Inside Catherine’s Emotional Episode With Marg Helgenberger & Anthony Zuiker


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 4 “Koala.”]

It’s solely becoming that CSI creator Anthony Zuiker wrote the Catherine-centric Vegas episode that places Marg Helgenberger’s character in fairly an emotional place. (It results in an impressive efficiency from the CSI vet.)

In “Koala,” not solely does Catherine discuss down the suspect within the case, however she additionally reconnects along with her daughter, Lindsey (Katie Stevens, reprising the function from the unique CSI‘s series finale). The two have been estranged, but Lindsey’s “I love you” textual content on the finish offers Catherine hope.

Here, Helgenberger and Zuiker do a deep dive on the episode and tease what’s forward.

When you first began speaking about this episode, how a lot had you mentioned? All of it? Pieces?

Anthony Zuiker: We knew the entire caboodle. Marg and I met three or 4 months previous to writing it. When I produce, I are likely to, particularly massive automobiles for the celebrities, have a really early dialog and embody them. It was an incredible assembly of the minds [with the] bones of a narrative. We fed one another collaboratively and emotionally about what this was and what the origins of the story was. It was Marg’s thought to herald Lindsey and her thought for Eva Cassidy, for “Fields of Gold.” I really like when these issues occur as a result of I wish to make these come true in a draft after we simply casually discuss it, simply to shock her, and out of that got here a chunk of magic.

Marg Helgenberger: Yeah, it was magical from the get-go. When Anthony and I initially met, we hadn’t seen one another shortly and since that point, each of our moms had handed. And I simply wished to, in individual, specific how sorry I used to be that Diane had handed as a result of I knew Diane and she or he was only a exceptional girl, as was my mom. That’s what fed me. I do know it was what fed Anthony as effectively. While I used to be engaged on it at dwelling and truly capturing it and Anthony was there for each second, and he was co-directing together with Claudia Yarmy, it was an emotional journey in so some ways, but additionally simply extremely rewarding and enjoyable. I used to be like, “Oh, yes, it was exhausting, but let’s do it again.”

Marg Helgenberger in 'CSI: Vegas'

Erik Voake/CBS

Zuiker: Don’t neglect, after we first began this in 2000, Marg and I, you’re simply attempting to not drown within the tidal wave of this present being a gargantuan success. Then you attempt to keep on the air for Season 2, then Season 3 and the largest present ever by Season 5, then you definately’re spinning off to Miami, then NY. We by no means had the possibility actually to get pleasure from one another creatively in maturity to the place we will faucet into one thing slightly bit deeper on the display and on the web page. She’s had nice episodes that had been written for her, however we’ve by no means had an Anthony-Marg emotional sit-down the place we had been actually crafting and discussing each second and actually admiring the craft because it was occurring in actual time. That occurred on this episode, as a result of we’ve achieved 1,000,000 of those, we reconnected, after which it was two seasoned veterans giving their finest from a deeper place.

Marg, discuss working with Katie once more. Catherine and Lindsey assembly was heartbreaking.

Helgenberger: As Anthony talked about, I had introduced up Katie Stevens, who was simply within the sequence finale. There was two different actresses who had performed Lindsey: Madison McReynolds within the pilot and some episodes and Kay Panabaker as an adolescent. Katie ended up being within the sequence finale and we had a very good connection. I used to be like, the place is she now? And that began [it].

It was simply nice to be reconnected with Katie after which the very fact that there have been all these emotions we’ve for each other. But like in plenty of mother-daughter relationships, there’s at all times the expectation — what I anticipate of her and being dissatisfied — after which she’s like, “Why can’t you just accept me?” That is sort of the theme all through the entire episode: longing and loss and acceptance and expectations. There had been so many themes all through this episode and within the making of it that reverberated that I didn’t even give plenty of it that a lot thought. It hit me at such a intestine degree and in my coronary heart that I simply went with that.

Marg Helgenberger and Katie Stevens in 'CSI: Vegas'


Zuiker: You solely have these experiences a pair occasions in your profession, proper? Honestly, between the pilot being greenlit, Quentin Tarantino when he got here within the room and simply did two hours off prime of his head on a board, the two-hour finale in Season 5, “Grave Danger,” and Marg and I locking arms, career-wise, these are my prime three moments that I’ll always remember after 22 years.

Helgenberger: That undoubtedly was a spotlight from the entire CSI franchise for me.

Will Katie be again or will we simply hear about how issues have gone between Catherine and Lindsey?

Helgenberger: Let’s hope she comes again.

Zuiker: The door’s at all times open.

Helgenberger: We meet my granddaughter.

How a lot did Catherine want that hope for her relationship along with her daughter with that textual content?

Helgenberger: She undoubtedly wanted [that]. Those had been tears of pleasure, for positive.

Marg Helgenberger and Sarah Gilman in 'CSI: Vegas'

Erik Voake/CBS

Zuiker: I feel you’ll be able to solely punish the character so lengthy within the episode. You gotta give her some win. But what’s lovely concerning the episode, in my view, is it takes the tragedy of an ideal stranger, a new child youngster, because the car to reunite and reconnect mom and daughter in essentially the most unlikely of circumstances. The beginning of a brand new life offers new life to the chances of this relationship. Metaphorically, that labored fairly effectively. That’s why it’s so emotional.

Especially emotional was that takedown scene. You’ve put Catherine in a darkish place early on within the season — she tells Max (Paula Newsome) she was simply attempting to maintain the physique depend down, however there was fact to what she stated, proper?

Helgenberger: Yeah. And after we had been capturing that scene, there was plenty of dialogue that we didn’t even shoot. We had been attempting to tighten it up and truthfully even whereas we had been capturing it, I had ready, however I didn’t even know the way it was gonna come out. So after I was watching it, I used to be like, I don’t know what I’m gonna be seeing right here as a result of I don’t know what precisely I did. It was bizarre. I do know I used to be related to it, to that actress from the get-go. She was wonderful. There was simply one thing about that episode throughout with all these deep-rooted connections.

Zuiker: There’s a positive line between whenever you’re on regulation enforcement on the great facet and whenever you’re on the dangerous facet as a assassin, typically it’s indistinguishable as a human being by way of the darkish place you go to. I feel that’s fairly prevalent. One of the larger traces in Act 4 is “she doesn’t need a negotiator, she needs a sister,” and Marg is available in there just like the sister that she at all times wanted. And the second that the testosterone guys are going to tear the child away, which is what occurred to her first youngster, this sister defends her and says, “don’t rip her away.” I didn’t plan to jot down that, however I keep in mind when that got here to me, I used to be a multitude. I needed to cease, take a stroll and are available again. Because I feel that was only a lovely factor that got here out of nowhere. I didn’t plan to jot down that line, however I feel that line was essential to the entire episode.

Paula Newsome in 'CSI: Vegas'

Erik Voake/CBS

Helgenberger: We had a stunt coordinator and Anthony is available in and he goes, “if I may,” and he bodily confirmed how he had envisioned it. I related to that instantly.

Zuiker: Because the lads within the second aren’t fascinated with something however simply grabbing and defending. But right here’s this petite lady who’s leaping on prime of the suspect and preventing these actually burly males off to not have the identical factor occur twice the place they’re gonna rip her away. As a producer, I’m the man that can simply soar proper and go, “It’s like this!”

What’s arising with the Grace case?

Helgenberger: It takes a couple of twists and turns, prefer it ought to, like each good CSI episode does. The folks which are behind it, you don’t anticipate it to be them. But it does take me to Belarus.

Zuiker: We’re so blissful as a franchise to have Marg again. There’s a big fanbase globally that’s tickled pink that she’s again. We’re lucky to have a fifth iteration of CSI again underneath Jason Tracy, have some veteran actors from the unique sequence, and a model new forged. To see Paula Newsome work together with Marg Helgenberger is de facto, actually particular and tremendous enjoyable. I assumed perhaps Paula was not gonna be on this episode, however the community referred to as, wished her to come back halfway by way of it. I feel that was a pleasant contact as a result of she was in a position to carry one of the best out of Catherine and vice versa and actually carry these two girls collectively in a sisterhood, additionally as a theme for the present.

Helgenberger: One of my favourite scenes of the entire episode is after the scene we had been simply speaking about, and I escort the suspect out, and get her within the automotive. Paula says to me, was that theater or did that imply one thing? It’s so deep and she or he’s so involved after which she offers me that present of telling me that this child’s going to make it. It’s simply so lovely.

It’s such a very good scene.

Zuiker: I’ll let you know — even Marg doesn’t know this. I’m an enormous fan of Pretty Woman and one among my favourite scenes is when he’s looking for her earlier than he takes her out after which she turns round in her lovely costume and she or he says, you’re late. Then he says, you’re gorgeous. And she says, you’re forgiven. I take advantage of the identical rhythm within the writing with Marg and Paula. And by the way in which, Sarah Gilman, it’s important to say her identify out loud as Penny — one other unbelievable efficiency and breakout efficiency of the yr for her.

Helgenberger: Absolutely. She’s so cute in that episode. I don’t imply to make mild of it, however she’s so humorous within the post-mortem and she or he begins bagging up every thing as a result of she doesn’t wanna dwell an excessive amount of on getting nauseous.

Zuiker: I informed her, look, take the goggles and it’s like Top Gun. Because Top Gun: Maverick simply got here out so we’re like Top Gun freaks.

Will some other authentic sequence forged members be exhibiting up? Maybe to assist Catherine with the Grace case?

Zuiker: I’ll say sure, however I shall not point out names. But there shall be a face that is likely to be fairly acquainted within the episode I’m writing, Episode 217.

Helgenberger: That’s what I hear. It’s prime secret at this level.

CSI: Vegas, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS


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