‘CSI: Vegas’ Star Matt Lauria on Josh & Allie: ‘He Takes a Few More Risks to See What’s There’

“Under the Skin” – Grissom and Sara's investigation into charges against David Hodges heats up as Internal Affairs joins the hunt. Pressure rises for the CSIs when a video game developer’s body is found floating in a fountain before a huge gaming tournament on CSI: VEGAS, Wednesday, Oct. 20 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured L-R: Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom and Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for CSI: Vegas Episode 8 “Pipe Cleaner.”]

Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) may have been demoted and suspended from the Crime Lab, but she could have still found the break they need in the season-long case to prove Anson Wix (Jamie McShane) is the one behind framing David Hodges (Wallace Langham) for evidence tampering.

In the latest CSI: Vegas episode, she continues to work from home, enlisting Joshua Folsom’s (Matt Lauria) help. By the end, they’ve found the link between Anson Wix and the hitman he hired to go after Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) in the premiere. And if he doesn’t help them take down Wix, well, Maxine took a photo of him in the middle of a drug deal.

“It gives us a lot of leverage,” Lauria tells TV Insider. What’s next? He teases what’s ahead in the final two episodes of the season.

How big of a break is that for them? Because they keep having these moments where they think they’re making progress and then something happens.

Matt Lauria: Yeah. Especially after the unexpected setback from last week of Max being forced to step down, this is a gigantic moment. Look, we’re running out of season here. We only have 10 episodes, so it’s starting to get a little tense. We don’t get this thing figured out, we could be going into next season. But it’s huge because it’s been difficult. You’ve seen my character, Josh, be on the fence about how to lean on this one, because at the end of the day, all we do have is the actual evidence and character reference doesn’t stand up against evidence. And I didn’t even personally know the man.

Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom, Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby, Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan in CSI: Vegas

Cliff Lipson/CBS

And Max, as she begins to gather the evidence and begins to entrust obviously the tried and true do all of Gil [William Petersen] and Sara [Jorja Fox], she had to kind of extend herself into dangerous territory and expose herself to a lot of risk. This is a gigantic moment where we’ve been going along and we’ve continually failed to be able to pin anyone down, and then obviously to get something solid is vital. The stakes couldn’t be higher. I joke about the season ending, but it’s been going on a long time. In the story, we’re getting closer and closer to trial. And once that starts playing, then I imagine you get into the judiciary weeds with that, and it kind of gets out of our hands. So it is vital.

Because like you said, the season’s winding down, there are two episodes left and the trial’s beginning, are we going to see everyone more involved in this season-long case? Josh is in this episode.

Max is the one who’s mostly been switching between both, and Allie [Mandeep Dhillon] and Josh have been handling the cases each week and haven’t been that engaged. I haven’t even interacted as much with Sara or Gil. But as we get closer and closer to getting the guy, you’ll see Allie get more involved, and it becomes an all hands on deck situation. You’ll see everybody rally to really stand up for justice and stand up for our lab because our lab is so vital to the process of justice.

Josh talks about how he just decided being a CSI is for him two years ago. How’s he feeling about Wix going after what has become his passion? And then also his friend, Chris [Jay Lee], was a suspect for a moment.

Yeah, it’s always interesting to imagine the conversations that might’ve happened off screen like between Chris and Josh or when Josh would have gotten a hold of that information. But I do know that this crime lab and the people who run it and populate it, they’re like my family, especially the inner circle. Chris is like that younger brother, that younger cousin that you’re guiding and he’s a really sharp guy. He’s easy to be impressed with and a great dude. And especially Max and Allie, they’re like family, they’re the two most important women in my life as Josh and they both serve very meaningful roles in my life. And so this is effectively my house and my family that’s come under attack. And so it could not mean more to me to defend it from any level of attack and scruple.

Jay Lee as Chris Park, Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom in CSI: Vegas

Sonja Flemming/CBS

What’s going on with Josh and Allie? Because the beginning of the season set them up to possibly be the next Grissom and Sara and Josh seemed to enjoy making Allie think he was on a date when he went to Maxine’s…

[Laughs] You’ll see this develop more. Josh needed a cover in that moment obviously, and then if I remember correctly, she presented it like, what you got to date or something? And so I just ran with it.

Allie and Josh are very close as friends. They’re great work companions. But they kind of do rib each other a little bit or bust each other’s chops a little bit in a playful way. Josh knows that she’s involved in a relationship, and he’s just not the sort to be a homewrecker. Josh has principles that wouldn’t allow him to do that, but he’s caught between a rock and a hard place because he also feels she’s a very, very important person to him. I’m choosing my words carefully. She’s very important to him and he wants what’s best for her. As far as a lady being able to just blow him away, she checks all the boxes. I don’t think Josh could be more impressed with, inspired by, adoring of anyone. They’re just really, really great friends.

[By letting her think he was on a date,] I think he is just messing with her a little bit, trying to get a rise out of her. Back in Episode 5, she was saying, “Oh, you can’t mix work and pleasure, that’s a horrible idea.” I think Josh was like, “Ouch, well, OK, I guess we know where that is,” but he’s poking her a little bit and being like, “Oh yeah, I do have a date, but you don’t care.” Because I know he probably does think she might be a little jealous. I think Josh is like, “Look, I know what’s here. I know what’s in the room. We get on amazing.”

Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan, Matt Lauria as Josh Folsom in CSI Vegas

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Because you’re choosing your words carefully, does that mean that something’s coming up between them in the last two episodes?

There’s this amazing, romantic, slow motion, run toward each other and kiss and it’s raining and she picks me up and spins me around. [Laughs] None of that is true. Josh may get to a point where he takes a few more risks to see what’s there. It’s the pressure of the moment. We’re under a lot of pressure at work. We’re under attack. The thing that’s very near and dear to our hearts and that we’ve invested all of our time and energy and love into is in a very dangerous position, and I think that makes you start to examine what really matters to you and how much it matters to you.

I think Josh is in a place where he would normally not want to get involved in things that involve other people’s lives and personal lives and relationships. Josh is a very private person. You don’t get a whole lot of information about Josh’s family ever until Episode 7, when he mentions something about his mom and that his mom was sick and that that’s why he had got into being a CSI. And then he also mentioned that his uncle was incarcerated. So I think Josh is beginning to open up to expose himself a little more and extend himself a little bit more in a way that he normally wouldn’t.

That goes into my next question. He also talks about the crooks in his family tree and Maxine says he’s the exception. So is there anything else coming up about his family?

There’s little hints peppered in, and it goes back to the 3D-printed swords in the video game episode where it’s little subtle things of like, I can’t believe this guy’s mom would sell him out. Remember we go to the mom’s house and she lets us search the property without a warrant, and I’m like, can’t believe she let us do this without a warrant. It gives you a little color of, where I’m from, you don’t sell out your family. There’s just little things peppered in there.

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Yeah, it’s a great example, bringing up to Max, look at my family tree. Josh is a really interesting guy because he comes from and he knows criminality. He’s been involved with, I think, criminality as a kid, as a teenager, getting involved in things that are not expressly legal. And so he knows the game and knows the people and the personalities and knows he’s got the street smarts. So it’s one of the major influences, core influences on who Josh is and will always be there.

And then we have to go back to that crime scene with the melting bodies in the tub, which was very disgusting. 

It was really fun. When you’re in a situation like that, with all the goopy grossness, it’s helpful. It does a lot of the job for you because you’re like, this is pretty gnarly, and it helps with the way you play the scene. But CSIs, they just love this stuff, “here’s one I haven’t seen before.” We get to smash some walls. I think there’s a thrill with all the different places and situations that cases thrust you into, like little girls pageants. You’re like, “Well, wasn’t expecting that on our Tuesday or whatever.”

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

This article originally ran on tvinsider.com.

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