[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for CSI: Vegas Season 1, Episode 2 “Honeymoon in Vegas.”]
How well do Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) know their former colleague David Hodges (Wally Langham)? That’s the question for CSI: Vegas as the once Crime Lab tech, now Nevada’s star witness is at the center of the season-long investigation.
A storage unit with all the equipment necessary to tamper with evidence was found rented in his name at the end of the premiere, and in Episode 2, the investigation into it and the prime suspect begins — but Gil and Sara can’t be anywhere near it, especially since the former was Hodges’ supervisor, the Lab’s boss, Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome), informs them.
That doesn’t stop them, and they not only meet Hodges’ wife (they didn’t know he had a family!) but also check out his garage, to see if someone could’ve stolen personal items from there to plant in the storage unit. When they don’t find any signs that anyone else was in there, Gil can’t definitively say Hodges couldn’t be responsible, something that doesn’t go over so well. However, it is Gil who finds a neighbor’s missing guard dog buried in its owner’s yard … and his death dates back to the week of the attack on Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), which kicked off this investigation. Gil and Sara can look into that animal cruelty, Max says, since there’s no clear connection to Hodges’ case.
That’s certainly one way of “utilizing their skillset to still stay on the case from the sidelines,” executive producer Anthony Zuiker tells TV Insider. “That will uncork itself relatively soon, early in the season, and you’ll see how they’ll navigate those waters to keep the ethical integrity of the lab, but still utilize the skillset of two veterans that have been sidelined.”
Gil will, of course, continue to focus on following the evidence, and there was never a question of if he’d be swayed by the fact that it’s Hodges at the center of the case. “The franchise was built around William Petersen and Gil Grissom and in these sort of science-challenged times where science is up for scrutiny in the public eye and just where we are in our country, [there’s] even more reason why we wrote Gil Grissom to be the sort of poster child of science equals truth,” Zuiker explains.
“That has not wavered at all. In fact, we’ve even gone to it more,” he continues. “The second that we start to challenge science and begin to diminish the integrity of science as the groundwork of forensics, we no longer have a franchise. So it’s very important that the most important character of our show, Gil Grissom, is rooted in the science in the undercurrent of the season.”
Gil and Sara do fall on opposite sides of the argument when it comes to Hodges; she’s the first person to suggest he was framed. “We have to establish conflict between husband and wife. … But in the end, they do have a lot of history. But they’ve been on the water for six years,” the EP says. “Now they’re back on the land because a friend of theirs has been shot and another colleague is up for scrutiny. We’ll get to learn different colors of the characters as they navigate through those waters.”
But the big question is, of course, is Hodges guilty? It’s what the other characters are wondering, especially as they’re learning more and more about what they didn’t know about his life lately. “He still has a toe in law enforcement. He still has a toe in investigating. He’s been freelancing in that world for a while, which even is a cause for more scrutiny or a cause and a case for vindication and we won’t reveal where that’s going to go until the finale,” Zuiker teases.
“What he’s been up to and what could be the possible entanglement of the accusation will mostly come out of dialogue,” he adds. “And then the case will begin to gain momentum as new characters are brought on with various agendas, trying to figure out what the truth is.”
CSI: Vegas, Wednesdays, 10/9c, CBS