Not everyone likes GSR.
But perhaps the most egregious misstep the finale makes is in its conclusion when, after finally taking over as CSI director, Sidle leaves the career she’s built to wander around the oceans with Grissom. True love is one thing; it’s two people meeting in the middle and each giving ground so they can find a place where they can each thrive. But that’s not what “CSI” does. It breaks Sara’s back and sends her on her way, and the implication is clear: If her relationship only works by following Grissom to the ends of the Earth, then her true calling is following Grissom to the ends of the Earth.
It’s a weird and contrary message, the opposite of what love is, and, in a way, the perfect summation of a relationship that never really worked. Sidle and Grissom sail off into the sunset, something the show believes is a happy ending but reality makes less clear.
— Libby Hill, LA Times: ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ recap: Grissom and the gang say goodbye
Grissom was as wonderfully grizzled and nerdy as ever, (Sara) sidling back into the role as if no time whatsoever had passed. As such, it was probably inevitable that he would get the most screen time, but I suppose that’s as it should be.
Besides, if they hadn’t taken that approach, we wouldn’t have gotten what were, by far, the tenderest moments in the entire series between Grissom and Sara (Jorja Fox), culminating in an implied boat ride off into the sunset together, with Sara seemingly forgoing her new job as director to be with him and Catherine stepping up to the plate in her stead, which was a nice touch.
While part of me- the more feminist part- was a bit miffed that Sara would give up her plum gig for a guy that was clearly married to his own work, I get it. The show, and perhaps more than a few viewers, wanted these two to ride off- or sail off, as the case was- into the sunset together, and that’s what we got. Hey, at least they gave the job to another woman, so there’s that.
— Mark Trammell, TV Equals: CSI “Immortality, Parts 1 & 2” Review (Season 16 Premiere/Series Finale)