CBS this Wednesday mined familiar territory with the debut of CSI: Vegas, the franchise’s first offshoot in six-and-a-half years. Counting Jorja Fox and William Petersen among its ranks, did the spinoff offer a satisfying mix of familiar and new?
CSI: Vegas is set in motion by an attempt on the life of former LVPD Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), who now lives with Fuchs corneal disease. Brass puts a few bullets into his attacker, though the mystery of who hired the killer looms large. Brass rings friend/former CSI Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), who drives up from San Diego and reports that husband Gil Grissom (William Petersen) is busy on his boat. Catherine Willows, meanwhile, we learn is retired and currently in Dublin visiting a new grandchild. Brass tells Sara he’d feel better if she stuck around to help with the investigation, and she agrees.
Sara meets and gets on famously with Vegas Crime Lab chief Maxine Roby (Chicago Med‘s Paula Newsome), the woman who took the “dream job” Sara walked away from. Sara also in turn meets Allie (After Life‘s Mandeep Dhillon), a young Level 2 CSI; Josh (Kingdom‘s Matt Lauria), a Level 3 CSI who excels at crime scene reconstruction (and whom an otherwise committed Allie appears to have a thing for); CSI Chris Park (Looking for Alaska‘s Jay Lee); and medical examiner Hugo (The Last Man on Earth‘s Mel Rodriguez).
The Brass case at first points toward a kidnapper, named Lucky, from an old case, but the analysis of brewer’s yeast, fingerprints, the decapitated head of a
would-be snitch kidnapping victim, a tell-tale typewriter and more eventually leads them to a recently paroled rapist. But what’s truly at play here, Sara and Maxine come to realize, is not an attempt on Brass’ life but a sequence of events that very purposely leads to their discovery of a storage unit… inside of which, it at least appears, veteran trace technician David Hodges has been manipulating evidence to close cases.
Though Sara insists Hodges is surely being framed, even the whiff of impropriety immediately triggers some legal actions and also threatens to undermine possibly a thousand convictions from over the years.
What can team members old and new do to prove Hodges’ innocence, and thus keep dozens of killers from being released back onto the streets? By simply doing what they do best, Gil says upon (finally) appearing in the premiere’s very final frame, and “follow the evidence.”
What did you think of CSI: Vegas? Will you keep following their following of evidence?