Big Middle

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
A sensitive look at weight in America

When we get back from commercials, Nicky's come to pour kerosene on the smoldering fire of Catherine's resentment: "I don't get it. Grissom calls me up, I come out here, and I find you. Things were a hell of a lot simpler when we were all on the same shift." And across the viewing land, people begin printing homemade T-shirts bearing the legend "Nick Stokes: He Speaks For Me." Catherine asks in a I'm-joking-but-not-really kind of way, "You saying you don't like me as your boss?" Nick gives her a look like, Why are you asking questions you don't want to know the answer to? and replies dismissively, "Whatever." Catherine looks up with an expression like she can't believe NICKY just said something less than amiable. So she moves back to work-safe topics: "I got a shot cup. That doesn't make any sense because our vic was definitely shot at point blank." Now that they're on safer conversational ground, Nicky relaxes and says, "Yeah, a shot cup coming out of a shell is like throwing a potato chip. It doesn't really go that far."

The two of them quit jaw-jacking and resume gathering evidence. Nicky pulls what looks to be a shotgun pellet out of a tree. Catherine photographs a scuff mark. Nicky collects a second casing -- "That's got to account for at least two more shots." Catherine explains, "Typical mag action -- four in the pump, one in the pipe. This was a chase." Oh, like a biathlon? No, wait, that would be if someone was skiing and shooting at someone, wouldn't it? We see the chase in flashback -- sadly, there are no skiers, which would have raised the comedy quotient considerably -- and it's just what you would expect. Someone's running while bullets fly by, and we see that the scuff mark Catherine photographed was actually a bullet glancing off a low-lying rock.

Catherine says, "We know where it ended. Let's find where it began." She and Nicky turn to look at a small lake. Their posture suggests that they're expecting a female arm, clad in shimmering white samite, to rise from the waters bearing the murder weapon and a confession inscribed in Carolingian miniscule on a silken scroll. Oh, Catherine. Strange women lying about in ponds is no basis for the solution to a murder case.

Nicky, showing a shocking lack of imagination considering all the places Brass and Gil drag him for kicks, looks around the secluded glen and says, "There's not a lot for a couple of guys to do out here beyond hiking and fishing." Or canned hunting. Or fighting. Or...well, come on. Catherine points out that the dead guy wasn't dressed for hiking or fishing. "So they were up to no good," Nicky concludes. That's thinking outside the box, my boy. He and Catherine then trundle through the pond to what looks like a trailhead, but he gets distracted by the C-note pasted in a nearby beaver dam. Catherine takes a photo. Nicky clips a stick that's holding the bill and pries it up, unmindful of the damage he's doing to the beaver's financial assets. Catherine comments that the beavers must be doing okay. Going by the shot we get of the inside of the dam, they're doing better than I am. Nicky replies, "They should do a commercial for the city -- 'Las Vegas: where even the beaver can strike it rich.'" Catherine gives him a look like, "But beavers do -- oh. Wait. You weren't speaking euphemistically."

And Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three is a little sorry that's not the case either. He's bouncing into a hotel suite and asking Vartann, "Please tell me I got a hooker roll." What, with a side of cole slaw? Vartann's all, "No, actually you got the unremarkable Maurice Hudson, age 37, most recently of Tahoe." He was also running around with $14,000 in cash. Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three assumes the guy's a gambler. Maybe he's just a naturalist helping Nevada beavers get their start on a new dam. Oh, wait. Gil just pointed out the casino W2s. So he was a gambler, and a winning one at that. Gil also notes a name tag printed at the Tangiers; Vartann promises to check out whatever convention spewed out that tag.

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