Is CSI: Vegas' Plot Hole Actually A Clue About Who Framed Hodges?

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

Spoilers ahead for the fifth episode of CSI: Vegas on CBS, called “Let the Chips Fall.”

The major story of CSI: Vegas with “Let the Chips Fall” saw the new team of CSI techs working to solve the mystery of a murder at 30,000 feet after a plane landed safely, but with everybody on board murdered and a box of valuable poker chips missing. While the plane mystery was unfolding, however, Grissom and Sara were closing in on the man who they believed was responsible for framing Hodges after Grissom’s discovery in the previous episode. That said, they experienced another big setback by the end of the hour, after a twist that initially struck me as a plot hole. But could it actually be a clue?

There's some potential evidence pointing toward a certain character as the real big bad of the season, so let's break it down why "Let the Chips Fall" may have given away the villain. Or just delivered a leap of logic that fans should just ignore. 

The CSI: Vegas Plot Hole

Grissom and Sara narrowed down their list of suspects to Martin Kline, a CSI expert who – like Hodges – was a former medical examiner who went on to make his living as an expert witness. Kline also conducted private autopsies, which Grissom and Sara believed was how he got his hands on some bones used to frame Hodges. Their investigation took them to “the body farm,” where dead bodies are left out to the elements to study decomposition, overseen by Dr. Patel Abbas, who didn’t take much prompting to point the finger at Kline as somebody who would probably steal bones as “souvenirs.” 

According to Abbas, the Nevada pathology community gossips a lot like middle schoolers, with nobody wanting to sit at Kline’s table. And he would guess that if they have a “creepy bone thief” on their hands, it would be Kline. Helpful, or too convenient? 

I was leaning toward “helpful” until Kline showed up out of nowhere to talk to Sara and Grissom, and I was initially more worried for Sara than anything else when it seemed like she was all alone and facing down a very bad guy. Kline introduced himself by saying that they have a “mutual acquaintance” in Dr. Abbas, who told Kline that Grissom and Sara were checking his work. Given that Abbas gave the impression to Grissom and Sara that he and Kline aren’t exactly the best of friends, and nobody in their community wanted to associate with him, that jumped out at me right away. Why would Abbas tell him?

Plus, after the uncomfortable encounter between Kline and Grissom and Sara, Kline immediately placed a call to a mysterious somebody to say that “they know” and “it’s gonna have to be dealt with.” Then the episode ended on the reveal that Kline had been killed and his house (on top of most of what would have been helpful evidence) burned. So Kline was actually working for the real bad guy of CSI: Vegas Season 1, and I’m thinking that Dr. Abbas has to be considered as a candidate. 

Why Dr. Abbas May Have Framed Hodges

I can’t help but find it fishy that Kline found out about Sara and Grissom digging into his past cases from Dr. Abbas, considering what Abbas said about him to Sara and Grissom. Plus, even if the pathology community of Nevada is a gossipy place, the investigation news would have had to spread very quickly if it didn’t come directly from Abbas to Kline. And it feels like either a hole in the plot if CSI: Vegas is selling the storyline as Abbas just telling Kline out of the blue, or a clue that Abbas is more than what he seems.

Besides, he was very quick to point the finger at Kline, when neither Sara nor Grissom had mentioned his name, and the body farm would be a pretty convenient way to dispose of evidence without being too obvious about it. It’s to be expected that bones would be missing from bodies left to rot in the Nevada wilderness, and anybody without the expertise of the CSI experts undoubtedly wouldn’t have known the difference between a bone taken by a coyote and a bone sawed off by a tool. 

Plus, as somebody who knew that Sara and Grissom were digging into Kline, it makes sense that he would want Kline to figure out what they knew as soon as possible… and that he would be ready to kill Kline and torch his place as soon as necessary. At the same time, Abbas isn’t a CSI tech himself, so it makes sense that he accidentally left the evidence that Grissom found at the close of the episode, and relied on Kline to do the previous dirty work. If the person who framed Hodges is somebody who has already been introduced on CSI: Vegas, I think Abbas has enough criteria to make the list of suspects.

But is Dr. Abbas the one who framed Hodges? Sara and Grissom have to start their search for the culprit all over again, as all signs pointed toward Kline working alone up until they found him dead in a burnt-out house of ruined evidence. There were some clues left behind, though, so the investigation isn’t dead despite the challenges piling up, and Hodges isn’t doomed… even if their investigation might wind up on IAB’s radar after they got the search warrant. And I could be totally wrong about Abbas, but it’s a good sign that CSI: Vegas has thickened the plot so much to fuel speculation. 

See what happens next on CSI: Vegas with new episodes on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. The CSI revival is doing well enough in the ratings, although it has yet to beat its top competition on Wednesday nights in the fall TV lineup. It would be interesting to see if the numbers would change if a CSI: Vegas episode aired on a night when NBC’s dominant Chicago P.D. was taking a break, but only time will tell if that ever happens.

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.