CSI – S12E12 – “Willows in the Wind”
Spoilers from previous episodes.
After being shot and chased, Catherine and D.B. are on the run from an elite assassin team whose motives remain murky. Finding help from some unlikely friends, Catherine and the team are able to sort out fact from fiction, but is the truth really what she wants to hear? Given an offer she could refuse, Catherine Willows has to decide if she’s going to leave the Las Vegas Crime Lab behind.
Score: 3 of 5
CSI is a show I rarely watch first run because there is always something I’d rather watch, usually a show on USA or SyFy. While CSI has some arcs, it’s not a long arc show and almost every episode is a Villain of the Week style making it the perfect pickup series. I catch episodes during the off times when other shows are on breaks and CSI is re-airing on about six other channels. Although, I did catch up with “Willows in the Wind” via the CBS website because I was a bit more interested in this episode than others.
Catherine Willows is probably my second favorite character after Nick Stokes so I was interested in seeing how they were going to send her off.
Dummy me didn’t pay attention and didn’t watch the first half of this two-part episode but the catch up was more than enough to figure out what was going on. Mostly I needed to know that Catherine had been shot and is on the run with D.B. after she was working on a case involving an old friend of hers.
The whole of this episode was typical CSI fare with a bit of a greatest hits vibe but that is to be expected when a character is leaving, especially one that’s been there twelve years. Perhaps kudos that they didn’t go overboard but for the most part it was a ‘nothing special’ episode. The last ten minutes is where it was all going to be and what everyone was waiting for anyway, Catherine’s goodbye, and boy was it a bit dodgy.
I’d seen enough of the twelfth season (first eight episodes) to know that they had been playing the demotion card a lot to give her a reason for leaving. Then there was the ‘daughter moved out, empty nest syndrome’ as well. All this is valid characterization for her leaving but the whole scene was poorly executed.
Catherine is told by FBI she could have a future in the FBI, okay, sure.
- Catherine sees her ex-friend and has a soul searching moment, good.
- Catherine turns around and quits, effectively immediately. Erm, what? She hasn’t even had time to fill out and application let alone go through all the red-tape it takes to get accepted into the FBI academy. And what’s all this effective immediately crap? Why is it people in tv shows can just quit while if I tried that I’d lose my last paycheck and get a bad reference?
- Catherine then gives a speech extolling the virtues of the CSI team, they are so great, family, blah blah, but doesn’t really say why she’s leaving other than she wants to move on. She touches on this at the beginning but her over-emotional speech practically cancels out everything she just said. Not the worse goodbye speech ever but it definitely leaves you scratching your head. If she loves them so much and has no real reason to leave except she’s pissed and bored then wha..??
At least they didn’t kill her off meaning she can pop up later as a guest star but at the same time I don’t think I want her back after the attitude in which she left. Not quite as bad as Padme’s death scene but it did feel like a major F-U moment. Or, who knows, maybe that is what they were going for in the first place?