Thursday, August 20, 2009

Catherine Willows

Catherine Willows is a CSI Level Three and occasional Acting Shift Supervisor with the Las Vegas Police Department.

Raised in Vegas by a showgirl mother, Catherine became an exotic dancer and nightclub wild child. Finally finding her calling, she danced her way through a medical technology degree at UNLV, hung up her spangles and became a CSI, specializing in blood spatter analysis. Her supervisor, Gil Grissom, mentions the fact that she was his first friend in Las Vegas, and the first person he recruited for his team. While a reliable and meticulous CSI, Catherine still enjoys flaunting her sexuality, and occasionally uses it to make a point - or win over a difficult suspect.

Catherine is a single mother with an attitude and a complicated family life. Her late husband Eddie, from whom she "should have gotten divorced years ago" had issues with drugs and fidelity, and was murdered in 2003. Their teenaged daughter Lindsey seems to have acquired her mother's feistiness - talking back, running away, and hanging out with questionable friends. Catherine, despite her night-shift schedule, keeps a close watch on her, placing her in an highly disciplined private school, and spending as much time as possible with her during the day. Lindsey is soon to graduate and go to college, a fact that causes Catherine no end of anxiety.

Casino tycoon Sam Braun, a friend of her mother, is a surrogate uncle to Catherine during her childhood and stormy teenage years. While they operate on opposite sides of certain gray areas of law, they share a lasting affection and grudging respect. Catherine learns that he is, in fact, her biological father after performing a DNA control test during a murder investigation involving Sam. This comes to haunt her during the trial. When Sam dies, he leaves Catherine and her mother some of his fortune, but the vast majority of it is tied up in the land development trusts he began during his life.

Catherine, while well-liked and highly successful at her job, seems to be trailed by bad luck in her personal life. Grissom is known to have criticized her for having a personal life at all, as drama seems to find her despite her best intentions. Her dates seem to end up jeopardizing investigations, or involved in them. Her daughter was kidnapped as a warning to her, and soon after her safe return, her father was killed in her arms by the kidnapper. Her recent dating life is next to nil, though she shares an unresolved, and ultimately tragic, flirtatious relationship with her co-worker, Warrick Brown.

While not vain in the strictest sense, Catherine has a dancer's strong sense of beauty and style to go with her natural good looks. She has watched her mother age from a great beauty into comfortable older-middle-age, and as she watches Lindsey grow up, she is often shown to be struggling with her own signs of aging.

In recent episodes, Catherine is shown to be transferring her maternal tendencies to the team, attempting to steer Grissom through his fiancee's departure, and helping Warrick through drug dependency and a murder charge.


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