Full disclosure: I haven't watched CSI in years, but that didn't mean tonight wasn't a total emotional roller coaster for me.
I watched every single episode for the first nine seasons at least, and even stuck around for a couple more after Grissom left (and broke my heart in the process).
Even when I stopped watching, the show never really left my brain. I can't hear The Who's Who Are You without singing along for 30 seconds, and that time Nick Stokes (George Eads) was buried alive still haunts me to this day. I know weird things about bugs thanks to this show, and we will never forget the way cute lab tech Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda) awakened some previously unfelt feelings in my adolescenet self.
I loved CSI, and I never really stopped loving it. I just kind of grew up and apart from the show, just as the original characters grew apart from each other (looking at you, Grissom and Sara).
So, tonight's two-hour finale, which reunited Gil Grissom (William Petersen), Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), David Hodges (Wallace Langham), the aforementioned Greg, and even Grissom's ridiculous dominatrix friend/foe Lady Heather (Melinda Clarke), felt like a trip back to my teen years in a way I should have expected but totally didn't.
It was like no time had passed at all, both for me and for the show. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have social studies homework due tomorrow, and that I should go to bed (as soon as I'm finished updating my LiveJournal with all my Grissom/Sara thoughts).
These two hours felt so old school in such a great way that we kept getting a little confused whenever Ted Danson showed up to unscramble a scrambled face ("like unscrambling scrambled eggs, or something"), or when Catherine's daughter Lindsey was no longer a child and was showing up with suitcases filled with dead guys.
The whole reunion situation was wildly convoluted, as it kind of had to be: a guy set off his bomb vest in the casino that just so happened to be owned by Catherine Willows, and there was evidence from his vest pointing to CSI-famous dominatrix/sex therapist Lady Heather.
Of course, that meant it was time to call in the foremost Lady Heather expert Gil Grissom, who then spent the entire rest of the finale teaching us all about everything from bees to the inner workings of dom/sub relationships.
At first it seemed like Lady Heather was responsible for that bombing and the two that followed, but it soon became clear she was being framed by one of her clients. When one of her clients turned out to be (a guy played by) always-a-bad-guy Doug Hutchison, it was obviously him, but it took a while to get there.
The emotional through-line of the finale was obviously Sara and Grissom reuniting since getting divorced however long ago that was. They both ended up admitting separately to Lady Heather that they were still in love with each other, but it took Lindsey hinting to Sara that she should watch Grissom's interrogation of Lady Heather for her to get that. In the end, she and Grissom sailed off into the sunset on his little boat, which is just as things should be.
Catherine, meanwhile, decided to return to Vegas after her stint at the FBI (and on that one show where Josh Holloway had a computer in his head), and since Ted Danson and now Sara were leaving, she could take over the job as director.
From a fan standpoint, I loved everything about everything that I just saw.
If I'm looking at the episode with a more critical eye, that was totally and completely ridiculous. Obviously, the bomber was Doug Hutchison. Obviously, Sara and Grissom were destined to be together again. Obviously, all bombs (and there were a lot of bombs) that endangered anyone we cared about were diffused at the very last second. Obviously, bees.
Then there was Catherine practically yelling, "My vagina!" when Grissom didn't recognize Lindsey and asked where she came from, and then there was Ted Danson with the pixels on his scrambled face picture, and then there was Grissom's whole speech at the end about lonely whales, and yes, it was all ridiculous.
But it was also CSI, and in a way, it was beautiful, and a fitting end to a consistently ridiculous series.
Goodbye, CSI department of the LVPD. It's been a mostly great 15 years.
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