‘CSI’ Finale: Langston Pushed to ‘The Breaking Point,’ Says Exec Producer

by | May 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Finales 2010, TV News

Laurence Fishburn in CSI's finale: "Meat Jekyll" (CBS)

Laurence Fishburn in CSI's finale: "Meat Jekyll" (CBS)

There’s no question that Langston (Laurence Fishburne) has been losing his mind over the Dr. Jekyll case. But could his obsession with the serial killer lead to losing his own life in ‘CSI‘s May 20 finale?

“The goal was to push him to the breaking point – because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right? Or maybe it does kill you…” executive producer Carol Mendelsohn cryptically teases.  We know that something is for certain: at least one CSI will end up in a body bag by the episode’s end.

We asked Mendelsohn to highlight her favorite memories from the past season, preview what’s in store for Thursdays’ finale, and give us an idea of what – and who – she’d like to see next year. (Hint: It starts with a G and ends with a -rissom!)

What were the high points of the season? The return of Jorja Fox.   The premiere’s motion control shootout in the lab.  “Coup de Grace” receiving The Television Academy’s  “Award of Conscience.”    The boys’ night out in “Appendicitement.” Getting to work with Rascal Flatts.  George Eads’ performance in  “Lost & Found.” Langston and Greg’s processing of the electronics store in “Death and the Maiden.”  Another crazy Dustin Abraham script  — “Lover’s Lane.” Watching Greg bowl.   Catherine and Vartann.    The return of Nate Haskell and the final confrontation with the twisted Dr. Jekyll.  Catherine, Brass and Langston going at each other in the finale.   And, watching Laurence Fishburne and Bill Irwin in any of their scenes together.

Do you have a favorite episode line or scene from this season? Yes, saving the best for last, the finale scene with Nate Haskell, Ray Langston and Captain Brass.  Ray’s gamble to use Haskell to track down Dr. Jekyll is met with a rabid complaint from Haskell re: the names of past serial killers, his “immature” moniker (the Dick and Jane Killer) and the following:  “Dr. Jekyll?  Don’t you guys ever read?  Robert Louis Stevenson? Hello?  Jekyll was the good guy.”

Dear Langston: Obsess Much?

Take us inside your approach to the finale and what you wanted to accomplish. Obviously, we were on a collision course to finding and confronting Dr. Jekyll.   And, from the beginning of the season, the plan was to catch one serial killer with another serial killer.   So, we knew Nate Haskell would be paying a return visit.   But more importantly, the theme of the season was cohesion and “family.” We wanted to bring Catherine’s team back together.  Create a new family.  But that could only happen if Langston would open himself up, reveal himself and allow himself to trust Catherine, Nick, Greg and Sara.  So in the last two episodes of the season, we had Langston come face to face with his own demons.  The goal was to push him to the breaking point – because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?   Or maybe it does kill you…

Did anything disappoint you about this season?  Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have time, forethought or resources? While we were extremely pleased with the triple crossover, someday it would be great to have all three teams working together on a big case, and then get to have Langston, Horatio and Mac in the same room together at the same time.  I wanted a visit from Grissom, but maybe some day soon.   Also, I wish we had revealed more about Greg’s personal life.  But there’s always next season.  Nick, too.

What should the fans look forward to next season?  And if you haven’t gotten that far yet… what would your dream season be? We really like the “DNA” of our show.  So,  CSI will continue to take our fans into fascinating new worlds, while using cutting edge forensic science to solve mysteries.  So, we’re talking about a “death by dinosaur” episode.   I can promise that the premiere will be explosive.   And, let’s just say,  we may not have seen the last of Nate Haskell, or his minions.   Also, I think next season, we may get a more intimate look into the lives of our characters.   To see how far they’ve come over the last ten seasons and where they might be heading in the future.

Preview Thursday’s finale: “Meat Jekyll”:

WATCH PART ONE OF THE TWO-PART ‘CSI’ SEASON FINALE HERE