CSI: Vegas, the franchise’s first offshoot in six and a half years, premiered on CBS this Wednesday.
With Jorja Fox and William Petersen among its cast members, did the spinoff provide a satisfying mix of old and new?The plot of CSI: Vegas is set in motion by an assassination attempt on former LVPD Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), who now suffers from Fuchs corneal disease. Brass shoots a few bullets into his assailant, but the question of who hired the killer looms large. Friendship/former CSI Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) drives up from San Diego and reports that husband Gil Grissom (William Petersen) is busy on his boat.
Meanwhile, we learn that Catherine Willows is retired and is currently in Dublin visiting a new grandchild. Brass tells Sara that it would make him feel better if she stayed to help with the investigation, and she agrees.
Sara meets and befriends Vegas Crime Lab chief Maxine Roby (Chicago Med’s Paula Newsome), the woman who took Sara’s “dream job.” Sara also 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 with whom an otherwise committed Allie appears to have a thing); CSI Chris Park (Looking for Alaska’s Jay Lee); and medical examiner Hugo (The Last Man on Earth’s Mel Rodriguez).
The Brass case initially points to a kidnapper named Lucky from a previous case, but analysis of brewer’s yeast, fingerprints, a decapitated head of a would-be snitch, a tell-tale typewriter, and other evidence eventually leads them to a recently paroled rapist.
But what’s really going on here, Sara and Maxine realise, isn’t an assassination attempt on Brass’ life, but a series of events that leads them to the discovery of a storage unit… inside of which, it appears, veteran trace technician David Hodges has been manipulating evidence to close cases. Though Sara is adamant that Hodges is being framed, even a whiff of impropriety prompts legal action and threatens to overturn thousands of convictions over the years. What can old and new team members do to prove Hodges’ innocence and prevent dozens of killers from being released back onto the streets? By simply doing what they do best, Gil says in the final frame of the premiere, and “following the evidence.”
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