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Tunnel Vision is the tenth and final episode in Season Three of CSI: Vegas. It is also the series finale.

Csi vegas lg
Tunnel Vision (Vegas)
Csi vegas
Season 3
Number 10
Writer Jason Tracey
Director Erin Feeley
Original Airdate May 19, 2024
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Synopsis[]

After an explosion in a bio lab, the CSI team races to determine which nerve agent left one of their own unconscious, while the others explore a dangerous underground tunnel to find another CSI who got kidnapped during the blast.

Plot[]

Victims: Chris Park (alive), Maxine Roby (alive, kidnapped)

On the case: Allie Rajan, Beau Finado, Catherine Willows, Joshua Folsom, Penny Gill, Det. Serena Chavez

Recapping the team's ongoing investigation, the deaths of robot factory workers Robert Cuevas and Cliff Roland, as well as the disappearance of Valerie Hammond, tie back to the company's owner, Truman Thomas. The team found out that the company was producing synthetic DNA, but the crime lab got hacked once they got closer to the truth. Max, Catherine and Chris went to check out Truman's tellurium operation along with his subterranean lab set up on the premises. Unfortunately, the trio was not alone. A loud explosion was heard before someone threw a gas canister into the room Max and Chris were in. Chris inhaled too much of the gas and became incapacitated, while Max was abducted by an unseen figure who already knew who she was. Max was able to call Catherine and describe her abductor before being taken away.

In the present, Max is seen being dragged down a dark hallway by two men. Catherine finds Chris and is relieved to see that he's still alive; she calls the incident in. The rest of the team arrives and learns of the ongoing situation. When an EMT's hand starts twitching after she treats Chris, Beau analyzes the other symptoms and characteristics, concluding that they're dealing with a nerve agent. He informs everyone present that the agent isn't in the air and that they will be fine once they put on butyl gloves. Unfortunately, Chris (and possibly Max) inhaled the agent, making it imperative that they find Max quickly.

Catherine plays the voicemail Max left, describing her abductor as someone wearing a gray suit. She leads Folsom and Det. Chavez to the room where the incident took place, but they see that there are no other visible doors anywhere. The building schematics also show no other exit points. Folsom starts banging on the different equipment in the room and discovers that dust is swirling in the air, something that wouldn't be possible with the only door closed. Therefore, there must be an air flow coming from another source. He's able to eventually find a secret door that leads to an underground tunnel; the interior door was blasted open, explaining the explosion heard earlier. There's still an undetonated charge attached to the doorframe, so the team has to hold back until the bomb squad takes care of it. Unfortunately, the tunnels are Vegas flood channels that spread out 600 miles under the city—and the abductors have a head start.

Max is released from the abductors' grips and approached by Gray Suit (name unknown). She's able to convince him that his DNA encryption was sloppy, saying that the malware he injected into the DNA didn't launch like it was supposed to. The lab only got hacked after she did most of the work for him by opening a text file. She offers to show Gray Suit the mistakes he made if she's kept alive, an offer the man accepts. He gives Max a syringe of atropine to help with her symptoms of exposure to the nerve agent and injects it into her arm himself after she drops the first one. As the group walks away, one of the henchmen step on the syringe.

The bomb squad contains the undetonated charge while the police head into the tunnels with bloodhounds. Allie provides the team with a working theory: Truman's people were using the tunnels to move their equipment before they were found out, but the CSIs beat them to it. So, the henchmen went to Plan B by using the nerve agent and taking Max hostage.

Allie tells her team to focus on what's they know. Beau believes that if they can determine the composition of the materials used and the explosive residue left behind, they might be able to find where they came from. Allie has him and Catherine work on that, hoping that the undetonated charge could contain trace on it that will identify whoever made it. Penny will process Chris in the hospital and try to determine what he was dosed with, while Det. Chavez will try to pinpoint Truman's whereabouts. Allie tells Folsom that they're following the bloodhounds into the tunnels to look for Max.

In the hospital, Chris remains unresponsive after being given doses of atropine and pralidoxime chloride that should've done the trick. This distresses Penny, who tells Jack that she and Chris had a fight before the unfortunate incident. Jack's sister (and former medical examiner) Sonya has come for support; she tells Penny that the best thing she can do is her job. Penny notes that the damage was done to Chris's right hand, concluding that he pushed the gas canister away to save Max's life. She then realizes that if the GCMS can identify the nerve agent and find any impurities, they might be able to determine what it is and where it came from.

Max is escorted to a room that has been transitioned into a makeshift lab, something that became necessary once she started snooping around the operation. Gray Suit demands that she follow up on her statement about "improving methods," instructing her to encode a message in DNA right then and there. She's able to make her own sodium acetate with the chemicals available and is given the atropine syringe she used earlier as a DNA sample.

Allie and Folsom, hot on the trail, eventually happen upon the broken atropine syringe Max dropped earlier and was subsequently stepped on. While there's no way of knowing which way the abductors went, Allie notes that if the atropine was used on Max, then she's being kept alive. Though there's no blood at the scene, Folsom comes up with an idea. He cuts himself and let's the blood drip into a vial of luminol, explaining that it glows blue once activated by the blood. Atropine, he says, suppresses the electrons in activated luminol, killing the blue glow. This means that wherever he sprays the luminol and sees the blue glow disappear, the presence of atropine is confirmed—"reverse luminol". The idea works, revealing a set of size 13 boot impressions that stepped on the syringe and tracked the atropine.

In the lab, Beau analyzes the explosive and determines that it contained RDX (C-4), a common explosive in the mining industry. The signs still point to Truman Thomas. Catherine relays that the bomb squad wasn't able to disarm the undetonated charge because it contains six blasting caps. There's only one trigger, so five of the caps have to be dummies; unfortunately, the bomb squad has no way of knowing which one. Beau wonders whether they can analyze the charges that did detonate to help them discharge the one that didn't. He tells Catherine that the five blast patterns at the crime scene were identical, meaning they were all made the same way. The odds are that the undetonated charge is likely an exact copy of the others. Therefore, if they can make six versions of the bomb, each wired a different way, they can use blast pattern analysis to determine which trigger in the undetonated bomb is live. The hope is that any trace in the bomb will help lead them to whoever made it.

Det. Chavez pays Truman's executive assistant Sabrina a visit at her gym. She claims to know nothing about synthetic DNA but is insistent that Truman wouldn't hurt anyone. Det. Chavez reminds her that Truman had hoped that artificial intelligence killed one of his employees, as it would be a boon for his business. Under the threat of facing obstruction of justice charges, Sabrina shows Det. Chavez that she's called Truman dozens of times, but the calls went unanswered.

As they traverse through the tunnels, Folsom spots a fresh set of footprints leading to a door that was recently opened. Inside the storage area is a pickup truck—with blood on the side panels and Truman's body in the bed. The team has now lost their primary suspect, leading to the question of who actually took Max.

In autopsy, Sonya pulls a 9mm bullet out of Truman's chest. Based on Truman's renal system and blood tox panel, it becomes evident that he had received a de-aging stem cell transplant, not surprising for a tech billionaire. Catherine relays to Jack and Sonya that the blood from the side of the truck is actually Valerie Hammond's; there's enough of it to suspect that she, too, is dead. Perimortem bruising and a split lip indicate that Truman was roughed up before he was shot, and a hair is pulled from a crevice in the lip, likely from him biting his attacker. The hair has no bulb, which means there's no DNA; however, it could've come from the person who took Max, giving the team their best lead so far.

As Max continues to work, Gray Suit reveals that he knows everything about her, including the fact that she has a man in her life named Dean. Meanwhile, Folsom processes the truck and finds that it's been wiped clean. However, he spots the same boot prints on the ground from earlier, showing Allie that the person in question has an overpronated right foot, which means he walks with a limp. They follow the boot prints to a door, which leads to the lab Max was working in; however, everyone is gone.

GCMS results show that the nerve agent was soman, something most commonly used during World War II. Soman is an aerosolized liquid, meaning that the vapor had likely settled by the time the other CSIs arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, it's unknown how much of it Chris had breathed in. Since soman is a highly regulated WMD, it means the suspect pool has shrunk even further.

Sonya gives Penny the hair pulled from Truman's lip; though it contains no bulb, Penny knows a way to retrieve other information from it. She grinds it up, dries it, and reconstitutes it in a solution. Though there's no DNA, she explains to Jack that the hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in our hair directly correlate to the types of food we eat and the quality of tap water we consume. In other words, it can predict where a person has lived down to the city.

On the roof of the lab, Beau and Catherine re-create the different blast patterns. After detonating the first one, Catherine mentions that the residue smells like burnt motor oil, which gives Beau an epiphany. He contacts a fellow tech and has them run results for the explosive residue. The results show that the residue contains process oil, which he notes is military grade. Meanwhile, he and Catherine are able to mimic the blast pattern and determine how the undetonated bomb can be detonated safely.

Things come to a head when the results show that the sulfur ratios in the process oil provide a geographic place of origin. Allie finds a candy wrapper written in Arabic on the floor of the lab Max was working in, while the hair Penny tested shows where the killer lived before they came to the United States. All three results show that the killer came from Saudi Arabia, a fact backed up when Catherine learns that the same batch of soman was used a year ago in an embassy attack by Saudi spies. The team has had this wrong the whole time—someone robbed Truman's lab and was synthesizing DNA on their own.

Det. Chavez concludes that Saudi intelligence didn't care about the crime lab until Max started poking into Truman Thomas and his robotics company. Valerie Hammond was hired by the Saudis to get close to Cliff Roland and help turn him into a foreign asset; this would give the Saudis eyes into the company. When Cliff saw Robert Cuevas tampering with "Ocho" the robot, he had to kill him. The Saudis then had Cliff killed to tie up loose ends when Max started investigating. After everyone involved was taken care of, they then hacked the lab and erased every file on the case. Det. Chavez informs Beau and Catherine that all private air traffic out of Vegas has been grounded, but there's still the question of how the Saudis seem to be one step ahead. Catherine realizes that Ocho is spying on them.

Max, now holed up in a hotel room with more modern lab equipment, overhears Beau's voice on a transmission coming from other room. It's at this point that she realizes that her office was bugged. Gray Suit corrects her, saying that he bugged the robots; she just happened to put one in her office. When prodded, he admits that he had everyone involved killed to cover his tracks and that he framed Truman for it. He reveals that his plan is to take the synthetic DNA back to his superiors to show how it can be used for military purposes, especially if Max is able to correct the past errors.

Penny locates and pulls a microwave transceiver from Ocho's face. She tells the team that microwave transmission is incredibly difficult to intercept because its frequency range is so narrow; unfortunately, air-gapping the lab didn't stop it. However, she says that microwave relay requires a line of sight, meaning someone was listening in from a spot right outside the lab. With flights out of Vegas grounded, it's assumed that the perpetrators are laying low at their hideout, which is possibly the same spot as their listening post. When Beau and Catherine relay that the undetonated charge didn't go off because its wiring was corroded by chlorine, they determine that the explosive was made by a pool. A search of rooftop pools in the immediate area helps them narrow down the exact building where the operation is taking place and Max is being held hostage.

Max is able to rebuild the synthetic DNA flawlessly, pleasing Gray Suit. However, her usefulness has come to an end, as Gray Suit grabs a gun and points it at her. Before he can pull the trigger, Max holds up a DNA-filled syringe and reveals what she encoded the DNA with: three male captors, one with an overpronated right foot, a dialect from Saudi Arabia, and everyone's names. She then injects herself with the DNA to protect the information and encourages Gray Suit to shoot her because there's enough information to bring him down. With Gray Suit aghast at this revelation, she overpowers him and runs out of the hotel room.

At that moment, the rest of the team storms the hotel property. Outside, Folsom catches a glimpse of a man walking with a limp. He follows the man inside, where Max is seen trying to make her escape. The try is unsuccessful, as the henchman grabs her and Gray Suit points his gun at her. Just then, Folsom arrives and confronts Gray Suit. A shot is fired, and it's revealed that Det. Chavez rounded the corner, was able to get a shot off, and hit Gray Suit in the chest, killing him. The henchman is forced to release Max from his grip. Max gives Folsom a tearful hug and thanks him for finding her.

One week later in Chris's hospital room, Penny "officially" proposes to Jack and sets a solid date for the wedding, admitting that she had been dragging her feet through their relationship. At that moment, Chris opens his eyes for the first time since the attack. In her office, Max receives a text from her new mystery lover Dean and hands Folsom his Level 3 CSI badge, restoring his previous standing before he went rogue. Ocho is sealed up for good, ending his reign of terror on the lab. Folsom and Allie then share a bonding moment in the lab's hallway while Det. Chavez watches from afar.

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
  • Faran Tahir as Gray Suit
  • Sara Amini Sonya Nikolayevich
  • Owain Yeoman as Truman Thomas
  • Sarah Grace Hart as Sabrina
  • Marita de Lara as Doctor

Major Events[]

  • Chris is hospitalized after inhaling a large amount of nerve gas, while Max is taken hostage by the mastermind of the synthetic DNA operation.
  • After a job well done, Max promotes Folsom back to a Level 3 CSI, which he was before seeking revenge on his mother's killer.

Music[]

  • Rush by Troye Sivan
  • Roll It Up (Radio Edit) by Mandeep

Notes[]

  • CBS cancelled CSI: Vegas after its third season, making this episode the series finale (unless a streaming platform picks it up or CBS reverses their decision).
  • Tunnel Vision is also the title of a Season Six episode of CSI: Miami.
  • This is the first onscreen appearance of Sonya Nikolayevich since she was poisoned with thallium by the Silver Ink killer in the Season Two episode We All Fall Down. Her right arm is in a crutch and she has a few months left of physical therapy.
  • Beau mentions that he used another tech's blender to make a "maggot smoothie." He did this in the episode Rat Packed.
  • Max has a new man in her life named Dean; however, due to this being the series finale, the viewer never gets to meet the mystery man.

Trivia[]

  • The song used near the end of the episode ("Roll It Up") is sung by Mandeep Dhillon, who plays Allie Rajan.

See Also[]

CSI:Vegas Season 3
Tunnel Vision (Vegas) >
The Reaper
Scar Tissue
Rat Packed


See[]

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