And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: Megan and Horatio, on the same screen at last. He is, of course, watching other people do all the work when she comes over and inquires rhetorically, "You thinking bomb?" He does her the honor of taking off the shades before saying, "The jury's still out." Caine then extends a hand, shakes hers, and says, "Welcome back, Megan." She receives this about as well as she handled Speedle's little gesture earlier. We establish that Horatio is an expert on bombs, and that none of the telltale signs -- gas washing up, pitting of metal, thermal effects -- are there. Megan then has herself a little worry over NTSB. She need not bother, really. Horatio's all, "They're not here yet." She insists, "Horatio, we've been through this before." Horatio invokes ValuJet at the same time I do. The camera swivels back to Megan, which is unfortunate, as Kim Delaney looks as though she's reading cue cards -- done in rebus -- as she recites, "Then I don't need to remind you the Feds have jurisdiction over any air crash. They deputize local agencies. We're working for them." Caine ignores this and points out that while the Everglades' current is a paltry four miles per hour, that's still giving the crime scene a velocity of four mph. Megan's sympathetic but, she says, "That's not your call. Or mine." Horatio takes off the shades again to register his au contraire: "I am sorry for the way things turned out for you, but I did not ask for this job." "I know," Megan says to a point 270 degrees out of Horatio's eye-line. Horatio, still actually looking at the person he's having a conversation with, offers her the job back any time she wants it. Oh, spare us not one moment of Megan grinding her teeth in authority. Megan says curtly, "Not my call either." Caine then says, "Until then, let's get to work." He walks off, leaving Megan to stand there and sigh over the foolishness of wearing stiletto heels in the swamp.
The scene shifts to an al fresco morgue -- established by having the camera rest on a crispy corpse before zooming back to show us a row of similarly singed bodies lying on autopsy tables under a canvas tent -- where Alexx (yes, two Xs -- I guess it means she's exxtra cool) the coroner is asking Horatio how they're doing for survivors. Horatio concedes that it's not looking too good. He asks how many people she's got. Alexx replies, "Four or five, depending on which pieces match." She then turns her attention to the body on the table in front of her, noting, "Injuries are consistent with catastrophic blunt force trauma." Horatio's not terribly surprised, saying, "Pretty normal for this type of crash." Alexx replies, not to Horatio but to the corpse, "Wasn't normal for you. You didn't get up this morning thinking it would be your last, did you, honey?" To Khandi Alexander's eternal credit, she manages to sell that line without any embarrassment. And to Horatio's credit, he's not too spooked by his coroner conducting small talk with the bodies: "Ask him if he knows what brought the plane down." Alexx gives Horatio a mildly amused look, glances down at the body, then looks back up at Horatio and says with vindication in her voice, "I think he just might have answered your question. Small entry wound in the upper torso." We get what looks like a nascent TMICam shot, if the TMICam in question were merely starting out, and could only muster a 10X magnification instead of the molecular-level splendor we've all come to know and love. Alexx then rolls the body over, and Horatio notes that whatever entered the body exited it as well. He then calls for Calleigh, who comes hustling over. Now is as good a time as any for me to wonder: is Emily Procter going to be the George Eads of this show? She's a lovely woman, but the Liza Minnelli makeup and Heidi-of-the-Lowlands hairdo aren't doing anything for her. Anyway, Calleigh comes over, assesses the size of the wound, and guesses that it may be a .32 or a .38. Horatio dispatches her to the fuselage to see if the probable slug is still lodged in there. "Do you think you can find it?" "Does Elvis wear a white jumpsuit?" Calleigh replies. Not if he's currently working in a McDonald's in Des Moines, as some tabloids would have us believe. Or if he's actually keeping tabs on who his little girl selects for husbands -- then, I figure, he's wearing a straitjacket somewhere. But I digress.
Some police type is busy interviewing the fisherman from a couple scenes back; the fisherman is saying that he and his pal were merely drowning some worms when "I heard a noise, real loud. I looked up -- boom! That's all I saw." The cop asks if the fisherman approached the plane. The fisherman says, "No, sir. We hightailed it out of there. Called 911." The camera pulls back to show us a skeptical Megan, and Speedle, who doesn't look skeptical. He looks like he's suffering. The cop then asks if the fisherman didn't bother to look for survivors. Because that's what you want minutes after a fiery plane crash -- untried amateurs poking around the smoking wreckage. The fisherman fails to point this out, then goes on to ask if he shouldn't get some kind of reward for calling 911. At this point, Speedle curls his lip derisively and walks off; Megan pivots and scampers beside him. She's awfully nimble for someone whose heels are sinking into the mud with every step. After he's out of Good Citizen Stan's earshot, Speedle snorts, "Fishing, my ass. Did you see the size of that rifle in his boat? Thirty-ought-six? They were poaching gators." Megan counters, "There are...[(beat)] panthers out in the 'Glades. How do you know the rifle's not for protection." Note how there is no question mark at the end of what one would customarily assume to be an interrogative statement. Note also the pause before Megan says, "How do you know they didn't borrow the boat, the owner left his rifle inside." Again -- not really so much a question. Megan's challenging Speedle on this for some reason. Speedle gives her a dismissive glance before saying, "I trust my gut...it seems pretty obvious." Megan says, "You sound just like Horatio." And this is a bad thing? At least his phrasing isn't doubling as the tempo for an avant-garde music recital. She barrels on, "The problem with the obvious, [beat] Tim, is it can make you overlook, [beat] the evidence." Having thus delivered her assessment of Speedle's on-the-job observation skills, Megan moves on.