‘CSI: Vegas’ EP on Why [Spoiler] Is a ‘Viable’ Suspect in the Season-Long Case

William Petersen as Gil Grissom, Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle in CSI Vegas
Spoiler Alert
Sonja Flemming/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the CSI: Vegas series premiere “Legacy.”]

Welcome back to Las Vegas! CSI returns with a mix of old and new investigators to solve more cases of the week and tackle one that hits very close to home in the Vegas revival.

When Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) — a legend at the Crime Lab, as new boss Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) has to inform the next generation, Allie Rajan (Mandeep Dhillon) — is attacked in his home, he turns to someone he knows to help: Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox). The investigation first leads back to a man Sara, Brass, and fellow CSI-turned-star-witness David Hodges (Wally Langham) put away, Bill Dwyer (Charles Baker), who kidnaps an officer. But it turns out someone instructed Dwyer, and the letter written to him mentions a storage facility: “I think it’s where they do it.”

That storage unit has apparently been rented to David Hodges for a long time, to Sara’s surprise. And inside is a mini crime lab, with case files. It has everything to fake test results and whip up phony evidence. Sara insists someone has to be framing him, but everything seems to check out. Joshua Folsom (Matt Lauria) points out that it may be too damning: Every print is clean and complete.

With Hodges facing charges, Gil Grissom (William Petersen) returns to land from his boat to do “what we always do,” he says to end the episode. “Follow the evidence.”

CSI creator Anthony Zuiker teases what’s ahead in the season-long investigation that’s very focused on the original characters — and what’s new to the franchise with Vegas.

Paula Newsome, Jorja Fox, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon in CSI Vegas

Sonja Flemming/CBS

At the end of the premiere, it looks like Hodges was falsifying evidence or someone framed him. What made Hodges, whether or not he’s guilty, the right character from the original series to put in that position?

Anthony Zuiker: The character of David Hodges has been with our CSI Las Vegas franchise for most of the run, so his tenure is deep. He’s been there, I believe, probably 15 or 16 seasons. So he definitely had the longitude and the tenure to be able to be implicated versus someone who was there for a cup of coffee. It’s a viable choice. And I think the audience who are the loyalists to CSI will understand that they should be taking that particular character seriously based on these allegations.

What’s coming up in the investigation?

A lot of twists and turns. The pressure cooker will begin to be plugged in rapidly by Episode 3. We’ll be having external forces coming in to examine the investigation and put the entire lab under a microscope. The audience will appreciate that. Unlike CSI, the original, where it might be a three or four-episode arc for the Miniature Killer or that kind of thing, this will be a 10-episode arc running all the way through the season. It’ll be something that’s dealt with every single episode and will come to a climactic conclusion.

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Is this the only case that will span multiple episodes?

Yeah. We’ll have our crime of the week, of course, because that’s what CSI is, but in terms of an ongoing runner, it will be the investigation of criminal malfeasance in the lab quite possibly pointing to various individuals until we reveal who it is.

Taking a look at the new characters, it seems like Allie and Folsom are set up to possibly be the future Sara/Gil relationship of the Crime Lab.

There is a level of love interest there, which is not something we really do on the franchise. The sort of commitment to that early is new for us. And as they sort of grow and time goes on, I’m sure they’ll rise up as a new Gil and Sara, but more importantly, rise up as the new Folsom and Allie. They have to grow into the franchise as their own leads, and this is the beginning of that story.

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