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Some CSI Fans Are Split Over Their Support For Catherine (& Drama's To Blame)

Before Marg Helgenberger left the show in 2012, Catherine Willows was one of the most popular characters and was often considered the best female investigator on "CSI." A fierce and determined woman, many fans thought the writers did a great job of showcasing her multidimensional personality, making her a believable character with equally positive and negative traits.

While there was some underlying tension between Catherine and fellow CSI Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) when the show began, fans appreciated the respect and friendship the two women had with each other. But Fox admitted that, initially, the writers wanted a Catherine and Sara rivalry, telling PopGurls they "had wanted to create a real solid tension between Catherine Willows and Sara Sidle. They started right away that we would lock horns and that this would be a theme that would go throughout the show." Fox and Helgenberger didn't want this and told the writers. "I felt more passionately about potential for camaraderie coming from these two women being so different instead of the opposite," Fox reiterated.

Even so, there were more than a few moments in which fans are split on whether Catherine's drama with Sara made her more relatable or less likable.

Some fans felt Catherine's drama was unncessary

When u/Apple-pie_best-pie took to the "CSI" Reddit board to post the unpopular opinion that they don't like Catherine because "[her actively] sabotaging her colleagues' careers sometimes just seems [too] much," several fans voiced their agreement. "I think Cath is a cool character, and I really enjoy her most of the time, but she definitely has moments where I feel like she has different rules for herself than for others, and I think she struggles with sharing the credit," agreed u/rewritethefinallines.

But not all fans agree, with several defending Catherine and pointing to the high stress of their jobs and the fact that having traits like selfishness and conceit helped make them more human. Many recognized that the writers sometimes pushed the envelope too far because it's a television show seeking viewers. "Catherine was a messy, messy person, and I loved her for it even when I was completely exasperated," wrote u/wordy_shipmates. "I get that the writers wanted drama, but sometimes it got so unbelievable that the suspension of belief was broken."

Now that Marg Helgenberger is back portraying Catherine Willows on the revival, "CSI: Vegas," her character seems to have matured in her time away from the job, and maybe this time around, the writers have also learned that the characters can have layers, without all the unnecessary drama.