The death of a high school chemistry teacher reveals a dark secret, in the fourth episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s fifteenth season. (Major spoilers after the jump!)
According to CSI Files sources, “The Book of Shadows” opens with Mason Brewer walking down the hall of his high school. He’s using his phone to record himself as he walks and talks. He points out the school principal and the quarterback of the football team, until a girl named Hannah grabs the phone out of his hand. They were friends before she got popular, and now she just teases him until he snatches the phone back. Mason continues on his way, stopping for a moment to speak to his mother, who is one of the teachers at the school. As he heads off, preparing for the last class of the day, there’s a commotion. The boom of a distant explosion causes people to scream, and panic erupts in the hallway. Mason drops his phone, which continues to film the scene as a teacher runs down the hall, body consumed by fire. Mr Messner is screaming, and the janitor tackles him to the ground to try to put out the flames. The principal grabs a discarded jacket to beat at the fire, but their efforts are too late. He’s already dead.
Messner was the chemistry teacher, and he died from extreme thermal and chemical burns. Morgan retraces his steps, determining that he was setting up some sort of experiment in his classroom when things went terribly wrong. Greg wonders if his death was just a tragic accident, but Morgan isn’t so sure. She found the victim’s phone, with a text message from that morning. Whoever sent it wanted Messner to do the right thing—or suffer the consequences.
The text traces back to Mason, but he denies killing Messner. He was upset about getting a B in chemistry, and he wanted the teacher to be more fair. The fact that his mother is a teacher at the school means everyone else holds him to a higher standard. He was quoting a movie, and he claims he had no desire to hurt the teacher. Searching for a different angle, Finn visits Doc Robbins in the morgue. He reveals something surprising: even if he hadn’t been burned, Messner would have died from cyanide poisoning. The cyanide in his system caused him to have a seizure while he was practicing an experiment for chemistry class. The explosion was an accident after all, and the team needs to focus on figuring out who might have poisoned him. Doc Robbins is able to provide them with a clue: Messner was wearing a necklace with a rune on it, and the symbol is associated with a white supremacist gang.
Please note that the above plot details have not been confirmed by CBS, Alliance Atlantis or Bruckheimer Films, and until such time you should treat this information as you would any other rumour. The above information comes from early script drafts and the details of the episodes are liable to change before the episodes are shown.
“The Book of Shadows” is expected to air October 19 on CBS.