The first half of the two-part story aired Wednesday night (Jan. 18), and it put Helgenberger’s Catherine Willows through the wringer. An episode that starts with the execution of a lawyer Catherine knows and ends with her diving out of the way of bullets provides a great setup for Helgenberger’s departure next week.
The case — a twisty one even by “CSI” standards — involves an old friend of Catherine’s (Annabeth Gish), her powerful husband (go-to sinister guy Titus Welliver), the FBI (in the form of Grant Show and Matt Lauria), professional assassins, even some flesh-eating bugs. Each successive step puts Catherine more out of sorts, and when Gish’s character is apparently killed — although, does anyone else think there might be more to it than that? — Catherine loses it.
It’s a really good scene for Helgenberger, who since being demoted with the introduction of D.B. Russell has tried pretty hard to keep a lid on her emotions. She was bound to blow up at some point, and the devastation where the FBI transport was hit would have made just about anyone lose it.
There’s also the little matter of her resignation letter to D.B. — which, we’re guessing, won’t take effect at least until she sees this case through.
The episode climaxes with Catherine diving out of the way of even more gunfire, first in her home and then in the back seat of D.B.’s SUV after he comes to check on her (you can watch the scene below). We’re very curious to see how it plays out next week, but so far it looks like Helgenberger is getting an appropriately grand send-off from the show she’s called home for 12 seasons.
What did you think of Wednesday’s episode, and how do you want to see Catherine exit the series?