[These spoilers are named Chip.]
Remember Hugh Hefner wannabe Hampton Huxley? Lots of folks do, and they miss the days he owned his own Las Vegas club. They especially miss the chips from the Hux Club casino, and collector Wiley Schindler (guest star Gerald McRaney) is foremost among them.
But first, our corpse: Houston Dobbs, an employee at the Silver Dollar Diner, is found shot to death in the desert. Dobbs worked for "Lost's" Libby (Cynthia Watros), but more important, he and "Lost's" Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) uncovered a load of Hux Club chips at a Las Vegas button company.
Schindler claims he straight-up bought the first batch of chips for a dollar each. When they get to the Blue Bird Button Company, Riley and Ray find Jacob and giant honkin' hole where the chips were buried. That's a lot of chips. Jacob is hurt pretty badly, and Ray puts doctor before CSI and grabs his gun so Riley can call an ambulance.
Another wrinkle? Because the Hux Club chips were buried (from laziness, it turns out) instead of destroyed, the Nevada Gaming Commission considers them bearer instruments. In other words, they can still be cashed in for face value. Oopsie! Schindler's pretty heavily under suspicion.
Thing is, Libby is killed — and a bunch of chips are sold online — while Schindler is in custody. Aw, poor Libby. Does she get shot in every show? I suppose she didn't in that Christopher Titus sitcom, though I bet she wishes she had been.
The chip-seller is caught on video soon enough, a busboy at the Silver Dollar named Walter Ellis. And hey, Ellis was married to Libby! Guess he got sick of sleeping with the boss, or something, and killed her to steal the chips.
Ray searches Libby's place, and in the garage he sees a trunkful of chips in one car and luggage in the other. Looks like someone was hoping for a big score before he headed out of the country. And that someone is, brain genius indeed, hiding in the trunk of the other car with a gun. He shoots, Ray returns fire, and somehow the doctor scores.
We close with Ray, who took an oath to first do no harm, kneeling over Ellis' corpse.
So ends the first season of Laurence Fishburne's reign on "CSI." I have to say, it's been an interesting ride, especially with Fishburne's Ray starting at the bottom of the totem pole. Sure, the other CSIs got a bit of short shrift, but I'm looking forward to the balance being restored next season.