The CSI series finale ‘Immortality’ literally starts off with a bang when a suicide bomber kills three people and injures countless others at the Eclipse Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This bombing is what brings now FBI Special Agent Catherine Willows back home to Vegas, as she is now owner of the Eclipse, thanks to Sam Braun’s legacy. With the help of Catherine and of Gil Grissom, who has also returned to Vegas once he hears that Lady Heather is the prime suspect, the CSI teams follows the evidence and catches the real killer.
It probably seems strange that I would sum up the plot of a two-hour series finale in just a few sentences, but for me, ‘Immortality’ is not really about the case. It’s about seeing the CSI family together again one last time and knowing that they’re all going to have happy endings once this show is no longer on the air. That’s what most fans cared about and I think series creator Anthony Zuiker gave us exactly what we needed so that we could say goodbye.
The biggest highlights for me were, of course, Catherine’s scenes, so that’s my focus for this recap.
Catherine and Grissom:
The scenes between Catherine and Grissom were, by far, my favorite moments of the episode. Marg and Billy Petersen have such wonderful chemistry and it was just so wonderful to see them onscreen together again. Even though they hadn’t worked together since season 9 when Billy left the series, it was like no time had passed and they were right in sync with one another.
In my absolute favorite scene, Catherine walks outside and finds Grissom sitting on a bench sketching whales and sharks. After patiently listening to his Grissom-esque explanation of how his drawing is a metaphor for Vegas, Catherine gives him one of her patented ‘Whatever you say, Grissom’ looks, a quick “Okay” and changes the subject. She needs a favor – she wants Grissom to help process some evidence with the new girl, who has had a rough first day on the job and could use a little ‘Grissom TLC’. Grissom says he would rather not but is still curious about this new girl, who when he encountered her earlier in the day, she acted as if she knew him: “Where’d that girl come from anyway?” Catherine’s response is priceless: “My vagina. You don’t recognize her? Grissom, that’s Lindsey. That’s my daughter!” If that isn’t a classic Catherine/Grissom moment, I don’t know what is.
Catherine and Lindsey:
Speaking of Lindsey, Katie Stevens is not who we’re used to seeing play Lindsey, but it was still wonderful that they brought Lindsey back for the finale and so fitting that she is following in her mother’s footsteps to become a criminalist. She even looked like a mini Catherine walking around in her cute leather jacket. And now that we know that Catherine will be running the lab, I love the idea of Catherine running the lab and mentoring her daughter. That’s a happy ending I can definitely live with for Catherine.
Catherine and Sara:
I have to admit that I got a little nervous in the first scene these two had together when Catherine came barging into the crime scene, flashing her FBI badge and basically daring anyone to try to stop her from working the case. When Sara walked over and started talking about the conflict of interest and Catherine started to fire back at her about being the owner of the Eclipse and that she had to work the case as long as there were bodies on the floor of her father’s casino, it brought back memories of so many tense scenes between these two. Thankfully though, this time Catherine and Sara quickly come to a meeting of the minds and there was no conflict.
Not only was there no conflict between Catherine and Sara, but they even had a wonderful moment of sisterhood later in the episode as they bonded over their mutual dislike of Lady Heather. This was another of my favorite scenes. When Lady Heather comes in for questioning, she seems to focus much of her attention of Sara, intent on getting under her skin. She unfortunately succeeds and Sara ends up storming out of the room. Catherine immediately jumps up and goes after her to give her a little pep talk about not letting Heather get to her. In yet another classic moment, Catherine tells Sara: “Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t feel the way you do about Grissom and I want to kill the bitch with my bare hands.” Yes, it was a hilarious line but it was also just a great reminder of how far their friendship has come over the years.
Catherine and Brass:
They didn’t have much screen time together but I was thrilled to hear that Brass is now working for Catherine at the Eclipse. It’s nice to know that she has someone in her corner who will always have her back.
Catherine and the children:
One final scene that really stood out for me, even though it pertained more to the case and not so much to any kind of CSI reunion, was the scene where Catherine has to go tell the two little girls that their mom was killed in the bombing. Seeing how gut wrenching it was for her and knowing how much she wanted to protect them took me all the way back to the scene in the pilot episode when Catherine had to interview a little girl who had been molested.
Catherine’s big heart and those fierce maternal instincts were the essence of her character and what made me fall in love with her in the first place, even more so than the fact she’s such a badass, so it was nice to be reminded of that side of her in the final episode of the show. I felt like we came full circle there.
As much as I’m going to miss Catherine Willows, I feel like this finale has given me the happy ending that I would want for her. She’s home, she’s with her daughter, and we know the crime lab will be in good hands with her. Maybe it’s not sailing off into the sunset on a boat with the love of your life, but it will do quite nicely so thank you to Anthony Zuiker for writing it, thank you to Marg for coming back and giving us the opportunity to say goodbye one last time, and thank you to CBS for allowing the show to have a proper sendoff.
Since this is the last time I’ll have the opportunity to make screencaptures of Catherine Willows, I probably went a little overboard. You can view those HERE
The complete series finale is also online now at CBS.com.
And courtesy of CBSPressExpress.com, we also now have the ratings for the CSI series finale. Marg fans will recognize that the series finale audience was the largest audience since Marg’s final episode “Willows in the Wind” back on January 25, 2012:
With an average of 12.12 million viewers, “CSI” is Sunday’s top scripted broadcast in viewers. The series finale of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION delivered its largest audience since January 2012 and ranked as Sunday’s top scripted broadcast in viewers, according to Nielsen preliminary live plus same day ratings for Sept. 27. From 9:00-11:00 PM, CSI averaged 12.12 million viewers, its biggest audience since Jan. 25, 2012, and scored 1.8/05 in adults 18-49 and 2.7/07 in adults 25-54, its best deliveries in those demographics since May 7, 2014.