CSI: Crime Scene Investigation—Season 1

csi crime scene investigation season 1 dvd boxset review episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun procedural

Doesn't really do anything new

csi crime scene investigation title card review episode guide list

Welcome to Las Vegas!

Sin City is full of crime, and the Crime Scene Investigation of the Las Vegas police department always has their hands full.  The night shift led by Dr. Gilbert Grissom (William Petersen) and his team Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan), Nick Stokes (George Eads), Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), and Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) have crimes and murders galore…and are a tight timeline to solve them.

CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation—Season 1 is a police procedural show.  The season aired from October 6, 2000 to May 17, 2001 on CBS.  It received Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series (“Friends and Lovers”), Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series (“Pilot”), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Marg Helgenberger), and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (“35K OBO”).

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 1 pilot gil grissom william petersen bugs

Grissom…the most perfect person with no moral faults

I am a procedural-crime series junkie from an early age when I’d watch things like Quincy, M.E. and other shows.  I didn’t watch CSI when it aired (nor any of its multitude of spin-offs).  While the series is fun, it also doesn’t entirely feel like anything new…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining to watch.

The plots break down the same for most episodes.  The teams are divided up into smaller groups and usually investigate two crimes.  There are twists, there are turns, and there is generally some weird niche knowledge that helps the detectives solve crime.  The crimes are rarely banal and are often over-the-top (with the wild Las Vegas background used as the reason).  It definitely follows in the lines of Law & Order, but just focusing on the “Law” part (aka the part I like).

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 7 blood drops dakota fanning

You never know who will show up at a killer or a victim

The series also like Law & Order isn’t much about the investigators.  The series occasionally taps into the people’s lives (like Warrick’s gambling and Catherine’s divorce problems which have a larger role this season), but it largely keeps that as little bumpers and mentions instead of playing into the plot directly.  The story is about the crimes and that is what makes the series work.

The actors are good in their roles.  William Petersen’s Grissom is a little too perfect as the leader of the squad and Marg Helgenberger’s character is a much better balanced and written character.  The supporting cast needs some work at this point (not in acting skill but in character skill).  The series occasionally has guest stars stop by but it is interesting to see actors that exploded soon after like Eric Stonestreet and Rainn Wilson having small cameos here.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 15 table stakes warrick brown gambling addiction

The Saga of Warrick and His Gambling

The series benefits from Las Vegas and as mentioned uses Vegas to propel the story often.  The casinos and the vice of Vegas give multiple playgrounds and the live locations (when they are used) help give seediness to the story.  I think some of the recreations and cuts in the explanations of the crimes are a bit overused and do take away from the series.

CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation exploded into more and more spin-offs that still continue.  Crime series always are ripe with current events, oddities, and always have material that they can work and rework…watching the series at its beginning feels like I’ve seen these characters for years (even though I didn’t watch it).  The series might not be groundbreaking, but it did spur a lot of interest in forensics and a whole new group of watchers…someone like Quincy would be happy.

CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 1 pilot gil grissom william petersen


1.1       Pilot Airdate:  10/06/00

Holly Gribbs (Chandra West) finds her first day at work at C.S.I. with her new supervisor Gil Grissom (William Petersen) is a bit challenging…especially since their boss Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) resents her being there.  Nick Stokes (George Eads) and Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan) are approaching level CSI 3 and while Warrick and Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) are called in at a shooting at home, Stokes finds himself investigating a man (Royce D. Applegate) drugged and robbed by a prostitute.  Grissom and Holly work on a case of suicide that might not be as clean cut as they believe.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 2 cool change grissom stokes george eads william petersen

“Cool Change”

1.2       Cool Change Airdate:  10/13/00

Ted Sallenger (Johnny Messner) hits the jackpot with his girlfriend Jamie (Timilee Romolini) but is found at the base of the hotel where he was staying.  Holly fights for her life in the hospital which leads Grissom to take control of C.S.I. from Brass and an internal investigation into the shooting with Grissom’s friend Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) called in from San Francisco.  Willows is assigned to investigate as Brown faces the consequences of leaving Holly alone at the scene.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 3 crate n burial jolene blalock buried alive

“Crate ‘n Burial”

1.3       Crate ’n Burial Airdate:  10/20/00

Laura Garris (Jolene Blalock) has been kidnapped and buried alive in the desert.  With time running out C.S.I. has to investigate the clues to find her before it is too late.  Brown deals with Holly’s death as he and Willows work on a girl hit while riding a scooter.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 4 pledge mr johnson hazing stokes sidle jorja fox george eads

“Pledging Mr. Johnson”

1.4       Pledging Mr. Johnson Airdate:  10/27/00

Judge Cohen (Harrison Young) has an order to Brown to clear his debt, and it could mean Brown compromising a rape case.  A floater in the lake has Grissom and Willows question if the husband Winston Barger (Jim Ortlieb) is involved.  Sidle and Stokes are called in to investigate a suicide at a fraternity.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 5 friends and lovers rave brown grissom william petersen gary dourdan

“Friends and Lovers”

1.5       Friends & Lovers Airdate:  11/03/00

A body in the desert leads Grissom and Brown to investigate a rave.  Willows and Stokes are called into the murder of the dean of a Catholic school.  A body found in a dumpster was buried before in a cemetery leading Sidle to look into the burial.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 6 who are you facial reconstruction

“Who Are You?”

1.6       Who Are You? Airdate:  11/10/00

The discovery of a body in the foundation of a house has Grissom trying to backtrack the body with the help of a crime reconstruction worker Teri Miller (Pamela Gidley). Brown and Sidle investigate a suicide but question if the police officer Joe Tyner (Tony Crane) involved might be the shooter.  Willows finds a conflict of interest involving her ex-husband Eddie (Timothy Carhart) who might be involved in a rape..

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 7 blood drops family murder grissom sidelr william petersen jorja fox

“Blood Drops”

1.7       Blood Drops Airdate:  11/17/00

Four members of a family are killed in their home and the entire C.S.I. crew is out for answers.  Sidle finds herself stuck with the young survivor Brenda (Dakota Fanning) while another survivor named Tina (Allison Lange) answers questions.  Grissom faces off against his dayshift rival Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann).

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 8 anonymous suicide killer


1.8       Anonymous Airdate:  11/24/00

Another faked suicide has the C.S.I.’s suicide killer back, and it could be a serial killer…and it could be personal.  Brown and Stokes investigate a crash at Hoover Dam.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 9 unfriendly skies plane murder

“Unfriendly Skies”

1.9       Unfriendly Skies Airdate:  12/08/00

The death of a man on a flight brings in the whole team to investigate if it was actually a murder.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 10 sex lies and larvae bugs

“Sex, Lies and Larvae”

1.10     Sex, Lies and Larvae Airdate:  12/22/00

A decomposing body found by hikers could be traced with the larvae found on it.  Willows and Brown examine the theft of a painting as Catherine worries about her ex-husband’s attempts to get custody of her daughter.  Stokes is assigned to investigate the car of a missing woman at a bus stop.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 11 the i 15 murders grissom willows william petersen marg helgenberger

“The I-15 Murders”

1.11     The I-15 Murders Airdate:  01/12/01

Nick gets a call in from one of his sources named Kristy Hopkins (Krista Allen) after a fight with a guard at a casino.  Grissom finds he has to deal with accusations that Brown is gambling again.  Sidle investigates a murder of the brother of a day trader but objects working with Brown.  The disappearance of a woman at a grocery store could be the work of a serial killer.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 12 fahrenheit 932 sterling macer jr

“Fahrenheit 932”

1.12     Fahrenheit 932 Airdate:  02/01/01

Frank Damon (Sterling Macer Jr.) writes Grissom from prison and claims that he was framed for the murder of his wife and child in a fire.  Grissom agrees to investigate the case before the trial.  Katherine and   Nick    investigate a shooting and potential robbery…and enter the world of “runners”.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 13 boom bomb stephen lee


1.13     Boom Airdate:  02/08/01

A bomb explosion that kills a guard attracts the attention of C.S.I…and find an odd ally in a fellow security guard Dominic Kretzker (Stephen Lee).  Stokes prostitute friend Kristy Hopkins (Krista Allen) is murdered, and Nick realizes he’s a suspect now…with Willows the only hope of proving him innocent before he loses his job.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 14 to halve and to hold bone

“To Halve and to Hold”

1.14     To Halve and to Hold Airdate:  02/15/01

A bone found in the desert has the team trying to determine where it came from…forcing Grissom to have a reunion with Teri Miller.  Brown and Sidle investigate a body found in a hotel which is tied to a bachelorette party.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 15 table stakes drowning

“Table Stakes”

1.15     Table Stakes Airdate:  02/22/01

The murder at the home of former call girl and philanthropist Portia Richmond has the team called in to investigate a woman in the pool at a party…and the socialites living there named Patrick and Amanda Haynes (Shawn Christian and Elizabeth Lackey) may have something to do with it.  Brown investigates a hit in a casino elevator, but it could lead to temptation.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 16 too tough to die jorja fox anne johnson

“Too Tough to Die”

1.16     Too Tough to Die Airdate:  03/01/01

A woman named Pamela Adler (Michelle Anne Johnson) is abducted and left for dead in the desert, and Sidle is out to investigate the assault.  The team is assigned a case headed to trial that needs a reexamination.   Catherine learns that her separated husband is continuing to ruin her credit.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 17 face lift brigid brannagh

“Face Lift”

1.17     Face Lift Airdate:  03/08/01

A robbery at a store leaves a man dead…and the CSI team questions if the robber was the victim, but Grissom uncovers a second mystery involving a missing girl.  Sidle and Brown investigate the burning of a person and Sarah questions if it could be spontaneous combustion.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 18 $35k obo carjacking william petersen

“$35K O.B.O.”

1.18     $35K O.B.O. Airdate:  03/29/01

Willows investigates the collapse of a building as a murder which puts her in conflict with district engineer Paul Newsome (Brad Johnson).  A couple on their anniversary are killed in a knife attack and car robbery and the team searches for answers.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 19 gentle gentle baby murder

“Gentle, Gentle”

1.19     Gentle, Gentle Airdate:  04/12/01

A baby abduction turns into a baby murder, and Grissom is on a rampage to find out who is responsible.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 20 sounds of silence

“Sounds of Silence”

1.20     Sounds of Silence Airdate:  04/19/01

A group of women run over a body in the street and the team at CSI learn it was a murdered deaf student Brian Clemonds (Greg Anderson) which leads to a conflict with the deaf school over treatment of people with disabilities.  Stokes and Willows investigate a shooting at a mass shooting at a coffee shop.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 21 justice is served cannibal william petersen alicia coppola

“Justice Is Served”

1.21     Justice Is Served Airdate:  04/26/01

A runner is attacked and the cause of death might be an animal…but someone else cut him open.  Willows and Sidle investigate the death of a girl at a carnival, but Catherine is personally involved.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 22 evaluation day marg helgenberg robert david hall william petersen

“Evaluation Day”

1.22     Evaluation Day Airdate:  05/10/01

Grissom is doing his yearly evaluations of the team.  The head of a man is discovered in the back of a car…but his body is missing.  Brown investigates a murder at the juvenile hall and tries to help James Moore (Sam Jones III) who he put in there.  An inhuman body found in the desert has Sarah doing research.

csi crime scene investigation season 1 episode 23 the strip strangler serial killer

“The Strip Strangler”

1.23     The Strip Strangler Airdate:  05/17/01

A serial killer is stalking the Las Vegas, but Sheriff Brian Mobley (Glenn Morshower) has brought in FBI agents led by Special Agent Rick Culpepper (Gregg Henry) to work the case.  Grissom’s stand-off nature could provide an in for Willows.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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