CSI: Miami reaches a milestone this week by airing its 200th episode, “Happy Birthday”, and things get personal for several members of the team. (Spoilers after the jump!)
Co-executive producers Barry O’Brien and Marc Dube wrote “Happy Birthday”, which finds the team racing to save a pregnant woman and her baby after the mother is severely beaten and left for dead. The case is especially significant for Horatio Caine (David Caruso), whose wife Marisol Delko-Caine (Alana De La Garza) would have celebrated her birthday on the same day if she were alive. “Horatio really dedicates himself to finding the perpetrators,” O’Brien told TV Guide. “In that quest, he finds echoes of his relationship with Marisol, and it becomes very thematic for him to make this right.”
This personal storyline is a far cry from how Miami celebrated the 100 episode milestone. “There was a lot of hype surrounding Episode 100 way back when. I remember we all thought, we’ve got to do something big: spectacle, spectacle, spectacle!” Dube explained. “Turns out at Episode 200, it’s not about spectacle so much as just doing what we do well: tell a good mystery and tug at some heartstrings along the way.”
The episode is also personal for Emily Procter, the actress who plays Calleigh Duquesne. Procter is pregnant in real life with her first child, and the series has been forced to hide her behind furniture so her belly won’t be visible on camera. During “Happy Birthday”, Calleigh sits by the victim’s bedside while she fights for her life and the life of her unborn child. “The number of scenes we’ve been able to put her in lately has been limited because she’s late in her pregnancy,” Dube said. “So we wanted to give her an emotional investment, and we thought if we have her bedside with someone who’s, in a sense, going through what she’s going through in real life, we can really bring the best out of her.”
Making it to 200 episodes is “a staggering achievement,” O’Brien said, “and we felt just very grateful. [The episode] is an absolute love letter to our audience. We’ve come a great distance together. You reward an audience every time you go deeper into character, and I that’s what we love to do.”
The full interview is available on TVGuide.com.