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The Most Tragic CSI Character According To Fans

When "CSI" first came onto television screens at the dawn of the millennium, the police procedural shocked audiences that were not used to dark content on primetime. "CSI" took cues from '90s serial killer films like "Seven" and "Silence of the Lambs" as well as "The X-Files." The result was intense and not for the faint of heart, and the guest characters involved in each case often experienced profound tragedy.

"CSI" was unflinching in how it depicted the main characters suffering grievous losses over the course of 15 seasons. Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) losing her daughter and Julie Finlay's (Elisabeth Shue) assault are only two examples of the devastation the "CSI" team goes through on the crime drama. Showrunner Carol Mendelsohn credited the cast with inspiring more dramatic storylines over time: "these actors, they could go so deep that we owed it all to them and they inspired us" (via Crime Story). 

But users on the "CSI" subreddit all seem to agree that one character has been through the most pain and loss in the series. This is by far the most tragic "CSI" character, according to the fans.

CSI fans agree that Jim Brass is the saddest CSI character by far

In a post in the r/csi subreddit titled "Most tragic character in CSI," u/happycharm argues that homicide detective and CSI "muscle" Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) easily earned that title over 14 seasons. u/happycharm wrote "First, his wife cheats on him with one of his coworkers which results in Ellie being an affair child. Despite that, he stays married...and sees Ellie like his own daughter...He and his wife ends [sic] up divorcing anyways [sic]."

Jim and Ellie's relationship becomes strained thanks to her sex work and drug use, and Ellie ends up becoming a killer herself. She murders her mother and almost kills Jim, but hesitates and is arrested instead. Ultimately Brass retires in Season 14 to help take care of her in prison.

It's a truly sad situation, and this doesn't even include the Season 8 episodes where Brass accidentally fatally shot another police officer and tearfully apologized to his widow. User AutumnalSunshine even called Brass "a walking tragedy who is so stoic that I just want something good (anything!) to happen to the guy."

Sadly, the retired, now vision-impaired Jim was attacked in the first episode of the new series "CSI: Vegas" so things don't seem to have improved too much for him. But that hasn't dimmed his status as a fan favorite. Unusual_Blacksmith13 echoed many "CSI" viewers when they wrote "I lov [sic] Brass. He deserved better."