Could CSI: Vegas Handle The New 'Madman' Serial Killer Without Sara And Grissom In Season 2?

csi vegas gil grissom and sara sidle
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 1 finale of CSI: Vegas, called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

The first season of CSI: Vegas came to an end on CBS with an episode that had to decide both the fate of Hodges and the devious Anson Wix, and all hands had to be on deck for the CSI team to have a chance to crack the case. Fortunately, Sara and Grissom’s expertise (and determination to save Hodges) combined with the newer characters to rescue Hodges before the worst could happen. The end of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” revealed a new serial killer who could take center stage for Season 2. There is no guarantee of more Sara and Grissom even if the show continues, however, so could the other characters (and the series) manage without them? 

The teaser at the end of the finale didn’t actually reveal the new villain’s face, but the clues are certainly there that he could cause a lot of trouble if CSI: Vegas gets a second season. Everything in the man's place was either covered with white or painted white, with hand-drawn symbols of some unknown language written everywhere. And it’s probably very safe to say that this isn’t just somebody with an abstract sense of art, as this news report was playing over the teaser:

Tonight, a third homicide victim in as many nights has been discovered downtown. With no suspects yet identified, some are asking, is there a serial killer active in Las Vegas?

If this is a new serial killer in Las Vegas, then he's not wasting any time in upping the body count. Three murders in three nights is a lot; if the trend continues and more bodies drop, then the team needs to get on the case ASAP. Of course, at this point, there is no guarantee that CSI: Vegas will return for a second season to investigate this new baddie, but the stage is certainly set. 

And the stage set this person up as, to quote showrunner Jason Tracey to TVLine, a “madman.” He clarified what the person is writing, as well as the gender, saying:

No, if you look at what he’s writing, it’s actually his own made-up language that’s based on the Voynich [manuscript], those crazy, medieval texts. For your readers and for yourself, I’ll just say ‘there is a world of possibilities,’ but you might be looking at a brand-new madman there. Everything is open interpretation until it’s not, and we’re a long way from being able to tell those stories in Season 2. I’m going to open it up for a new room of writers, and we’ll figure out where we go from there.

CSI: Vegas took the time in its finale to set up a killer for Season 2 and proved that the team – including Sara and Grissom – can work as a well-oiled machine in the face of almost impossible odds. They won the day when it seemed like Hodges was doomed. But Sara and Grissom came back to Las Vegas because they wanted to help their friend and clear his name, not permanently go back to their jobs from their original CSI days. Grissom was quite literally sick from returning to land from all their time at sea! 

The finale also gave them an ending that could serve as nice closure, as they rode a rollercoaster hand-in-hand with the knowledge that they helped to save their friend, and prevented a whole lot of very bad guys from hitting the streets again if Hodges had been convicted. CSI: Vegas was originally conceived as a limited series that began and ended with just one season, and Jason Tracey went on to share that this original plan means actors Jorja Fox and William Petersen might not necessarily be back even if CBS does renew the show:

​​There’s no expectation on them. The door will always be open to a couple of legends, but we only asked them to come back to help us tell this finite number of episodes. It’ll be up to them and the studio/network to kind of figure it out.

There are a lot of unknowns at this point regarding the future of CSI: Vegas, including whether the show even has a future, and if it would include Sara and Grissom. I do think it’s safe to say that the new team can handle even the worst of the worst cases without Sara and Grissom on hand, even if it would be harder and potentially take longer. They could handle this new madman; is that something that any fans who tuned in particularly to see Sara and Grissom would want to watch?

For now, you can always revisit the first season streaming on Paramount+ and wait to find out whether or not CSI: Vegas gets a Season 2. Although it never managed to beat its competition over on NBC when Chicago P.D. aired new episodes, it was a hit with delayed ratings, so there are definitely reasons to hope that there’s still a future, with or without Sara and Grissom. For what to watch in the new year, be sure to check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule for your upcoming options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.