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Jorja is CSI's goodbye girl

By Arielle Kaplan

Section: Arts

November 16, 2007

Wouldnt you if you were married to Mrs. Roper?

I dont even have to turn around. Sara Sidle.

With this brief interchange, crime scene investigator Sara Sidle made her first appearance on the CBS hit show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Yesterday, she made her final appearance. After a tumultuous seven years on the show, actress Jorja Fox finally packed up her fingerprint kit.

Fox enjoyed a long run of success with the show as a materials and element analysis specialist who was originally brought in during the first season by Gil Grissom (actor William Petersen) to do an internal affairs investigation. Sidle ended up staying in Las Vegas for the next seven years (give or take a few episodes in season eight), developing close friendships with her team members and a romantic relationship in season five with Grissom.

Prior to last nights episode, Sidle had been kidnapped by the “Miniature Killer” as a terrifying message to Grissom, nearly killed, and saved with only dehydration and a broken arm as testament to her story.

Since then, Sara has been in the background as the season continues. I thought this was strange as shes my favorite CSI character (after all, I played her in Rocky Horror last year!) and her absence did not go unnoticed. Originally, I believed her absence to be due to the shift change which she had to do because of her relationship with Grissom, as the show centers on the grave shift. Only after I read the article in Entertainment Weekly did I understand what was happening. Sara was being phased out.

Grissoms proposal three weeks ago struck viewers as untimely if the lanky brunette was truly going leave the show. Maybe she would stay. Maybe this was a publicity stunt like when co-star George Eades (Nick Stokes on CSI) and her were fired by CBS for three days. But last night, it happened. Jorja Fox officially vacated her role as Sara Sidle.

First off, I'd like to warn all readers of spoilers ahead, so please if you don't want to know what happened yet, stop reading. I sat on my bed, anticipating what was about to come on my television screen at 9 pm sharp. It began with a knife cutting the threads which held Saras name badge to her CSI vest and the aforementioned character holding the blade, slicing her own name off of the fabric. The scenes with Sara were intercut with the main case of the episode, Catherine and Nicks defenestration. It was a little disappointing, since on her last episode, she should be the center of attention.

Saras dialogue in the first half hour was contrived, clichd, and to be quite honest, a little boring. Thankfully, she woke up and began to speak normally when she got into the case. The major twist in the episode was the reappearance of former sibling suspects Marlon and Hannah West from the season six episode, The Unusual Suspect in Catherines case. Sara demands to take over the case, as the original one from season six had haunted her since then. Needless to say, what Sara discovered further pushed her to resign from the crime lab.

I cant stress enough how annoying the little hints that the writers dropped within the episode of Sara's departure were. One of Hannahs lines, which ran, Whats wrong, Sara? Youre different then you used to be, was only one of the obvious moments. Others were extreme close-ups on Sara in times of high emotion and even one of her own lines when she said that the CSIs would be back to collect the bodies of an abusive couple within a month because theres nothing they could do to change things.

Sadly, Jorjas last performance as Sara Sidle seemed very unnatural and the whole episode was not up to the usual standard of the show. However, at least they gave Jorja what she said wanted in an interview three years ago. She kissed William Petersen on the show. Ah, I love those moments. After this touching moment, the show cut back to the beginning of the episode with the removal of her name tag. She wrote good luck on her vest where here name previously was, and threw the tag away. And then she left, leaving Grissom a note telling him how much she loves him but that she was leaving Las Vegas via voice over.

At least they didnt kill her off like previous characters. This writer wishes Jorja good luck in her future endeavors and hopes that shell avoid the David Caruso post-NYPD Blues curse. And maybe, shell return to CSI someday, even if its only as a cameo.

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