After a fifteenth season plagued by NFL preemptions and the launching of a more modern, “rebranded” CSI:Cyber, it is no surprise that CSI would be ending in some fashion soon. Immortality, billed as a movie by CBS, but basically what would have been a two-part episode during a normal season of the show serves as the end of the longest running show in the CSI universe. I should probably mention before starting in on the CSI series finale itself, that this show was delayed on the East Coast due to a NFL game – the exact problem which led many to speculate last year that the show was facing cancellation. Despite being on the West Coast, the scheduled recording I had on my DVR did not go through. Luckily, the CSI series finale was available on demand and I caught it Tuesday afternoon, with it apparently expiring later that night. Had I slacked a little, I would have missed the finale entirely, further backing the complaints that die-hard fans of the show have had for over a year now with CBS making it difficult for them to catch the show.
That said, the episode does work as an end cap for the series as they were able to get Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows), Paul Guilfoyle (Jim Brass), and surprisingly William Petersen (Gil Grissom) who last appeared on the show in 2013 in a cameo voice over appearance and hadn’t been seen on the show since another cameo in a video clip in 2011. Apparently George Eads (Nick Stokes), who exited the show in Season 15, was not interested in appearing in the finale.
The plot of the episode revolves around the enigmatic Lady Heather character played by Melinda Clarke, hence Grissom being involved once again. I was never a big fan of the Lady Heather / Grissom plot line so of course an internal groan when I saw this was what the finale was based around. I’m sure anyone that was into that story line found this intriguing but I was more interested in why Grissom and Sara Sidle had split up – which thankfully the episode also went into detail about.
The CSIs are working to track down the mastermind behind suicide bombings happening around Las Vegas by individuals that appeared to be under control of someone remotely giving them suggestions. One of the locations bombed is the hotel that Catherine owns, so she returns to Vegas to get involved. Brass also worked security at the hotel that was bombed so that is how they get him involved in the case. Grissom is found in San Diego as he’s now working as an environmental activist trying to bring down shark poachers. When a key is found on one of the bombers that implicates Lady Heather in the case, Sheriff Ecklie insists on Grissom being involved.
During the investigation, Sara and Grissom spent a lot of time together and we get a peek into what led to their separation. Eventually, Lady Heather is cleared of involvement in the bombings and the actual suspect is revealed. In a tense moment, Catherine, Morgan Brody, and Greg Sanders discover three car bombs in the parking garage of the suspect’s apartment building. While at the exact same moment, Sara and Grissom confront the suspect who has a suicide vest on in his remote cabin. The CSIs in the parking garage all cut the correct wire at the same time and prevent the building from exploding and Grissom, now an explosives expert due to his activist lifestyle is able to determine the suicide vest wasn’t armed and the suspect is taken into custody.
The final scenes play out with face to face between Grissom and Lady Heather where Gil admits that Heather helped him realize that he still loves Sara. Catherine has decided to leave her job with the FBI and return to run the Vegas crime lab as Ted Danson’s D.B. Russell has decided to leave Vegas and effectively join the cast of CSI: Cyber. Sara is named head of the lab, but before she can take the position, she sees the interview that Grissom conducted with Lady Heather and leaves to meet Grissom at his boat and heads out to sea with him as the credits roll.
While the finale was quite predictable, as expected for a network TV show, it still hit a lot of the points a series wrap-up needs to hit. We get the reasoning as to why Ted Danson is joining the new show. We got closure about Elisabeth Shue’s character by way of a D.B. Russell comment about her passing as she ended Season 15 in a coma. We also got closure on the Gil Grissom / Lady Heather / Sara Sidle love triangle. All in all, it was an effective finale, but did fall into a lot of the clichés that CSI: Las Vegas became known for in recent seasons.