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The Whole Team

A bunch of attractive scientists/cops. This is a CSI spin-off after all.

    Mac Taylor 

Det. McCanna "Mac" Llewellyn Taylor

Portrayed by: Gary Sinise

  • Atonement Detective / By-the-Book Cop: Former Marine; see Semper Fi below. Tells someone he's about to fire for even considering compromising evidence:
    There are three things that I'll protect at any cost: the honor of this country, the safety of this city, and the integrity of this lab. As scientists, we have a great deal of power, the ability to assign guilt or innocence. But when we analyze a crime scene, we collect pieces of evidence, we make a promise to the people of this city. A promise to handle that evidence with respect, integrity, and good faith. When you broke this seal, you broke that promise.
  • Berserk Button: Do not hurt Christine.
  • Clear My Name: "Past Imperfect."
  • Cool Shades: Occasionally, such as in "Zoo York," he'll pull Horatio's trick.
  • Cowboy Cop: Several times in season 3.
  • Crusading Widower: Season 8 opens with him having left the NYPD to work for another lab that's trying to find the DNA of and identify 9/11 victims, including his late wife, Claire.
  • Determinator: One Victim of the Week is delivered to a laundry facility that handles linens from hotels all over the city. Flack snarkily comments that there are only about 70,000 hotel rooms in NYC. Our hero's response?
    • 10 minutes into the episode, the team has it narrowed down to the correct hotel.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Mac Llewellyn Taylor. Stan, his first partner, had teased him about it relentlessly back in the day.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Roller Derby rules, weaponry of all types, the ins and outs of dog show competitions, dentistry in other countries, buildings in other cities, space exploration, boxing...Mac's forever spouting some kind of information others don't expect him to know.
    He and Sheldon are discussing the world of hip hop:
    Mac: You should hear Aiden talk about this stuff. Close your eyes and she sounds just like Queen Latifa.
    Sheldon: [surprised] What do you know about Queen Latifa?
    Mac: [grinning slightly] It's my job to know a little something about everything.
  • Exact Words: Mac is told not to utter the word "sniper" during a press conference in "Hide Sight." He doesn't, but verbally agrees with a reporter who does. Chief Carver asks what he's supposed to tell their superiors. Mac replies, "Tell them I never uttered the word 'sniper'."
  • A Father to His Men / Benevolent Boss: Tries his best to mentor Danny in Season 1 and comforts him when his brother is severely injured; inspires Lindsay with reenactments in Season 2, hugs her protectively on several occasions, during season 7 reassures her after her ordeal with Shane Casey in "The 34th Floor" and saves her from a hail of bullets in "Life Sentence;" saves Flack's life in the Season 2 finale; gives Sheldon a place to stay when he loses his apartment in "It Happened to Me;" helps Adam deal with issues stemming from his childhood in Season 9.
  • Feet-First Introduction: It's actually in CSI: Miami's episode, "MIA/NYC Nonstop," but it's how Mac is initially seen as he exits a police cruiser upon arriving at the scene of the murder of the man Horatio first suspected of the killings in Miami.
    • He also gets a feet-first RE-introduction in season 8's "Keep It Real" upon returning to the crime lab after working at Piper Laboratories for a few months during his 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Heartbroken Badass / Hurting Hero: Lost his wife, Claire, in the 9/11 attacks. Suffered with insomnia for years afterward.
  • It Is Not Your Time: "Near Death."
  • The Lost Lenore: His late wife Claire.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Averted with Claire. He doesn't cry when speaking about her to the locked-in victim or at Ground Zero in "Blink" or during his "limbo" period in "Near Death."
    • Invoked with Christine. In "Misconceptions," he breaks down when he finally realizes that he's going to lose her if he doesn't swallow his pride, apologize for shutting her out, and open up to her.
  • Married to the Job: He doesn't even like to go home to sleep. Christine is helping him get his head out of work now.
  • Mysterious Past: The series opens with Mac sitting alone in church at night. The audience isn't told what's bothering him until later in the episode, and details are slowly revealed as the season goes on.
  • Near-Death Experience: see It Is Not Your Time above.
  • Official Couple: First with Peyton, then with Christine.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: As explained on the Main and Trivia pages, Mac's given name is McCanna.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Stella. Seems to be it with Jo since Stella left.
  • Scars Are Forever: Mac has scars from being burned by a hot piece of shrapnel during the 1983 terrorist bombings in Beirut, from being blown up in "Charge of this Post," and from his bullet wound in "Near Death."
  • Semper Fi: Once a Marine, always a Marine. Note his use of the present tense in this exchange from "Tanglewood" in Season 1:
    Sonny Sassone: That's right. That's the way we do it. Mafia style. You look a man dead in the eye and watch the light go out. But chu wouldn't know anything 'bout *that* would ya, *coppa*?
    Det. Mac Taylor: I'm a Marine, you little punk. I've put men in the ground on foreign soil so you can sleep at night, but you wouldn't know anything about *that*, would ya - *kid*? Let me tell you something about the mob. Back in their heyday, these old-timers, they dealt in death and violence because of one thing: business. Not sport. They were smart. You punks are idiots.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He wears a suit to work more often than not (complete with tie in season 1). Even when his suitcase goes missing for weeks upon his return from London in season 4, he still manages to dress nicely. The black button-down shirt he dons before his suitcase is returned is so sharp Danny remarks, "Whoa, Mac, back in black!"
  • Single-Episode Handicap: He's stuck at home with his leg propped up, a sprained right arm, and a few broken ribs for most of "Point of View." He's completely healed by "Vacation Getaway."
  • The Sleepless: He's an insomniac who doesn't like going home to an empty apartment. Jo once had Flack remove him from a crime scene in an effort to make him go home for a couple hours of sleep. Stella kept on him about it too:
    Stella: When's the last time you got some sleep?
    Mac: What's sleep?

    In a later episode:
    Stella: What do you do when you can't sleep?
    Mac: Work.
    Stella: No, what do *normal people* do when they can't sleep?
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Military career, deceased spouse, little to no personal life, and an argument can be made that he inadvertently caused the death of a childhood friend's older brother by not shooting the guy who was beating the boy to a pulp when he had the chance (at age 14).
  • The Stoic: Sinise himself once said of his character, "He smiles once a season."
  • Team Dad: Whenever the others, especially Adam, are goofing around in the lab, he always sets them straight. Usually a stern look will do the trick, but occasionally such as the time Adam & Danny where teasing Lindsay by using age progression software on a pic of her, he'll say something parental like, "Are you three done?" and they'll immediately snap to attention. But let anyone else threaten any of them...
  • 10-Minute Retirement: See Crusading Widower above. He was back the next episode.
  • Two First Names: Self-explanatory.
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    Stella Bonasera 

Det. Stella Bonasera

Portrayed by: Melina Kanakaredes

  • Absolute Cleavage: Many of Stella's outfits highlight her cleavage, but in episode 4.03, "You Only Die Once," Stella wears a scintillating black dress that dips all the way to the top of her stomach.
  • Action Girl: Is in the thick of things with Mac & Sheldon defending the lab in episode 3.24, "Snow Day."
  • Alone with the Psycho: Her boyfriend Frankie in episode 2.21, "All Access."
  • Fair Cop: Gets hit on by suspects a good bit. There was also this exchange from one of Sid's early episodes:
    Sid: You are as brilliant as you are beautiful.
    Stella: Don't flirt with me, Hammerback.
  • Fatal Attractor: See Alone with the Psycho above. Also, her secret admirer in season 4 turned out to be Mac's 333 Stalker.
  • Foster Kid: Episode 3.22, "Cold Reveal."
  • Gorgeous Greek: She's half Greek, half American.
  • Ms. Fanservice: See Absolute Cleavage above.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Mac.
  • Put on a Bus: At the beginning of season 7. She transfers to New Orleans to head up the crime lab there and is never seen nor heard from again after episode 7.01 (and only because she sent Lindsay a package then). A short time later, tho, Lindsay refers to "the last case Stella was working on" in a conversation with Jo.
  • Quirky Curls: Never changes her hairstyle throughout her six seasons. Her mentor, Professor Papadakis, tells her they're what drew his attention to call on her in class all the time.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Never knew her father, mother was killed in a car accident when she was two years old, grew up in an orphanage/foster care.
  • Stellar Name: "Stella Bonasera" translates to "Star Goodnight."
  • Team Mom: Particularly to Lindsay when she first arrives.

    Danny Messer 

Det. Daniel Messer

Portrayed by: Carmine Giovinazzo

    Lindsay "Montana" Messer 

Det. Lindsay "Montana" Messer (formerly Monroe)

Portrayed by: Anna Belknap

  • Action Mom: Saving Lucy from Shane Casey.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: See above.
  • Big Eater: In "Food for Thought":
    Lindsay: *gives Danny a Long List of food to pick up*
    Danny: *scoffs, starts to walk off, turns and gives her a look*
    Lindsay: I'm not pregnant, I'm just hungry.
  • Brainy Brunette: It was her analysis of blood spatter in a major case in Montana that caused Mac to hire her in the first place. Inspired by his demonstrations in "Zoo York" and a few other episodes, she becomes a reenactment expert. In one of her earliest episodes, she answers a question of Mac's before he has a chance to ask it. He asks how she knew what he wanted and she explains her thought process, which impresses him. In "The Lady in the Lake," she asks Mac if he believes in luck, then goes into detail as to how she arrived at a conclusion which provided a lead in the case. Mac tells her, "That's brains, not luck."
  • Dark and Troubled Past: See Harmful to Minors below. Takes her a while to open up to everyone about it, especially Danny.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Sports mid-length hair in seasons 2 & 3, either straight or wavy before having chin length hair from season 4-6, then to shoulder length hair from season 7-9.
  • Farm Girl: Born and raised in Montana. Her father gave her slingshots, guns, etc for birthday presents when she was a child.
  • Happily Married: See below.
  • Harmful to Minors: As a teenager, Lindsay witnessed the murder of several friends. In season three, she is called to testify at the trial of their murderer. In season nine, she returns to Montana again for his execution.
  • Hometown Nickname: She's from Bozeman, MT.
  • Hot Scientist
  • Mama Bear: Not a good idea to mess with Danny and Lucy.
  • Mysterious Past: Her big secret was hinted at a while before it was finally revealed she survived a shooting.
  • Official Couple: With Danny.
  • Screaming Birth: When Lucy is born near the end of "Greater Good."
  • Sole Survivor: The only reason she wasn't killed along with her friends is because she happened to be in the ladies' room when the perp arrived.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: She survived a mass shooting as a teen that claimed the lives of several of her close friends and is still traumatized by it as an adult.
  • Survivor's Guilt: She's been dealing with this ever since, due to the above. Finally resolved when she successfully testifies against the killer, resulting in him being sent to Death Row and executed.
  • Trauma Button: Lindsay has trouble in early appearances when the Victim of the Week is a teenage girl, as the sight of their bodies often cause flashbacks to the murder of her own friends when they were teens.

    Don Flack 

Det. Donald Flack, Jr.

Portrayed by: Eddie Cahill

    Sheldon Hawkes 

Dr. Sheldon Hawkes

Portrayed by: Hill Harper

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sheldon doesn't lose his temper often which makes the moments where he does all the more impactful. A very good example is the episode "Hammer Down," in which Sheldon delivers a vicious tirade to a doctor who was part of a human trafficking network that used the organs of female organs for transplanting among other things. Given that Sheldon was not only a doctor but had also recently lost his savings because of a scam artist, Sheldon's anger at the man for taking advantage of people's trust was very understandable.
  • Black and Nerdy
  • Clear My Name: "Raising Shane."
  • Hero Does Public Service / The Medic: Volunteers at a clinic and as a medic in Central Park on his days off.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Averted. In "Corporate Warriors," a suspect asks him, "What kind of doctor investigates fires?" Sheldon had spent five years in the ER before transferring to the morgue, then to the Crime Lab.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: His sister was murdered and a girlfriend was raped and he failed to be there when she needed him. He doesn't talk about either one of them much at all.
  • There Should Be a Law: Sheldon is particularly disturbed by the fact that stalkers get away with terrorizing their victims because the things they do (phone calls, taking pictures, etc.) aren't illegal on their own.
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    Sid Hammerback 

Dr. Sid Hammerback

Portrayed by: Robert Joy

  • Anonymous Benefactor: The newspapers dubbed him "The Guardian Angel" for his $1 million gifts to families of several victims whose cases had really stuck with him.
  • The Coroner: Obviously. Took over a few episodes after Sheldon transferred to the field.
  • Creepy Mortician / Fan Nick Name: Sid's Creepy Place.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Continues to work in the morgue after making his fortune.
  • Rags to Riches: He wasn't exactly poor before, but he wasn't wealthy either. Now he's made a bundle on his pillow invention.
  • Secretly Dying: He revealed to Jo that he has advanced Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Word of God says he will not die onscreen, but it's indicated he's heading for an end.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Though that may be changing now, since anyone who isn't Jo, and possibly Mac (who may or may not know due to being his beta tester for the pillow, and who mentions Sid's fortune while "in limbo"), has to notice the piano in the morgue.
    • Until it conveniently disappears.
  • Specs of Awesome: They're what keep him from being blinded, if not killed, by the exploding bullet he extracts from a victim's head.
  • Supreme Chef: Mentions recipes he's tried, often with fairly exotic ingredients. Tells Mac in "Food for Thought" that he went to culinary school.
  • Too Much Information: Likes to overshare at times.

    Adam Ross 

Adam Ross

Portrayed by: A.J. Buckley

  • Abusive Parents: His dad is revealed as abusive in "The Real McCoy."
  • Hollywood Nerd: Lab coat...check. Messy hair...quite often. Sci Fi nut? Oh, yeah.
  • The Lab Rat: It's his job after all.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Physically and verbally abused by his father, who now has Alzheimer's so can't acknowledge his responsibility.
  • Techno Wizard: Once he's joined the team, virtually all the A/V and computer-related investigations become his responsibility, as opposed to Danny's prior to his arrival.

    Jo Danville 

Det. Josephine Danville

Portrayed by: Sela Ward

  • Amicable Exes: Her ex-husband still works with the FBI and pops up from time to time.
  • Alone with the Psycho: "Means to an End."
  • Brainy Brunette: Profiles victims and suspects so correctly it surprises them...as well as her colleagues.
  • FBI Agent: Formerly.
  • I Want Grandkids: Played with. She's after Mac, not her kids, to start a family.
    • Episode 7.18, "Identity Crisis," ends with this exchange:
    Jo: Mac, you need to get married and have kids, so I don't have to go through all these challenges alone.
    Mac: Have you lost your mind?
    Jo: Yeah, don't get married. Just adopt a child. Children are wonderful.
    Mac: Misery loves company, huh?
    Jo: You would make a great father.
    Mac: Jo. Stop.
    Jo: Don't you ever think about being a grandfather?
    Mac: [scoffs] Hey, if I buy you a burger and a beer, will you stop talking?
  • The Matchmaker:
    • Discussed. During Mac's "Near Death" experience in the season 8 finale, he and Sheldon take turns telling each other that they should get married. Each responds with a variation of "You sound like Jo."
    • In season 9, Jo tells Mac that he and Christine need to get married and "start popping little blonde babies out into the world." He raises his eyebrows and she says, "I see the way you two look at each other." He gives a slight eyeroll, turns and walks away without a word.
  • The Profiler:
    • Part of her training with the FBI, and she's very good at it. Makes a great first impression on Mac by profiling the victim upon her arrival at the lab in episode 7.01, "The 34th Floor."
    Mac: (wide-eyed) Do you happen to know her mother's maiden name?
    • In episode 8.10, "Clean Sweep," she uses her skills to help a somewhat shell-shocked suspect remember exactly what happened.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Divorced. Sister was killed by a drunk driver.
  • Team Mom: Kinda takes over the role from Stella, especially with Adam after he witnesses a death via the internet in "Unfriendly Chat."

    Jessica Angell 

Det. Jessica Angell

Portrayed by: Emmanuelle Vaugier

    Aiden Burn 

Det. Aiden Burn

Portrayed by: Vanessa Ferlito

  • Brainy Brunette: Specializes in facial reconstruction.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Fair Cop: Some suspects actually made passes towards her during interrogations. Even had to call out a fellow detective for checking her out while she was examining a corpse for evidence.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Wound up fired for thinking of tampering with evidence in a serial rape case, then killed by the same perp. She somehow manages to leave behind evidence during the attack that helps the CSIs finally nail him.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Aidan manages to make her murder into one of these.
  • Tomboyish Name
  • Unfortunate Name: Considering she winds up being burned beyond recognition...
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    Jamie Lovato 

Det. Jamie Lovato

Portrayed by: Natalie Martinez

The third recurring female detective after Aiden and Angell.

  • Action Girl: In her very first scene, she arrives at the precinct still dressed in her undercover garb. The officers are trying to subdue a very large, very aggressive perp. He breaks free, but she shoves a metal chair into his path with one foot. He trips and she plants her foot on his chest, saying:
    Just where do you thing you're going?
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: She's turning into this for Flack by the final episode.
  • Fair Cop
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For the other two.

    Kaile Maka 

Det. Kaile Maka

Portrayed by: Kelly Hu

Other Recurring Teammates:

    Brigham Sinclair 

Chief of Detectives Brigham Sinclair

Portrayed by: Mykelti Williamson

Chief of Police from 2007 on. Only seen onscreen thru 2009; thereafter he was referred to, or another character's side of a phone conversation with him was shown.

  • Da Chief: Frequently hassles Mac to solve high profile cases quickly so the Mayor doesn't come down on both of them, but does occasionally have Mac's back, too, particularly in "The Thing about Heroes."

    Haylen Becall 

Haylen Becall

Portrayed by: Sarah Carter

Crime Scene Clean-Up Tech/CSI Wannabe

  • Hot Scientist: Good enough scientist for Mac to hire, albeit temporarily. Adam refers to her as "a cute, but evil, job-stealing blonde."
  • Put on a Bus: Disappears without so much as a goodbye when her stint is up.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only promised a year of part-time work since that's about all the grant that covers her salary will cover.

    Stanton Gerrard 

Inspector Stanton Gerrard

Portrayed by: Carmen Argenziano

Seen off and on in seasons 3 and 4. Hassles Mac during the Clay Dobson arc.

  • Vigilante Execution: In his final episode, he shoots his daughter's rapist in cold blood in an interrogation room, then quietly turns his gun in to Mac.

    Ted Carver 

Chief of Detectives Ted Carver

Portrayed by: John Larroquette

Seen in three consecutive episodes of seasons 7.

Friends and Relatives

    Peyton Driscoll 

Dr. Peyton Driscoll

Portrayed by: Claire Forlani

  • False Soulmate: To Mac.
  • Put on a Bus: In Season 4.
    • The Bus Came Back: Episode 6.22, "Point of View." She was meant to make more appearances, but Melina Kanakaredes/Stella Bonasera's departure led to her character becoming a victim of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome for Season 7 instead.
  • Second Love: One of the candidates for Mac; this arc and her character were aborted when the character of Jo Danville replaced Stella Bonasera.

    Reed Garrett 

Reed Garrett

Portrayed by: Kyle Gallner

Mac's stepson. Reed is the son who Mac's late wife, Claire, gave up for adoption before meeting Mac. When Reed came looking for his biological mother, he met Mac instead.

  • Intrepid Reporter: Begs Mac for inside info on cases so he can scoop mainstream media with his blog. Throws himself into every story he writes, to the point of being taken hostage by the cabbie killer, who forces Reed to use his blog to get his point across and then severely injures him, leaving him for dead.
  • Scars Are Forever: Reed still bears the scars from the cabbie killer, which he hides with a scarf.
  • Seeking the Missing, Finding the Dead: Mac has the unenviable task of telling him that Claire died on 9/11.

    Dr. Aubrey Hunter 

Dr. Aubrey Hunter

Portrayed by: Mädchen Amick

    Ellie Danville 

Ellie Danville

Portrayed by: Syndey Park

Jo's adopted daughter.

  • Happily Adopted: In season 7's "Identity Crisis," it seems at first that Ellie is distraught over not knowing her birth mother. She eventually reveals to Jo that she wanted to meet the woman in order to find out what she herself might look like someday because of jealousy over her friends looking so much like their mothers.

    Lucy Messer 

Lucy Messer

Portrayed by: Brooklyn Rae Silzer (in season nine, anyway)

Danny & Lindsay's daughter.

    Christine Whitney 

Christine Whitney

Portrayed by: Megan Dodds

The sister of Mac's partner, Stan, who was killed in the line of duty. When Lindsay and Jo made Mac a Facebook page to demonstrate during a case how easily someone could be impersonated, Mac left the page up, and he and Christine reconnected and have been dating ever since. After going through a lot in seasons 8 and 9, Mac proposed to her at the end of season 9, and she happily accepted.

  • Bound and Gagged: When she's abducted in "Seth and Apep."
  • Cry into Chest: Her reaction when Mac rescues her.
  • Heroic BSoD: She's clearly having residual issues from her ordeal in the NY/LV crossover, "In Vino Vertas," as evidenced by "Blood Actually."
  • Second Love: To Mac. (Peyton subverted it; they appeared in love, but it was obvious by the end that he wasn't ready, and she ultimately left him. His bond with Christine is much more obvious and genuine-feeling.)
  • Supreme Chef: Owns a small restaurant at first; makes plans to close it and open a bistro in season 9. Is shown in flashback as having cooked for her brother when he and Mac were partners. Cooks elaborate meals for Mac once they start dating.

Villains

    Sonny Sassone 

Sonny Sassone

Portrayed by: Michael De Luise

Leader of the Tanglewood Boys. Seen in season 1's "Tanglewood" and season 2's "Run Silent, Run Deep."

    D.J. Pratt 

D.J. Pratt

Portrayed by: Chad Williams

A serial rapist appearing in Season 2.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Aiden Burn. After he kills her in the episode "Heroes," the protagonists finally have enough evidence to put him behind bars.

    Frankie Mala 

Frankie Mala

Portrayed by: Ed Quinn

Stella's sculptor boyfriend from season 2.

    Shane Casey 

Shane Casey

Portrayed by: Edward Furlong

  • Disney Villain Death: Somehow pulls one of these when he falls from the lighthouse near the end of "Vacation Getaway."

    Clay Dobson 

Clay Dobson

Portrayed by: Joey Lawrence

    Andrew "Drew" Bedford aka 333 stalker 

Andrew "Drew" Bedford aka 333 stalker

Portrayed by: Kerr Smith

  • Failure-to-Save Murder: His motivation was the fact that Mac had not shot the guy who killed his brother Will back when they were all kids in Chicago.

    John Curtis 

John Curtis

Portrayed by: Jason Wiles

A serial rapist appearing in Season 8.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Jo Danville.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Was framed for an additional rape, after being released for lack of evidence in his original crime; and then for murder, after being freed on bail for the new one.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look he gets in "Means to an End" when he realizes Jo is going to shoot him after all.

Other Criminals

    Bogdhan Ivanov 

Bogdhan Ivanov

Portrayed by: Vitali Baganov

Ultimately revealed to be the first villain of the series, in "Blink."

    Joe Riggs 

Joe Riggs

Portrayed by: Joseph Sikora

    Luis Torres 

Luis Torres

Portrayed by: Jacob Vargas

    Leonard Brooks 

Leonard Brooks

Portrayed by: Rob Morrow

Serial arsonist released in the season 9 premier, "Reignited." Shows back up in the next episode.

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