Sara becomes the prime suspect when a man she was with is found dead, and the team is shocked to discover the status of her marriage to Grissom.
Sara meets Taylor Wynard in a restaurant on her birthday, and she heads up to his hotel room. When Taylor winds up dead the next morning, the team has to treat Sara like a suspect. Sara had her own room in the hotel; records indicate that she called Taylor at midnight from her cellphone, and that she re-entered the room at 2:00am—but Sara insists she was asleep, and that she doesn’t remember doing either one. She took a sleeping pill on top of the alcohol she consumed the night before.
A necklace belonging to Sara is found in Taylor’s room, and the room service knife thought to be the murder weapon winds up in her dishwasher. Sara calls the CSIs, and she believes someone is messing with her. The necklace used to be in her apartment, and it was a gift from Edie the waitress after she tried to help the woman get a restraining order against Ronald Basderic. Sure he’s behind the whole thing, Sara tries to get evidence against him, but Basderic goes to the police and accuses her of attacking him. Video surveillance from the parking garage where she confronted him shows footage of her being aggressive, but does not show the attack itself. The team knows that Basderic is setting Sara up, but they still need to prove it. The man doesn’t press charges, but he does get a restraining order against her.
Sara gets a message from the care home where she moved her mother a few months ago. The woman is in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. Laura knows about the hotel murder, and she tells Sara that she killed Taylor the same way Laura killed Sara’s father in the past. When Sara finds out her mother learned about the murder from Basderic, she panics and goes home to retrieve her off-duty gun.
The team searches for evidence, discovering that Basderic used a hotel override to enter Sara’s room before midnight in order to get her phone and make the call to Taylor’s room. Her pills were double the prescribed dose, ensuring that she was knocked out. A man on surveillance footage from the hotel is wearing an outfit matching what Basderic had on when he left work that night. They realize that he isn’t trying to frame Sara—he’s trying to drive her to the brink so she’ll come after him, giving him an excuse to kill her. Nick and Crawford confront Basderic, but they have to let him go.
When Basderic gets home, he finds Sara in his house. She tries to fire her weapon, but it doesn’t work—Basderic tampered with her gun so she couldn’t kill him. He brags about killing Taylor and setting her up, but when he goes to fire his own weapon, he discovers that Crawford switched his bullets for blanks. Sara reveals the recording device she used to get his entire confession on tape. He’s done.
“Forget Me Not” is a very intense episode. Logically, I knew Sara was innocent, and that the team would clear her name, but it was still a nail-biting hour waiting to see what would happen and if she would be pushed beyond her limit before the end. The storyline brings back Ronald Basderic, the stalker Sara confronted in “Code Blue Plate Special” at the start of the season. It was the first time we’d seen him, but Sara had history with the man after trying to help a waitress named Edie get a restraining order against him. He was clever with his stalking and intimidation, finding ways to frighten and torture Edie and his previous victims without crossing a line that would actually put him in jail. Unfortunately for him, he made a mistake when he decided to target one of our CSIs. He might have the upper hand for most of the episode this week, but there was never a question that Sara would come out on top. It’s satisfying to see her bring him down, and to see that Nick and Crawford have her back during the final confrontation.
Overall, the episode is a big disaster for Sara. Even if she clears her name and brings down Basderic, her personal life is still a mess. I was really surprised to see the photos of Sara getting cozy with Taylor several weeks before his death. Cheating on Grissom is not in Sara’s character, so I guess it shouldn’t have come as quite so much of a shock when she revealed that they have separated. I knew the results could be bad after Grissom wanted to “talk” at the end of “Dead Air”, but I didn’t really think this would be the outcome.
I can’t tell if this storyline is over, or if there’s still more to come. It took a long time for Sara and Grissom to get together, and part of me hopes this isn’t the end of “GSR”. I’m not sure how a reconciliation would play out without having William Petersen there to make it happen. If breaking up offscreen is bad, making up offscreen might be even more disappointing. Grissom and Sara’s relationship isn’t a matter of personal investment for me, but it feels like something that has been an integral part of CSI’s fabric since the beginning. However, Nick’s comment at the end of the episode seems like an observation that is true for the audience as well as the characters. He points out that they liked the idea of Sara and Grissom being together because it was a way of keeping him around. It’s certainly true that Sara’s offscreen marriage was a way to keep Grissom present in some sense, even though Petersen has made it clear that he won’t be coming back. As long as there’s a logical reason for his character to return, the fans will beg for it. “But if it’s over, it’s over,” Nick says, and maybe that’s a message to the viewers as much as it’s a message to Sara. Grissom is gone.
I really enjoyed that final scene with Sara, Nick and Greg. Other characters have come and gone, but these three have been around since the beginning. It’s nice to see Nick and Greg supporting Sara, and offering to be there for her. Jorja Fox, George Eads and Eric Szmanda have fantastic chemistry in any combination, and even a simple scene like this really showcases how great they are together. There’s an ease to their interaction after working together for so long, and it’s nice to be reminded of it. As hard as it can be to let go of Grissom, even four and a half years later, there are still beloved original characters to watch for—not to mention the great new characters, of course.
“Forget Me Not” finally introduces Sara’s mother after 13 seasons, but it feels a bit like an afterthought in the middle of such a big, emotional episode. Laura only appears in two scenes, but Sara’s reaction to her mother is interesting to watch. One thing that stands out in both scenes is Sara’s insistence that she’s “fine”, even when it’s obvious that she’s not. In contrast to the scene with Nick and Greg, Sara doesn’t open up to her mother. These two aren’t close, and Sara rarely sees her mother even though they now live in the same city. Laura wants to improve their relationship, and Sara seems open to giving it a try during their second scene. Fox and Kay Lenz are great in their limited time together, and I for one would like to see Laura come back in a later episode—preferably with a larger and more significant presence.
See also: “Forget Me Not” episode guide