What a fascinating pairing: The CSI legend and the youngest criminologist!
Catherine and Penny were in the spotlight on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 4.
So, apparently, Penny is more than a technician who stays mainly in the lab, such as Hodges and Wendy in the original series.
But it was equally clear that Penny hadn't been present on a crime scene of that magnitude before.
And, after discovering that her texts were being blocked by her estranged daughter Lindsey. Catherine was in precisely the right frame of mind to mother somebody.
Maxine was still out of action from her injuries suffered on CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 3.
Folsom has proven that he's perfectly capable of running a crime scene. But supervising the investigation of the murders of a whole family ls the perfect scenario for Catherine to step in.
This probably shouldn't be said about a quadruple homicide, but solving the crime at the Casey mansion was just the distraction that Catherine needed from her Lindsey problem.
She just barked out assignments, and, knowing her reputation, everyone obeyed without question.
Catherine's choice of Penny as her interior support was an odd one. Maybe subconsciously, she hoped to create the junior CSI Lindsey had refused to become.
Penny quickly learned that there was a big difference between processing evidence in the lab and experiencing the crime scene itself.
Catherine indeed recognized the look on Penny's face and gave her precise directions, kindly giving her a task to perform that was out of view of the bodies.
Still, Penny showed a natural aptitude for the work, discovering evidence while vomiting in the bushes.
In fact, the notes that Penny recovered pointed to a familiarity with the Caseys that an ordinary robbery crew wouldn't have had.
Penny had another freakout moment when she was required to attend the family's autopsies, threatening to quit. But, again, Catherine talked her down.
So Penny enjoys sifting through detritus for clues but hates the death that is part and parcel of a criminologist's job. That's problematic.
Back in the lab, Penny located a truly strange clue: a tiny crocheted koala.
Catherine wanted to write it off as nothing important. But, noticing she was talking down to Penny as she too often did to Lindsey, Catherine let her run it through further testing.
It was weird when the DNA from the koala matched the DNA found in the bloody handprint left by one of the killers. Stranger yet, the DNA was from the biological mother of the infant girl who was the only survivor of the attack.
Then, to make things more bizarre, another family is murdered, along with the female killer.
It took an eagle-eyed Chris to determine there was another person in the Casey family photo, Justin, who ended up being the father, or at least the sperm donor, of the infant.
Justin provided many of the missing pieces from the puzzle. The dead pregnant woman was a gestational carrier, the biological mother was Lucia, and the dead killer was one of Lucia's triplet sisters. No wonder there was so much confusion.
Max made a timely return to work from the hospital. She could tell that Catherine wasn't just exhausted from working the case. That's when Catherine spilled all her worries about Lindsey.
Max knew that Catherine wouldn't be of much use to the case until she dealt with the personal business plaguing her. So she made Catherine take a break until after she had talked with Lindsey.
The brief talk between Catherine and Lindsey went about as bad as it could. Apparently, Lindsey makes a living as a social media personality with an Onlyfans account, and Catherine expressed her reservations about that profession.
As a former dancer/stripper, Catherine was hypocritical to take that approach, and the defensive Lindsey called her on it. Lindsey also felt that Catherine was disappointed in her for not following in her mother's footprints as a CSI.
The two made little headway. But at least Catherine found out that Lindsey was OK if still angry with her. So she went back to work with her head somewhat clearer. Somewhat.
When the team and the police visited Lucia, they found her holding a shotgun on Darcy, her meaner older triplet.
Darcy deserves everything that Lucia planned to do to her. She stole Lucia's first baby and put it up for adoption. The three sisters were the masked assailants. Lucia thought they were robbing the Caseys, but Darcy killed them all, including Lucia's pregnant lover, then Justin's family.
Catherine convinces Max to let her attempt to talk Lucia down. She hits Lucia with a stream of her consciousness, to which Lucia starts to respond.
But she hated the sisters that have taken everything from her, so she turned her gun on Darcy. Catherine wrestled it away from Lucia, but she still protected her from the police who came rushing in. She had transferred her caring for Lindsey onto Lucia.
Catherine later downplayed what she said to Max. But clearly, she needed to get what she was feeling off her chest.
It was heartwarming when Catherine rocked the infant, and Lindsey texted those three words that she longed to hear: I love you.
To revisit Catherine's return to CSI, watch CSI: Vegas online.
How did you enjoy Catherine being in charge again?
Did Penny come out of this ordeal stronger?
Who was more right, Catherine or Lindsey?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.