To catch everyone up: Last season ended with a cliffhanger in which the “Miniature Killer” was identified but not in time to prevent the abduction of CSI Sara Sidle. Gil Grissom tried to make the killer, Natalie Davis, tell him where Sara was but Natalie had a psychotic break and clammed up. When last seen, Sara was trapped beneath an overturned car in the desert, with rain pouring down.
Tonight picked up, not in present time as all previous CSI episodes have done, but right where the last ep left off in May (I so called this in the finale thread, by the way). Like the last episode, the timeline kept jumping around with lots of flashbacks to the stages of Sara’s abduction. Also seen in flashbacks were at least two character vingnettes as the CSIs remembered scenes with Sara. Nick replayed their conversation about finding victims alive from “Gum Drops”, and Grissom at one point flashed on the infamous face touch from way back in early Season Two. Rah for continuity!
As a personal aside, the coyote was a pleasant shock. Not because I wanted to see Sara gnawed on (minds out of the gutter, peeps) but because the producers used a canine actor that actually looked like a coyote. Unfortunately they later blew their credit with me by having Greg’s helicopter buzz all the cop cars. Hey guys, I know it looks way dramatic on screen but it’s also enveloping the would-be rescuers in a blinding dust storm. Leave that shit to Horatio over in Miami, KPLZTHNX.
Personally I was satisfied with the way this episode played out. To be sure the flashbacks of Sara using her wits to get free of Natalie’s car lacked any real suspense because the audience already knew the escape attempt would fail - we’d seen her under the Mustang, after all. But it worked as a testiment to Sara’s fighting spirit and a rebuttal to the “damsel in distress” cliché. In another nod to character, when Sara was stumbling along in the final stages of exhaustion and trying to keep her head together, instead of praying or pleading she recited multiplication tables. A geek to the last.
I enjoyed it. I did think it was pretty stupid of her to leave the car. She could have had captured rainwater to drink and she knew they’d be looking for her. It didn’t seem realistic to me that someone of her experience and intelligence would go wandering out into the desert. Overall, though, I thought it was well-done and I’m glad we’ll get to see how Grissom and Sara will develop.
The first half of the show was taut, thrilling drama.
The second half could have fit into ten minutes, not half an hour.
Sarah was stupid. She had to know that people were looking for her, so why not stay near the car? Also, she had to figure that having some extra water during the day would be a Good Thing. I would think she would have found something in the car to contain it (hell, some probably was in the car – like soaked into the upholstery so she could suck on that) and stay in the shade near the car, with perhaps a foray or two to reconnoiter her location. Hell, she could have tried to start a fire to give off some smoke.
But beyond that (I suppose it could be argue that Sarah to too dazed to think clearly), the entire sequence went on much too long.
Also, the flashback structure was not handled well. You see Sarah nearly drowing, then you cut to Nick. It’s unclear that this was the next morning (there is light in the windows, but no outside view, so I wasn’t sure if that was artificial or sunlight) and the impression was that the two events were happening simultaneously. Just poor editing.
I’m trying to justify her wandering off into the desert because it was raining, she was afraid of being caught in a flood, she wanted to get as far away as she could from where she was trapped, she was disoriented…but I can’t.
Get out, get to a nearby hill, and wait.
I’m confused about something else…when Sophia and Nick found her, they said she had no (radial) pulse. Doesn’t that mean she’s dead?
Also, someone who lives near a desert should know some desert survival, including not wandering around in the middle of the day.
It was kind of meh…no real sense of suspense. There was no buzz in the news that Jorja Fox was leaving the show, so you know Sara would be found.
I thought it was a terrible episode. There was no suspense as obviously they would find her. They’d never kill off a major star like that & I hadn’t read that the actress was leaving the show. Someone as smart and knowledgeable as Sara would never leave the car to go wandering in the desert.
Plus what really annoyed me, and they never answered, how did the car get on top of her in the first place!? We see Sara laying on the ground as the car is slowly laid on top of her, and creepy girl is standing there watching her smiling, yet there is no lift, no tow truck, nothing is connected to the back of her car & there are no other vehicles.
I thought there had been some news about contract disputes and JF leaving. Also, regarding the radial pulse…I have no idea what that means, but just because Nick couldn’t feel it didn’t necessarily mean she was dead. He could have just not been able to detect it with his fingers. Ah, well, maybe my disbelief is easily suspended.
There was some talk about it late last season when her contract was up for renewal. FOX refused to discuss it so some people were inferring a contract dispute. The problem is that a cliff-hanger season-ender featuring Sara would mean that they wouldn’t say whether Jorja Fox was coming back anyway, because that would ruin the suspense of the season-opener. Under those circumstances, I don’t think we can reasonably say that a “no-comment” on J. Fox’s contract meant there was a dispute. Cite. So what follows is mostly speculation:
I think there was a contract dispute. This article, which I recall reading last May, says:
“Reportedly Fox simply didn’t show up to shoot the scenes for the finale as a gesture of protest over her salary dispute, forcing the show to shoot an “alternate ending” for the episode. This apparently cost CBS quite a lot of money, between script re-writes, filming costs, and flying Fox’s co-star Marg Helgenberger back to Las Vegas to re-shoot the alternate scenes. Jorja Fox’s representative claims that she did show up on set to shoot her scenes, however, so it’s uncertain whether these reports are accurate.”
If you recall last season’s last episode, the ending showed Sara in the car but never showed her face, only an arm and the back of her head. So I think Jorja Fox wasn’t there, and the story was intentionally left so that the rest could be written as either she lives or she dies. When she decided to come back or they decided to bring her back, then the ending became “she lives.”
And that, to me, made it an extrodinarily boring season opener. Basically, the “frantic search” story line was a complete re-hash of the search for Nick at the end of Season Five. Much of the episode was pointless filler, the coyote; the scene where Sara almosts gets away but doesn’t; the interminable scenes of Sara wandering in the desert. Other parts of it were just making sure cast members got screen time: Here’s Hodges picking glass out of the crazy girl’s hair; here’s Greg in the helicopter. And the idea that they would coincidentally happen upon a fresh body with long dark hair – but it’s not Sara, phew! — was just silly.
I thought it would have been a bad episode at any time, but it was an extraordinarily bad season-opener. I hope this doesn’t indicate the quality of shows to come.
I thought the exact same thing. This whole episode really annoyed me because of all the stupidity and just outright mistakes.
First, Sarah even leaving the car at all, and not bothering to collect any water in such a heavy rain storm; that was ridiculous. Then, they’ve got her wandering through the desert with a broken and useless arm, yet she somehow managed to tie a scarf around her head into a knot with only one hand? I know it’s nitpicky, but it’s continuity shit like this, in a show that’s supposed to be so intelligent, that really stands out to me.
And finally, the most absurd of all, that Grissom would say “I can’t find a pulse,” while feeling around on her throat, and the paramedics don’t immediately start CPR?? What. The. Fuck?
Not the lack of a radial pulse, no. That just means her pulse might be too weak to feel it in her the wrist. It’s the lack of a carotid pulse (found on the carotid artery in the neck) that usually indicates death, which is why it was so utterly absurd that CPR wasn’t started immediately when Grissom couldn’t find a pulse there. The fact that there was “still no radial pulse,” which was said later, is completely irrelevant and idiotic, considering one would not be expected if one couldn’t even detect a carotid pulse! Dumb, dumb, dumb!
Well – not chipped as much as radio-collared. The chips still require them to be found and scanned for them to be returned to their owners.
Radio-collars, I say. For all of them. And for the love of GOD, some script doctors who do basic fact-checking? That’d be nice. I mean, there’s a lot of shitty science in the CSI franchise (not to mention shitty law enforcement in general), but man alive…
Leaving the car? Weird. I don’t think she would think crazy girl would be back.
I thought the whole walking through the desert part was WAY too long. Seemed like a bunch of over-acting.
She brought along the rearview mirror but didn’t seem to be flashing it around. Seems like she was carrying it just because it was in her hand when she left the car, and it didn’t occur to her that flashing it around the desert would be a good thing.
I hope that things get back to “normal” right quick. Just solve some cool cases, guys!