A few years ago, I visited a real forensics crime lab in my hometown, coincidentally the first of two crime labs in the entire state. It was a field trip of sorts to experience how crime labs really work as opposed to hit TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The funny thing about that was every one of the real scientists hate the show based on how unrealistic it was and it’s true. It’s apples and oranges. The image-processing applications they used on their computers was 5-year old Adobe Photoshop, and their fingerprint scanning system looked like Microsoft Excel with a plugin. Certain things about it were actually really cool, but even though the scientists hated the show, I used to love it. I believe whole-heartedly that Ted Danson was the reason it was cancelled after joining. Even though I quit the show a couple of seasons early, I thought it would be appropriate to see the “finale movie” they had to end the show, CSI: Immortality. Let’s get into it.
Grissom and Willows return to help the CSI team solve a catastrophic case that paralyzes all of Las Vegas, on the special two-part series finale. Past and current series stars scheduled to appear include William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Paul Guilfoyle, Wallace Langham, David Berman, Elisabeth Harnois and Jon Wellner. Also, Melinda Clarke returns as Lady Heather. (IMDb)
So the big idea of this TV movie was that they were bringing everyone back for an epic conclusion – but everyone isn’t accurate. Nick Stokes and Professor Langston didn’t show up – and that’s a real shame. Even so, you’ll notice very quickly that rather than a movie – it’s basically just a two-part episode arc – and one that isn’t as impressive as it should have been. I’ve watched the show for more than a decade. I’ve seen amazing episode arcs, amazing villains, terrible crimes…but this episode was like a random season premiere with special guests, which isn’t enough.
Don’t watch this thinking it’s a movie and you won’t need knowledge of the show before it. That isn’t the case, you’ll be missing out on 15 years of TV – most of which isn’t talked about, but it is essential to know about these characters or you just…won’t…care about what happens. No, I never finished the show, but I saw enough of it in order to know what’s going on and who these characters are. Unfortunately, the plot is a basic bomber that is able to somehow get normal people to bomb themselves in public…that’s it really. The plot was fine for a normal episode, not for a series ender.
So it clearly draws most of its audience with returning characters, so how did they do? Well, they all did how they’ve always done. If you have a favorite character, it’ll be really nice to see them again. For me, that was Gil Grissom – who brings such a calmness to the show with his equally fascinating and boring presence. Without Gil, this two-parter would be really tame and almost worthless in a way. He always had a way of commanding the series and bringing it exquisite balance. I felt a similar way to Professor Langston, who replaced him earlier on. It was Ted Danson that made even me – a big fan of the show – give up on it.
In the end, I’m glad the series is over, and I’m glad they were able to give it some closure that I’m sure a few fans were craving. If you are or were ever a fan of the show, then give it a shot!