Blood Lust

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
Beware the best intentions

Speaking of Nicky, where is he? Since he's not here in this episode, let's all assume that he drew another Night of the Pifflings case, and is using his free time to build an elaborate to-scale model of the Labitrail, which he is populating with little clay dolls modeled after his coworkers. Their tiny limbs are fully articulated, and we see him carefully placing them around assorted areas of the lab, then squeezing some red-dyed Karo syrup around them and muttering, "Assuming I catch him by surprise, the blood trail is going to leave a fine spray on the wall from the first bullet, but a bigger splotch once he turns his head..." Or maybe he's just writing in his Rage Journal. Who knows? We certainly won't, since it's not like Nicky's coworkers even remember he exists in this episode.

Back in the morgue, David's bending to the enviable task of examining a man whose chest cavity has been blown wide open. Gil comes in and asks if David noticed whether or not Todd Branson had burn marks on his palms. David replies in the negative, and adds that Mr. Gaping Chest Wound has no burns, but his right palm is of interest for other reasons. The main one would be the big incision wound, which, as Gil says, "is a common injury among knife-wielding killers." David moves on to the cause of death: "A bullet. It's lodged in the left ventricle. I was contemplating my method of extraction when you arrived." Gil replies, "You reach in and pull it out." David ripostes, "Not if it's only a jacket fragment." Gil muses, "Maybe a frangible bullet, designed to fragment on impact." I love the word "frangible." However, in doing a little legwork on frangible bullets for this recap -- what they are, how they work, whether or not they're used widely and why or why not -- I gotta say, the marketing text for ammo sites kind of scares me. According to frangiblebullets.com, "the frangible bullet is 100% safe." I'm going to assume they mean for the shooter. As to why you'd want to use these bullets, the following reasons are most commonly cited in the popular literature and marketing: reduced exposure to lead, as many frangible bullets rely on a copper/tin composite; greater control of trajectory; less chance of injury from flying bullet fragments (again, we're working on the assumption that there's less chance of shooter injury here); and "the increasing demand for environmentally cleaner, safer, healthier and lead-free ammunition." There's just something delightfully absurdist about the quest for safe and healthy ammunition. Happiness is a frangible bullet.

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