Nick Stokes (George Eads) is the recently promoted Assistant Supervisor of the grave yard shift on "CSI". A smart, athletic young man with a troubled past, Nick has been a member of the CSI team since 1997, appearing in every episode except three. Protegé to Gil Grissom (William Petersen), his former supervisor, Nick has evolved from a young, hot-shot rookie to a well-respected and admired member of the team. Nick is close to his colleague Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) and was best friend to murdered CSI investigator Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan).
Nick was born in Austin, Texas and showed a lot of promise in athletics and academics. He played football throughout his teenage years and eventually attended Texas A&M University. After graduating from college, he left Austin for Dallas. He began to work for the Dallas CSI as a hair and fiber analyzer. Shortly after starting there, he met Grissom and transferred to the Las Vegas crime lab.
During the first few seasons, Nick's emotions were rarely tested. He showed great restraint and composure when dealing with suspects and crime scenes, while remaining compassionate and respectful of victims and their families. In the fourth season, however, Nick's troubled past became more clear. While dealing with a serial kidnapper, Nick confided in Catherine that he had been molested as a boy by a last-minute replacement babysitter. This led to visible anger and frustration when dealing with the perpetrator, a trait that would become more common to Nick as the show progressed. His developing anger and decrease in tact with suspects did not go unnoticed by Grissom and other CSI supervisors.
Around this time, Nick became romantically involved with a prostitute named Nikki (Kristy Hopkins). When she was suddenly murdered, the evidence pointed to Nick. That, coupled with Nick's increasingly suspicious behavior, led the authorities to consider him as a suspect. It was eventually revealed that Nikki's pimp was the murderer. He had framed Nick because Nikki was quitting the business to be with him. After this incident, Nick took time away from Las Vegas. He returned four episodes later, visibly refreshed and relaxed.
Nick's emotions were yet to be fully tested, however, as the entire grave yard shift at CSI was the target of a vicious and psychotic serial killer. The cat and mouse game reached a climax when Nick was abducted and buried alive in a glass coffin rigged with explosives. Left only with a loaded gun and a webcam so his team could watch him die, Nick began to crack under extreme mental stress. At one point, fire ants began to pour into the coffin, torturing him further. Nick considered suicide, but decided against it at the last moment. Seconds later, Nick saw Warrick digging him out. This intensified the bond of friendship between Warrick and Nick.
Nick's trauma was not over, as Warrick was the last victim of a serial killer. Throughout these events, Nick kept a clear head, showing Grissom and the team how mature he had grown since joining them. Once Grissom left CSI, Nick was promoted to head of the graveyard shift.
Nick Stokes has been well received by fans of the series, and critics in general. Many fans refer to him as "the rock" of the team, representing the solid and unwavering determination for the truth and facts. Nick isn't known for many words, choosing to be a man of action instead.
"Blood is like my grandfather... it never lies."
"Nothin' like flirting over a DB"
"You didn't, by any chance, happen to put him in a bag and dropped him off a hill into a gully did you?"