Monday, September 24, 2007

Do Fans Want Sara Sidle Back On CSI?

The seventh season of CSI ended earlier this year with crime scene investigator Sara Sidle trapped under an overturned vintage muscle car, her hand twitching with faint signs of life. Back at the Las Vegas lab, Sara’s boss and secret lover, Gil Grissom, finished his interrogation of a psychotic young cleaning woman who turned out to be the lab’s season-long nemesis, the Miniature Killer. Grissom’s conversation with the killer soon revealed that her latest victim was Sara.

CSI’s eighth season will begin with Grissom and crew frantically searching for their lost and dying co-worker. They’ll meticulously comb through the only real clue to Sara’s location, the perfectly constructed scale model of the crime scene, complete with model car and tiny motorized hand poking from underneath the wreckage. With the killer’s obsessive attention to detail, viewers know this crack team can unearth leads. But whether they get to Sara in time is another question. And whether viewers even want Sara back alive is the biggest cliffhanger of all. So here are some possibilities of how her living and dying could changed the show.

If Sara lives:

Post-traumatic stress disorder would make Sara’s already damaged character more interesting.
Sara has not had it easy. She had a hard life growing up. Her mother killed her father and she graduated from school at 16 and went off to Harvard. She was picked up for drunk driving and did not have much a of a social life before she and Grissom hooked up. This is seen in the large amount of takeout menus that covered her fridge in one episode.

It could be a bonding experience.
Sara and Nick can bond over their mutual season-ending kidnapping/entrapment/near-death experiences in the line of duty. If Sara’s predicament seems familiar, it’s because the Quentin Tarantino-directed season five finale found CSI Nick Stokes buried alive by a vengeful father, facing a lack of oxygen, a swarm of fire ants and explosives before he was finally rescued by the crew. If they bond could it make Grissom jealous?

Sara and Grissom make for great lab gossip.
With Sara kidnapped, Grissom came out to the team about their secret love affair, though it’s not really clear why. That cat’s out of the bag, Hodges and the rest of the creepy lab techs will be abuzz. But nobody’s going to want to gossip about it if Sara’s dead.

There’s something else for Grissom to brood over.
If Sara lives, there’s no way her relationship with Grissom can last. Even if their love isn’t against office policy, neither Grissom nor Sara is any good at relationships. This extra trauma will only create a further divide. Fans of the sad Grissom, rejoice!

If Sara dies:

Sara goes from co-worker to work.
Catherine, Nick, Warrick, Greg, et al., are known to yuck it up pretty good over a corpse or two, laughing at the expense of the deceased. They have done that on more than on occasion. Of course, because this is television, the investigators won’t be relieved from this investigation because of conflict of interest. How will it change the way they act with the investigation?

More Lady Heather!
Yes, “CSI” has hinted at Grissom’s age-inappropriate affection for Sara for years. Grissom’s possible true soul mate might be dominatrix Lady Heather. Alas, whenever she resurfaces, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Someday these two will figure it out. Without Sara in the picture they could act on their attraction.

No Sara gives other characters room to grow.
There are many questions about other characters that were brought up in Season 7 and never answered because the Sara story took over. We could get answers to:
*What happened with Warrick’s gambling problem or the wife he married on the spur of the moment? Did they work it out, or can he and Catherine finally hook up?
*What about Catherine’s juvenile delinquent daughter? Will she turn just as bad as Det. Jim Brass’s kid?
*How is Nick after his own kidnapping experience? Does he have nightmares?

More for Grissom to brood over.
With his beloved Sara dead and gone, surely Grissom will be wracked with guilt. If only they hadn’t been lovers, then the Miniature Killer wouldn’t have taken Sara! Will Grissom stay alone forever? Will it hurt his work? After all, the profession he loves lead to the loss of the woman he loves. Fans of sad Grissom, rejoice!


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