kahn Schefter (deceased)

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

Recapping the Season Two finale, Folsom's mother Jeannette was murdered in a slot machine repair warehouse owned by narcotics trafficker Raphael Tarquenio. When Raphael found out Jeanette, a drug runner, was skimming product, he gave the orders to have her killed. Folsom and his friend Trey confronted Kahn Schefter, a well-connected friend of Raphael's; his phone led the group to an empty airplane hangar. There, Folsom and Trey zip-tied Kahn to a chair and made him believe that he was going to bleed out if he didn't provide information about Jeanette's death. Kahn finally relented and said that Jeanette was killed by someone who went by the name "Z"; however, Folsom spotted scratch marks on Kahn's wrist and concluded that Kahn was the one who murdered Jeanette while she was trying to fight him off. By the time the rest of the CSI team reached the hangar, the scene had been cleaned up, save for a bloody box cutter. Kahn's body was soon discovered in a dumpster and Folsom was arrested, all the while saying that he "found the guy who did it."

In the present, tests confirm that Kahn's DNA was under Jeannette's fingernails—he killed her. As he sits alone with Max, Folsom neither confirms nor denies his involvement in Kahn's death. He then refuses to say anything else without an attorney present. Meanwhile, Kahn's crime scene is a dead end—there are no cameras, LVPD canvass was a bust, and nobody saw anyone physically dump Kahn's body. The only thing the team can do is take the dumpster back to the lab for processing.

Raphael Tarquenio leaves a casino and is irate to find that his prized Maserati has gone missing. He soon sees it being towed away; the tow truck driver is Trey. Trey tows the car to a vacant parking lot, cuts the fuel line, and weighs down the gas pedal. The car crashes into an abandoned storefront, smashing windows. Trey then lights the gasoline trail on fire, creating an explosion in the store and destroying the car.

The scene is discovered the following morning. Knowing that Trey is a tow truck driver, the team immediately assumes he's involved in this crash-and-burn—he's going after the guy who ordered Jeanette's murder. Det. Chavez, who has been removed from the case, believes that Folsom is covering for Trey and that he'll never flip on his friend. It's soon discovered that an adjacent room of the abandoned frozen yogurt shop is being used to manufacture and store drugs.

In the airplane hangar, Catherine and Beau find that everything has been wiped down—there are no fingerprints anywhere. The only thing left behind was the bloody box cutter. Catherine sprays luminol, which reacts with something on the ground. Beau believes it's bleach; however, Catherine questions whether this is where Kahn bled out. Her suspicions are incorrect, as Dr. Hudson soon informs Max that Kahn didn't bleed to death despite the numerous lacerations to his torso. Kahn also has burns and bruises on both arms along with severe dislocations to both shoulders. Oddly enough, there are no external markings or bruises on the skin, nor do Kahn's clothes show any type of struggle. Evidence also indicates that he was restrained twice, once with zip-ties and once with something resembling rope. Max collects a fiber from one of the wounds and bags it as evidence.

Catherine, Max and Beau visit Raphael at his home with a warrant to search the premises. Two bottles of bleach are found, but this isn't nearly enough to put Raphael at the scene. While the CSIs search, Raphael's nephew Zach chokes down a lunch of peppers and hummus on the balcony. He refuses to answer any questions, while Raphael insists that he runs a legitimate construction business and is the real victim in all of this.

Det. Chavez is able to track Trey down and inform him that Folsom was arrested. She gets him to admit that he's the one who kidnapped Kahn, stole Raphael's car, and crashed it. When she appeals to Trey's sense of "family" and loyalty, he turns himself in. However, things get complicated when both he and Folsom confess to Kahn's murder. Folsom is convinced that Trey didn't kill Kahn, but Max advises him to stop talking without a lawyer present.

Dr. Hudson is able to determine Kahn's cause of death: a hemorrhagic stroke that cut off blood flow to the brain. When factoring in the injuries to the shoulders, the ligature marks, and the shriveling of the carotid artery, Dr. Hudson believes that someone essentially tortured Kahn to death by forcing a stroke. He's unable to determine what caused the stroke to begin with, but he tells Max and Allie that he believes someone used the box cutter postmortem and left it behind in an effort to frame Folsom.

Allie, Chris and Penny process both the dumpster and Kahn's clothes to figure out which stains came from where. The hope is that the stains that don't match anything from the dumpster will lead them to where Kahn was killed. Chris and Penny are later able to digitally map where most of the stains came from; however, there's still one unaccounted for. Since the stains were concentrated near the bottom of the dumpster, it's likely they were there when the body was dumped. During a conversation about the findings, Penny starts rubbing her eye while Chris notices that Allie's eyes are red.

Undersheriff Bobby Zhao informs Max of a break in the case and escorts her back to Raphael's mansion. There, Raphael shows Catherine, Max and the undersheriff a surveillance video of Folsom entering the airplane hangar. Trey arrived soon after with a zip-tied Kahn in tow. The three were then shown a little while later escorting Kahn from the premises (he had since been untied). He graciously hands the video over to the police. With this new evidence, Undersheriff Zhao says that they'll start charging the criminals today. The team now has less time to prove Folsom's innocence.

Det. Chavez visits Folsom in jail and gets him to inadvertently reveal that he traveled up to Red Rock on the night of Kahn's murder. With this information, she knows he wouldn't have had time to drive to Red Rock and back, kill Kahn, and dump the body. Unfortunately, Max informs her that this won't be enough to exonerate Folsom, as they need physical proof of who killed Kahn. Using a kinesthetic wireframe model, Max theorizes that Kahn dislocated his own shoulders from writhing in pain; however, she doesn't know what could cause such a reaction.

Allie continues working on the dumpster, telling Max that five of the six unidentified stains have now been identified. This leaves the team with only one stain that could've come from the killer. The stain is from a piece of wood that Kahn's body was lying on top of. Though it smells of alcohol, Max notes that it isn't the type one would drink, as it's stripped the paint from the wood. During the interaction, Allie rubs her eye in the same manner Penny was before.

Beau goes through all of the chemicals recovered from Raphael's mansion, but none of them match the chemicals used on the floor of the airplane hangar. Meanwhile, Allie uses the GCMS and finds that the liquid from the wood is ethanol denatured with chloroform, which would explain why the paint on the wood was stripped. Since the club across from the dumpster wouldn't sell anything like this, it had to have come from somewhere else.

Allie, Chris and Penny search Raphael's stash house, but they find no evidence of ethanol or chloroform. Their eyes begin reacting to something on the premises, and Penny soon uncovers the stem of a pepper. She identifies the pepper as a Carolina Reaper, known to be the hottest pepper in the world. Back in the lab, they dry a batch of peppers and extract capsaicin (a neurotoxin) from them. Allie and Max note that large amounts of capsaicin can cause hemorrhagic stroke, which killed Kahn; however, there was no capsaicin in his stomach. Down in autopsy, they determine that someone injected Kahn. They know that Folsom would never do something like this, but they now need to figure out who would.

When told about the capsaicin, Catherine recalls that Zach Tarquenio was eating peppers the first time the team visited the mansion—he was destroying evidence. With a new warrant in hand for Zach, the team searches Raphael's mansion for traces of ethanol and chloroform. Allie eventually spots scratches on an office chair that line up with where you would tie someone down along with a fiber in one of the scratches. There's also evidence that the chair was broken and glued recently. A flashback shows Zach tying up Kahn and asking about information that was given to the police. When Khan denied saying anything, Zach injected him with the capsaicin. Unfortunately, Zach's whereabouts are unknown.

Folsom is exonerated and released from jail. Max is there to greet him, but is so irate that he crossed the line that she can't guarantee that he'll get his job back. Outside, Folsom runs into Trey, who is being arrested for grand theft auto and destruction of property (his fingerprints were found inside the Maserati). Folsom remarks that he owes Trey for being there for him when times were tough. Before being hauled away, Trey tells Folsom that they're family.

A little while later, Raphael calls Catherine personally and arranges a meeting. It just so happens that he was able to locate Zach, and he brings him forward. Zach admits to killing Kahn after he was "disrespected," adding that he acted alone. He's arrested, while Raphael's business lives to see another day. Max worries that Folsom will now seek vengeance against Raphael, but Catherine remarks that Folsom will have to get in line. This leaves Max speechless and concerned.

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[]

  • Daniel di Tomasso as Trey
  • Derek Webster as Dr. Milton Hudson
  • Sarah Gilman as Penny Gill
  • Joel Johnstone as Jack Nikolayevich
  • Benito Martinez as Raphael Tarquenio
  • Shane Callahan as Kahn Schefter
  • Reggie Lee as Undersheriff Bobby Zhao
  • Shawn Alexander James as Detective Carson
  • Alan Pontes as Zach Tarquenio

Music[]

  • Death Row by Chris Stapleton
  • Arrabbiata by Matteo Tura & Smash Stereo

Notes[]

  • It's revealed that Penny got engaged to coroner Jack Nikolayevich after the two spent a drunken night together; however, the two plan to go through with the wedding plans.
  • Max asks Allie whether Folsom can sell his horse in order to raise bail money. Folsom had purchased the horse in the Season One episode In the Blood.

See Also[]

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


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