Sara Will Be BackBy Rachel
October 20, 2007 - 7:50 AM
Executive producer Carol Mendelsohn knows that this is not the end.
Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) recently confirmed that she would be leaving CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in November of this year. "When Jorja expressed her desire to move on — even though I would have loved nothing more than to have had her here for Season 8 and Season 9 and on — you [react] as you would in any family: You love the person and respect them and want them to be happy and fulfilled," Mendelsohn explained to Ausiello. She went on to say that it was ultimately Fox's decision to leave. "I had done everything that I could," she said. "But in the end, I respect Jorja. This is something that she wanted to do, and I would never stand in her way."
Mendelsohn isn't closing the book on Sara just yet. "If this was the very end for Sara Sidle on CSI, I don't think I could have handled the last few months," she explained. "But it's not. Jorja was always No. 6 on our call sheet. We're retiring No. 6, so it's there for Jorja when she comes back." She said that fans can "count on" Sara returning, although she could not be more specific than that. "I'm almost tearing up now because it's very hard to say goodbye, even if it's [just] goodbye for now," she said.
Mendelsohn would only give vague details about how Sara would leave the show. "As the season unfolds through November, there is a character arc threaded through the episodes for Sara Sidle," she said. "And it is something that will build and build and build until the episode in which she departs, sometime in November." Mendelsohn also implied that Sara would not be killed. "I don't, as a fan or a writer, embrace killing off characters," she said. She went on to say that they "owe the fans so much and I don't think killing off Sara Sidle would have ever been a way to pay a satisfactory ending for Sara."
Sara's departure led to questions about her relationship with Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and where the show would go from there. "We were totally invested, all of us, in Grissom and Sara," Mendelsohn said. She also addressed the idea of other members of the team entering into romantic relationships with one another. "Clearly, among the team there's a lot of love," she explained. "But it's kind of familial love. I think Grissom and Sara was a very, very special case." There may be a relationship in the lab, however, between two of the recurring characters. "The new couple may be [one who] sort of started last season that you may not suspect," she revealed. "We have someone who works in the lab and has an interest in another lab tech."
Fox leaving the show brought up the possibility that one or more of the other actors might leave when their own contracts expire. Mendelsohn said that CSI "is so strong that it could get along without any one of us." Despite believing that, she said that she had "difficulty thinking about CSI without Grissom and Catherine [Willows (Marg Helgenberger)] and Warrick [Brown (Gary Dourdan)] and Nick [Stokes (George Eads)]. But I do believe that people love the show, too, and it could go on." She did not say whether the show would lose any more characters. "I suppose anything is possible, but I hope that doesn't happen," Mendelsohn said. "I think one of the strengths of CSI and one of the pleasures of doing this job is that we have all been together from the beginning. I would love for us to all continue to be together."