This case of the week was hard to stomach.
That’s because the episode was set in the world of competitive eating on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 14.
And, shockingly, the victim didn’t eat himself to death, as would have been a logical guess.
This episode was notable because of the substitute medical examiner, Dr. Milton Hudson, played by Derek Webster.
The Las Vegas morgue has been somewhat adrift since the departure of Mel Rodriguez’s Hugo Ramirez.
Hugo was a big, quirky, likable personality who has been sorely missed.
His replacements, the sister-and-brother team of Sonya and Jack Nikolayevich, just haven’t filled Hugo’s scrubs. She’s been prickly, and he’s been whiny.
Maybe that’s why the morgue hasn’t been as prominent a part of the investigative action as it has in past seasons of the reboot and the original series.
That’s why Milton’s visit was intriguing. He also was quirky and likable. He welcomed others to his morgue, something Sonya couldn’t be accused of doing.
He disproved one possible cause of the death and then developed another. He also was willing to listen to others’ ideas, as Folsom’s experiment eliminated another cause of death while discovering the final cause.
He even drove a tipsy Folsom back to the slimy crime scene while wearing a snappy suit.
It was hilarious that Milton was made privy to the Folsom-Serena-Allie love triangle in the short time he was there. That man has attention to detail.
It makes no sense to consider a cast change two-thirds of the way through a season, especially on a series that appears headed for cancellation. But we can hope, can’t we?
Milton was the high point of this case. Death of a competitive eater was a good fit in the freak show that is Vegas. And the investigation of the eater’s world unveiled the sleazy underside of such events.
It was sad to hear Sheila, the victim’s wife, explain how the former baseball player was getting his competitive buzz by stuffing himself regularly to the detriment of his health.
Even worse was when Sheila admitted to slipping mushrooms into his protein shake to discourage him from competing.
Kudos to Folsom for not just taking the win but instead choosing to dig deeper. If not for him, Sheila would have been stuck in jail and would continue to think she had accidentally killed her husband.
In other happenings, Beau is sticking to his guns and remaining in the lab. He has continued to say so to anyone who asks. And what was Chris complaining about anyway? He’s young, and he can withstand some occasional overtime.
The mere fact that many of Beau’s handful of scenes are about his quality-of-work decision is a sure sign that he’ll be back in the field by the season’s end. It’s just got to be his idea. That would certainly make all of his teammates happy.
More importantly, the investigation of the Silver Ink killings ended up hitting yet another wall. So Max’s squad isn’t nearly as close to solving this case as it originally appeared.
What has been entertaining is the evolution of Allie during this investigation. The largely mousy CSI has embraced this case as her own, and she’s not letting anybody get in her way.
It was a good thing that Serena partnered up with Allie to temper her enthusiasm. Even though they appear to be around the same age, Serena was more knowledgeable about what was necessary to build a compelling case. Allie was more insulated as a lab rat.
While Allie was buzzing with the thrill of the hunt, Serena understood that whatever evidence they had tying Auerbach to the Silver Ink killings was circumstantial at best. It wouldn’t entice the district attorney to take her to court.
That was why Serena pushed for a search warrant for Auerbach’s house. While Auerbach’s patients’ records would be excluded, such a search could yield the necessary evidence to make a strong case against her. As thin as their case was, they must have found a friendly judge to issue such a warrant.
But impatient Allie soon blew their shot at interrogating Auerbach. Unwilling to wait for backup, she badgered Serena until they broke into the house. Auerbach cut the power and escaped, with Serena quickly losing her after a brief car pursuit.
Folsom broke away from his case enough to help out, consoling Serena and discovering a key piece of evidence for Allie. She found a way to use that splotch of mud to locate Auerbach’s hideout, a cabin owned by her mother.
The fact that Auerbach ran meant that she was somehow involved with the Silver Ink killings. But since she was found hanging outside that cabin, she certainly wasn’t the mastermind as previously thought by Allie.
What was surprising about the Serena-Allie teamup was that Folsom’s name didn’t come up. Allie has made her feelings known to Josh, and he must have told Serena about that. But Serena was professional, and their tricky personal triangle never came up during their time together as it shouldn’t have.
To revisit the Silver Ink case, watch CSI: Vegas online.
With Auerbach dead, who is left to be the mastermind of the Silver Ink case?
Would you like to see Milton become the permanent medical examiner?
What’s your opinion about competitive eating?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.