For Gary Sinise, Friday's CSI: NY finale may feel a bit like art imitating life.
In April, Sinise was involved in a car accident in Washington, D.C. Although Sinise was just a passenger, he sustained several injuries when his car was hit from behind."I had a pretty severe concussion — [some] badly torn up muscles in my neck," Sinise tells TVGuide.com. "I don't remember the accident. I woke up in the ER. Although I'm told I was speaking, I didn't know where I was. We apparently drove for 10 minutes, but all I remember is getting into the car and pulling away from the curb."
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Sinise, who is still working with doctors and physical therapists, says the outpouring of support after his accident was overwhelming. "I got some of the most beautiful emails and phone calls," he says. "When a friend goes through something like that, it makes you think. It made me think about our season finale and what it's about."
That's because in CSI: NY's season (series?) finale, Sinise's character, Mac Taylor, is shot, and while his life hangs in the balance, each of his co-workers reflect on their time with Mac. "Sometimes when somebody [dies] you wish you'd be able to say certain things when you had the chance," Sinise says. "That's a lot what this episode is about: characters saying things to each other ... and expressing themselves in a way we haven't really seen."
"It's about all of their relationships and closeness with Mac as a father figure, as a friend, as a boss," adds executive producer Pam Veasey, who, for the second year in a row, had to craft an episode that could serve as a series finale if CBS doesn't renew the show. "We attempted to create a finale the audience would be satisfied with if we should be canceled," Veasey says. "We give moments to every one of our core actors. They get to speak to who their character was these past eight years."
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Also keeping vigil at Mac's bedside is his new love interest Christine (Megan Dodds). Sinise says he's enjoyed seeing a new side of Mac after the character finally let go of his wife Claire (Jaime Ray Newman), who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"They've opened Mac up to being a little more accessible and open to exploring love in his life and moving forward," Sinise says. "The last several seasons ... he's just been all work."
However, when Mac begins to see visions of Claire while he is fighting for his life in the hospital, it's almost as if Mac is faced with a supernatural choice. And whether this is indeed the show's final episode or not, Sinise sounds happy with Mac's decision.
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"You'll feel that Mac has found something very positive in his life that he was open to and ready for," Sinise says. "The door is still open for further exploration should we get picked up for Season 9, but it also has a little bit of closure and acknowledgement that this character Mac may be able to move on. I think our writers have a lot more stories in them, and if we get the chance to come back and explore them, that'd be great. "
CSI: NY airs its Season 8 finale Friday at 9/8c on CBS. Watch a clip from the episode below: