Cut to Horatio and Delko giving Yakov a going-over. "Tell him that I can see by the scratches on his face that he's been in a recent altercation," Horatio says to Delko, who repeats Horatio's question in Russian without first asking his boss what the magic word is. Yakov suggests that a lion or a tiger gave him the telltale scratch marks. "Now tell him that if I check under his fingernails, and if I can match it to his dead cousin, I'm going to arrest him for murder," Horatio says coolly. Not that such an arrest would stand up in court, since that fingernail evidence wouldn't actually place Yakov at the murder scene. The victim was stabbed through a door, remember? Makes it kind of hard for evidence to move down the blade, through the door, and under Yakov's fingernails. No matter -- the threat works on Yakov, who starts speaking freely and in English, too. "In America, you pay women to take clothes off," Yakov says. "In Soviet Union, you pay women to put clothes back on. What a country!" Wait...no. He doesn't say that at all. It's more like, "I haven't seen my cousin in two days." Horatio wants to know if the two cousins fought over Amy. "Victor never goes to peep show," Yakov says. And Yakov? "I don't have to pay money for women. At peepshow? Lap dance, you spend $5. Another $5. $20 here. $20 there. By end of night, you could have banged a hooker." Yakov points at Horatio. "He knows what I'm talking about." No doubt.
The bond between Yakov and Horatio thus established, Yakov confesses that the scratches on his face did not come from an oversized kitty, but rather his cousin Victor. "Victor stuck me with work ever since he got here," says Yakov, ratcheting up the I-am-but-humble-immigrant dialect to Topol-esque levels. "Always fight. I can't report him. He's my cousin." Two nights ago, we learn, Victor refused to feed the lions. This apparently angered Yakov. Just imagine how the poor lions feel. "So I say to him, 'The lions, they scare me. I'll do anything else,'" Yakov continues. "But no, that night he has to go. So I just lost it." We get a flashback of Yakov losing it, which involves lots of shoving and grunting and indistinct Russian expletives. Horatio wants to know where Victor had to be. "He only says to me, 'Is business,' Yakov says bitterly. "Big business, big man. All he has to do is look mean, which for Victor is not that difficult. He says I feed the lions, he cut me in. But I know my cousin. He give me $5, he's making $500. Plus, it's probably not legal." Horatio wants to know who Victor was supposed to scare. "In America, you get paid to scare people," Yakov says. "In Soviet Union, government scares you...without pay! What a cou--" Ah, screw it. Yakov doesn't know.