A number of news articles all expressed their approval of the GSR-centric ending.
Gil Grissom (William Petersen) returned to “CSI” to talk to bees, lecture about whale songs and tell of a flower whose fragrance can make anyone lose control. For a final time, Grissom’s offbeat brilliance brightened the forensics work.
As the influential CBS crime procedural ended its 15-year run — SPOILER ALERT — Grissom also stopped a mad bomber and found personal happiness. Petersen’s return was a reminder that “CSI” had never been the same since Grissom left.
An oft-repeated promotional spot signaled the ending. After working a final case, Grissom realized he wanted to be with ex-wife and former colleague Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox). She joined him in the final moments, and they sailed away.
But when Grissom faced off against the villain, the bad guy was no match. Grissom paused to talk whale songs, and Petersen sold the unusual moment. The actor had been a chief reason the show took off in the ratings.
The “CSI” finale played tricks, too: Grissom came up on a corpse that turned out to be … synthetic. “Everyone thinks you’re responsible,” Grissom told Lady Heather of the bombings. “I am,” she replied.
But, of course, she wasn’t. Grissom, however, did thank her for opening his heart and making him realize his love for Sara.
Now they live in TV history, sailing away and enjoying a happily-ever-after that will not end. After all that forensics, why not love?
— Hal Boedeker, Orlado Sun: ‘CSI’: Gil Grissom departs heroically
The episode was largely dominated by Grissom, which seems only right since the character was the driving force of the show for nine seasons. “Looks like somebody jumped a shark,” Grissom joked at one point, very tongue-in-cheek. Ted Danson had a handful of scenes, and Elizabeth Shue was killed off rather unceremoniously. Professional dominatrix and fan favorite Lady Heather also had a memorable return, as she was at the center of multiple twists and turns that had viewers buzzing on social media — even if Jorja Fox’s Sara Sidle wasn’t in the mood.
The heart-pounding finale did a wonderful job of reminding fans why they fell in love with this show in the first place, as Sara and Grissom clearly still had some romantic notions.
Grissom had a lot of great lines, including a poem: “Evidence may bear…even if rare,” he said. “It’s what’s not there that gives you a scare.” But ultimately a lot of it came down to terrorism, Catherine’s box and a lonely 52-Hertz whale. And although some may not love Gil’s happy ending that had him and Sara boating off together (many consider their romance as the moment when “CSI” jumped its own shark), it was a beautiful farewell to a beloved character.
— Larry Carrol, Zap2It: ‘CSI’ finale says goodbye with morgues, murder and mystery — and a happy ending?
And so it ends … for real.
Jorja Fox, one of the show’s original cast members, has said in previous interviews that she didn’t think anyone would watch the series when it first premiered in 2000. She could not have been more wrong. The drama about a forensics investigation division in Las Vegas was an instant smash.
During its 15-year run, “CSI” spawned three spinoffs and became one of TV’s most popular series, in the U.S. and internationally.
Like other cast member, Fox, who played investigator Sara Sidle, was extremely appreciative that the show was given a final bow: “It was such a great gift. I was thrilled. And the finale was truly a love letter to our fans.”
Fox added that working again with William Petersen, who played investigator Gil Grissom, and Marg Helgenberger, who played Catherine Willows, was exciting. “Us all being back together felt like the most natural thing in the world. It was such a joy to have them.”
One of the main attractions for fans of the series was the romance between Grissom and Sidle. And the finale featured them in a tough situation. After getting married years ago, things started to go wrong and they divorced.
A fatal explosion in a casino brings the retired Grissom back to Vegas, where he has a tense reunion with his ex.
“My character is really thinking, ‘How can I work with him again?’ and it’s pretty awkward,” Fox said. “It’s uncomfortable and messy.”
However, by the end of the episode, the two discover that they are still in love with each other.
Said Fox: “I always knew I was part of this weird love story. For all the violence and darkness in the show, there’s still this love story, and that’s such a terrific way to end up. No matter how black things seem, ‘CSI’ is a love story; there is long and lasting love.”
The couple is seen at the end literally riding off into the sunset, where Grissom has relocated. But there’s still the matter of Sidle’s job in Las Vegas, where she’s been promoted to the head of the CSI unit. The future of Grissom and Sidle is still a mystery as the credits close.
“On one hand, maybe they’ll just ride around in the boat for an hour and then call it quits,” Fox said with a chuckle. “Or maybe they’ll stay together and become CSIs for the ocean and the environment. There’s no talk of a spinoff, but that would make a great idea for a show.”
In the meantime, Fox is looking forward to the next chapter of her life and career.
“I have no idea what’s next,” Fox said. “In some ways, the end of the show caught me by surprise. It’s the first time in 19 years I’ve been between jobs. I’m just going to decompress a little bit. It’s been nice just hanging out with my dog and just letting go. I can’t wait to see what the next thing is.”
— Greg Braxton, LA Times: “I was part of this weird love story”: Jorja Fox on ‘CSI’ finale and working with William Petersen
Grissom and Sara ended up together — for good this time, we assume.
For a moment it seemed like the on-again, off-again lovers might go their separate ways, but come on. There’s no way that was happening. Instead, Sara left Vegas and flew to San Diego to join Gil on his boat. The pair literally sailed off into the sunset. “CSI” was never the subtlest show….
— Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: How ‘CSI’ out-CSIed itself for the series finale