CSI
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Miracle of miracles, the team has determined exactly which storage facility Wendy was referring to with, "G-105. Section E. 21-33-14." Personally, I would have liked to see how they did that, but the show's elected to skip that part in favor of showing Warrick, Nicky, and Catherine clomping down the hall to the unit. The place is lit like the entire movie Se7en was, so we're all forewarned that something disturbing is about to happen, and even those tuning in on a black and white TV get it, because the music's gotten all ominous too. Warrick conveniently notices footprints leading to the unit in question. "Those look like bloody footprints," Catherine notes. Observations like this are why she's promotion material.

Nicky opens the combination lock while Warrick and Catherine stand around and look apprehensive. Then he looks over his shoulder at them; he's also working the anxious expression. Nicky rolls the door open and Warrick trains a light on the darkened compartment. We see what he does for a moment -- a pool of blood, a steel table, and a body lying in stirrups. Warrick shouts, "Nicky, hit the lights!" Nicky does, and the background strings go into Psycho shrieking mode as we see the full tableau: a woman, dead on the table, with blood everywhere. I have a horrible flashback to the Demi Moore vignette in If These Walls Could Talk where she's bleeding to death after her back-alley abortion, the scene's that seedy and pathetic and angering. Warrick mutters an anguished, "Oh, God…" while Catherine and Nicky settle for saucer-eyed stares. Yeah, that's not one of those situation that inspires a bit of Shavian badinage.

Everyone takes the commercial break to recover, and when we get back, Warrick's working the bloody footprints while Nicky and Catherine process the scene inside. Nicky asks Catherine, "What do you think went on here?" and she gets to practice Management Skill #216: Bumper Lines: "Someone outsourced their health care to the wrong provider." Nicky turns back to his camera with a look like, "That answer was neither informative nor witty. Thank you." Catherine's poking around the tarp under the examining table, and she picks up a blood-stained glove, quipping, "At least something was sterile." Nicky guesses the gloves might explain the lack of prints. Brass comes in to tell us that there's no way to track down the renter, as the normal-seeming man paid cash. Catherine opines, "Normal people don't torture people in storage bins." Well, that's closer to the epigrammatic stylings of Gil Grissom. Catherine might be management material yet!

The body's been taken back to the morgue, where it's being given a CAT scan. This is how we see that there's a coat hanger-shaped twist of piano wire where the uterus would be, if the body had belonged to someone with XX chromosomes. David the Explanatory Coroner tells Catherine: "Piano wires. Used to immobilize the lower abdominal skin and anchor the neo-vagina so it can heal in place...the surgeon stuffs the portal with a cylinder wrapped in gauze to hold [the portal]'s shape while it heals, and sutures it." ["I think we all could have done without the particular verb 'to stuff' there, DAVID. Damn." -- Sars] Catherine asks tentatively how long milady has to wear a wire. David tells her, "After five days the vagina's unsutured and wires are removed. Scarring indicates multiple surgeries; she appears to have gone in for repair due to infection." Catherine figures that's not a normal side effect, and David postulates that someone may not have been taking their meds. Catherine counters that "they were taking some bad Mexican bootlegs." She then calls attention to the stubble on the woman's face, and David drops a science fact with, "It's a myth that hair grows after death. What happens is, the skin contracts, revealing whiskers. The contraction of the erector pilae muscles, combined with fixed lividity, indicates time of death." Which is a cool forensic science fact and all, but did we really need a TMIcam shot of skin contracting when there were so many other cool things we could have seen in this episode -- like the piano wire? The reason we're learning this fun forensic fact is not because CSI is 3-2-1 Contact for the primetime set, but because this is how David established that this woman died before Wendy did. The death was accidental -- David explains, "Loss of blood due to hemorrhage. Pelvic artery was severed. My theory: surgery one was botched. Round two: they repaired her to death."

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