CSI 7 – Follow the Evidence. Again and Again


CSI:  CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATIONCSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the Emmy® -nominated drama series on U.S. television and the original series in the world’s number one franchise, returns for a seventh season to SABC3 from Wednesday, March 25 at 21:30.

This is a fast -paced drama about a team of forensic investigators trained to solve crimes by examining the evidence. They are on the case 24/7, scouring the scene, collecting the irrefutable evidence and finding the missing pieces that will solve the mystery. Gil Grissom (William Petersen), shift supervisor, heads the team of investigators at the Crime Lab in Las Vegas. The team includes Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), a hard-working single parent with a checkered past and a teenage daughter she’s raising on her own; Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan), a top analyst with insider knowledge of the gambling world; Nick Stokes (George Eads), a true-blue stand-up guy who empathizes with victims via his own experiences; Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), a dedicated and inquisitive investigator who has more than a professional interest in Grissom; and Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda), the wacky tech analyst turned field investigator. The CSI team members also work closely with Capt. Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), the former chief, now assigned to Homicide, and Dr. Albert Robbins (Robert David Hall), the ever-professional medical examiner. They are also supported by David Hodges (Wallace Langham), a lab technician with a specialty in trace and foreign-substance analysis, and Sofia Curtis (Louise Lombard), a former officer-turned-CSI, whose frustration with lab politics has led her to return to the police force. The CSIs sift through the murders, suicides, robberies and violent crimes that threaten the streets of Vegas, on and off the Strip, moving beyond the neon decadence to the seediest and deadliest corners of the infamous city in the desert. Under Grissom’s watchful eye, the team uses both cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned savvy to solve their crimes, driven to succeed by the pact they have made with the public they serve – “Let the evidence bring justice to the victims and closure to the survivors.”


The team enters season 7 after coming close to losing their number one homicide detective Captain Jim Brass at the end of season 6. Under the team’s close watch Brass makes a full recovery from taking a bullet to the chest and is rewarded with a medal. Gil Grissom comes in contact with miniature replicas of the crimes he is about to analyze via a mysterious sender who turns out to be a dangerous murderer. Towards the middle of the season, Grissom takes a hiatus from the team. While he asks secret love interest Sara Sidle to join him, Sara honors her professional responsibilities and remains in Las Vegas. Catherine Willows becomes the victim of her father’s crooked business affairs earlier on in the season.


While at a bar with Nick, one of her father’s enemies drugs her and takes her back to a desolate motel room. The next morning Catherine defies lab policies and administers her own rape test. Later in the season, Lindsey is kidnapped and the team struggles to get her back. Catherine also loses her father. In addition to the family drama Catherine experiences, she comes up against mob-legend Mickey Dunn who she’d met briefly years back. Catherine and her team follow Dunn on his killing spree although his costume changes give the investigators a run for their money. Greg Sanders finds himself the victim of a street gang beating. Without backup, Greg fights a gaggle of teenagers to save an innocent man’s life. In the process, Greg ends up accidentally killing one of the kids. Facing legal repercussions, Greg struggles to put the fateful night behind him. The team also deals with the new CSI onboard during Grissom’s hiatus: the secretive Michael Keppler (Liev Schreiber). When he and Catherine stage a crime scene to nab their killer and fail to alert the rest of the team to their actions, Nick, Warrick and Sara voice their resentment.

Stay tuned for all the Action, Crime, Drama and Mystery in CSI every Wednesday at 21:30 on SABC3


Gil Grissom (William Petersen)

Gil Grissom has spent the last fifteen years helping Las Vegas move from number 14 to number two in the U.S. Crime Lab rankings. He grew up in Marina Del Rey, California. His mother ran an art gallery in Venice, and his father was in the import/export business, dealing primarily with communist China. Grissom’s parents divorced when he was five. At eight or nine, Grissom began riding his bike out to the beach every day to collect dead seagulls, possums and anything else he could find. He would bring the remains home and conduct autopsies, slowly teaching himself the ins and outs of death.

As a teenager, Grissom became known to local authorities, who employed him for quick autopsies on dead animals like cats and dogs. By age sixteen, Grissom was an unofficial intern for the L.A. County morgue. He worked his way through college, and at age 22 went to work full time as the youngest coroner in the history of L.A. County. Eight years later, a headhunter recruited him to run the Field Services Office in Las Vegas. His philosophy about his work has always been: “if you want to learn about forensics, master everything else first.”

While others may have a reason for being a CSI, for Grissom the job is not about choice. Grissom could no more work in another profession than a fish could stop swimming. CSI is not a job for Grissom; it’s an expression of who he is as a person, the perfect synthesis of personality and profession. Grissom’s specialty is entomology.


Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger)

Catherine Willows was born on a ranch in western Montana. She was the eldest daughter of fourth-generation ranchers, but the rural life was never for her. Catherine could ride before she could walk, but horses were always for taking her away from work. She left home the first time as a sixteen-year old. She lived in Seattle for a year with her would-be rock-star boyfriend, eking out a living as a waitress. When he left her for an older woman, she went home, only to find home wasn’t there anymore. Her parents had been forced to sell their ranch and had moved to town. They made it clear that Catherine was on her own.

The next stop for Catherine was Las Vegas. She waited tables until she discovered a much more lucrative line of work: exotic dancing. The men loved her, and the money poured in. Catherine spent it all on school and on the aspiring career of her music-producing boyfriend, Eddie. Dating turned to engagement, which turned to marriage. When their turbulent relationship ended, Eddie left her with ten dollars in the bank, a coke habit and a small child, Lindsey. Catherine pulled it together for her own sake and for the sake of her daughter. She didn’t become a CSI because she wanted to right the wrongs of the world; she became a CSI because it makes her feel like a kid solving puzzles. She loves the challenge, and she loves the buzz of working a case. It’s a high for her, and anything that makes Catherine feel as good as she does can’t be all that bad. Catherine’s specialty is blood spatter analysis.


Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan)

Warrick Brown is the only member of the CSI team born and raised in Las Vegas. To this day, Warrick has never met his father. His mother passed away when he was seven, leaving him in the care of his maternal grandmother. He grew up in a strict household, and that meant he kept his teenage job as a runner secret from his grandmother. Warrick was quite literally born to live in Vegas. He loves the casinos, loves the action, loves the pulse of the city. He can move just as easily through the Clark County Courthouse as he can through the Sportsbook at Hard Rock. To let off steam, he DJ’s at clubs run by his friends and writes his own songs. Spending his whole life in Las Vegas means Warrick knows at least one person in every bar, club and hotel in the city. He’s connected, and he uses those connections to move between his worlds. He went through a lot of women in his early twenties, but the first time he fell in love, the woman broke his heart. He now looks at women with a cautious eye.

Warrick knows how all the games are played in Las Vegas and is aware of the universal truth of the city: the only one who wins consistently is the house, because the odds are stacked. Warrick’s got enough of a rebel in him to challenge those odds, and enough of a realist in him to know the only one watching out for him is him, so he’ll cut his losses to fight again another day if need be. Warrick’s specialty is audio/visual analysis.


Nick Stokes (George Eads)

The youngest child in a family of seven, Nick Stokes was born into law enforcement. His father worked as the state DA before being appointed to the bench. Two years ago, Nick’s father was appointed to the Texas state Supreme Court. Nick’s mother has spent her entire adult life working as a public defender. They have been happily married for 45 years. With one brother and five sisters, Nick had a lot of people looking out for him. Maybe that’s why everything feels so personal to him. He has no distance from his work because he’s always been close to people. Where Sara struggles with relationships, Nick can’t help himself: being with and around people is so easy for him. What’s hard is balancing the unspoken but competing perspectives of his parents. He wants to live up to their expectations and becoming a CSI was one way of finding a compromise. As a CSI he’s objective. He still has a social responsibility to uphold, but does his job without an agenda. The evidence speaks, and everyone has to respect what it says, from public defenders to judges on the bench. Nick could still be in Texas, but he chose to move two states over. There’s a part of Nick that loves his family and his family name, but there’s a part of him that wants to be on his own, to lay down his own roots and establish his own identity. However, he’s finding that roots don’t take quickly. Growing them is a slow process fraught with mistakes, and Nick isn’t finished. As a CSI, Nick’s specialty is hair and fiber analysis.


Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle)

Jim Brass was born into a middle class family in Newark. When the riots hit in the mid-sixties, Brass was in college. Something about the injustice made him decide on a career in law enforcement. He approached his job with the zeal of a reformer, and at first he gained much notoriety for his tenacious investigative style. Unfortunately, tenacious investigators tend to be indiscriminate. When they see someone do something wrong, they go after the crime, even if the criminals are cops, and that’s what happened to Brass. He became a Serpico-like figure in New Jersey. He cleaned up the department, but the effort cost him his marriage and what little relationship he had with his daughter. When the dust cleared, Brass headed for Second Chance City, landing at CSI. He could get his fix of the investigative process without having to expend any personal capital. His life gently slid into strip bars and J&B doubles, and all was well enough until a young newbie named Holly Gribbs showed up. Her death cost Brass his job and, in some ways, his peace of mind. Since Holly died, Brass has been transferred back to homicide. He’s not sure if he likes it, but it’s familiar and it’s easy, and that’ll do for the short term. The long term is irrelevant for Brass, because he stopped believing in the future long ago.


Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox)

Sara Sidle was born and raised an hour and half outside San Francisco on Tamales Bay. An only child of ex-hippies running a bed and breakfast, Sara always needed a bigger stage. Everything about her as a child was outsized: her intelligence, her energy, her curiosity. Sara was pretty much all-or-nothing in high school, and as talented as she was, grace didn’t come with the package. The other kids resented her, and she did nothing to ease the resentment. At eighteen, Sara found a place where she could be at home. She went to Harvard and enjoyed four of the best years of her life. She took as many classes as she could. She went to as many parties as she could. And she finally dated. Not well, but at least she tried. She attended graduate school in theoretical physics before realizing that she was too frenetic for a life of scholarly contemplation. One year later, she got a job in the San Francisco coroner’s office and spent five years there gaining an unofficial education in forensic science. After that, she transferred to the San Francisco crime lab before being contacted by Grissom, who asked her to come to Las Vegas.

Like any tragic figure worth her salt, Sara has a single flaw: people. She can solve any problem except the problem of other people and how she’s supposed to relate to them. As a result, she hides in her job. She pursues her career rigorously, perhaps more so than any of the other CSIs, partly because she’s still rebelling against her parents’ casual approach to social obligations, and partly because she’s afraid of what she’d find out about herself if she ever slowed down. As a CSI, Sara’s specialty is materials and element analysis.


Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda)

Ever since he picked up his first amateur chemistry kit when he was seven, Greg Sanders has wanted to be a scientist. Even though he was told that science was supposed to be a hobby for the pasty-faced and romantically challenged that did not dissuade him from joining the Science Club in high school, or from majoring in Chemistry in college. He had always balanced lab work with athletics, studying with flirting, and computer work with dating. Addicted to the pursuit of knowledge, Greg has been on a quest to learn all he can about the scientific breakthroughs of the past centuries. And discovering and naming a brand-new theory or element after himself wouldn’t hurt, either. After years of lobbying for a shot at working in the field with the CSI team, under the watchful eye of Grissom and his co-workers he was able to complete his transition from working in the lab to being a fully-fledged CSI. The sometimes-overzealous Sanders realizes he has much more to learn in his professional transition to the world outside the lab.


Dr. Albert Robbins (Robert David Hall)

Born to a single mother in an era when everyone came from a two-parent household, Albert Robbins spent his life as an underdog. Spurned by his peers, he took solace in books from an early age, discovering an aptitude for academia. His mother worked as a nurse, so Robbins spent most nights in the local hospital. The doctors and nurses unofficially adopted him, and they not only gave him free reign of the premises, they allowed him to assist in any number of activities the chronically short-handed facility required. From stocking shelves as a ten-year-old to assisting in simple surgeries as a teenager, Robbins knew more about the hospital than some of the doctors who worked there. After completing his residency at Johns Hopkins, Al Robbins opened a clinic in the then-run-down inner harbor area of Baltimore. He worked as a general practitioner for twenty years before the chronic budget shortfalls and the predatory practices of the newly powerful HMOs forced him to close the clinic’s doors. Strictly out of academic curiosity, he became an Assistant Coroner for the Arlington, Virgina police department, where he worked his way up to Coroner in two years.

Many years of fighting the good fight eventually left him drained, and after shifting into what felt like a natural career change for him (medicine is all about life and death), he and his wife and their three children packed up and moved to Las Vegas. He’s free to pursue his own interests, both at work and at home, and that’s the way he likes it right now. His medical career has somewhat followed the path he envisioned for himself, but his personal life has far exceeded his wildest expectations. His wife and children have replaced books as the center of his life, and nothing will ever change that.


Detective Sofia Curtis (Louise Lombard)

Sofia Curtis started as a CSI, before following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a detective. She has a unique perspective on crime, having seen it both as a scientist, and as a cop. She’s detail-oriented, no-nonsense, and harder on herself than anybody. Her tough demeanor with suspects belies her more easygoing side, which we only catch glimpses of – heading to a crime scene directly from a fancy dinner in a strapless dress, or joking with her colleagues. She has a complex relationship with Grissom – occasionally flirtatious, but always professional.


David Hodges (Wallace Langham)

A trace specialist with a knack for brown nosing, Hodges likes to believe it’s always his analysis that cracks CSI’s cases. Smart, he’s also very likely to tell you that fact. He was “transferred” from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department for his disrespectful attitude, but he makes sure to mind his manners around Grissom – often a little too much. Sometimes arrogant, sometimes overly fawning, and almost always too sensitive. Hodges biggest problem is that he just wants to be appreciated for the genius he believes himself to be. A minor nuisance to his co-workers, they tolerate him because of his skills at trace analysis.