The team is on the case when human flesh is served during a cooking competition.
Contestants on the Elite Chef reality show are participating in a palate challenge where they guess the type of meat being served to them, but things take a gruesome turn when Michelle Rowlands finds a contact lens on the eyeball she is given. The meat is all from a human being, and they think the victim might be Graham Deveraux, a food critic who served as the guest judge on the previous episode. He’s missing, and the suspect is Derek Barlow; he’s the latest contestant to be sent home, and he started a fight with Graham after his harsh criticism.
Derek is not the killer, however—he’s the victim. TV coverage made him seem like a nice guy, but producer Nadine Bradley edited out the footage showing him as a jerk. In reality, everyone else hated him. He was drugged with kratom, which made him irritable and led to the fight with Graham. They wonder if the food critic is the killer after they find a shoe impression from him in the kitchen set, but he reveals that he had sex with one of the female contestants, Cici. He was with a pair of strippers at the time of the murder.
When the team looks into the other contestants, they find out that Curtis LeBlanc is really Curtis Gant, an ex-con who lied about his past to be on the show. He and Derek have been friends for years, and Curtis admits to giving Derek the kratom to throw him off his game so he’d have an edge during the competition.
A bloody alarm clock in the room Derek and Curtis shared explains an older head wound Derek sustained, but a fingerprint leads back to Michelle. She went to Derek’s room a few days ago to talk about an alliance, but he drugged and raped her. She hit him over the head and ran out, but she didn’t tell anyone about the attack because she knew it was her word against his, and she would never work again if she accused a male chef of rape. When the team checks surveillance footage, they see her leave the room—and Curtis leaves soon after. He was there when Michelle was attacked.
The show is shut down, and the crew finds Curtis dead in the walk-in freezer. It appears that he was hit over the head with a nearby leg of lamb, but the cause of death was an almond allergy. A sugar straw laced with almond was inserted into the plastic straw in his ever-present glass of soda, and he hit his head when he fell down in the freezer. A fingerprint on the sugar straw leads back to Nadine. Her sister was raped and killed 15 years ago, and the killer was never caught. Derek and Curtis were Nadine’s friends, and they supported her during that difficult time in her life, but they have been lying to her for all these years. She realized that they were the ones who killed her sister after she learned about Michelle’s attack. She fed Derek to the others because her sister’s body was eaten by wild animals. Nadine doesn’t regret avenging her sister’s death.
“Last Supper” marks the first episode without George Eads during his leave of absence. Previous reports indicated that Nick’s absence would be addressed in this episode, but there’s no mention of him during the hour. Sara and Brass are also not in this episode, since both Jorja Fox and Paul Guilfoyle do not appear every week—if there’s no explanation for their occasional absences, I suppose there’s no immediate need to address why Nick isn’t there for a single week. More recent spoilers indicate that the next episode (which is the show’s 300th) will talk about why Nick isn’t around, and as CSI Files previously reported, he’ll be back in episode 14.09, which airs in November.
I’ve become desensitized to a lot of the blood and gore on CSI, but the idea of eating human flesh is one of the things that really bothers me, and the sight of the eyeball at the beginning really squicked me out. Fortunately, the episode balances out the graphic content with plenty of humor courtesy of Finn and David Phillips. Their back-and-forth conversation about the game show at the beginning is fun, as is their scene in the morgue when David reaches for an orchidometer to figure out if the testicle that was fried on the Elite Chef set was human. It’s a sightly bizarre thing to have (although perhaps not so bizarre for a morgue), but also very interesting. You learn something new every day, I guess!
Catrinel Marlon is back in “Last Supper” as Hodges’ fiancée Elisabetta. I was eager to see her again, since I’ve been rooting for their relationship to succeed, but I wasn’t surprised to see things end this week. I suppose the relationship was never intended to last, and as disappointed as I am, I really enjoyed the scenes where Finn interacts with Hodges and Elisabetta. She’s had a series of failed marriages, so she has some really helpful and honest advice to give about avoiding her mistakes. She encourages Hodges to get involved in the wedding planning, indicating that his failure to do so could send the message that he doesn’t care about Elisabetta.
It’s obvious that Hodges does care a great deal about Elisabetta, but an argument during a cake testing later in the hour (at the lab, oddly enough) proves that they have incompatible desires and goals. Finn comes in and sits across the table from them, helping them to realize that as much as they love each other, that isn’t the only component to a successful marriage. She and her first husband loved each other very much, but similar problems led to their divorce. She doesn’t tell them what to do, but she gives them the perspective to reevaluate their relationship. By the end of the hour, they have both come to the same conclusion: Elisabetta isn’t happy in America, and Hodges doesn’t want to leave his career behind and move to Italy. (Although I have to say, a scientist would be a very good addition to a vineyard’s staff—making wine isn’t just an art, it’s also a science.)
Hodges directly asks Morgan for advice, wondering if she thinks marrying Elisabetta would be a mistake. She doesn’t offer her opinion, simply promising to support whichever decision he makes. There are hints of their previous awkwardness (on Morgan’s part, at least), but there was no way to avoid a scene between these two given their history—no matter how much I might have preferred it. Still, it’s a nice conversation, and I’m glad I won’t have to worry about that potential love triangle going forward. I’m not sure how I feel about the possibility of a continued flirtation between Morgan and Hodges because I like them as friends, but I’m open to changing my mind—I’m just not sure how a relationship could actually work, should the show go down that path. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see what the writers have in store.
See also: “Last Supper” episode guide