Speaking of depressing, it's Megan, evidently chained to a lab bench for the duration of the episode. A deputy drops off a bag of evidence, and Megan sighs, "Tell Horatio [beat] I'll call if I see anything." The guy leaves, and Megan mutters, "I'm sure I'll be seeing you again." Only if he's around during the next two episodes, Megan.
Delko's in the kitchen now, telling Horatio, "I don't see any sign of blood or struggle here." "Not physical, anyway," Horatio opines. He looks around the kitchen, dirty plates in the sink and crowding the counter, and continues, "This place isn't a mess -- it's downright filthy. Kids will pick up after themselves, but they will not clean." Has Horatio ever actually been in a house with more than one person in it? Dishes pile up at an alarming rate. Heck, you should see our kitchen after the husband cooks dinner on an average night; it looks as though a grocery store mated with a Crate and Barrel, and all parties involved promptly blew themselves up afterward. And there are just two of us. I can only imagine what it's like in a household with six people. Delko opens a fridge with an "I love Daddy" picture on it -- rather advanced for a two-year-old, or shockingly backward for a nine-year-old, you make the call -- and we see that the fridge is practically empty. These people apparently didn't even believe in condiments. Horatio continues his litany: "Empty fridge, overflowing garbage. They obviously live on fast food." Well, Horatio, you spend all day tending to a few kids and see how many home-cooked meals you manage to whip up.
Horatio stalks over to the counter where a Cheeburger Cheeburger bag is sitting and says, "Looks like somebody didn't eat their lunch today." Horatio inventories a few burgers and a half-eaten fry. Delko comments that the bag wouldn't have lasted ten minutes in his house. Horatio then decrees, "Well, Mom did give up the fight. Who's been taking care of the family?" That statement rubs me so wrong in so many ways, I don't know where to begin. How about with the expectation that any woman who brought home her fourth kid from the hospital is apparently supposed to have seamlessly integrated a new baby into her household routine as though it's just another fifteen-minute task to key into the Franklin-Covey time management system? Or the idea that, somehow, the domestic decay is all Mom's fault, and God forbid her husband should be expected to shoulder some of the burden on the home front? Or maybe the whole expectation that stay-at-home moms apparently have nothing better to do all day then clean the house and cook meals, what with infants and toddlers not being at all needy? Or just the idea that Mom had somehow "given up," as opposed to being defeated by a mountain of dishes, a baby who won't stop crying, a toddler who's learned the word "no," two older children, and a husband who's apparently more concerned about ironing his own underwear than he is with helping out around the rest of the house? This whole scene seems to have been written by people who apparently have house elves doing all their housework for them, as they've demonstrated no grasp of what goes into keeping a house sanitary, much less juggling child-rearing on top of that. Delko begins brainstorming -- with him, it's more like a light drizzle -- and Speedle saves us all from the ruminations by announcing, "I have a point in the timeline. Or at least a place to start."