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‘CSI: Vegas’: What Josh’s Major Job Change Means for His & Allie’s Relationship

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for CSI: Vegas Season 3 Episode 3, “Rat Packed.”]

Josh (Matt Lauria) faces the review board after his actions following his mother’s murder, and going forward, there’s going to be quite the change at the Crime Lab in CSI: Vegas Season 3.

While initially, it seems like Max (Paula Newsome) may not be completely on Josh’s side—they have quite a ways to go before their relationship is anywhere near what it used to be—she does, in the end, stand up for him when he’s about to be fired. He’ll get to return to work, but he’s been demoted. And as Undersheriff Zhao (Reggie Lee) warns Max, if Josh steps out of line again, it’s not just his job at risk. Now, Josh has to make sure Max doesn’t regret what she’s done.

Below, Lauria previews the challenges ahead for Josh—including in his relationship with Allie (Mandeep Dhillon). In other words? It sounds like the will they/won’t they will continue.

The good news: Josh keeps his job. The bad news: He’s a CSI Level 1 again. How is he going to handle that? How is that going to shake things up at the lab?

Matt Lauria: Yeah, Josh has got a lot to prove, and there’s a lot of damage that must be repaired, so I think being a CSI Level 1 in terms of rank comes with its inconveniences and challenges but is probably the least of his worries. There’s more about, how do I prove that I’m not a law-breaking, unreliable liar who is capable of murder potentially and who has poor judgment, someone who’s not trustworthy? Those are the bigger things that are obstacles to overcome and to prevail over.

And then there’s some major reparation in damaged relationships that needs to happen. Max is the closest thing to family that I have, and I’ve totally shattered our trust. And then Allie is someone who I hold in such inestimable esteem, and now I have the concern that she’s going to see who I really am, this person who I’ve tried so desperately not to be and that I always have feared that I might be anyway deep inside. I know that sounds really heady, but I think everything about the Allie relationship is so aspirational, is everything that I aspire to be and have. Those are the bigger items.

Now, the tension of being a Level 1 is tricky. My hands are tied, especially when it involves some really tense crime scenes that are coming in the fourth episode. Of course, I just want to barrel in there and take care of my friend. But again, my hands are being tied. I’m being vague, but something happens to Allie and I want to go save her and I can’t because I haven’t earned that back yet. So those types of things are difficult, the need for the type of agency that I’ve enjoyed previously and it’s being taken from me. That’s hard, but I know I deserve it.

Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom, Lex Medlin as Beau Finado and Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows — 'CSI: Vegas' Season 3 Episode 4

Robert Voets/CBS

You talked about the shattered trust between Josh and Max, but what does rebuilding that look like?

I think it’s a painstakingly slow process, and I think in this line of work, it’s precious anyway as law enforcement, especially when we’re talking about our entire job is to seek out the truth and to uncover the truth and use that for the purposes of justice, and for me to abuse justice or our version of justice, the process of attaining justice, and to be untruthful… Also, Max and Josh share a level of intimacy that I think is really unique. It’s a very personal connection, a very familial connection. And so I think she’s probably opened herself and exposed herself in a way to me that she has not to many other professional relationships and it’s even more painful that I would betray her.

What would Josh have done if he had lost his job?

I think he would’ve taken it on the chin and said, “Yeah, I respect your decision, and I can’t say I don’t deserve it.”

You brought up the next episode, and the logline reveals that Allie is trapped in the basement of an abandoned hospital, and you said Josh wants to barrel in. How much danger is she in?

Grave danger.

And that’s his first case back?

Yeah, I think that’s my first case back, and it is severe, and yeah, it’s scary. It’s really scary.

We saw Allie being there for Josh, especially in this episode, and we knew what could be between them. What can you say about what we’ll see there this season?

There’s a lot going on. There’s what just freshly happened with Chavez (Ariana Guerra). I think I’m probably punishing myself inside for the way that I behaved and also for the side of myself that I exposed to Allie, who I could not hold in higher regard. And I’m worried that she would never want me. That’s probably a doubt in my mind, based on the way I’ve behaved. And then there’s the work dynamic we have. Suddenly she’s my boss and not like we’re both Level 3s but she’s my boss as a shift supervisor. Now she’s my boss as a Level 1. That adds tension because I really, really want to be with Allie, but I also really, really want her to be all that she can be and all she deserves and all that she deserves from her hard work. So it’s awkward.

You said that Josh wants to be with Allie, but do you think either of them are really ready for what that would entail?

Who knows? I mean, you never know what that would actually be like. There’s so much affection, desire, and admiration from Josh to Allie, and I can’t speak for Mandeep’s take on Allie, but it seems like it’s reciprocated. But you never know what’s actually going to happen when you give something a shot romantically. It could be everything you’d ever wanted, or it could blow up. I think there’s such a deep bond with those two and a real friendship, and then there’s a lot of attraction. I know if you asked Josh what’s the one thing in this world you probably want more than anything, it would probably be Allie.

Going back to Serena, he wondered if it was ever working between them after what she told him, but she insisted that it was real. So, I imagine that things are going to be tense between them going forward at work.

Yeah, I mean, how could it be real? That’s what I always thought. It was like, I think it was real. Maybe we could’ve been more open. I’m like, been more open? What do you mean? And then also, yeah, how could it be real when—to me, that is just such an insane transgression. You’re investigating somebody and then you end up in their bed, in their most intimate quarters of their home. It is pretty crazy.

It’s hard for Josh to wrap his mind around, but then, look, here’s the thing: Serena and I have a very interesting dynamic that there is just a shorthand and a familiarity there and a way of connecting that I probably don’t have with any of the others. And then we have to work together, too. So there’s not nothing there, is what I’m saying. There is a bond, there is a history, there’s some painful revelations that bring up a lot of doubt and a lot of probably anger, but then also the writers are not having us avoid one another as Josh and Serena. We still have to interact, and so there’s a lot of really fun, uncomfortable conversations and moments going forward. [Laughs]

We can’t avoid each other. There’s a beautiful moment where I’m running to get on the elevator and she’s in there and I don’t realize it until too late and I kind of grab the doors to stop them from closing and I’m like, oh. It’s just funny that we have to keep on interacting. So there’s some really fun stuff ahead with that.

What else is coming up for Josh?

I think it’s just about trying to rebuild relationships, and so trying to discover what this does to my relationship with Max and what this does to my relationship with Serena and my relationship with Allie. There’s a lot of unknowns. I think I have to embrace the discomfort of not knowing and just being grateful that I didn’t lose it all.

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

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