‘CSI: Vegas’: What Brings Catherine Back? Plus, Where Are Gil & Sara? (RECAP)

Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows in CSI: Vegas
Spoiler Alert
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CSI: Vegas

She's Gone

Season 2 • Episode 1

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the CSI: Vegas Season 2 premiere “She’s Gone.”]

Welcome back to the Vegas Crime Lab, Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger). It takes until the very end of the CSI: Vegas Season 2 premiere, but we do find out the personal reason she wants back in after she skirts Maxine Roby’s (Paula Newsome) questions earlier.

Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows and Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby in CSI: Vegas

Sonja Flemming/CBS

And Max does ask why “one of the best to ever do” the job wants to come back when they sit down at the beginning of “She’s Gone.” But Catherine replies that when Max said: “the job is in my blood” in her toast at her retirement party, she had a point. She also points out that Max is shorthanded, as Gil (William Petersen, not returning after Season 1) mentioned. “Didn’t help that he stole his wife away and that one of my best is out in LA training with the FBI.” (Jorja Fox, who returned as Sara, is also not returning. Mel Rodriguez, who played Chief Medical Examiner Hugo, also exited between seasons.)

The only hint that Catherine offers that there’s more than meets the eye is the reveal that she was kicked off the board of the Eclipse, though she won’t address what happened — nor does she deny it when Max says it feels like there’s something she’s not telling her.

Catherine then joins the team for a case, the murder of a dominatrix, and Chris (Jay Lee) wonders if she got the scoop on the new CSIs from Gil and Sara. “They’re on a boat above the Arctic Circle, so yeah, she probably dialed them up on a sat phone and asked them all about you, Chris,” Joshua (Matt Lauria) replies, but hey, it gives us their location!

Throughout the episode, Catherine keeps thinking she sees a young woman, Grace. First, after a text from “Benny” reading “Alonso headed to Fremont,” then in the lab. And at the end, Max calls her out: “Something’s not right. Something brought you back.” And no, it’s not that she got kicked off the board at Eclipse. “That’s why you’re not there,” Max says. “I asked why you’re here.”

Catherine reveals that she met Grace when she started taking classes at WLVU, and it was like looking in a mirror at her younger self; Grace was a dancer like Catherine and passionate about becoming a CSI. But she was new to Vegas and short on money, so Catherine got her a job cocktail waitressing at Eclipse. But now, Grace has been missing for three weeks, and no one is investigating. When Catherine asked questions, no one had answers, nor did anyone at Eclipse even seem to care. Then the board called a vote, and she was kicked off, so now she’s wondering what they’re covering up. Well, unfortunately, it looks like they’re covering up a murder, going by that half-buried body in the final shot.

Now, we can’t help but wonder: How will Catherine react when she finds out? And will this set her on a path that eventually takes her away from the Crime Lab by the end of the season?

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