The CSI team looks closely at the eccentric world of sideshows when a couple of performers are discovered burned in a pit. Also, Hodges mulls a plea deal as his criminal trial kicks off, while Max, Grissom and Sara search for evidence to exonerate him.
Things are grim at Hodges' trial. Even though Max has found Guillermo Chavez, the guy who tipped off Wix to the guy who tried to kill Jim Brass, they just can’t quite connect Wix irrefutably. He is in possession of some old 100 dollar bills, the same as from the Lucky kidnapping in episode one, but Sara and Gil are unable to raise more than a partial thumbprint. Pressed by the trial, Hodges is loosing hair, his wife is on bedrest until their son, Cooper, is born, and he’s starting to think it might be okay to take the plea, so at least he has a chance to see his family.
With the prints inadmissable, they find two traces of DNA on the bills. One points to Guillermo, and the other someone who isn’t Wix. Sara and Max press Guillermo about the money and he confesses that someone else was involved in the mater, Manuel Garza. Garza is a member of the CDS (Cartel de Sinaloa), the same gang who went after Brass. Since Wix wanted Brass killed, he (Wix) called Garza, who called Guillermo, meaning Guillermo never talked to Wix about the hit.
While Sara and Grissom are feeling a little better since they have Guillermo in their back pocket, the man is shot dead and his tongue ripped out by someone working for Wix. Things are looking worse and worse when Hodges fails to show up for the next day of his trial, and a video confession of his, claiming Hodges has been faking evidence all along, is posted online. In the video, Hodges says to talk to Gil Grissom because “He’ll make sense of all this.”
Grissom initially has no idea what’s going on, but points out that Hodges knows Grissom doesn’t take confessions at face value. Looking into the video source, the CSIs identify the building where it was filmed, and manage to find the exact room, with the ankle monitor removed. But the bolt cutters used to remove the monitor were the same as the ones used to cut out Guillermo’s tongue.
Hodges has been kidnapped.
- Sara has a rough flashback to being kidnapped herself at the end of the episode.