May 2013 Finales: 'CSI', 'Criminal Minds', 'Nashville', and 'Chicago Fire'


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
In years past, May is often a popular month for season finales, and this year has been no exception with The Office series finale probably the most discussed. The truth is that some year-long enders are worth the time and others just miss the mark for one reason or another. One such show was the last of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Frankly, I was bored through the entire episode and have already tossed the plot out of my mind.

Criminal Minds made their season ender a two-hour event, although it was clear at the end of the first segment that it was done with care to make each hour a stand-alone one. Indeed, Thomas Gibson does the patented voiceover to conclude that hour before the story takes us into the meat of the event, the final hour. This had the BAU team going after the dreaded and menacing Replicator yet again.

Now I must admit that all year long when anyone on the show talked about The Replicator, my mind went immediately to science fiction, specifically Stargate SG-1. Starring Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks, this show had a recurring Lego-like race of villains known as Replicators. I just could not escape the link.

The drama was intense in the second hour with a couple of twist and turns and an actual death of an associated team member. That brought emotion to the ending and gave the team a reason to get together at the end. Since the drama had not been renewed at the time of the filming, my thought was that the last scene made for a great last moment for fans. There was nothing sinister, just the team, together, having a meal, enjoying one another's company. Joe Mantegna gets the best last line, a wonderful sign off had the show not been renewed. In essence, Gary Sinese's CSI: New York did a similar final scene, and it was a good thing they did since that drama was canceled, unlike Criminal Minds which will be back with its main cast intact.

The music-centric drama Nashville had a very unique finale in that it was amazingly fast paced. The action was fast and furious. Some might say it was like a week's worth of a soap opera, condensed to an hour. In fact, the slowest part of it was the last 15 minutes. The rest was boom-boom-boom. Blink and the viewer missed something, and not just anything, but something important. The only bad part of the show was that the last scene was predictable. The lead-in to it left the viewer well aware of what was to come so the dramatic impact was a bit less than what it could have been.

The hour saw Hayden Panettiere shine as the young country singer, Juliette Barnes. The character is unpredictable, tearing hearts out with emotional sincerity one minute and driving minds into frustration from her arrogant spoiled actions the next. Though the hour had plenty of Connie Britton as singing veteran Rayna Jaymes, not even the fast paced moving of the plot can save it from being a basic soap opera with no surprises at this point. Good characters are being wasted there, especially Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne. He was a much stronger character before hooking back up with Rayna.

Then there was Chicago Fire, Nashville's main competitor. Its last show of the spring had a few surprises and held viewers' attention, but even its final moment was a bit too much of a reminder of Days of Our Lives. The show should focus a little more on the fire drama and leave the baby triangles to the daytime, although admittedly, this potential threesome is a bit unusual with a firefighter, his pregnant ex-girlfriend, and his best friend who is a lesbian who wants to get pregnant with said firefighter's sperm.

And that's how the world turns for these particular finales.

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