CSI: Catherine Still Incompetent?

Visitors to the lair know that when I’m devoted to a show, I’m in it to win it until the very end. I’ll even follow you into continued “seasons” in book form if I’m really into you (which reminds me: I need to finish the “eighth season” of Deep Space Nine before I completely forget the first three books from the run). It’s no surprise, then, that I have continued to watch the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation through every bump and dip the show has seen in recent years. And, even though I confess to no surprise from the announcement earlier this year that CBS had cancelled the series after 15 years, I still felt a pang of loss. This show has meant a great deal to me for myriad reasons

2 thoughts on “CSI: Catherine Still Incompetent?

  1. You’ve got it right! CSI did fail in handling its many female characters. It’s understandable that Willows would be weary or resentful of the presence of Sidle; but it’s disappointing for the writers to make Willows catty, if not downright nasty, towards Sidle from the get go. While the men in the Lab generally accepted Sidle as one of their own and warmed up to her; the writers simply couldn’t see beyond the cattiness, and subsequently placing Sidle in conflict with other female characters, e.g. Willows and Curtis.

    Curtis was another disappointment. She was supposed to be this talented and dedicated new member, but what did we get when she made her first entrance except throwing out the cringe-worthy ‘It’s OK. I am wearing underwear. As far as you know.’
    The brief stint she had in S5 was nothing but noted for sitting on Grissom’s desk. When I saw her in S6 as Homicide Detective I really expected better things in store for this character. But somehow the writers simply had no idea how to handle her, and she just sort of faded away. Oh yes, good job they did to make this HD wear heels while on active duty!

    LH was so badly presented in the series finale, I can’t help but wondering how in hell they wanted to make her the focal point of it! Wasn’t she supposed to be Dr. Kessler? Why was everybody still refereeing her as Lady Heather? But then again, I always feel they did this character injustice when they made her go mainstream. She was reduced to nothing but mere a plot device after TGTB&TD. I did find her to be Irritating when I watched the series finale last September.

    I have a slight different take on Sidle’s ending from yours. I do think she went after her own happiness when she chose to leave the Lab, except I wish Anthony Zuiker could have written it in a different manner. Why can’t a strong woman have it all? But, then again, this Grissom/Sara journey of finding each other is a different kettle of fish. (I was happy these two could find their way back to one another.)

    CSI came to us at the right time with the right ensemble and interesting characters. I miss this group of highly flawed characters terribly.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment! First, I absolutely agree with your sentiment about missing these characters. I knew I would miss the show, but I didn’t expect to miss them quite this much. I suppose the recent cancellation of CSI: Cyber has reignited the missing.

      Thank you for bringing up Lady Heather and Detective Curtis. I wasn’t ever really a big fan of Lady Heather, but I agree with your point that the continued insistence on referring to her as “Lady Heather” even though she had moved into a different role was yet another sign of how the writing team simply never got the message that the way they treated their female characters was more often than not either demeaning or dismissive. Just having female characters in your cast isn’t enough. Like any garden, you have to tend to all you’ve planted.

      As for Detective Curtis, again, I always felt as though the writers introduced her merely as a catalyst to the Gil Grissom/Sara Sidle love interest arc. I don’t think they ever intended to take her seriously, which was a shame. There was a secret part of me that hoped they would bring her in to replace Detective Brass when they so unkindly jettisoned Paul Guilfoyle from the series.

      Sara Sidle was my favorite from the series, so I’m always going to be more sensitive to her storylines. I knew she was introduced as Grissom’s inevitable love interest, but I always wanted more for her. I wanted her to be her own independent character, which she was to a point. I especially enjoyed the seasons when she was on the show without Grissom. I felt the writers adequately established her as her own character–not just the “love interest.” Therefore, the ending really rankled. I agree that there would be nothing wrong in and of itself with having Sara choose Grissom as her soulmate, but as you state, why couldn’t she have both? Her passion for being a CSI was one of her most deeply rooted character traits. In fact, the two things Sara Sidle loved the most were being a CSI and being with Grissom. Why not let her have both?

      Ah, well. Again, thank you for your comment, and thank you for making me think of these great characters on a Wednesday morning.

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