CSI
Fahrenheit 932

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Flame-broiled confrontation

Gil is sitting in front of a fume hood, an Erlenmeyer flask filled with smoke in front of him. We find out he's put a few drops of gasoline and limited oxygen in the flask and heated it to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, in an effort to simulate the conditions in Damon's bedroom. After achieving flashover in vitro, Gil pings Sara and Warrick for evidence. Sara pulls out a chunk of doorframe -- clearly, this is a woman who lives for using power tools in an effort to separate evidence from its former home -- and shares her findings. The wood is alligatored -- a phenomenon in which wood cracks by burning very hot, very fast, and a phenomenon Sara can't pronounce -- and lacking any evidence of accelerant whatsoever. Since the doorframe was outside the contained bedroom site, the only way it would have burned so quickly would be during flashover, when oxygen met smoke. We flash back to Damon touching the hot doorknob and opening the door, cuing the fire and getting knocked back in the blast. "Damon opened the door," Gil says. "He lied." Gil, you really didn't need evidence for that. "So what happens now?" Warrick asks. "We chase the lie until it leads to the truth," Gil replies.

Gil is striding down the prison halls in daylight, looking like he's about to bust open an economy-sized can of pain on Damon. As he heads into the visitor area, he sees Damon talking intently with a woman; their body language indicates an extremely comfortable and familiar relationship. Damon sees Gil bearing down on him and pulls the woman to her feet; he hugs her and sends her scurrying on her way, and she won't meet Gil's eyes as she runs by. "That's my sister," Damon says. "She's the only one who's stood by me in all this." Uh-huh.

Gil sits down and walks Damon through a Q&A session, calling him out by pointing out that the evidence disagrees with Damon's story of not opening the door, and sealing his conclusion by dropping the doorknob into Damon's palm. It fits the outline of his burn perfectly. Damon bursts into shameful tears -- he lied about his actions with regard to the fire because he didn't want it known that he choked, forgot all his volunteer-fireman training, and did everything wrong when his house burned. Oh. My. God. Of all the idiotic...words fail me here. Who is honestly going to think, "Hmmmm. I can risk the death penalty, or I can risk my cred as a volunteer firefighter. Death penalty, here I come!" Who? Who?? Damon carries on about how he failed his family for a while, and it's almost heart-wrenching but for the creeping suspicion that he's editing his story for spin. Gil seems to be less than sympathetic too, saying, "You tried to save your family, but that doesn't mean you didn't start the fire. Are you lying about that too?" Damon tries to look persecuted and fails mightily. God, Gil should just leave his lying ass alone.

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CSI

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