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The Grave Shift 

Dr. Langston has a challenging first day learning the ropes both in the field and in the crime lab, and the team has a difficult time deciding who will get Grissom's old office.


Richard J. Lewis


Anthony E. Zuiker (created by), Bradley Thompson | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Fishburne ... Raymond Langston
Marg Helgenberger ... Catherine Willows
George Eads ... Nick Stokes
Eric Szmanda ... Greg Sanders
Robert David Hall ... Al Robbins
Wallace Langham ... David Hodges
Lauren Lee Smith ... Riley Adams
Paul Guilfoyle ... Jim Brass
Liz Vassey ... Wendy Simms
David Berman ... David Phillips
Michael Cudlitz ... Josh Barston
Anthony Starke ... Richard Palento
Michelle Clunie ... Paulla Kingsley
Victoria Pratt ... Carla Banks
Darren E. Burrows ... Mr. Jim Hilliard (as Darren Burrows)


Gentle Nick sees everyone sort of eases into the reshuffle after Grissom's departure, even 'recruit' Raymond Langston, who has method and brains but lacks any experience. An explosion unexpectedly calls them away across town from a robbery scene to a murder. A traceable stolen laptop opens the dysfunctional Palento family's tragic can of criminal worms. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michael Cudlitz previously appeared as a dirty cop in season two episode nine. See more »

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User Reviews

Oh, Those Effin' First Days...
26 January 2009 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

Where so many shows would take an episode like this and force you to suspend your disbelief as high as Mount Fuji, thank goodness that CSI takes a more realistic approach instead. Here, as always for the CSI Team, the devil is in the details...but that devil's been sent to plague newly-minted CSI Level One, Dr. Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne).

Having the esteemed forensics professor and profiler step into the shoes of the departed and revered Gil Grissom without a hitch, would've been about as feasible as Carrot Top doing brain surgery. Fortunately, the writers opted to use Fishburne's considerable talents, to show us what a case of the first-day jitters would be like for a man like Langston, warts and all.

He's no idiot, of course, and realizes that as much as he wants to do well and impress his new colleagues, even with their sense of professionalism, it will take some time to bond with them and earn their trust and respect. Predictably, the toughest nuts for him to crack will be boorish trace analyst David Hodges (Wallace Langham) and fairly new team member Riley Adams (Lauren Lee Smith).

In a day stuffed with the usual cases that run the gamut from burglary, to an arson that turns into a homicide, to a domestic case where getting close to victims is something done at your own risk, Langston realizes that he has a lot more to learn than he thought, and that none of it was stuff that could be picked up in a lecture hall.

And we learn, with a blessed sigh of relief, why Fishburne was cast in this role. His character may not seem like a fitting replacement for Grissom fans at first blush, but when you're talking about being a fill-in for somebody else on a team, especially on the first day...who does?

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