Got Murder?

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Rage On, Diary!

Gil's idea of a relationship is to corner Marty and say, "We found reptile skin on your jacket sleeve. So unless you're shedding, we want to know how it got there." Somehow, Marty misinterprets this desire as the desire for a cup of coffee or a doughnut. He is exactly the type of salesperson who would lose me as a customer in about ninety seconds. Gil snaps, "No doughnuts." Warrick steps in with, "Fred Stearns dropped a dime at Girls, Girls, Girls and wrote it off." Marty explains, "Kaido Computers. Software guys are nuts -- into the kinky stuff. End of the day, they're driving Fred's cars." Warrick asks, "Neiman Marcus jewelry department?" Marty replies, "Fred knew you gotta spend money to make money." Warrick is undeterred: "Well, here's a freaky one. Since when are two dozen mice a business expense?" "Since I got the Pet Place to buy a minivan from me. My cousin works there," Marty says. Then he zones in on Gil: "You got kids? I could put you in a wagon, way below sticker." You know, while I do admire the chutzpah of anyone who tries to make a sale mid-interrogation, I think Marty's behavior is less an example of born salesmanship and more a demonstration of a lethal inability to correctly read a situation or people. Gil asks Marty what he did with the mice, and in an astonishing display of stupidity, Marty asks, "What do you care? You going to arrest me for blurring the lines?" Gil replies matter-of-factly: "No. We were leaning toward murder."

Cut to Marty ushering everyone down to the basement where he keeps his snake collection, assuring everyone that they're overreacting. Warrick inquires, "You know it's illegal in the state of California to keep venomous snakes?" Marty completely avoids that question too, saying, "If you handle them correctly, snakes are harmless. I know what I'm doing." Gil replies, "That's what we're afraid of."

Back at the A-plot, Easton is saying petulantly, "I didn't even know she was dead -- I thought she'd just left me again." Brass urges Easton to think of the glass as half-full: "It's a good thing you didn't tell the kids Mom was back." Easton's attack lawyer swats at Brass for that, and he cedes that exchange, moving on to ask, "Well, you were excited to see her. Why wouldn't the kids be?" Easton replies, "I'm an adult." Brass says, "That's right, you're an adult. Knowledgeable, experienced, aware of Nevada statutes, Chapter 156: administration of the estates of missing persons." Easton protests, "It's a matter of public record! We've been filling out those forms for five years!" Brass says, "You're jumping the gun: it's four years, eleven months, one week." This makes a difference, according to Brass, because in three weeks, Kelly's estate can be distributed to the widower Easton. Said estate consists of a hefty life insurance policy, which Easton claims is there for the kids. Brass points out, "For an unemployed guy, you're doing a lot of spending -- Tiffany's [sic], La Perla, International Watch Company? Expecting a windfall?" Anyone else remember that robin's-egg blue bag Sara and Nicky found? The lawyer's all, "You're fishing," and Brass replies, "No, I do that with a pole. I'm just thinking out loud. Your wife disappears, five years after the fact, you get the money. You earned it, it's yours. But she screwed you up. She showed up." Easton protests that he didn't kill his wife. Brass pushes, but gets nothing.

Meanwhile, Gil's talking to a herpetologist, who's telling him, "The scales found on your suspect's jacket are keeled -- diamondback rattlesnake. All his other snakes have smooth scales." Then she goes into the anatomy of the snake fang: "A snake fang is basically a hypodermic needle. Oral glands hold in the venom like the barrel [of the needle]. When [the snake is] aggravated, the jaw muscles push on the toxins like a plunger." As she explains this, she milks a rattlesnake for us to see. This is so, when Gil can protest that his victim had no puncture marks, she can say, "Your guy's probably pretty comfortable with his collection -- otherwise, he'd be dead, which means he could have milked this one." Gil realizes that Marty could have brought the milked venom in to work. Gil then asks, "The trace lab found venom proteins in his coffee cup -- could that have killed him?" The herpetologist knows plenty of muy macho types who drink the venom, for reasons known only to themselves and other citizens of Machoville. Gil brainstorms, "Typically, the stomach acids would kill the venom before it reached the bloodstream. If you had an ulcer..." The herpetologist replies, "Hmmm. Then you're seriously screwed." Her delivery -- which is sort of a bemused sing-song -- absolutely sells that line. She then asks, "Did he have any tissue death -- necrosis?" Gil answers in the negative, which just makes his life more complicated, as the herpetologist replies, "That rules out his diamondback rattlesnake. Rattler venom's hemotoxic -- it means it predigests the tissue before swallowing." Gil takes this in before looking for another answer: "The ELISA test came back positive for alpha-neurotoxins." The herpetologist replies, "Well, your guy likes them mean, so these other two could have done the job -- both neurotoxic." Gil realizes that the neurotoxin would do a great job of explaining how Fred's paralyzed body ended up in the morgue the first time.

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