The first season of CSI: Vegas ended with all becoming well once again, as it was proven that David Hodges (Wallace Langham) was being framed and the team caught the corrupt lawyer who did it, which allowed the case against investigation into the Las Vegas Crime Lab to be dropped so the people they put away could remain, well, away. But throughout Season 1, there was a question of whether the conspiracy ran deeper, which led some viewers to think there was a cliffhanger at the end of the inaugural season of the new continuation series after all.
"Good things come to those who wait and it will metastasize as the season goes on," showrunner Jason Tracey said of answers from dangling questions in Season 1 during a Television Critics Association press tour panel for the series. "We'll have a few different eight episode runs in the body of this — little mini arcs. We're going to get there, but that's not where we start."
Where they need to dig in first is with the return of Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), who gets an early season episode centered on her.
"I just wanted to get back to that character to see where she is. I love the fact that she still has so much passion and still has so much fire and still wants to make a difference," Helgenberger said. "I'm still discovering exactly where she is at this point in her life and what makes her tick."
That drive to make a difference in the world will lend itself (as will her decades of expertise within the world of forensics) to solving the new cases that come the Las Vegas crime lab's way in the second season. Tracey noted that what he loved most about the original show was the case-of-the-week procedural format, so although Season 1 of his show did lean into a serialized arc, Season 2 is getting "back a little closer to the original design."
To that end, he shared that the show starts things off with a case involving a dominatrix in the new season, but other episode-specific cases include visiting a haunted house, a Michelin-star restaurant, the art world, an influencer house with TikTokers, and dipping into the world of competitive eating.
"There are a ton of crazy subcultures, and we dropped little murders into all of them," Tracey said of Las Vegas.
Although the show will continue to welcome new technology on the show, including using molecular map-making and phenotyping, executive producer Anthony Zuiker noted the importance of not discounting the older technology that was featured on the original show but has had major advancements through the years, namely facial recognition.
"This show is built on science and built on forensics, and the old is just as good as the new," he said.
The show also stars Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, and Mandeep Dhillon, and Season 2 won't be shying away from complicated personal dynamics between the team members, namely Lauria's Josh and Dhillon's Allie who end up in a bit of a new love triangle, the cast members teased.
"I think it's just been a tragic case of ships passing for years," Lauria said. "There's so much at stake: There's a friendship, there's a professional relationship, and obviously the work we do is above all."
Season 2 premieres Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. on CBS. Season 1 has a Metascore of 64; Season 2 reviews have not yet come out, but you can watch an extended trailer for it below.