Speaking of medical examiners, we're back in the autopsy bay with Alexx, who's looking over the bedroom boy and telling Horatio he's got petechial hemorrhaging in both eyes. She also tells Horatio that the guy suffocated, and then says, "I found a little surprise when I cut the tape off his mouth. Fabric is our murder weapon." Horatio looks at the grimy gag and says, "It was either used to shut him up or kill him." He's just master of stating the obvious, isn't he? Alexx brings the grue when she says, "Either way, when he started to struggle for air, it was sucked deeper and deeper into his esophagus until it had nowhere to go." Isn't that how the kid got killed with the liver during the CSI episode "Pledging Mr. Johnson"? Is death by fabric all that common? I know some committed preppie types who'd commit hara-kiri if they ever had to voluntarily don synthetic fibers, but that doesn't seem to be the same at all. Anyway -- Horatio examines the tape used in the gag and concludes that it was cut, not torn, so he'll be able to match it to a specific tool later. How poetic -- a tool to find a tool. Alexx then mentions that the man on the table was violently sodomized, probably with a foreign object, and his spleen and colon were damaged as a result. Just then, Horatio figures out how to un-Doe the guy when he notices the big chunk of raised flesh where a tattoo once lived. He figures it might be the way to ID him, so he asks Alexx to raise it.
Cue Alexx firing up a butane torch and saying, "Never tried this procedure myself, but if the books are right..." She then goes over the guy's arm like she's making crème brulée, and the skin bubbles up. Then Alexx takes a scalpel and scrapes away at the layer of skin before repeating the torching. Horatio watches, fascinated, and eventually Alexx scorches and peels the skin to the point where we see a detailed tattoo of a pistol. Horatio says, "Well, there you have it. That is a thing of beauty." "Unique," agrees Alexx.
Time passes, as evidenced by the sun setting over a Miami skyline that features a giant phallic skyscraper. We go back to Half-Assed Crematorium, where Calleigh and Delko are working the crime scene, as is Alexx. Delko says, "You're working a double-time today, huh?" Alexx says she can handle it. I personally think she needs an Emergency Backup Alexx, someone who works the B-cases and maybe makes awkward cocktail-party chitchat with the deceased. Anyway, Alexx says, "The guy had the hell beat out of him. Skull was fractured. Death was likely caused by internal hemorrhaging in the brain." Delko, who's swabbing a bloodstain on a wall, concludes, "It was likely caused when his head smashed into this wall. This'll crush his skull, don't you think?" Alexx is too busy passing judgment on the dead to notice him: "I don't know where you are or what's ahead of you, but I bet you figured out it wasn't worth it, was it? Payback's a bitch, baby." Right then, Caribbean Queen comes in to tell us all that the body count in back is up to twenty-seven, and they're having to piece together the ones on the bottom. Once again, I'm at a loss: these bodies came to be cremated, there was clearly not a commitment on anyone's part to keeping the mortal remains intact...so why put together bodies you're going to burn? Even if someone wanted the ashes for sentimental reasons, I presume they already got, like, a spare set from the crematorium, so it's not like they'll be able to swap those for someone else's remains. It's just all very confusing. While I'm sitting here and wondering about that, Caribbean Queen continues, "I just got back the check I ran on Michelle Carter. She was reported missing two weeks ago, wearing a red dress, red purse." Everyone's eyes go to the sparkly red purse on the floor. Calleigh asks if any of the bodies out back are dressed for a night out. She ought to know better -- if they were, the entire conversation would have gone a little differently, as in, "I ran a check and lo and behold, our body in the red dress out back matches this missing girl." Delko points out that there's a body in the crematorium oven and it broke down halfway, so maybe they'll get lucky.