"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" wrapped its 15-year run on Sunday and, while going down as one of CBS's most successful franchises with numerous spinoffs, the parent finale got mixed reviews.
's Brian Lowry's pointed out what he called a "the gang's all here" quality in returning actor William Petersen's character Gil Grissom having to work one more case with his old crew, including Marg Helgenberger's Catherine Willow's and ex-wife Sara Sidle played by Jorja Fox.
"Frankly, anyone who has watched TV in the last 20-some-odd years should have instantly known whodunit when Doug Hutchison (who has been playing a psycho as far back as Tombs in 'The X-Files') showed up, but that really wasn't the issue," said Lowry.
Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly
said longtime fans did get a payoff seeing Grissom reunite with Sidle along with Sidle's interrogation of Grissom's other love interest/antagonist on the show, Lady Heather, when she became a suspect in the episode's final investigation.
"The show ended with Sara and Grissom together, boating off into the distance," said Franich. "'Immortality' tied that finale into some larger notion of the show as Grissom's rehumanization. 'I'd lost my belief in humanity… she restores my faith in the human being.' Thus, all of 'CSI' was the story of a man of science, learning to become a man of faith. Or something."
Verne Gay of Newsday
said "CSI's" biggest impact maybe what it has had on the real criminal justice system, what many call the "CSI effect," in which jurors are looking for scientific evidence to solve crimes, plus the proliferation of so many amateur detectives.
"Millions of kids also grew up on 'CSI,'" said Gay. "Kids for some reason loved the show. One can only guess or shudder over what this did to their formative brains. 'CSI' wasn't violent as much as gruesome."
"Much of the violence often took place before the opening credits, or was reconstructed during those grainy shots when Greg (Eric Szmanda) or Nick (George Eads) or Dr. Al (Robert David Hall) finally figured out what happened to the body in its final traumatic moments," said Gay.
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