|Main Character: New York|
|Family||Frank Hawkes (uncle;deceased)|
Maya Hawkes (sister; deceased)
|Rank||Detective 3rd Grade|
|Portrayed By||Hill Harper|
|First Appearance||MIA/NYC NonStop |
Dr. Sheldon Hawkes is a detective working out of the New York Crime Lab. He was formerly a Medical Examiner up until season two.
Sheldon Hawkes tries to focus on the upside of everything he does; whether that's working in the lab or out in the field; meaning that he cracks jokes to break the seriousness of a job that deals with the cruelest people in the world. He is trustworthy and tries to do what he believes is right for the sake of his team, which he considers family. He is protective when need be, willing to do anything he needs to do to keep them safe and loves each of them equally, though he has a special relationship with Stella.
Because of his gifts as a prodigy, Hawkes is a "jack of all trades." Even when he was just a Medical Examiner, Hawkes was skilled enough to assist the CSI team in many other capacities. These include; ballistics, audio/visual analysis, crime scene recreation, splatter analysis, and various others.
Hawkes is a skilled scuba diver, and does dives for the CSI team. Sheldon nearly drowned while diving in the East River, after being held down by a fallen piece of wood and the strong tidal currents. Danny Messer and another diver (Steve) were able to cut him loose and get him to safety (episode 402, "The Deep"). He was able to dive again, doing a solo dive near the 59th Street Bridge to look for a suspect's gun (episode 608, "Cuckoo's Nest").
Hawkes has also shown to be a good fighter, as he took down a prisoner during a prison break.
Sheldon was a child prodigy who graduated college at eighteen, and by 24 he was a fully board-licensed surgeon. After a tumultuous surgical career in which he was often at odds with his boss and after losing two patients on the operating table, he abandoned surgery in favor of the medical examiner's office (episode 308, "And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael").
He evidently sleeps at the morgue sometimes, as he has a cot there in (episode 103, "American Dreamers").
Hawkes is targeted by killer Shane Casey (episode 304, "Hung Out to Dry"). Several years before, when Hawkes was the M.E., his testimony helped send Shane's brother, Ian, to jail for a robbery-homicide at a neighborhood pub. Ian Casey committed suicide after being sentenced and Shane blamed several people, including Hawkes (even though his testimony had been a mere formality). Shane murders the jury foreperson and a witness to Ian's crime before the team makes the connection to Hawkes and the previous case.
Hawkes is a sympathetic soul who is willing to lend an ear to anyone who needs to talk as shown in a flashback where he met a girl at a party. The girl felt unhappy, so Hawkes took her out for a cup of coffee and listened to her tell him her troubles. Afterward, he gave her his phone number if she ever felt like she needed to talk to him again (episode 307, "Murder Sings The Blues").
The girl was found dead two weeks later onboard a subway car following a rave party, with Hawkes' phone number still on her person. Hawkes, when he discovers his phone number in the girl's possession, neglects to tell Mac about his connection to her, which earns him a dressing-down from Mac in front of the entire lab. Later, Hawkes apologizes to Mac for not disclosing how he knew the victim and tells his story. Their relationship has clearly mended when Mac confides about his father's lingering death from cancer, and Sheldon comforts him. This dialogue also indicates that Hawkes is opposed to euthanasia (episode 308, "And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael").
Later in the season, Shane orchestrates a plot that implicates Hawkes in a robbery-homicide in deliberate imitation of Ian's case (episode 311, "Raising Shane"). Shane demands that the team find evidence to prove Ian's innocence in return for the evidence that will exonerate Hawkes. Though the team is assigned to a different case because of a conflict of interest, they find that the new case is, strangely enough, connected to Hawkes', and through the team's diligence, they are able to help clear Hawkes' name and secure his freedom, as well as prove Ian Casey's guilt in a twist of tragic irony and Shane was arrested. On his release, Sheldon is warmly embraced by Stella Bonasera.
While investigating the death of a diving instructor, Sheldon briefly becomes trapped underwater. Despite being injured and suffering from hypoxia, Sheldon is freed with the help of Danny Messer, who was diving with him. After they are safe, Hawkes admits that he envisioned coroner Sid Hammerback preparing to do an autopsy on him (episode 402, "The Deep").
In season five, it is revealed that an ex-girlfriend of Hawkes' was a victim of a serial rapist years ago (episode 512, "Help") . The aftermath of the event led their relationship to fall apart. When the rapist strikes another victim, Hawkes becomes furious and a little obsessed with finding the rapist and putting him away, leading him to clash with Mac over the methods of obtaining evidence and over Hawkes' personal connection to one of the victims. He is removed from the case as a result. The rapist is eventually caught by Stella.
Sheldon reminisces to Danny Messer about his just-deceased uncle Frank, who had witnessed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and whose dignified resilience to racism, and pride in his nephew, had been formative in Sheldon's life. That pride was on full display at the uncle's house when upon graduating from med school, Frank placed a sign on his house reading "THIS IS THE HOME OF THE PROUD UNCLE OF DOCTOR SHELDON HAWKES" (episode 522, "Yahrzeit").
In season six Sheldon displays his anger while interrogating a suspect with Flack (episode 607, "Hammer Down"). Being a doctor who had lost all of his savings in a scheme, he berated the suspect, who is also a doctor, for using the female victims' organs and body parts for transplanting among other things, for money while Flack watches. It's also part of the CSI trilogy in which Dr. Raymond Langston, of the Las Vegas Crime Lab investigates the kidnapping of a young woman in Miami, who was later believed to have been taken from Las Vegas.
Sheldon had a disagreement with Danny Messer regarding a heavy-set victim at a crime scene they were investigating (episode 916, "Blood Actually"). But later, Sheldon showed Danny a picture of himself when he was overweight but later lost the weight to impress a girl, reminding Danny that what's on the inside of a person is what really counts.
- His badge number is "9010".
- Due to his medical background, he is sometimes referred to as "Doc" by his colleagues.