By Lynette Rice
Updated January 16, 2009 at 11:10 AM EST

Hell yeah!

With sincere apologies to the male fans, I’m going to believe the CSI writers wrote this William Petersen swan song especially for me — okay, me and the millions of other female viewers — who believe a happy ending is possible for just about anyone, even a moody sleuth in a perpetual state of emotional lockdown. Sappy sendoff? Perhaps. Satisfying? You bet — especially since the last cast member to take a permanent hike (alas, poor Warrick) did it in such a depressing and tragic manner.

Truth be told, I never believed executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar would keep Gil and Sara apart for long. That Dear John (Jane?) video she sent him earlier this season was a tricky-dick way to throw us off the scent, but if anyone seemed destined to catch a break, it was these two lonely hearts. And what a break they caught! I imagine the fans will argue long and hard about whether a prolonged and passionate buss is an appropriate act for a show about death, but I let out a gleeful gasp when those two embraced in that Survivor-like setting (at least, that’s what the one-track-mind Dalton Ross thought it looked like). I don’t know if these two characters will go on to get hitched — hell, I don’t even know if they’ll make it out of that jungle — but this is exactly the payoff I wanted if I were going to have to accept a CSI without Petersen.

There were plenty of other moments that got me feeling all mushy inside, despite the fact this was still an episode about death — like the way Nick said it felt like “Grissom’s last big game,” or how Catherine grinned and winked as the King took his final stroll through the crime lab. But if I go on I’ll be sucking up precious space that should be devoted to your comments.

What did you think? Was this exactly the kind of upbeat goodbye that you wanted from Gil? Do you believe the writers made the right creative call by having him reunite with Sara? And under what circumstances do you believe it’ll be right for Petersen to make a triumphant (but brief) return to the show? (Remember, our boy is still an exec producer and has promised to appear here and there.) Start typing now!