Having a body frozen to death in a city near the Nevada desert was an enjoyable twist.
Added to that was the victim, a chef that many who knew him had reason to want dead on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 6.
Then there were all the possible causes of death for him, which made for a fascinating case of the week.
Besides Maxine, all the other CSIs seemed totally out of their element in an industrial freezer. The Vegas natives and Indian Allie weren’t used to working in the cold, and that was evident.
Exhibit A was that jacket Serena was wearing, stylish but hardly warm. But then, it was unlikely that anyone besides Max had a parka in their closets.
Even Max bailed from that freezer as soon as she could, a hint that all wasn’t right with her, something Serena noticed.
It was amusing that only Chris, the team’s most social-media conscious member, could identify star chef Dario.
Having a frozen victim offered additional hardships on the lab’s investigation of the murder, as the body had to be defrosted just the right way, so it didn’t deteriorate.
This condition forced them to become creative to retrieve any evidence they could.
An example of this was how they got fingerprints. Allie and Chris figured out how to lift prints off the message in the freezer, while Beau used his chemical wizardry to get prints from Dario’s face.
What the criminologists could do was interview the staff members, all of whom had reasons to resent Dario, except seemingly new guy Albert. The fact that he had nothing bad to say about Dario should have been reason enough to be suspicious of him.
The rest had their reasons to hate Dario. He was pursuing relationships with both a hostess and a server, neither of whom knew about the other. He and the sous chef had physical battles with each other, with Damien ready to leave for another job.
Then prints from all four employees showed up on Dario’s body, including one who appeared to have choked him. Then there was Damien’s knife stuck into Dario after he was frozen, which seemed like overkill.
Then, Folsom discovered cyanide in Dario’s system to further complicate things, but only enough to disable him.
The method to get the cyanide into Dario was ingenious, mixing it into the spice rub he used every night before the staff meal.
It took discovering that Dario’s message had been altered to unveil the real culprit, Messy. No one knew what that meant until they discovered that Messy was Dario’s insulting nickname for Albert, the dishwasher.
Albert being the killer came out of nowhere. Suddenly the recent immigrant had a colorful back story, as the former foster child with a lengthy criminal history had become Dario’s stalker.
He had latched onto Dario because of a life full of abuse and killed himself when confronted by Folsom. Yeah, that conclusion wasn’t very satisfactory.
Sonya and Jack finally got worked into the team in earnest this episode. The dynamic between the two siblings is enjoyable, with the know-it-all younger sister and the put-upon older brother.
Thanks to the frozen corpse, they could contribute little besides Dario’s final stomach contents, which did help to break open the case.
So far, the Nikolayevichs have interacted mainly with Folsom, who appears to annoy Sonya with his very presence. Hopefully, they will branch out and mingle more with the others on the staff soon. That way, we’ll see if Sonya is prickly to everyone or just to Josh.
Chris and Serena came out of the background in this episode, adding to the show.
Chris embraced the fact that he was the squad’s social media expert and was able to contribute to the case as a result.
In addition to busting Chris’s chops, Serena offered to be Max’s sympathetic ear following Max’s recent attack.
Being “the boss,” Max resisted this effort at first. Serena persisted, and Max finally opened up, just a crack. At least Max was willing to try Serena’s suggestion of humming when she couldn’t sleep.
Serena hinted that she had gone through something similarly traumatic. Hopefully, she’ll go further into her experience in a future episode.
We also learned more about Max’s past as a college basketball coach and how she used what she learned from that experience to be a better leader.
Catherine’s absence tracking Grace’s potential killer in Belarus freed up more screentime for these supporting characters.
It’s also time to develop further Beau, the most intriguing of the new characters, who has gotten short shrift so far, even though he has contributed during his limited opportunities.
Also featured as a background character was TikTok personality Josh Nalley.
He fulfilled a lifelong dream of being a corpse in Sonya’s morgue, although no notice was paid to him.
Maybe this will become a new thing: celebrity corpse of the week. It’s hard to imagine there would be a long line of volunteers for that role, though.
To revisit the new team, watch CSI: Vegas online.
Did you enjoy the supporting characters coming to the fore?
Have you thought Max is still a little off following her attack?
Did you guess the correct cause of death?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.