George Eads, CSI

On Thursday's CSI, Ray Langston's obsession with Dr. Jekyll begins to involve other members of the team.

CSI: The hunt for Dr. Jekyll heats up

When Langston (Laurence Fishburne) and Nick (George Eads) are called to the scene of a family's brutal murder, their investigation leads them to the basement of the house next door, which is full of equipment that suggests Dr. Jekyll lives there.

"We find some of his homemade surgical equipment that will make your hair stand up," Eads tells TVGuide.com. "The clues he leaves are literally something out of dinner theater. This guy's dropping all these squirrelly clues all over the place. To decipher these clues, we call upon Nick's instinct, but tap even more into Dr. Ray's insights into the criminal mind."

The case takes the team to a hospital, where the investigators soon learn that Dr. Jekyll is impersonating a staff member. "Right when we're about to catch the guy and bust in to see him torturing someone, he's not there," Eads says. "Realizing that he's in this hospital we're in and he's in disguise, we end up running and chasing. It gets pretty intense."

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Eads says he likes the intensity and the chances he's had of late to work closely with Fishburne. "I'm running around with Laurence quite a bit, not necessarily as a teacher but as a foot soldier that pushes the story along when need be," he says. "The thing about our show is it's a team effort. It's an ensemble — we're like the Justice League and everyone has their power. I told Laurence, 'You know what your super power is now, and we can all come together as a team to contribute the puzzle.'"

Executive producer Carol Mendelsohn echoes those sentiments. "It's a joy for all of us to watch Ray and Nick interface and collaborate on cases together," she says. "Langston has become part of the team, and I think it's really become a family. I think it's really firing on all cylinders."

But it's not all about Langston. Mendelsohn says the show will increasingly take opportunities to dig further into Nick's personal life. But Eads says that viewers shouldn't expect to necessarily go home with his character.

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"Through his work situations, I think they'll get to know him better," Eads says. "When you're talking about getting to know people personally, you're starting to dive into their personal relationships or the way they like their eggs in the morning, which in the end isn't really what this show is. I don't know if we'll ever really see Nick on a date or cooking dinner for a girl at his house."

We will, however, see Nick's softer side again as he begins to work with some displaced children later this season. "I told the writers that I'd like to see Nick have to deal with a displaced child," Eads says. "Maybe there will be a future in there because he's more or less single on the show with no kids. He's completely dedicated to work, which is noble. But at the same time, I think he's craving that [family]."

Eads says being able to play the intensity and the tender moments have added to his character's growth throughout the series. "This character has had a maturation process over the entire decade," he says. "Now he sits at the adult table for dinner. He's experienced and just more wise and mature.

"Nick's emerging as a bit of a hero," Eads says. "He's continuing to dive into dangerous situations, like kicking in the door of Dr. Jekyll's torture dungeon, but he's also softening and taking a child that's crying and offering him candy. He's got a lot of endearing qualities. It's fun to play a heroic character that has no fear."

CSI airs Thursday at 9/8c on CBS.