"CSI" - "Unshockable" - March 4, 2010
It's night in Vegas and country band Rascal Flatts are mid-concert. (For some reason singer Gary Le Vox has a bruised/scratched eye). Mid-song the bass player, Jay, is electrocuted. The band continues to play as roadies drag him offstage. He is dazed and the EMTs arrive to take him to the ER. A bass tech named Travis is handed a bass and told to get onstage. He's reluctant at first but clearly enjoys playing.
At the hospital Catherine asks him if he remembers the accident. He doesn't remember. She looks at his hands. He compliments her looks and in his shock hits on her pretty hard. Appraising his arms she says to Greg the burns look like no accident. Gary and Joe Don arrive and Jay doesn't seem to recognize them. Gary mentions a fight they had earlier and apologizes. Jay also claims to not like country music, preferring the 50 Cent ringtone of someone walking by.
Meanwhile in a darker, swampy spot Ray and Sara investigate a body found in the water. Ray says he's been in the water 24 hours. He's got on fishing gear and they think it might be a boating accident but there's no boat and he has no wallet. He does have Cuban cigars though. And a German watch associated with the Luftwaffe.
Catherine and Nick arrive and ask for the bass tech to get Jay's guitar. He says he does a shock test before every show and says the problem must be with the venue. He calls over the band's manager and Gary and Joe Don. Catherine says Jay's injuries are consistent with intentional electrocution. She asks about the fight they had. We see a flashback of the three of them tussling. Joe Don says Jay wanted to do a solo project which started the fight. The band manager lets them take Jay's equipment.
Robbins has no COD as of yet. He rules out drowning and the apparent head wound. The victim also had stage 4 cancer.
Sarah looks over the man's gear and finds bloodstains.
Ray works on the man's snipped fingertips. Hodges says his dad fished but never took him. Ray says his dad never took him fishing. Sara comes in to report the head wound happened before the man was dressed, someone wanted it to look like an accident.
Catherine gets a call from a CIA agent who claims he is in his office - he's actually outside somewhere- and says he noticed that Ray is running the fingerprints of a former deputy director Vance Colton. Catherine says she needs to verify his identity. She does and they're back on the line. She explains about the floater investigation. He says he's taking the body, logs, and reports. Catherine tells him coolly to go to the Clark County coroner to make that happen. He offers her a collaboration, intel she wouldn't get otherwise. Catherine informs Sara and Ray about Vance Colton and the CIA, he was in the agency in the late '70s and early '80s. He worked successfully against the East German Stasi. Secret agent man gave them Colton's home address to work with.
Nick is about to cut into Jay's bass when Robbins stops him from mutilating a classic guitar. He schools him about guitars and they banter about the Yardbirds and the death of Keith Relf who was electrocuted. They realize they have the wrong guitar when there's no evidence to be found. (We also learn Nick doesn't like country music).
Ray arrives at Colton's and meets secret agent man Craig Halliday. He's a smoothie who knows all about them. He wonders why they're there since Catherine said Colton drowned. Ray says they both know she said no such thing and Sara says they're here to investigate. He says federal statute says the agency gets 24 hours to clear the scene of potential classified "what not" but he says they'll be out the way in less than two and takes Ray's case folder. They watch with dismay as the officers drag away Colton's stuff. As they stand there someone photographs them.
Nick goes back for the guitar and Travis the bass tech says he thought he gave it to the cops when he gave them the case. He says he doesn't know what happened to it. Nick says it's starting to look like a conspiracy. Travis offers to fall on his sword. Gary says they need him to play. Nick goes to talk to security.
Sara and Ray walk through the empty house and wonder why the CIA would want to cover up a murder of one of their own. Ray says maybe they were looking for something and maybe they didn't know what it was or didn't want anyone to know what they were taking. Ray notices a canoe and paddle missing and no ax even though there's fresh cut wood. Sara notices shards of canoe which leads Ray to think it's at the bottom of the lake but Sara mentions that canoes are now built with flotation devices. They walk along the peer and notice drag marks and paint transfer. They envision a scene where Colton was whacked then put in the canoe and dragged to the lake to hopefully sink since it had a hole in it.
Nick and Greg go to the home of an insane female Rascal Flatts to search for the guitar. She says she found the bass in the dumpster and she was really excited since it sill had residue from Joe's fingers on it. (Ew). Her arm is autographed. They tell her they have to take it and she can be a hero by helping with their investigation and maybe the band will give her autographs. She is sad.
Halliday comes to visit Brass. He says he's come to apologize for offering CSI his cooperation and not giving it. Larry Colton, Vance's son, arrives to sign some papers for the body. Halliday says his dad was a great patriot and loved him. Larry doesn't care, he says his dad hated him and Halliday knows it. Colton says his dad was also hated by his five wives and the thousands of people he killed. The son and Halliday have a few more test exchanges. Halliday leaves.
At the lakeshore Ray and Sara look at tire tracks from three Suburbans and green paint transfer. They realize Halliday beat them to the scene. They notice a black car on the hill observing them. It's a German diplomat. Ray chats with them in German, he and his associate claim to be photographing the lake. The diplomat is armed, Sara pulls her gun, the diplomate notes the car is German soil, thus out of LVPD jurisdiction.
Hodges examines canoe shards. A fax comes in. It's a copy of Vance Colton's CIA memoir: "Confirm Nothing, Deny Everything." Archie needs time to find the source of the hack. Ray looks over the transcript and finds interesting stuff including the transcription of a conversation between the German secret police and a major political figure that was working as a double agent which, if it got out, would be bad news for all involved. They figure the CIA and the Germans were looking for the tape that Colton was working off of to write the tale. They still have no evidence or COD.
Nick and Greg look at the guitar and realize it's the right one but not the source of the shock. They discover that the ground on the amp has been removed. They wonder how he got the 220 volt burn patterns on his arms, and realize someone sabotaged the equipment. We saw this would've worked. They wonder why he didn't get zapped when the concert started. They decide to print the box.
Henry tells that the tox screen on Colton was negative, even for cancer drugs. Ray gives him a new list of drugs to test for. Henry wonders about some of them but Ray says they're all mentioned in Colton's memoir.
Sara and Archie track the hack to Vegas, from a coffee shop near a motel. Colton's son is there and someone walks into his rooom and shoots him right before Brass and the CSI's show up. Brass and Sara notice they tossed the room, probably lookng for the tape, and tookhis computer. On the bed next to the body including those of Sara and Ray and one showing Colton's son giving him the head wound, she interprets this as the Germans wanting them to know that Colton, not they, killed his dad and they killed the son.
A whole roll of film shows the Colton son attacking his dad. They surmise he thought he killed the old man and sent the manuscript to throw suspicion on the Germans. Sara and Ray think Vance was going to die one way or the other they're just not sure by whose hand. Henry informs Ray and Sara that Colton was killed by sarin, popular with the Germans. They don't understand how it killed him time-lapse style. Henry theorizes a capsule. He wants to keep reading the book but Ray says he's going to return the book to the author.
Ray meets Halliday and gives the manuscript to him. He hints around that Halliday gave Colton the sarin not as murder but as a way to give him a peaceful ending of his own choosing, not cancer, and one that would burnish his own memory, killed by his old enemies the Germans. Halliday scoffs, of course, at this theorizing but slyly offers him a gig given his savvy deductions. Ray wonders if this is what he's doing. Halliday says it's his mistake and then asks if he and his dad ever talked about Vietnam. Ray says nothing. Halliday says maybe they weren't that close.
Back in the Flatts-land Nick arrives to arrest Travis right before the show for electrocuting Jay. He admits to doing it to give himself a chance to play one more time on the big stage. He says he just meant to give him a jolt so he could play one song. The show was over after this tour for Travis. Jay arrives and Travis apologizes as he's led away. Jay has his memory back and he wrote a new song in the hospital. They go on stage and he sings his new song, it's a rap about being "unshockable." The band slides into one of their regular jams. Nick and Catherine watch from the wings.