This week’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation dropped a big bombshell on the CSI team with the reveal of Detective Sam Vega, played by Geoffrey Rivas since “Too Tough To Die,” being a dirty cop. Tom Mularz, co-writer of the episode, talks exclusively with CSI Files’ Shane Saunders about the surprising turn.
CSI Files: The big reveal at the end of “Crime After Crime” — Vega’s involvement in the murders — seems a bit surprising based on how he’s been represented as a very by-the-book law official since his first appearance back in season one. What was the genesis of turning him into dirty cop?
Tom Mularz: To give the episode a real impact, we wanted to have the final twist be the discovery that one of our familiar detectives was involved in the revenge killings. While Vega never gave any hint of being dirty in past episodes (and wasn’t dirty in the cases we saw him work), it had been a little while since we last saw him. He worked gang detail, which sometimes involves legally-dubious tactics… and can drag a police officer over to the wrong side. It seemed reasonable that he could have gotten caught up in some seedy practices since we last saw him. From his point-of-view, though, he might argue that he was simply dealing justice to those who deserved it.
CSI Files: With Brass’ involvement in the Haskell cover up in last season’s “In A Dark, Dark House,” it appears there’s a darker side to the character than in year’s past. First off, do you think Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) had an idea that Vega was potentially dirty? And, two, is there going to be more light shed on that matter?
Mularz: I think Brass, like a lot of law enforcement, believes there are darker sides than most people show. But Brass is a good guy, on the right side of the law — I don’t think he would knowingly disregard knowledge of a dirty cop. When he helped Langston out, in last year’s finale, he weighed the repercussions of his friend’s act and determined that Haskell brought his fate upon himself. Langston didn’t deserve to have his life ruined over it.
CSI Files: In real life, I would assume there would be some investigating into Vega’s previous cases. Was this episode more of a self-contained story, or will this story continue into future episodes?
Mularz: There aren’t any plans to continue the story.
CSI Files: Nick (George Eads) seemed particularly saddened by Vega’s death. With those two sharing many scenes in year’s past, was it intentional to have him be there when Vega committed suicide by proxy?
Mularz: Yes — Nick and Vega had a bond, so we thought it would be especially resonant for Nick to witness his friend’s death. And it was a moment, for Russell, to get a sense of the history that all his new co-workers have.
CSI Files: What are you currently working on as Season Twelve continues?
Mularz: I’ve been in the writers’ room helping on a couple upcoming stories… nothing in particular to tease, except there are some great ones coming up!