Episode Report Card
Sobell: C+ | 2 USERS: A-
Of all the cases to leave open...

The Who are having a brutally hard time figuring out who the hell we are.

When we get back from commercials, Emergency Backup David is preparing to wheel a gurney into the house. He's blocked by Warrick, who's a) at the door, and b) asking that David cool his heels since that woman's not about to rehydrate, reanimate, and skedaddle on out. David agrees, "I'm not going anywhere." Warrick goes through the mail and notes that there's at least four weeks' worth; Gil calculates, "Four weeks of a hundred-degree days with zero percent humidity. Eventually the body tissues sublimate, the fluids vaporize, and all that's left are proteins, fats and minerals." We see this happening in time-lapse as Gil narrates. Warrick comments, "Turns a grape into a raisin." What happens to a corpse interred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or mummify indoors? Gil comments, "The desert was making mummies long before the Egyptians." I wonder if the early Egyptian mummifiers were merely hucksters trying to convince people that their mummification process was better than nature -- "You could keep Grandma on the sand dune in the back, but siroccos and camel spit will damage her -- why not use our patented Dri-Linen mummy technique instead?" Gil notices something, then calls Warrick over so he can bear witness too: the door is scored with scratches, and that scratched area splotched with blood. We then see that the poor woman's fingers are like half-chewed jerky. Warrick states the grim and obvious: "She tried to claw her way out." Gil adds, "Which means she was alive when she was entombed." And now we're back at those Egyptians again. Or at least at Aida and Radames, who were kind of Egyptian.

Meanwhile, Brass is outside gathering more evidence for the comprehensive thesis, "Kids these days are up to no damn good." The hood with the hair is alleging that the house's resident has to have been loaded, since she had the nerve to go out to dinner all the time and bring in shopping bags; he further endears himself to Brass by adding, "Bitch had insurance money, and word had it that she kept it hidden under her bed." Because this was 1930 and she didn't want anyone to know she had cashed out before the bank crash the year before? Brass contents himself with replying, "A retired grade-school teacher living on a pension?" Hairy Punker protests that he didn't kill the target of his burglary. Brass snorts that he knew that, and says what he's really more interested in is learning whether or not these two kids touched anything in the house. Hairy protests that there was nothing left to touch, trash, or take. Brass just gives him a level look, then resolves to call him mom and make sure that she's got everything from motion detectors to call-in buddies who will check up on her if nobody's heard from her in 48 hours. Or maybe I'm just projecting that last part.

The sun rises as Warrick is looking through the surprisingly intact kitchen. Intricately painted mugs are stacked on a scalloped shelf over the sink, and a full china tea service is laid out on the counter under a window, where it probably glowed in the sun. I have to give the CSI set-design team credit here for giving this victim's life more texture and poignant detail than the usual body-of-the-week gets. Warrick looks at the tea set, then sees a plastic grocery store container and a slice of chocolate cake with a bite taken out of it. It's remarkably mold-free and moist-looking; one wonders when it got in the house relative to when the teacher was killed, or if it's so full of preservatives and 64-carbon-long hydrocarbon chains that it's immune to any of the elements, period. Warrick explains why the cake strikes him as odd: "A woman taking the time to make tea like this leaves a chunk of chocolate cake on the counter?" Gil adds, "With a big bite out of it? Yeah." It's probably sick and wrong, but I like it when Gil takes a case personally. It's a nice, subtle way to develop his character, as opposed to having him wander around glassy-eyed while the soundtrack is all "mwah MWAH mwah mwah mwah MWAH." And Warrick's no slouch in the reaction department; he shakes his head while he checks out the "Lavish Café" container and comments on the likelihood that some crackhead did this. Gil commands Warrick to take the cake back to the lab.

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