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CSI Vegas - Episode 1.01 - Legacy Review

Okay everybody, after airing for 15 years, producing 3 spin off shows with their own levels of success, ending in 2015, CSI is back! I am excited to see how this limited series gets on. Six years is a long time in TV not only scientific development. I'm curious to what's changed plot wise, character wise, and how the show brings in new technology and techniques within forensic science. As a note, there will be obvious spoilers for the first episode of CSI: Vegas, but possibly for the original series too. I loved the original and the spin-offs, however, I never finished any of them; so spoilers are likely to be related to early seasons of the show. 

So let's get into it! 

Starting with the plots introduced. The beginning of the episode starts with Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) being attacked by an unknown assailant. Brass is barely able to subdue his attacker, killing him with his firearm. A search of the body turns up a stack of 100 dollar bills dated back in the 90's which is related to a case Brass worked. A man called 'lucky' kidnapped women and would send notes to LVPD with a ransom and signing them with Lucky. As the case unfolds, a police officer attached to the Jim Brass case is kidnapped, and the team determine Lucky was not the perpetrator of these crimes but a man called Bill Dwyer. Brass, Sara, and Hodges had put him in prison in 2010 with a soil sample that Hodges had analysed.

According to Bill, the lab has been lying on cases and faking evidence. He says Jim Brass was just the beginning and they need to be taught a lesson, subtly threatening Sara. This however, leads to his downfall. The police and CSI team manage to track him down, arrest him, and save Officer Fisher. During interrogation, Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) reads a letter mentioning a storage locker in Spring Valley. 

For anyone who has watched trailers or teasers, this is the big twist and main storyline for the limited series. The locker is filled with laboratory equipment, test tubes filled with samples, crime and evidence files, things you should not have hidden away. The locker is supposedly rented to David Hodges, which is not looking good for him or the CSI crime lab. We shall have to see what happens next week, this could lead to a lot of seriously dangerous people getting released!

The case of the week was alright for the beginning of the series, it mainly showcased Josh Folsoms' (Matt Lauria) abilities as a CSI and the new lab interior. By the way, the new lab looks very funky and much brighter than the OG lab. The case involved Yates Pawn Shope being burnt down with a dead body found inside. The episode gave a straightforward approach to solving this case. Finding out the scene was cleaned and swept before being torched, speaking to the family, then going over the evidence and solving the case. I did think that Josh did jump to some odd theories about the weapon used and getting lucky with some evidence (a boot cast print was left in the oil exactly where the weapon was fired from). I feel the writers did this because the case had to be solved in 45 minutes or to show off how smart the new level 3 CSI is.

Moving onto our characters, keep in mind that this is all my opinion! I could easily have different views about characters compared to whomever reads this. 

Starting with Gil Grissom (William Peterson), now he only appears at the end so I can't say much on him at the moment. It is awesome to have him back on our screens though. Poor Jim Brass, I think the writers have done him dirty! The man is basically blind, he was great at his job and always supportive with his colleagues. Giving him Fuchs corneal dystrophy is a little harsh but maybe it was to show viewers our OG characters are getting old. 
Like we didn't already know!?

Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) has barely changed from what I remember, has great interactions with both old and new characters. She immediately fitted in with everybody which surprised me a little bit. I was expecting a little rivalry or opposition from Maxine or another new CSI character since she was just walking back in after 2 years to work a case because Brass asked her to. We briefly got information on Catherine Willows which was nice, turns out she is retired with a grandchild in Dublin. I'm glad they mentioned other characters from the show and didn't just forget them. I hope they have further mentions and references to OG characters.

Now for the new characters/CSI Vegas team. First, we were introduced to Maxine Roby and Allie Rajan (Mandeep Dhillon), Maxine runs the lab with a speciality in genetics and phenotyping. Allie is a level 2 CSI with a major in forensics and archaeology, good with identifying dead bodies. Paula Newsome made it easy through her characters interactions with the team and Sara to have Maxine be a wholesome character on screen. Allie I'm not sure about yet, like everyone she is extremely smart but other than that I don't have enough info or screen time to work with. I felt she got less worthwhile screen time than Sara or Maxine.

Josh Folsom is a Level 3 CSI, and a smart guy who knows his stuff. I think he comes across as a little cold at the start but that could be due to his work ethic when at crime scenes. Folsom appeared to warm up later though when speaking with Maxine or describing how he was testing out theories. Chris Park (Jay Lee) is possibly a level 1 CSI, supposed to only be recurring. I'm not sure why as I think he had the best interactions with all characters. He was sassy and smart when chatting with Allie. He's probably one of my favourites so far. Dr. Ramierez (Mel Rodriguez) is the Chief Medical Examiner. He gave off antisocial vibes and that he's not great when interacting with people. It made him slightly creepy but when him and Sara had lines together, Dr Ramierez ended up being quite funny instead.

Something I found cool was a small scene between Chris and Allie, she didn't know who Jim Brass or Sara Sidle were so Chris helped her with a 'history' lesson, then did some gossiping over why Sara didn't take the job Maxine has now. It was just a nice interaction showing that the team are friends not just people who tolerate each other while at work.

More importantly they kept the credits song!! Which makes the episode and show even better!!

I'm not 100% set on the new characters but am willing to see how/if they develop further along the series. 

I didn't mention this at the start but I recently finished my undergraduate degree in Forensic Sciences. So while it was awesome to see the same equipment I used in labs implemented on TV IN one of my favourite franchises, the episode did have parts where it ticked off a pet peeve. The first time at a crime scene (Jim Brass's kitchen) no one was wearing the proper PPE, they were wearing gloves thankfully. No-one was wearing the protective suit, or mask, or goggles, or protective shoe covers. It hurt a little to see it, my main thought went to all of the evidence they could be leaving behind or contaminating.

Another one was letting people (like family members of the victim) onto a newly cordoned off crime scene. I mean why?! Why was this necessary? Again leaving evidence behind or contaminating the scene, probable doubt for the defence case? But hey, what do I know...

Overall I enjoyed the start of the series but I wasn't fully invested like i thought I'd be. Possibly now that Grissom is back and if they step it up for the case of the week, I might find myself enjoying it even more! 

What did you think of the premiere episode of CSI:Vegas??
Did you also think it was odd the Police Officer was patrolling alone when kidnapped?
How do you feel about the choice in overarching story for this limited series??

Please let me know in the comments!!
- SarahR


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