Thoughts on the CSI Finale

I just got to watch the CSI season finale. (PLOT SPOILER DISCUSSED SOON.) I have to say that overall it wasn’t that great an episode. After last week with Brass getting shot I expected much more. Not to mention the website I was touting that had all those clues! That was such a cool site, but most of it came to naught. What’s up with that?

Also, last week Warrick had his drama with his new wife, and then they just drop it? (And can I say that Warrick is ten times boring now that he’s married?)

This week they really didn’t even have any interesting cases. Both of the cases turned out to be accidents, and while it was interesting to see the people under stress (especially Warrick’s weird attack on the sister of that guy who died), this was done so much better in last season’s final episode directed by Quentin Tarrantino.

Of course, what everyone will be talking about is the ending, which revealed Grissom and Sara have a relationship! Because they are apparently in a hotel, and this is the first we’ve seen it, I think we can reasonably infer that their relationship is a secret. That could bode well for drama in the future, if it all comes out.

I wrote a column almost three years ago where I advocated not fulfilling romantic desires in a show like CSI. The column is surprisingly good (hint hint): Here is one part, dealing with what we’re talking about:

The Unrequited Love Theory
The best monster movies wait as long as possible to show you their creature; knowing that whatever you come up with in your imagination is worse than anything they can film. The same works with TV, in a different way. Based on the earlier Conflict Theory, it is almost always better for characters not to get together romantically. Sometimes the whole show is based on love, but even then, it’s better if the love stories don’t work out, at least not for very long. I hear so many people (read: women) wish for certain characters to have relationships (in the business these people are called “shippers”). They want the happy ending. Everyone does. But in an ongoing TV show, this is death. Like I wrote, all drama is based on conflict, and once the conflict is resolved, there goes the tension of the drama. As much as you might hate this, you know it to be true. The best shows are where it doesn’t work out for the characters, and you’re so frustrated at his/her inability to get the girl or keep the guy that you could scream. That’s what makes serialized TV so great, and that’s what keeps us watching.

I definitely hold to that, but like I wrote on Monkey Barn two weeks ago, the show is almost to the point where it will start receding in the public consciousness if it doesn’t do something, so while I love Grissom and loathe Sara, I’m on board.

One other note: Probably the best scene in CSI history (not Tarrantino-related) is when Grissom talks to this doctor (who’s getting away with murder) about being attracted to a younger colleague. Gris goes on about new life from a younger woman, and how he couldn’t take the risk to his career even though he wanted to. We pan back to see Sara watching through the two-way mirror. Just powerful stuff.

Okay, I guess I have two more notes: I also caught the end of the episode where Sara is pulled over for DUI. They’d been building this all that season. Sara’s meltdown was partly because she made her pitch to Grissom and he rejected her, and partly of her screwed up childhood (which we finally found out about in that great mental institution episode this year). Anyway, Grissom comes to take her home, and I think that’s the start of their relationship, or at least led to it. Just my opinion.