CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1 Review: The Reaper

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Josh Folsom may have been cleared, but ... 

A very talented criminologist's career remained in the balance at the conclusion of CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1.

Josh brought this situation on himself, being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.

Judging Josh - CSI: Vegas

It wasn't like Folsom didn't already have enough strikes against him.

He is a native of the wrong side of Vegas. He grew as a CSI the hard way, absorbing like a sponge what his coworkers had to offer, especially his mentor, Maxine.

Examining Josh - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

Frankly, he's the only one at the Las Vegas lab who didn't come off like a science nerd. You could see Josh enjoying a beer at any bar along the Strip.

Could that happen with Allie or even Penny? That's not very likely.

Serena has that down-to-earth quality as well. It's little wonder that Folsom ended up with her instead of Allie.

Josh chose family over his lover, his friends, and his coworkers. Jeannette's death on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 21 was inevitable, even if her sons couldn't see that.

Josh in Jail - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

Folsom's mistake was going outside the lines to attempt to save her, even though she hadn't tried all that hard to save herself.

So, for several episodes late last season, Josh attempted, by himself, to bring down the dealers around Jeannette. Working only with his charm and connections, he didn't make sufficient progress in time.

Then, after Jeannette was killed, Folsom made the additional mistake of recruiting his foster brother Trey, the only other person who felt the same way about their mother.

Relations between Josh and Trey had been rocky before that. Folsom even set up Trey to be arrested by Serena on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 18.

Worried Lover - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

But when he needed help, Josh turned to career petty criminal Trey for his connections to the underworld and his willingness to do what needed to be done outside the law.

Kahn Schefter didn't give them the evidence that they needed. Trey stopped Folsom from doing something stupider in anger, even though Josh's hunch was that Schefter was Jeannette's killer.

Folsom wasn't as meticulous as he usually was because, well, they had left Schefter alive. This didn't explain why Kahn showed up dead in a dumpster while an AWOL Josh, the primary suspect, was busy taking a wander down Memory Lane, where Serena found him.

The air of disappointment was palpable after Serena had to slap cuffs on Folsom. Smartly, for a change, he kept quiet because he feared what everyone else assumed: Trey had murdered Schefter.

Joining Forces - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

Serena, the only one who would entertain an alternate theory, got taken off the case by the latest undersheriff, Bobby Zhao, because of her conflict of interest. Not that that stopped her too much.

Folsom's crew was more fractured. Max trained them to let the evidence speak for itself, regardless of their personal feelings about Josh's involvement. They had to treat it as just another case.

It was surprising that Catherine didn't stick up more for Folsom. After all, as a Vegas native, she went through a similar career path and could understand what he was going through.

But, since her return, she's been careful to stay in her lane as a subordinate and not step on Max's toes. This was another example of that.

Finding Sonya's Poisoner - CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 16

Fortunately, Trey was determined to interject himself into the case, pointing the CSIs in the right direction. That began with his stealing Tarquenio's car and then blowing it up in one of the drug lord's stash houses/labs.

Like Trey himself, it was not subtle, but it worked. It brought Tarquenio front and center as someone who benefitted from having Schefter killed.

It soon became apparent that he and Catherine have some history, one yet to be fully revealed. It seems he'll be a Big Bad for this season.

Tarquenio wasn't the type to have killed someone himself. But that lunkhead nephew, chowing down on those peppers, looked like a prime suspect from early on.

Trey - CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 18

As befits his criminal status, Trey was accustomed to flying under the radar. But that couldn't last with all that law enforcement looking for him. Luckily, Serena found him first and browbeat him into turning himself in.

The problem was that he and Folsom kept trying to clear each other, effectively invalidating their testimonies.

That left forensics to come to Josh's rescue. What a surprise!

The more Milton examined Schefter's corpse, the more things pointed away from Folsom as the killer. Not surprisingly, in the end, something caused Schefter to stroke out.

Allie Takes Aim - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

All the CSIs working with Schefter's clothes contracting burning eyes was a definite clue, especially after Allie located a ghost-pepper stem at the stash house.

Who knew that capsaicin, a main ingredient in hot peppers, could kill? And who was seen eating such peppers? It didn't take much to link together the puzzle pieces.

Allie, appointed shift leader on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 20, deserves credit for handling this case as she was calm under pressure.

However, her permanent partner idea won't hold up. The criminologists can learn more through having a variety of partners rather than just one all the time, her experience with Josh notwithstanding.

Taking a Break - CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1

Were you surprised that the case got wrapped up this quickly?

What's going to happen to Folsom?

What did you think of Allie as shift leader?

Comment below.

The Reaper Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Seriously. I take one day off and all hell breaks loose.


Serena: Josh? Are you ready?
Maxine: I'm not. I need a little more time. Please.