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Ask Matt: Zero's Epic Fail, CSI Split, Americans, Following, Southland — March 04, 2013

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**Question: **I know you will probably give me your stock answer about “ships” and the realities of TV business, but don’t you think the break-up of Sara and Grissom on CSI was unusually cruel to the long suffering fans of this couple? I know William Petersen won’t be back on the show, but would it have been so bad to keep him off-screen like he has been, and let the writers keep their marriage safe and in the background? It’s a procedural, for heaven’s sake, not Grey’s Anatomy. And their fans would be content to at least know they have a good, albeit non-traditional marriage. This just seems so harsh to me. There was a carefully constructed arc for their story over 12 years; in a few episodes it seems to be completely destroyed. The show will probably not be around much longer, so why? They seem to not care about their old loyal fans, and certainly have disregarded the avid GSR fanbase. I know it’s silly to get caught up in fictional ‘ships (and this is the only one I ever became invested in), but this one seemed like it would really make it after that wonderful final scene of Grissom and Sara in the jungle. Now it’s just … ugh … so frustrating. It taints the whole series for me, and certainly erases Petersen’s wonderful exit arc. ” Jan

Matt Roush: I’m not sure how wonderful or satisfying Grissom’s exit arc was ” the show never really recovered from losing him ” and I always found this off-camera relationship puzzling and a bit off-putting, but I’m more upset to think I have a “stock answer” for this sort of thing. Because I do think you have a point where this show and these characters are concerned. At least Nick was able to express the feelings I imagine so many longtime *CSI *fans have, that we accepted and perhaps even embraced the idea of the Sara-Grissom marriage because it sustained a connection, however tenuous, with the show’s most beloved character. I may not be as upset as the “shippers” about the dissolving of the marriage ” how many long-distance relationships ever work? ” but the way it was addressed so off-handedly, keeping the drama of the split off-stage as usual, would have to be a letdown to anyone who has an investment in these characters. That said, I thought Jorja Fox did a fine job expressing Sara’s sadness and loneliness, even in the context of yet another episode in which a crime-solver is accused of a crime she so clearly didn’t commit.

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