Following a week off from its regular broadcast, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is returning tonight with a brand new case that tackles an incident close to every diner lover’s heart.
Our CSI agents are about to have dinner in their favorite restaurant, a place where they’ve been going to for the past twelve years. Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle and Greg Sanders meet two policemen on their way in to the diner. Everybody’s happy until they see the dead bodies strewn inside. One of the owners survives the attack, luckily for being in the storage area when the attack happened.
The policemen suspect an employee’s stalker behind the gruesome murders. Captain Jim Brass notices two new faces in what is otherwise a regular group of diners. CSI suspects something other than robbery, evidenced by the point-black shots on the victims.
Julie Finlay finds a severed finger behind the counter while Greg discovers a surveillance camera in the store room.
Outside the diner, Nick talks to Vincent DeMarcus. Vincent and his brother, Owen, own the diner. Vincent’s shaken by the murders and is having a hard time untying his apron strings. Nick helps him.
Finn and D.B. discover that the exit wounds in the bodies do not match the blood stains as to where the bodies are positioned. Finn concludes that the bodies have been re-arranged after they were shot.
Inside the morgue where the bodies have been brought, the stalker of one of the victims, waitress Edie, comes in and identifies himself as Basderic. The man’s actuations give every indication of an obsessed person. Dr. Robbins calls for help, to which Sara responds. Sara compares his shoes to the shoe print obtained in the crime scene: it’s a match.
Basderic claims innocence, proof of which is his call to 911 to report the crime. He stalked Edie because he says he loves her. He asserts that he has no gun and appears to be very knowledgeable of the law. Greg’s research tells more about Basderic: he shot a person in self-defense, filed a case against the person he shot and went on to win his case. This fact gets Sara very worried.
Back in the morgue, D.B. and Nick obtain fingerprints lifted from the body of Alex Brenner. The problem is, the print doesn’t match the identity of Brenner. In fact, the print belongs to another individual. Capt. Brass learns from another officer that the person who calls himself Brenner is in a witness protection program so he could not possibly be responsible for the murders.
The autopsy results of another victim, Rob Rios, cause a stir when the CSIs learn that the victim’s stomach was filled with pizza, something which the diner doesn’t serve. They also recovered fibers in his body: those used in ski masks. Nick concludes that Rios was the shooter.
D.B. instructs Nick to learn more about Rios. D.B. then heads back to the diner to re-create the crime along with Finn, Sara and Morgan Brody. There were two gunmen in the diner: Rios and Brenner. However, it was Rios who shot all the victims, including Brenner.
The severed finger belongs to Owen DeMarcus and judging from the trajectory of bullets, the CSIs surmise that Rios shot him first before the others. Rios failed to kill Edie, who was behind the counter at that time. She was able to crawl her way to the back of the restaurant. The second shooter, regarded as the clean-up gunman, came in from the back of the restaurant to shoot Rios and put the final bullet in Edie’s head.
Nick finds out that Owen DeMarcus’ wife used to be Rios’ girlfriend. He asks Vincent DeMarcus whether the woman had a motive in the crime. Vincent believes that the wife is innocent.
Another incident calls Nick’s attention to the diner. A person has been accidentally hit by a gun that went off from a newspaper machine. Nick finds two guns, both of which were wiped clean. The second gun was stashed in a bundle of newspaper. The fingerprints in the newspaper match Basderic’s prints. Basderic has an alibi, though.
Nick and Finn check the newspaper machine. The coin slot is jammed. They surmise that somebody intentionally jammed it to keep people from looking in the machine. Nick tinkers with the coin slot and finds the cause of the jam: a Chinese coin.
Nick traces the coin to Vincent, who happens to have a knack for foreign coins. They’ve known each other for so long, so Nick is following his gut feel. He also shows two photos of aprons to Vincent: one which the owner was wearing when he went inside the stock room right before the shooting incident occurred, and the other which he was wearing after the crime happened. They don’t match. Nick accuses him of switching the aprons and moving Rios’ body to make it appear as if he were one of the customers/victims.
Vincent breaks down and we learn the story behind the crime: Vincent worked all his life in the family diner and never even got to take a break. His brother (Owen) had better luck after marrying a rich girl. When an offer to set-up the restaurant in a casino came, Owen refused take the deal. This opportunity is supposed to be Vincent’s big payback for his hard work.
Vincent hired Rios to shoot Owen and stage a fake robbery. However, Owen was able to fight off Rios before he got shot. With a lot of witnesses in the diner, Rios proceeded to shoot everyone inside. Vincent had to take down Rios and the last witness to his crime, Edie.
Vincent claims that desperation made him do all of these things.
Basderic is free, but he doesn’t leave until he gets to tell Sara how much he loved Eddie. Sara retorts that Basderic’s stalking terrorized Edie. The waitress would have left the diner earlier and escaped the murders had she not been scared at Basderic’s actions.
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