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CSI: Vegas Season 2, Episode 4 Makes Up For A Botched Catherine-Centric CSI Episode

"CSI: Vegas" Season 2 reintroduced Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) to the franchise in Episode 1. In recent weeks, though, the veteran CSI character has been relegated to the background while the other investigations have taken the center stage. However, Episode 4, "Koala," allows Catherine to shine as the main star of the show.

"Koala" sees Catherine and the gang track down a group of masked killers who massacred a family in cold blood. That said, Catherine also has personal woes to contend with as she tries to reconnect with her estranged daughter, who gave up her own CSI duties to embark on a career that her mother doesn't approve of.

While the fans' reaction to the episode remains to be seen, Helgenberger's performance will undoubtedly tug at the heartstrings of the franchise's long-time fans. Her character is given some introspective moments that highlight her inner struggles as a mother, while still remaining a force of nature when it comes to doing her job. In fact, many long-term "CSI" viewers will probably argue that this Catherine-centric episode has been long overdue.

Anthony Zuiker wanted to give Catherine a proper outing

Marg Helgenberger hasn't returned to the "CSI" franchise for a nostalgia run. During an interview with TV Fanatic, she and creator Anthony Zuiker explained that their goal was to give her character a meaningful journey and do it right. The pair reconnected after experiencing upsetting situations in their personal lives, but the meeting allowed them to create a storyline for Catherine that's full of emotion and pathos.

For Zuiker, this meant creating a "CSI: Vegas" Season 2 episode in which Catherine is the main focus, mainly because he felt guilty for co-penning an underwhelming episode for her back in the day. "We started CSI in 2000, and I co-wrote an episode called Anonymous, and it wasn't my best effort", Zuiker said. "I felt terrible because Marg deserves the best episodes. I carried that guilt for over 20 seasons."

Zuiker then revealed that he and Helgenberger met up to discuss the idea before putting pen to paper, and their combined creative efforts led to the episode coming to fruition. "It was by far the best CSI experience of my career," he added. "It was a very intimate artistic experience between us, and together, we did an episode that I believe is Emmy-worthy for Marg."

Anonymous was well received by CSI fans

"Anonymous" isn't the worst "CSI" episode according to IMDB. In fact, the episode's IMDB rating currently sits at 8.1 as of this writing, indicating that viewers responded very positively to the Season 1 outing.

Anthony Zuiker hasn't discussed why he dislikes "Anonymous" in any great detail. However, it's worth noting that other characters receive just as much focus as Catherine in this one. The central mystery involves Grissom (William Petersen), Sara (Jorja Fox), and Catherine investigating a complicated mystery where they discover Grissom's fingerprints at a crime scene. Therefore, there's a case to be made that the episode detracts from Catherine's solo journey.

That's all in the past, though. "Koala" is the Catherine show, and she felt the weight of her effort when it was all said and done, according to Zuiker. "I think we're returning to our original roots with a solo episode that deals with the central character that puts her to the test in every emotion known to man," he told TV Fanatic. "Marg said I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I'm beaten, and I'm bruised. I'm sore in all the right ways."