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17 January 2009 @ 12:31 pm
To borrow a phrase, "About that show, where the character just left"  

Over in another journal, the consensus is that Grissom is an idiot for going after Sara, that she's one-dimensional, and that he'd be better with Lady Heather or even with Catherine Willows. And since I respect the owner of that journal, I'm talking about my disagreement here, rather than there.

[Note: I'm going to talk about the characters as if they were real people with their own motivations, rather than addressing the writers and their motivations for having this work out the way it did.]

I respectfully disagree. People fall in love, stay in love, and feel love, for reasons that are not always obvious to outsiders. Relationships can be built on foundations that clearly should not support them. Some of those relationships manage to strengthen the foundation, like some sort of emotional cantilevering.

I think Grissom and Heather would be a good match, intellectually. I don't know that they'd be good for each other as a couple, long-term. I hope that they will remain friends, and that Sara can come to terms with that friendship, and trust Grissom and Heather both to keep it at that level.

I can also believe in Grissom and Sara. I perceive them both as walking wounded, and I think that connects them in ways, at some levels, that I suspect neither of them is quite aware of.

Grissom is taking an enormous, terrifying step in trying to make an emotional and romantic commitment to another human being. He's going to need a huge degree of gentling, cajoling, and hand-holding along the way. I think for his sanity and self-respect, he needs to take that step with someone who requires an equal amount of help, so that he can give as much as he receives. (He may not consciously perceive this.)

I don't perceive Sara as one-dimensional. Maybe that's where I've gone wrong, maybe I'm just too easily manipulated, probably I'm just one of the masses who uncritically and unthinkingly accepts whatever is fed to me. But I perceive her as sharp. Not as brilliant as Grissom or Lady Heather, maybe, but sure as hell up there. She's broken in ways she knows about and ways she doesn't know about. She's done her damnedest to shore up the broken areas she sees; maybe not in the best possible way, but she's trying. She probably got into forensics / crime scene investigation as a way to enforce control (see also, Jim Brass and police work). She's much better with evidence than with people (and in the real world, where the crime scene techs aren't also detectives and don't interview witnesses, it would probably be a better fit).

She desperately wants justice for the victims. Justice, not vengeance. That's why she works with the evidence. She doesn't want the wrong person to be punished. But she's not perfect, no more than anyone else, and maybe less than some. She has weak spots that can be exploited, and triggers that can be pressed. As do we all.

Ah. I see. Okay, you're right, I'm an uncritical, unthinking sheep who prefers a heavy dose of Mary Sue in her stories. I want Grissom and Sara to work out because I can identify with her imperfections, whereas I can only admire Heather's complete assurance.

You know, just once I wish I could critically examine something I like and still end up feeling good about myself.
kshandra on January 17th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
We know Heather is capable of being human...and broken...as well. Her actions at the end of "Pirates of the Third Reich," crossing the line from dominance into sadism as she faces her daughter's killer. Giving up the Dominion in order to have a chance at visitation rights for her granddaughter...and taking one last client at a price that will ensure that granddaughter will have a college education.

Grissom is taking an enormous, terrifying step in trying to make an emotional and romantic commitment to another human being. He's going to need a huge degree of gentling, cajoling, and hand-holding along the way.

Agreed. But I'm not sure Sara has the temperament for it.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 18th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
We know Heather is capable of being human...and broken...as well.

I think for me that's the difference between "can be pushed over the edge in extremis" vs. "is walking around broken all the time". But you're right, she isn't inhumanly perfect, and that's a good thing in a human character.

But I'm not sure Sara has the temperament for it.

Maybe so, maybe no, but love comes where it will, and I think they love each other. I wish them well.
QKat: Bubble pwns cat by jadesevladyqkat on January 17th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
First let me say I haven't been watching CSI as avidly as I used to - a caveat that applies to many shows I used to watch faithfully.

Second is that I agree with most of your observations except your surface assessment of Lady Heather. The few shows I've seen lately (especially the one about her granddaughter) shows a brittleness in LH's assurance, which points to something broken within. And I think it is that which would make a commitment between her and Grissom disasterous.

Grissom and Sara are going to (in some episode that will never be written) have a very hard time, but, like in Real Life™, they will probably be each other's strength when it is needed. Because they are aware of their own imperfections and injuries each will be able to give the latitude needed for the other to mend those broken areas when someone else might demand strength when none is available.
browngirl on January 17th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Ah, fandom. I don't watch this show, so my thoughts are all on your response, which is to say: one, you have done well by writing a post in your space rather than debating someone else in theirs. Sometimes passions run too high for that to go well. Two: people greatly overuse the term "Mary Sue" to mean "any female character I don't like". In a world where we don't all like the same things (or what a haggis shortage, etc) people often use it as a bludgeon against those with whom they disagree. That doesn't make the charge automatically true.

Three: if I were in this fandom I think I'd be writing a threesome story. ;)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 17th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
I was using Mary Sue to mean "any female character I don't perceive as 'better than me.'"
browngirl on January 17th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ah, obeekaybee. I thought you were replying to previous discussions where people had dismissed Sara as a Mary Sue, since I've seen that kind of thing in other fandoms and I know enouhg about CSI fandom to know a lot of people don't like her.

*checks my addition again*
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 20th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
I generally use "Mary Sue" to mean something akin to the gaming term "munchkin" ("I'm a 100th level quarter-Human / quarter-Elf / quarter-Orc / quarter-Hobbit Druid/Bard/Cleric/Paladin and all my stats are 18/00 and I can cast every spell in the book and I have magical armor and weapons and my familiar is a unicorn/dragon halfbreed!").

When I wrote the essay above, I was feeling mildly pissy and self-defeatist about having come to the conclusion that the reason I liked a particular character was that I could identify with her.
thatwordgrrl on January 17th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
I did not mean to give the impression that I was not open to debate about it in my journal.

Your response has been very thoughtful and gives me much to think upon. :>

Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 17th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Not that you aren't open to reasonable debate, but that I figure if I'm going to have a temper tantrum I should do it in my own living room, not yours.
thatwordgrrl on January 17th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
I didn't think you were having a temper tantrum. Merely expressing a different opinion.

Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 20th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Then I thank you. From my internal perspective it felt more like, "WAAH! Someone on the Internet disagrees with me!"
(Deleted comment)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on January 20th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I think either the forensic sculptor or the head of the college for the deaf would've been better matches for Grissom.

They would have been interesting matches, I agree. I'm not sure the sculptor would have been willing to deal with "emergency, sorry, bye," though.

And, again, I'm back to "Love comes where it wills, not necessarily where it would be best."

(I did wonder whether William Peterson signs, or if he just learned his lines.)