‘CSI: Vegas’: Jay Lee Says Chris Still Feels Guilty But Closing Case Is ‘Huge Sigh of Relief’

Jay Lee in 'CSI: Vegas'
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 10 “Eyeballs.”]

Chris (Jay Lee) is uniquely qualified when it comes to the latest investigation on CSI: Vegas, but as he learns, he was wrong about a past assumption.

In “Eyeballs,” Chris’ role as a social media influencer comes into play when another one is murdered — and the killer wrote his handle, @ChrisSolves, on the victim’s eyelid. As it turns out, via social media, Chris, years ago, showed why the victim (and his friend) couldn’t have killed a neighbor; the two men were found not guilty. But as it turns out, Chris was wrong and the friend was guilty; the CSI, then in the academy, had only been able to go off of the facts as he knew them. And the present-day killer is another social media influencer, who blamed Chris for causing him to lose followers and because he got his dream job.

Lee opens up about how the case affected Chris.

Chris got the satisfying take down using science in this episode. How much did he need that after everything that was revealed about Anna’s motive?

Jay Lee: I think the way everything turned out is still pretty complicated because the guilt of having let Warren Bart [Zach Tinker] walk away still weighs on him at the end. What Vincent [Connor Price] says to him at the end is, “you helped a murderer walk away. I just punished one.” I think there’s a lot of truth to what he says in it. And I think that is still there, it’s still weighing on his shoulders at the end of it, even despite having caught the ultimate perpetrator. So it’s satisfying, and I think more than anything, it’s a huge sigh of relief that we see from him at the end.

Paula Newsome and Jay Lee in 'CSI: Vegas'

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Especially since he’d been so certain years ago, and Greg Sanders (original CSI star Eric Szmanda, reprising his role later this season) DMed him, so it felt like he was on the right track…

Yeah, I think so. And I think that’s the slippery slope of being involved with social media, too, is that sometimes we feel that we’re on the right side of things, but we’re only seeing the surface of a case or any particular issue that we might be involved with. This happens to be a very concrete and severe consequence of having been involved in it.

Chris posted that last video before deleting his account at the end of this episode. How is he feeling about doing that? He’s losing a part of himself in a way.

Yeah, and I think that’s the journey and the growth for Chris in the episode, that he identifies so strongly with his presence on social media and he comes to learn not only the harmful consequences of being a CSI who’s also active on social media, but also that his presence on social media does not have to be a part of his identity. And that’s something that I identify with, I think, that our online personalities are just an avatar that floats around in the ether, that who we are is the choices that we make in the day-to-day, face-to-face.

So is he really done posting for good?

Yes, he is. He is done, done, done, done. But he still carries the knowledge of what’s on the internet with him from case-to-case.

Will he find a new way to channel a bit of that side of himself then?

Perhaps journaling. [Laughs]

Chris almost got into hot water with the LVPD with his account, and we see Max (Paula Newsome) lecturing him about being at risk when they leave the office. First of all, I loved the Max and Chris interactions during this case.

Yes, thank you. It’s a real treat whenever I get to work with Paula. I think in the first season too, we had a — oh yeah, Chris seems to be in hot water a lot with the CSIs, but there was an episode in the first season where he was finding himself in the hot seat then. And I got to have a few fun scenes with Max then as well. It’s always a treat when I get to work with Paula like that.

Is that risk now something that Chris is aware of on a level he wasn’t before? He was getting death threats in this episode…

Yeah, absolutely. I think that Chris fancies himself a good CSI, which makes him vulnerable to some blind spots. The social media one was probably his biggest blind spot and where he was most unaware of the consequences of his actions. And so I think this is a case that has really kind of screwed his head on once again to make sure that he’s checking all of his boxes, crossing the Ts, and dotting the Is.

Is he thinking about seriously being armed when he’s off the clock?

I think with the case done, the threat is less imminent now they’ve actually found the perpetrator. So I think that was probably kind of an episode-specific situation.

What else is coming up for Chris?

He’s got a fun few discoveries he makes in the AV lab. So even though he’s away from his phone screen, I think you’ll still see him in front of some other screens.

CSI: Vegas, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS