What CSI: Vegas' Shocking Hodges Reveal Means For Grissom And Sara's Stories

csi vegas sara on the scene of a crime
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the series premiere of CSI: Vegas on CBS, called “Legacy.”

The CSI franchise is back on television for the first time in more than six years, and CSI: Vegas didn’t just restart with a whole new cast of characters. Jorja Fox and William Petersen are back as Sara Sidle and Gil Grissom, although Petersen only briefly appeared in the series premiere. Wallace Langham will also be back as David Hodges, but the big reveal at the end of the first episode indicates that Hodges’ return might mean bad news, both for his old friends and the new CSI team. So what does it mean for the ongoing stories of CSI: Vegas if Hodges is a longtime criminal? Creator Jason Tracy weighed in.

But first, what happened leading up to the big Hodges reveal? Sara actually returned to CSI because of an attack on Jim Brass in the first minutes of the episode, not anything to do with Hodges. Although Brass is now nearly blind, he fought off his attacker and helped kickstart the case that revisited a kidnapper from years gone by, known only as Lucky. 

Sara joined forces with Paula Newsome’s Maxine Roby, who is the very capable new head of the Vegas Crime Lab. Thanks to Sara teaming up with Roby’s team and all kinds of new technology that weren’t available back with the Crime Lab was hers,  they ultimately caught the bad guy, although it wasn’t the bad guy they expected. 

While everything was happening on the Lucky front, the new techs were hard at work recreating the unrelated scene of a fire to figure out a cause of death. The two cases seemed mostly unconnected except for some shared characters until the end, when it became clear that what went wrong on the Hodges front was going to affect all of them, and require the attention of Sara and Grissom as well as the new techs. 

Everything came to a head in the final minutes when they were drawn to a storage unit rented (supposedly) by Hodges, packed with chemicals and files that could be used to fake test results and create phony evidence. It sure looks like Hodges spent a lot of time fabricating evidence to put potentially innocent people behind bars, and the contents of the storage locker are all that stand between whether or not the convictions of every case Hodges ever worked on stand up in court, and lawsuits are already filed. 

Was he framed, or is he guilty? Sara is on Team Hodges, but the younger techs without the years of history with Hodges are more inclined to follow the evidence despite Sara’s earnest but unsubstantiated defense of him. Maxine, who is already becoming one of my favorite new characters on television, took the diplomatic approach and said that they needed to figure out what happened ASAP. 

This was enough to bring Grissom to join his wife in Vegas, and now the team is tasked with finding out what happened (or didn’t) with Hodges while still solving new cases each week. So, how can CSI: Vegas manage to do both? At the CBS Summer Press Tour, I asked creator Jason Tracey about the approach to balancing the serialization of Sara and Grissom's story about Hodges with all the new cases and characters. He shared: 

I inherited a fantastic franchise that sort of works like a Swiss watch, where you want to tell closed-ended case of the week stories and deliver sort of justice inside the body of those 42 minutes that you've got. But this season we're going to spread out, kind of, a serialized arc that you saw begins in kind of dramatic fashion with an attack on Brass and on the lab itself, and kind of it sets in motion something that Grissom and Sara primarily drive through the course of the season, but becomes something that involves all of our new characters as well in kind of a B story sort of fashion. But we don't really think of them as As and Bs. We just think about them as two stories we're telling every week. One wraps up, and one is kind of a link in a chain, and hopefully delivers us to an exciting finale.

If the creator was already talking about “an exciting finale” before the show even officially premiered, I think fans have a lot to look forward to, even if it might spell bad news for Hodges. Following the evidence sounds more important than ever, both with the serialized story surrounding clearing (or attempting to clear) Hodges’ name and the new crimes each week. 

Find out what happens next with new episodes of CSI: Vegas (opens in new tab) on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS in the fall TV lineup

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.