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Dead Air - Recap

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The episode begins at KVKC news station where the news reader Theresa Shea is complaining about her assistant Ghad not knowing the difference between a lipstick and lip liner. The Director, Paulson, then asks him to get coffee. The broadcast begins and reporter Ella is reporting about a heavy storm. But since the sound reception is disturbed, they pull it back. Just then the lights in the studio go off and return after few moments. But then we see that Theresa slumps forward on her news desk; she is dead. Next, Russell and Sara arrive at the scene. Detective Vartann is there as well.

Vartann tells them that the power went off and returned after 20 seconds and then Theresa falls dead on the desk. Russell tells the IT guy Denny to turn the lights up to the exact settings. Sara tells Russell that the rest of the team are busying doing their things and he wants all hands on board for this case. David examines the body and tells Sarah that Theresa was stabbed in the back of her neck. The killer came from her left and walked away to her right. Paulson tells Russell that three of his men were in the vicinity of the murder spot when the power went off. Finn talks to Rainy, who also works for KVKC news. But she says that Ella stood to gain the most with Theresa’s death. But she was during a report from across town; so she has a good alibi.

Rainy then says that anyone could have killed Theresa. Chad doesn’t seem too broken up with Theresa’s death; well Theresa could be brutal and Chad was her favorite target. Chad tells Greg that he was at the coffee vending machine to get some coffee for Theresa. Greg wants to check his tools; and Chad hands him a bag full of it. Morgan talks to Denny, the IT guy. She swabs his hands for blood; but the result is negative. He too has a lot of sharp tools. Nick is checking the back side of the studio, where the vans are also parked. There he meets Robbie, who knows a lot about the lighting of the building. Ella steps out of the van and wants Nick to give an interview regarding the investigation. But Nick denies but tells her that they will get in touch if they need anything.

Robbins examines the body and tells Sara that Theresa went through several face lifts and Botox and fillers. There was a single wound which severed the brain signals to the rest of the body. So the killer wasn’t just lucky; he was good. There is some viscous green substance in the wound; Hodges would be able to shed light on it. Russell calls Sara to tell her about a blown up transformer about a quarter mile away. There are remains of a cell phone in the debris along with explosive. So, this was a planned murder. Looking at the debris, Russell infers that he person who blew up the transformer could be from construction, demolition etc. Sara takes the burnt keypad and see if she would be lucky enough to lift a print or two. And Russell would try finding a lead from the remnants of the dynamite paper.

Russell gets lucky and finds a partial print. Hodges tells Greg that someone peed on Theresa’s coffee cup. The green material in the wound was a substance that is poured on leather which is used to sharpen a blade or a razor. Rainy shows Morgan and Finn a Doppler image from the satellite which shows two storms colliding with each other at the time Ella was broadcasting about the storm. But she then points out at the broadcasting video and points out to the moon that was clearly visible in the sky. Rainy explains that the colliding storms would cover the sky and it is impossible that he moon would have been visible. This means that Ella shot this before the storm; maybe few hours earlier. Morgan goes to Denny with a technical query.

She wants to know whether a reporter could pre-record footage and they relay it as live. He says that it is possible; and all that needs to be done is fool the clocks in the van. He then explains the procedure to Morgan as to how it could be done from the studio. Denny then points out it was impossible for Ella’s van to transmit signals from their mentioned location to the nearest tower, as there is a whole mountain blocking their way. So why would they lie about their location? Finn and Nick talk to Ella and Robbie. They admit that they did fake the report and they snuck out. But it was to be with each other. Ella is married but she admits to an affair with Robbie and they would get together whenever possible. Ella tells Finn that she did not kill Theresa.

She is sure that Theresa was working on something big and back in her days, Theresa was a hell of an investigative reporter. Ella idolized her. She thinks that Theresa kept her work at home. Russell and Sara go to Theresa’s house and find tons of papers clippings all over in one of the rooms. She was obsessing about some old arsenal cases; a fire bug on the east side. Why was she so invested? Sara sees that there are two wine glasses on the table. Who was the mystery date? Russell finds the reporter’s note book that could shed some light on this organized chaos. It is written in Gregg shorthand; very old school. Sara and Finn try to solve the code. They figure out that 17 years ago there was a series of fire which could not be explained and the cases were unsolved and put on ice.

Now, the explosive device used was somewhat similar to the one used to blow up the transformer. It was a person, who Theresa called ‘Gh’; who worked as a demolition expert. Finn interrupts saying that she knows the man; Garrett Howard and he is in the morgue at the moment. He is on Robbins’ table and he did not die of smoke inhalation as it happens in most cases. There was a single stab wound in the back of his neck with the green substance in it. Sara tells this to Russell, who is watching some news telecasts. He then watches the weather report that was being reported by Rainy. They see a green patch on her red dress. They confront Rainy. Denny who is doing something nearby quickly leaves and Morgan follows him.

Rainy says that most of the time she was watching Denny do some repair work before that piece was telecasted. Greg calls Russell and tells him that he was going through Garrett’s reports and he came across a familiar name; Denny. Denny also worked in military. He was accused for stealing some stuff and was deemed unfit for duty. Denny and Garrett were brothers in arms. They all follow Denny who grabs a box and tries to run out of the building. There is a swarm of reporters waiting outside the KVKC building. Denny says that he did not kill Theresa as they loved each other. But the tools used for the murder were his. He then stabs himself in front of everyone. Russell is upset and Henry confirms that the DNA on the wine glasses and the knife are a match to Denny.

Also that Denny was having sex with Theresa. There is evidence of sexual activity on Theresa’s bed. Next, Russell is at the studio and he is going to enact the crime scene. He sends Finn, Greg and Morgan who are playing the role of the three suspects to the positions they were in till the time the power went off. He puts a flag on Theresa’s chair and asks Sara to take the chair. Now whoever gets to the chair in 20 seconds will take the flag. Vartann is keeping a tab on the time. But we see that the three suspects are too far to reach the chair in 20 seconds. But the flag is gone. It is with Russell who is playing the role of Director Paulson! So the story goes, Paulson was the one investigating the fires 17 years ago; but the fact is that he was Garrett’s friend.

He also did a whole cover on the story where Garrett turned into a motivational speaker. Paulson also gave Denny a job as a favor on Garrett. But what he did not see coming as the affair between Denny and Theresa. So, now Theresa knew Paulson’s secret which she would use as leverage just in case Paulson was trying to replace her with Rainy. So, now Paulson asked Garrett to set up a device for one last time to kill Theresa.

But since Garrett also knew his secret, Paulson killed him too and set up Denny by using his knife to kill Theresa. The team found partial prints on the explosive device that belonged to Paulson. Case closed. Next, Gil calls Sara. She was avoiding his calls as he wanted “to talk”. She knew what was coming. But this time she answers the call. The episode ends.

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Warning: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 13 episode 11 guide may contain spoilers
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