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"This is exactly how I imagined it."

It says something about me (probably my failure at maintaining my core identity) that we are 2/3rds of the way through June and this is the first day I remembered I usually make a "summer watchlist" post. I only remembered last night because I was all "I WANT TO WATCH TV BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT SHOWS I WATCH." And I'm not doing it now because...probably because I have 5 pretty good episodes of TV in my head that I haven't written about despite having seen them weeks ago.

But out of desperation, I did go back to my older summer posts to see what hadn't been crossed off, and I decided to get done with CSI: NY, which I last saw...two years ago. That's a totally normal amount of time to not watch the last 3 episodes of a show.


As you may recall from that post, it's because I had already spoiled myself on all the remaining Mac/Christine scenes, and where I stopped was part 2 of a crossover with CSI, so I wanted to catch up on CSI first so that I wouldn't be all lost as to the storylines. Now that show is so dead to me I don't have the heart to go back. I even tried to skip part 1 entirely, but the "previously on" had such a high concentration of Mac in them and I didn't want to miss a minute of his face, so I gritted my teeth, sucked it up and watched In Vino Veritas.

First impressions: oh god look at this beautiful world of wonderful people (I'll even pretend to like Fin-lay!) and interesting stories; I want it back so bad.

From that point on, I did my very best to keep my emotional distance from it because that way lies pain and hatred if I unlock the box. It wasn't too hard -- the most personal thing was Hodges' super boring evolution of his relationship with Italian Lady, so being lost on that didn't matter so much. (and I wasn't too lost; my last Vegas episode I remember was 13x06 with maybe one non-consecutive one past that). It was nice that Sara and Greg were off in their own little crime-solving world, so that I was able to care about that half of the story.

When was the last time this show crossed over with Vegas, anyway? Wikipedia tells me it was in CSI: NY's season 6, so Langston was still around, and they were the end of that crossover so nobody came out to the lab. Has Mac ever actually been in the Vegas lab? It turns out he hasn't, whoa! I liked the camaraderie between him and Russell. They have a great natural rapport.

I also have to admit that I cackled at Hodges trying to assert his authority over the random "wandering visitor" only to get politely school on how the director of the New York crime lab probably gets how security works in a crime lab.

Not sure if this was in Vegas or NY, but I liked the frequent cutaways we got to actually seeing Christine.

I think Gary Sinise went a little overboard with the histrionics when he was screaming at Jimmy Boyd in custody (I get that he gets unhinged when it's someone he cares about, but it's like he was trying to give the suspect the upper hand), but otherwise I really liked all of his reactions. Especially his growly faces at the team making the very reasonable gentle suggestion that it kinda looks exactly like she's having an affair, and his one-on-one explanation that she visited him every day in the hospital for 6 months.

And now we are vaguely transitioning back to NY, Seth and Apep, which is probably my favorite episode title to say ever, even though I now know I've been pronouncing "apep" all wrong.

Another thing I really liked about this crossover were the flashbacks to memorable moments in their relationship, which I'm sure is an annoying trick if you're binge-watching, but for me these scenes were literally years ago. It set up his near-breakdown beautifully. (Did I mention the part about him being on the verge of breakdown, stopped only by the abrupt arrival of DB? Because I've seen him go off the deep end in anger like nine hundred times, but he holds his sorrow in, like way way way down. This is new and intriguing.)

I do wish we either hadn't had to hear Boyd's brother talk, or hadn't had to deal with a later dead-by-tongue-severing problem. But can we talk about how much steel nerve Christine must have had to leave her clue by painting it on the dead guy's body in his own blood? I feel like that's a level of trauma on par with being abducted in the first place. (both of which, to be fair, I feel like are slightly below having a guy's tongue being cut out in front of you)

Watching him rescue her is still glorious, for the record. "I knew you'd find me," the repeated I love yous, "you're safe now," all assorted protective holding and hair petting and kisses to the top of the head and rocking... If this didn't make my Top Shippy Moments of 2013 list, it should have.


Blood Actually a.k.a. The Valentine's Day Episode

This is better than the actual finale for all intents and purposes, except for the part where I am still laughing at the dopey use of Comic Sans to indicate the title of each vignette, in terms of being a well rounded platform for all the characters.

Mac & Christine: I have been giddy since it aired in real time, and I am still giddy about their date at a place where Josh Groban is singing in the background. I loved "Happy in my Heartache" before I saw the clip, but now I always kind of cherish it due to my association of it with them. As you can tell from the title, it's not actually a very romantic song (at least not if you want requited romance), but boy, it is pretty enough to be disguised that way in the background of a romantic scene/montage.

And now I know that Mac is indeed the sort of guy who writes eloquent things in blank cards. (I'm assuming leaving the card blank was not the thing that caused her to say he always knows the perfect thing to say.)

Danny & Lindsay were pretty cute trying to steal alone time, even if they didn't go out to dinner (Danny doesn't "hate" Valentine's Day, he just thinks it's dumb to spend a fortune because everyone else is doing it, which is fair yet does not include the obvious compromise of suggesting a romantic dinner date the next night when prices and crowds are normal again). At least we know their second child is a boy, even if we'll never get a name. (Did Pam Veasey or anyone else spill any intel on that front, by the way?)

Flack really blew me away, though, with his magnificently romantic candlelight rooftop dinner. (you just have to pass through a smelly staircase first) I am still not feeling their relationship all that strongly, but it was a well written scene.

It is weird to see Lovato again after having known her much better and longer as Deputy-turned-Sheriff Linda in Under the Dome. It's kind of ruined Lovato for me. Now she just looks wrong as a New York detective, not experienced enough, and I'm not really able to connect with her, which is weird, because half the reason I liked Linda so much was that CSI: NY had made me amenable to her face.

In conclusion, I liked how it showed all the characters who deserve love in a solid romantic place, while everyone else was ignored or left dateless.

Case-wise, I was not impressed by the badly-overdone "MY HUSBAND IS BEING MYSTERIOUS AND CALLING SOME STRANGE WOMAN, HOW DARE HE CHEAT!" only to find out that he's actually calling a travel agent (or some other innocuous profession) to provide a nice surprise for his wife. At the same time, I was kind of impressed by them, for once, having a really dumb killer who is caught immediately instead of the case taking 7 weird twists.

Not at all impressed by the "check out this badly Photoshopped picture where we pretend Hawkes used to weigh 250 pounds," though. I've decided to headcanon that he Photoshopped it himself to prove a point. That's the only explanation.
------------------------

And in the end...(Today Is Life)
I knew they couldn't pull off writing three series finales in a row.

I'm not sure why they felt the need to jump on the "white cop kills unarmed black man, PROTESTS IGNITE!" train, especially for their finale, but I do appreciate that they gave me a happy place to go the next time Tumblr explodes in rage, concocting a possible if implausible scenario for how someone could do that by mistake and be justified in taking the shot. They may have lain it on a little thick with having his black fiancee not only forgive him, but tell the whole mob they should be forgiving as well, though. They also went a little bit overboard with repeating "the ONLY reason he's dead is because two unrelated guys robbed a jewellry store. LITERALLY ALL. There was no way to prevent his shooting once that robbery happened. None. Whatsoever."

So, yeah. Plot, kinda lame. The image of the team sitting around and sharing drinks was a nice one, though.

Of course, the proposal is still beautiful (look at Mac, King of Speeches, actually needing two or three false starts before delivering a flawless speech), but now I am kind of laughing that the last-ever words of this show were not spoken by a regular cast member. That's just how great Christine is! Just like The Mother stole our hearts in the last season of HIMYM, Christine has clearly, slowly but surely, drawn the show in around her. I also think it's really significant that the last image is Mac with her instead of the rest of the team. Since the show is now over and the team isn't bound together by contract, there's a possibility that employees will come and go, and this was a nice symbol that the job is no longer the central force in Mac's life.

I will totally not proceed to figure out how old Christine actually is and whether or not it would be irresponsible to turn my "eeh babiez?!" mode back on.

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