CSI Archive: Season 14 Thoughts

So. Season 14 of CSI is just over 24 hours away for US viewers. There is a lot we know:
• We know that Nick will be absent through part of it thanks to a dust up George Eads had with one of the writers.
• We know that someone is going to die and it’s going to be a “surprise.”
• We know Morgan lives because she’s in the promos.
• We know that Marg is in Episode 300.
• We also know that Sara and Grissom are still split up and that the writers aren’t sure where it’s going.

I’m a bit nervous as to what this season holds. I love CSI. I love the storylines and the characters and even the forensics that are just realistic enough to hold attention while being just awful enough to piss off a lot of real forensic scientists. I still love Eric and Ted and Jorja, as most people know, is my Queen.

But of the storylines listed above, only one has been given a ton of thought process in my little corner of fandom, and that’s the Sara/Grissom storyline. I’m torn with how I want it to turn out, for a lot of reasons.

The shipper in me wants them to figure it out. I have lived and died with Sara and Grissom’s relationship since I started watching the show. I’ve sketched out idea after idea to explain the unhealthy patterns that eventually became healthy. I’ve played with ideas of it never getting healthy and Sara breaking her own cycles. I sketched out epic love stories with Warrick and my fallback OTP on the show really is Sara and Greg. I dabbled in crossover fic with fandoms like Without a Trace, West Wing, The X Men, and In Plain Sight. All through the lens of GSR. Always.

So yes, the shipper in me wants them to figure it out because TV storytelling is different than real life or novels and dragging it on for too long just wears the audience out. Especially on the networks. Especially on CBS, which always comes across as the most conservative-thinking of the networks. I want my happy ending and them riding off into the sunset – something I was given in season nine. I think that the choice for Sara and Grissom to marry was a good one and I think it showed a lot of interesting growth for the character considering how obsessively independent she is. I think it was also an interesting choice for her to be living on her own in Vegas, continuing her obsessive independence. I think that the storyline also got away from the writers. In their need to make Grissom more than a whispered, shadowed character, they put too much salt into the water and now the pot is boiling over.

I don’t know if when they wrote Forget Me Not, they expected Billy’s return or that it would prompt Billy’s return. I like to assume these guys are smarter than me and since I never expected Billy’s return (save for pipe dreams about the 300th episode) I’d like to assume they didn’t either. They also know things that no one else knows, like what conversations actually happen and not what is fed to us fans as we stand at the trough in our frenzy for information.

Don McGill’s most recent comments about the Grissom/Sara relationship (posted here to JFO) are nothing new.

It looks as if Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) and Gil Grissom (William Petersen) may be headed for a divorce. Any chance he will return this season to deal with that?

“Sara and Grissom decided to take a timeout in their relationship,” McGill says. “It is not necessarily a divorce. That’s really where we left it. I don’t know if we will be revisiting that at the beginning of the season. Certainly, there are undertones of Sara dealing with the fallout of her relationship. Right now, we don’t anticipate Billy coming back, but you never know.”

If the writers are honestly waiting on Billy to return to make the final choices about this couple, I think it’s time to pull the plug on the relationship. I can’t believe I just typed that. But if that is their final decision, it’s time to make sure the fans can move on. Have Sara sign the papers and get on with her life. She and Gil can still be friends. It can be amicable. And when he has a stopover in Vegas, they can hook up. Nothing wrong about that. But if they are waiting on Billy to make a decision, then well, Sara needs to make her decision.

As I said over at JFO:
It’s pretty much the same thing that he said after Forget Me Not. Nothing really new and we’re left in the same holding pattern with the storyline. I’ve reached the point where I want to see what they do and how they handle it. My shipper heart wants them to fix it, even if it’s an off screen thing – if they can divorce off screen (so to speak) they can reconcile that way as well. But whatever they do decide to do, I just want them to do with with class and with honor to the fans who have been part of this roller coaster for 14 years.

The response I received to my comment is what prompted this post:
You want them to pick a way with class and honor that won’t hork off people, and I don’t think it exists. If we can’t think one up, I doubt the CSI Writers and Staff can either.

And, I’m with her on it.

I suspect they just aren’t sure what to do. I really think the writers had a plan that went off the rails for one reason or another. Again, I like to assume these guys are smarter than me and knew what they were doing when Sara removed her wedding ring, but I also just feel like there was something else they wanted to do and they ran out of time. Maybe with George being gone for a few episodes, they can step up Jorja’s presence and really focus on resolving this relationship – either in reconciliation or final divorce. I’d love for CBS to take the chance to explore things like healthy open relationships, but this is CBS. They’re scared to put gay characters on the air.

It’s funny. There have been comments from the writing team about how the split is a good thing, how it gives Sara a chance to be herself without being defined by Grissom. Funny. Since the split, all we’re talking about is the relationship.

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