Illusionist Luke Blade has arrived in New York to perform his three night show "Death Becomes Me," but during his first trick--surviving being sawed in half--the body of his assistant Vienna Hyatt turns up in a box, having actually been sawed in half. The CSIs follow up on a man she took out a restraining order against, Rupert Lanigan, the manager of magic store Magic Paradise, but he has an alibi for the time of the murder. Mac turns to Luke Blade, but he tells the CSIs he looks at his employees like family. He soon loses another member of his "family" when his stunt engineer Austin Cannon is found burned to death during Luke's four-hour stunt in which he is lit on fire. It appears to be a case of life imitating art or art imitating life, the team cannot decide.
Stella is able to trace skin DNA off a magic wand found at the scene of Austin's death to George Clark, who proves to be Luke's biological father. She's able to dig up the sad tale of Luke's past: he was adopted by a woman named Sylvia Walker but she abandoned him to the foster care system at the age of six when he showed signs of fetal alcohol syndrome, including aggressive, adversarial behavior. Realizing his final trick will be to exact revenge on his adoptive mother, Mac, Stella and Flack chase Luke to the warehouse where he stores his magic devices and stop him from drowning Sylvia just in time.
In Montana, Lindsay testifies at the trial of Daniel Cadence, the man who shot her three friends in a diner ten years earlier. Lindsay testifies that she was in the bathroom when she heard gunshots, but she breaks down and asks for a recess. The next day, she's back on the stand, trying to finish her testimony, when Danny walks in the door. Encouraged by his presence, she testifies that she opened the door and spotted Cadence with a shotgun in the restaurant. Cadence is convicted and Danny and Lindsay embrace before heading back to New York.