This season has put focus on Jorja Fox‘s Sara Sidle. Despite returning to the lab in Season Ten’s “[[Family Affair]]” after a relatively brief exit and marrying her former crime lab supervisor Gil Grissom (William Petersen), the long-distance arrangement for her marriage has taken a toll. “We are moving toward some understanding of where Sara is and where the strains are within the relationship,” a source close to the show tells CSI Files. “It won’t mean that Grissom will appear in the near future; it really is from Sara’s side at this point,” one source continues. Though nothing is in the cards for Grissom to appear this season, the status of the marriage will be addressed. “Those issues are going to come to a head, and we will see that in “Forget Me Not.” We will see how that strain has played out, and someone from Sara’s past takes advantage of that strain.”
So far in Season Thirteen Sara has faced off against a creepy stalker and reunited with a former flame, both of which have served as foreshadowing for upcoming events. In this week’s installment titled “Forget Me Not,” Sara is accused of murder and once again crosses paths with Adam Harrington‘s Ronald Basderic. “In “[[Code Blue Plate Special]]” we really responded to the actor and to the character,” another source continues. This go around, however, things become personal. “Basderic has had survelliance on Sara, and he knows how vulnerable she is,” they preview of Basderic’s return. “[Co-Executive Producer] Andrew Dettmann thought that would be an interesting way to come back and integrate the pressures on Sara; it would just come to a head with this person because he felt humiliated by her and had taken that obsession too far.” During CSI‘s run Sara has had her fair share of formidable foes — from the miniature killer to Hannah West — so what exactly makes the villains in Las Vegas target the CSI? “She gets under people’s skin,” a source answers. “Certain cases, as has always been true, Sara has been able to act very professionally but can at times with certain crimes or certain suspects, affect her. It’s interesting that that’s happened over the course of the show.”
Making matters worse for Sara this week is the introduction of Sara’s oft-mentioned mother Laura Sidle, played by Kay Lenz. When “The Two Mrs. Grissoms” was penned two seasons ago, the writers felt they were reaching a point where introducing the pivotal family member would make logical sense. “But in terms of bringing her back for this particular episode, it was about bringing everything to a head in one episode,” a source reveals. Viewers have been privy to some details on Sara’s mother, dating as far back as Season Three’s “One Hit Wonder.” Laura, a schizophrenic, killed Sara’s father and was institutionalized, leaving Sara to be placed into foster care. “We don’t get into too much detail about how that was adjudicated, but she’s not in prison,” going on to say “she’s in a position now where she does care. We see how it’s worked for Sara recently.” The happy-go-lucky reunion is short-lived, at least for now. “Basderic has communicated with Sara’s mother; that’s the reason she knows what’s happening with Sara. Sara is trying to compartmentalize that part of her life, and Basderic has told her what has happened to Sara.” Appearing in only two scenes in the episode, the writers were able to “start filling in the blanks,” however not completely. “We may see her again.”
Sara’s return to the lab three seasons ago has confused viewers for some time. She has a husband now, once suffered burnout from the cases she worked, and had worked on creating a new chapter in life. Why is she still working in Vegas? “She is drawn to this type of work, but we will address why she continues to be drawn back to the Vegas Crime Lab,” answers one source. “They’ve become her surrogate family. There have been ties with the new team that have been established; the old team had a difficult time trying to reach out to have their own families, and the team itself became closest to them,” they continue. This is where the creative process meets the reality of the business, also. “Billy Petersen isn’t on the show anymore, and it’s difficult to get him for an appearance because there are other things going on with his life,” they add. “With Jorja we love the character of Sara Sidle and we love Jorja Fox. The attempt to explain her situation is challenging in a way, but we are trying to address it.” And just because things with Sara’s life are brought to a head this week, that certainly doesn’t mean that the volcano of Sara is finished erupting. “It will come to a head in Episode Fifteen, but it will have reprucussions all the way into the finale, and next season as well,” a source previews. “What happens in that episode is not just, ‘that’s what happened; we’re done.’ It will have implications going forward.” One theory floating around: the Grissom-Sara romance will come to an end, and Sara’s emotional burdens from it carry through into the season. C’mon, Gil-you have a keeper. Fix it!