C.S.I. features a team of forensic investigators trained to solve crimes the old-fashioned way -- by examining the evidence. Investigators include team leader Sara Sidle, Capt. Jim Brass, and Nick Stokes. The detectives use Sherlock Holmes-style deduction to track down criminals using clues such as footprints, carpet fibers, and the imprint of a license plate number on a hit-and-run victim's bruised leg. In recent seasons, the characters of lab techs and medical examiners have been expanded, as well. At the close of season thirteen, a serial killer targeted the team and Brass’s daughter. It turned out Brass’s daughter was in on the killing and murdered his ex-wife. This plus some other attacks on CSI team members has raised the level of tension as they all try to get back to normal after the dramatic case that threatened them.
Because the series deals with forensic investigations, C.S.I. contains a great deal of violence. Throughout each episode, the crimes committed are slowly reconstructed and shown in flashback sequences, so violent acts may be replayed several times throughout the hour. Graphic images, including close-ups of corpses with gunshot wounds, autopsies, and other bloody injuries, are common. Sexual situations are extremely graphic. In the past, scenes included a man with a biting fetish, men receiving S&M beatings from a dominatrix in a sex club, a grown man with a sexual desire to dress like and be treated as an infant, and a woman making a sex video for her 15-year-old stepson. Another episode featured a plot during which a serial killer hacked up victims after raping them with foreign objects and hid their bodies in blocks of cement. Foul language on C.S.I. includes "damn," "hell," “crap,”, “suck,” “screw,” “bastard, "bitch," "ass," and "asshole." In recent episodes, there were depictions of child kidnappings, bombings, a young woman found victim of an abusive parent with her tongue cut out, and the dissection of a graphically burned corpse.
C.S.I. is not recommended for viewers under age 18.