The Who agrees with Horatio. It must be nice to do your job knowing that The Who is in your corner. How many other detectives can say British bands are backing their every move?
Once we're back from commercials, we see the naked body of a man lying supine, his flesh mottled with all sorts of contusions. Alexx is taking pictures, but lest we get all excited about a scene in which she might actually talk, we quickly switch to the adjoining room, where Vin Ethanol (or Bernstein, for you folks who are insistent that he has a name) is saying, "I want to be sure I have it right: you and the deceased had drinks last night, came back here around midnight..." Rena Sofer, who's evidently playing this week's femme fatale, fiddles with the sash of her silky white robe as she simpers, "Made love for I don't know how long. And when I woke up this morning, he was beside me, dead." As she recites this, she goes from playing with her sash to playing with her hair, then sliding her fingers up Vin's notepad. Speedle takes all this in, then calls Vin back down to Earth. Rena asks, "Who are you?" "I'm a crime scene investigator," Speedle replies, then takes off. Rena looks at Vin and says almost accusingly, "I thought you were the detective." "I am, but Speedle analyzes the scene -- the forensic evidence that might explain the death in question." He leaves Rena to fiddle with her hair and look petulant. I look petulant too: Rena Sofer is a strikingly lovely woman, and she is probably a competent actress, but she is the third member of the Television Troika of Death. Sure, you're saying to yourself, there's the infamous Ted McGinley curse where every show he went on floundered creatively almost immediately afterward (and yes, I do count his Sports Night and West Wing outings in that thesis, not just the Love Boat, Happy Days, and Married with Children gigs). Fine, you're saying, there's Paula Marshall, who went from Cupid (cancelled mid-season) to Snoops (trashed by David E. Kelley in an Entertainment Weekly piece that was supposed to promote the new show) to Sports Night (where she effectively acted as a leaden weight drawing the sodden Season-Two corpse ever downward to Davy Jones' locker) to Hidden Hills (which I wish to God she would kill already). But what has Rena Sofer done? Aside from show up on Ed and usher in a tiresome phase of the Ed 'n' Carol "will they or won't they?" ordeal? She's been in the promising-but-cancelled The Chronicle on the Sci-Fi Channel, and she's about to be in the U.S. version of Coupling, which may well end up being another embarrassment like the U.S. version of Cold Feet was. Rena Sofer is an early warning indicator that a show's about to take a dive downward. Beware her! If she's showing up here, God only knows where CSI: Miami will be going next.