Bully For You

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | 2 USERS: A+
The nose knows

And we'll see Gil in another autopsy bay. He and David the More-Fun-Than-He-Used-To-Be Coroner are looking over Barry Schickel's bullet-riddled body. As David recites all the bullets' entry points, we see their trajectories being recreated courtesy of the TMICam. It's every bit as gruesome as you might imagine; the lungs and heart are especially squicky, as the bullet makes the fragile tissue pulse wetly a moment before tearing. As Gil listens to David's rundown, he notes that the placement of the bullets doesn't match the internal damage Schickel suffered. David notes that this kid is a special case; he rolls over the body with a thud -- that poor actor -- and shows Gil the multipronged wound above the guy's left nipple. "It would have killed him -- if his heart had been there," David says. "Where was his heart?" Gil asks. Buried beneath the floorboards of Dennis's locker, Gil, where its steady beating is driving him mad! David offers a less gothic explanation: "All his internal organs are on the opposite side of typical placement." Gil's thrilled, saying, "Dextrocardia? Like Dr. No?" Actually, Gil, dextrocardia is specific to the heart -- it's when it's folded in a mirror image of itself -- and is part of a larger organ-reversal thing called "situs inversus." It's quite rare. Gil and David turn back to the kid, and Gil asks how long ago the kid was forked. "Six months," replies David. Sounds like this kid ran into a lot of people who hated and feared clowns, be they class or otherwise.

Sara isn't anywhere near the circus; she's busy scraping off layers of John Doe so she can get to his jacket. Nicky bursts in and asks, "How's Liquid Man doing?" "You mean Mr. Cartsen?" she replies. I immediately warm to this scene for two reasons: first, because it shows Sara struggling with the stench of decomposition, and second, because it's consistent with her need to hang some sort of handle on her victims. Hey, some people skydive; I thrill to consistent characterization on television shows. Nicky reminds her -- not ungently -- that the guy could have picked up the army jacket and its attendant nametag at a Salvation Army; Sara points out that she's gotta start somewhere, and now she can check the VA database for any W. Cartsens with plates in their heads. She's still gasping as she scrapes away at the jacket; Nicky fishes a mystery item out. They have no idea what it is. Sara manages, "QD should be able to bring something up," mere seconds before her own lunch comes up. Nicky winces in sympathy. Sara comes back up, sniffling, and says, "Don't tell anyone?" "About what?" he deadpans, smiling. Aw.

Just then, the Emergency Services guy Sara was making eyes at pops in to ruin the moment. Sara instantly tries to put on the coquette, trilling, "Hiiii," as Nicky watches with a mixture of amusement and disappointment on his face. She asks ESG to wait outside, then requests of Nicky, "Give me a mint." Nicky grins, because watching Sara Sidle in mack-daddy mode is apparently comic gold. "You're going to need more than one," he says, smiling ear-to-ear. "Just give me!" she pleads. Nicky hands over the Altoids. ESG is exhaling and doing his pre-mack warm-up as Sara comes out with a bright smile. "This is a nice surprise," she says warmly. "I wanted to see if you wanted to have dinner," he starts. Give the boy credit for getting to the point. "Yeah! Um...when?" she replies. "Now. I'm on break," ESG replies. Well, he just lost his style points. Sara points out that gosh, she'd love to drop everything and conform to this last-minute invitation, but she happens to be working. As she's explaining this, ESG's face is screwing up into a moue of disgust and Sara cuts herself off, saying matter-of-factly, "I smell." "No," lies ESG, then amends it to, "Not that bad." Gosh, it's no wonder Sara's tripping all over herself to go out with him; he's smoove with the ladies. Sara explains that owing to the chemical qualities of human fat, the decompositional miasma has attached itself to her skin and hair. She notices that ESG doesn't look so good. "I need to get some air," he chokes, and flees. Sara watches him go, waving weakly in an effort to remain charming. As she's standing alone in the corridor, Liam the Lab Tech sidles over to her and gives her the up-and-down. "You smell like death," he states. "I've heard!" she snaps. Liam wanders off, then turns around and cocks his hip in a gunslinger pose, drawling, "You know, a real man wouldn't mind." Go for it, Sara! His hair's looking good this week. Sara smiles a little at that, but as soon as Liam rounds the corner, her shoulders slump and she sighs. Awww.

Gil is talking with the guidance counselor as they wander the spacious, sunny high school campus. He's pumping her for information as to who might have harbored animosity toward Barry Schickel. "Look, he was popular, but he was a bully. There was [sic] probably a dozen kids who wanted to see him dead." Gil looks intrigued. Cut a parade of sad-looking little boys reciting the assorted indignities Barry would visit upon them. We meet the kid who stabbed him with a fork -- this kid has an unsettling way about him too and openly rejoices over Barry's death, but he's got a tight alibi. Gil eventually releases him. The guidance counselor laments, "I can protect them from being called a derogatory word for homosexual, or the n-word, but everything else falls under free speech." Well, not really: does Tinker v. Des Moines ring a bell? The ruling where the Supreme Court decided that school districts can revisit that free-speech thing if it's disruptive to the learning process? Gil notes that nobody's blaming the guidance counselor, who says that's okay, 'cause she's blaming herself. "You know who did this, don't you?" he asks. She punts: "I listen to these kids every day. Divorce, working parents, cliques. And all they need is just one person to believe in them." Gil's not falling for it, asking, "Where does that leave Barry Schickel?" "That's your job," the guidance counselor says, all remorse suddenly gone.

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