serenity_abrin: (CSI - Gil Greg OTP)
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CSI Finale

Well, it sucked.  I didn't have the highest expectations but I was still disappointed.  It felt like a middle finger to all the fans who have stayed with the show since Grissom left.  Like nothing during all the years after had any impact.  DB, Morgan, and the others who have been the main characters of the show -- the reason I'm watching -- had practically nothing to do.  DB quickly handed over control to Sara (or Catherine, Grissom - it wasn't completely clear from moment to moment) and the only thing he did was an interrogation where he was inconsequential and fiddle with a computer image.  Morgan's only real moment was freaking out under pressure (which given all she's been through is a little understandable but it also felt really stupid to have her be the one who had nerves like that where she would drop the wire cutters.  Most old fans don't have any idea what her character arc has been).  Greg was criminally underused.  He had no real character moments at all.  The only moment he had was when he, Morgan, and Catherine had that hug (which I did like).  I don't think he was even given a moment to show emotion.  His only real development was when Sara mentioned that she and Greg had history with Lady Heather.

So, I guess I'll be talking all about the old-school crew since it was their show.  And I guess the show should be renamed.  It's not CSI.  It's the Grissom/Sara show.  I was so annoyed that the entire story was about this.  Even the case revolved around their relationship.  Even bringing Lady Heather back simply to add fuel to the fire.  Lady Heather's character was hijacked terribly.  She was a caricature of her usual self.  I can't state how angry I am that they killed off her grandkid too.  And she shows no reaction to that.  She's ice cold the entire time and doesn't appear to care about anything.  Nothing of her friendship with Grissom was there.  I guess maybe she's shut down in pain but I think Lady Heather would show more reaction to having a bomber framing her and endangering kids to do it.

Back to Grissom/Sara, everything about this episode just reinforces what a terrible couple they are.  First, it's toxic for Sara's character.  She was doing great the last few years.  She was opening up and being personable and was likable.  But as soon as Grissom is back in the picture, she's jealousy and unprofessional and her own aspirations are hijacked by the romance.  Of course, her having an aspiration to be Director appears to be out of left field here.  I don't remember any previous groundwork that suggested she had any interest in the position.  Her entire character arc has been messed up because of the actress being on and off the show.  But, okay, she wants it now and she's apparently the best they have for the job.

That certainly doesn't show in this episode.  She clearly has a conflict of interest and yet she sat down for Lady Heather's interview.  (It really annoyed me the way Catherine sided with her when they were watching the interview.  Catherine should've known better and I didn't understand her hostility.  Only DB appeared professional in this context.)  Sara was so easily riled up.  That's always been in her problem, and I think it would make her a terrible Director.  She loses perspective badly on certain kinds of cases, and then goes dangerously rogue.  She needs someone to rein her in.  I think we've seen cases like that even in the past few years after Grissom (although, if memory serves, she did have a hot case not too long ago and she did much better at being professional).  During the entire case, she kept shooting potshots Grissom's way about him and Lady Heather or his lack of communication or his defense of her.  Surely she knows him well enough to see that he wouldn't side with Lady Heather without reason.  Her jealousy colored the entire case.  And, while Grissom and Lady Heather being involved in a case should be much rarer now, Sara still has issues with her mom, etc., that would get this kind of reaction out of her.

I just didn't see Director material here.  But, okay that's what she wants and she earns it -- only to throw it away to sail away with Grissom?  I really hope there's some talk about him changing careers to something they both can participate in and enjoy or they're going to end up in the same place they were in before.  She's going to find a job; he'll be off somewhere and the marriage will break apart again.

On the personal level, I also didn't see any kind of chemistry between Grissom and Sara.  Again, Grissom looks at sea when it comes to Sara.  She clearly expects things from him and he can see that much but he doesn't understand what it is exactly she needs.  If they have this much trouble communicating, even if they are sailing off into the sunset, I don't believe for a second that they're actually sailing off into happily-ever-after.  I don't think being in love is enough for them.  She clearly has insecurities about the relationship and needs reassurance.  He clearly has no idea how to give it.  Also, I didn't actually believe that they were in love.  Grissom says to Lady Heather at the end that Sara renewed his faith in humanity and she finishes his crossword puzzles.  Well, the second thing is pathetic as a basis for a relationship.  But the first thing -- there's no indication what Sara's done to earn this statement.  Indeed, I would think she would do a lot to reinforce his decision to keep a shell around himself.

She pushed him into the relationship.  I never saw the interest on his side.  But, even outside the relationship, she was always really judgmental about other people.  She has all this baggage that she didn't start to deal with until after she came back without Grissom, and she always handled it badly when it came up in a case.  She easily loses her cool with Lady Heather and other such threats.  None of this makes her a bad person, but how does this make her the person who renewed his faith in humanity?  And that still isn't a rousing endorsement of love on his part.  I saw way more chemistry and sparks between Lady Heather and Grissom.  The only time Lady Heather felt like a real person was when she was talking to Grissom.  Their conversation seemed easy and respectful, which by contrast made Sara look petty and small.  For the Sara/Grissom relationship, it was terrible to bring Lady Heather in because the contrast in relationships really doesn't do Sara any favors.

Overall, their relationship was just so unenjoyable to watch.  There were so many communication fails.  Grissom clearly wants to say what she means to him but can't.  At this point, she should really know that about him.  If she can't accept that, then they shouldn't be together because he's not going to change.  So, it's up to her to communicate and to tell him what she needs.  I think it's clear he would do it if he had any idea what it was she needed to hear.  There were so many times that she had a chance to say something and didn't.  It didn't seem out of character, so I really think that the two of them aren't suited for each other.  I mean, I've never been on the Grissom/Sara bandwagon but this episode was ridiculous in how heavily it portrayed what a terrible couple they are.  Even their hug at the end was about as awkward a hug as you could get.

And the entire episode revolved around their relationship.  The series finale was geared towards the tiny number of fans who are really invested in the relationship.  Not about the science or the team of people we've come to like.  No, about a relationship that we haven't seen anything about in years.  So, disappointing.

Going to the case, that too was a disappointment.  I'm slightly torn about the "science" in this one.  On the one hand, I just couldn't suspend my disbelief regarding the flowers that instantly mind-controlled a person.  I also wasn't 100% sure what was going on with the bees.  On the other hand, that's kind of what CSI does.  They've had a lot of science-fuckery over the years that you just roll with as a fan.  They introduce new science (fiction) all the time too, and there was a little bit of that in the episode.  I guess it's been a while since they've done something so out-of-there that this felt like a throw-back of sorts.  Grissom and bees felt nostalgia.  We haven't had many bugs since Grissom left.  Indeed, he's been gone so long that I had to stretch my memory for what his character was and little things like that brought it back.

The bad guy was pathetic and forgettable.  Again, he revolved around the Sara/Grissom/Lady Heather threesome.  The whole point of him was to serve that storyline.  I guess it's fitting that CSI ends with doing what they do best -- promising the moon and delivering nothing.  They promised something that would change Vegas, something big enough to be a series finale.  That certainly didn't happen.  They've had bigger explosions in the past and not immediately gone the terrorism route.  And they didn't even pursue the terrorism angle to make it feel like a thing at all.

I suppose, though, that it was fitting in some sense that they went smaller scale.  CSI has done its fetishes and occasional block-buster, but they've been good about staying small-scale overall.  Miami and NY had gangs and terrorism and general epic-ness.  I liked that CSI kept its focus on smaller crimes.  I felt like they lost their footing when they started doing season-long serial killers (or at least started doing them consistently - the Miniature Killer was a pretty good storyline).  CSI has had some great bad guys in the past.  I thought they might bring back one of the ones that never wrapped up properly (like that latex guy that was part of the CSI-online thing).  Or one of the psychological bad guys who really got under your skin.  Almost anything would be better than what we got.  The case itself just wasn't that interesting.  It almost felt like a sidenote to the Grissom/Sara storyline.

The killer appeared like he was trying to be clever and just failed in every respect.  Using the cadaver corpse, the body in the luggage, the threatening DVD -- none of it really works.  It's clearly personal to Grissom, but what's the bad guy's endgame?  What is he trying to do?  Getting Heather to notice him just doesn't cut it.  How is doing all of this going to achieve that?  I think they really needed to show some kind of interaction (in a flashback perhaps) to show his attachment to Lady Heather to make us feel like he's a real person and not a cookie cutout.  And, it would be nice to see some reaction from Lady Heather.  I didn't see anything on her end to suggest she even knew who this man was.  I guess that's what they were going with that long-ass story about whales, but it doesn't really work with the Lady Heather we've known over the seasons.  And, even if she doesn't feel anything (apparently), she's a master at psychology.  She would understand the danger he posed and shut that down early on.  She was good at that.

There were a lot of pointless subplots.  While I can see Catherine being moved by the two orphaned girls, she's seen hundreds of such cases in her time.  Why would these two have her upend her life?  They certainly don't show why in the episode.  I did like Lindsey in this episode.  I think that's a cute nod they did (don't know if it jives with where we last saw her but whatever).  I liked seeing Grissom as a teacher again, even if the scene felt a little trite.  I think Catherine's decision to return to Vegas felt a little like Sara's -- not necessarily true to the character arc they already established -- but I can go with it.  I did like to see more about the casino she owned.  I was always a little confused about what she got from her dad and what she didn't so it was nice to see confirmation.  That means she's also probably rich.  I liked that she gave a job to Jim.  That's a good place for him and probably gives him all the flexibility he needs to be with his daughter.  It was nice to see where people ended up.  I'm surprised that they didn't mention Nick.  They certainly shoehorned everyone else in.  It wouldn't have been hard to have Grissom ask after him.  I'm sure a lot of the old-time fans (the fans they were clearly catering to with this episode) would like to know what happened to him.

It is convenient to have Catherine ready to return to allow Sara to quit.  I like the idea of Catherine returning to helm the ship.  She deserves that.  She's certainly capable of it.  I feel better about the lab in her hands than in Sara's.  After all the years she's put in, she's earned the Director's spot and I know she'll work well with the team that's there.  She was always a good boss.  The one moment I really did like was when she hugged Morgan and Greg.  It reminded me that she hasn't been gone as long as Grissom has.  She knows Morgan.  They've got some groundwork laid so she's not this foreign presence Grissom would be if he returned.  I'm not sure how well Lindsey and Catherine would do working together but I like the idea.

DB's departure was a little weird.  I know he's moving to Cyber.  If you were a casual fan, I wonder if that would've made sense.  Considering he's been the head-honcho for the last few years, it was weird that he so quickly disappears from the story.  You don't find out he's going until the end.  I don't think it's clear what exactly Sara is signing up for or why she can.  But, since he is going, I was a little more forgiving of them reining back on DB.  The actor himself is probably busy filming for his new series.  That alone would tempt me to try the series but I'm not going to do that.  I didn't like the "crossover" when the actress was on CSI.  I didn't like what a Mary Sue she was.  And I really don't like that she's FBI.  That's not CSI.  CSI is city-police departments.  That's the brand.  So, I'm giving a pass on this.

I was really irritated with how they handled Finlay's death.  It was such a throwaway thing, and really awkwardly placed in the episode.  We don't get to see any reaction to it.  I mean, she just died last season.  Even if time has passed for the CSIs, it hasn't for the audience.  She was still alive last we knew and had a chance to come back.  It sucks that the bad guy from last season "won" in this manner.  It would be great if there had been some mention of the implications of her death.  I would rather she had just quit.

So, there's not much else to talk about.  Hodges, Henry, Al, and David all did their usual stuff and had about their usual screentime.  I did like that that one black police officer with the deep voice was in the episode.  I always like when he shows up, even if he never really has a big part.  But, again, I want to underscore how criminally underused Greg was.  It's not like Greg is Morgan and DB.  He's not new.  He's been here since the beginning.  He knows Grissom and Lady Heather.  He has a relationship with Catherine.  I'd have loved to see him interact with Lindsey -- to show how far he's come.  To show his reaction to Grissom's return.  To even have them talk!  He basically said nothing the entire time.  We only see him process one piece of evidence and deal with the bomb.  But that's clearly Catherine's moment, not his.  He and Morgan are basically background characters.  It wasn't just a waste.  It was an insult.  He may be my favorite character but he's also a main character and one of the oldest ones left on the show.  Another casualty to the Grissom/Sara romance.  But, what's worse, is that even that was wrong.  He's one of Sara's best friends but she doesn't confide in him.  I don't think they even spoke once in the entire show.

For a regular episode, this was disappointing.  For the series finale, this was an absolutely terrible way to end things.  It would've been better if they had just ended things without this two-parter.

NCIS New Orleans

Mostly all caught up.  I really enjoy this show, even if it is super cheesy.  I really enjoy the new additions.  I was hoping they'd add the computer technician and I guessed they'd add the ATF lady.  I think she's a good addition.  A lot of her dialogue feels forced.  She has one-liners and conversations that I cannot see anyone in real life ever having.  I'm not a big fan of how she involves herself into the lives of others.  But, so far, that doesn't outweigh the fun of her.  I really like that there are two female agents and we've seen them talking and doing stuff.  It's nice to see that energy on the show.  I like how the new girl is handling being the new girl.  She could be prickly or too goofy or offputting but they've been good at skirting the line and she's remained enjoyable.  I think she's a good addition to the team dynamics.  I like how they've handled her inclusion.

Superficially, I really like the change in Brody's hair style this year.  I think it's much more flattering than last year's shorter cut.  Sadly, there hasn't been as much interaction between the lab tech and the computer tech.  I enjoyed their back and forth.  But I'm sure there will be time for that and it's probably good they don't do that too much lest the "magic" disappear.  While I like the computer tech, he's had some abysmal lines so far this year and they're just not landing right.  The characters are bordering on caricature and I hope they reel that back.  It's not too bad yet but I have my moments of cringing at the stupid stuff the writers are coming up with.

So far I've liked the story-arcs they've come up with for the characters.  I'm curious about the person sending pictures to Brody.  I'm curious about the computer link the lab tech was sent.  I fear that it's going to land him into some kind of hot water later on in the season.  I did like the added element to his character where he stood up for the journalist and indicated what skepticism meant to him -- that it was more than a thing that made him goofy.  I like the bar for King and I'm glad he finally got he divorce so his character has some love interest potential in future storylines and can finally move on.  I'm not as sold on LaSalle's storyarc.  It's understandable that he's not over his girlfriend (and I'm glad they haven't just hand-waved it away) but I'm not interested in seeing this storyline drag on.  I hope he starts dealing with the hurt soon so he can move on too.

I don't think it's likely but I hope they don't have another big bad like they did last year.  I think these smaller arcs are good.  I would be happy with a season of self-contained stories and just these small tidbits going on with the characters.  So, this season so far has been pretty good and I'm enjoying it.

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