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Fantastic Four

Hodges says lightly, "According to Tox, Junior was a boozer. BAC was three times the legal limit." Nicky explains that Jackie had a kegger. For some reason, this sets Hodges off: "How old were you when you first got drunk?" Nicky was 16 or 17. Hodges muses, "Amortized over a generation...twelve's about right." Nicky replies, "You're saying two generations from now, four-year-olds are going to be getting trashed?" With a somewhat evil little smile, Hodges replies, "Preschool graduation parties are going to be off the hook." I LOVE HIM for that. Oh, Hodges, you've grown on me like the mold in a bodybuilder's eye.

Anyway, Hodges soon gets to the real point: a crazy array of hairs were found on Chase -- he was a virtual pan-species, pan-ethnic, pan-fiber textile clearinghouse. The black goop was melted shoe rubber. Nicky muses, "What's hot, cramped and full of other people's hair." Hodges quickly yanks his mind out of all the dark, nasty places it had gone in answering that, and replies, "As I've often said, that's your job."

Nicky's answer: surprisingly not "Liam's locker." Instead, it's the Laundromat we saw back when it was nighttime. A cab drives by, sporting an advertisement for the auto show. We see Nicky inside, where he soon finds a dryer drum with a gob of melted rubber similar to that which was in Chase's hair. Then it's on to the laundry cart, which rolls easily across the lot, but locks up the minute Nicky gets to the edge of the parking lot. Hmmm.

Nicky then talks to the manager. Since he's standing behind the guy, it's easy to lie and say, "I was taking my laundry to the car, and the cart locked up on me." The manager is all, "Yeah, we got a fancy system 'cause people steal them. I'm the only one with a...remote." This is where he notices Nicky's in his little CSI vest.

Cut to the manager in the interrogation room saying with dread in his voice, "Murder?" Nicky replies, "A twelve-year-old boy died in one of your dryers the other night. You trying to tell me you don't know anything about it?" The manager claims the boys were playing around the Laundromat and making trouble, so he chased them out, adding, "What happened after that, I don't know." Grinning like a shark, Nicky says, "I don't buy it, Jared." That ought to scare Jared into a new pair of trousers. When Nicky's looking at you like fresh meat, you're going down.

Nicky snarls, "I don't [buy it]. You know why? Your fancy carts." Someone would have had to have unlocked a cart to have wheeled Chase over to the bench, and someone did, what with those tire tracks we saw in the grass earlier. Nicky sits down and gives the manager a flat, hard stare as he says, "Someone wheeled your cart through wet grass and dumped a dead 12-year-old boy on a bus bench."

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