Elisabeth Shue Will Not Return For CSI Finale Special

Unlike fans of shows that face sudden and rapid departures from the TV-sphere, avid viewers of the long-running crime drama CSI will get to watch something special for the show’s swan song. But while most of the characters will be there, including some returning favorites, it looks like at least one will be missing, as actress Elisabeth Shue will not be taking part in the series finale. Why you gotta be so cruel, Finn?

News of Shue’s future absence from the extended finale was reported by EW, but there’s no sign of why the actress will not be reprising her role. She was last seen in the Season 15 finale “The End Game,” which was produced before CBS had given a firm decision on whether they’d be renewing or canceling the hit procedural. So one has to wonder if she would have returned in a more full-time capacity had we gotten a Season 16.

But while we have questions about the actress herself, the show’s fans are undoubtedly more interested in seeing how the creative team explains why Julie Finlay isn’t around anymore. The character met a most unfortunate fate in “The End Game,” as she was attacked by a serial killer, which left her in a coma. I seriously doubt the show claims that she made it out of the coma and left her job and friends behind to start up life somewhere where serial killers won’t get to her. I kinda think we’re going to hear something a little more non-lively about Julie’s recovery, or lack thereof. Maybe the episode will start off with a funeral.

But it’s not all bad news, of course. William Petersen will take some time away from starring in WGN America’s Manhattan to return to the CSI world as Gil Grissom for the first time in several years. As well, we’ll get to see Marg Helgenberger reprising her role as Catherine Willows for the first time since an appearance in 2013. We hope there are more familiar faces returning for the two-hour wrap-up, which doesn’t seem to have a plotline in place just yet.

On the flip side of things, viewers won’t actually be saying goodbye to Ted Danson’s D.B. Russell, who has been a part of the show since 2011. Following CSI’s series ender, Danson will be transitioning over to the cast of CSI: Cyber for the first episode of Season 2. He can ruffle Mundo and Ryan’s feathers there.

So don’t forget to tune into CBS on Sunday, September 27, for the two-hour CSI series finale. Maybe send Jules a Get Well Soon card, and a Get Back on TV card to Elisabeth Shue.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.