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Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
Dead Man's Party

Cut to Zach yawning at the CSIs, "This is bunk. They said my grievances were confidential. They said my name wasn't even on the form." Sara wants to know why confidentiality is so important, and Zach points to Liam, replying, "Ask him. You look like you were a jock in college." Liam asks, "Me?" seconds before a genuinely skeptical Sara asks, "Him?" Ha! Zach points out, "If it had gotten around that I had ratted out Trip, the whole basketball team would have come down on me." Sara and Liam work around to implying that Zach was lying earlier. Zach says, "I didn't see a need to badmouth the dead. But if you want the truth, he was an ass, okay?" If his parents are any indication, Trip came by it naturally. Sara and Liam look at each other as if wondering, Someone who has a sense of appropriateness when it comes to how one speaks of the dead?

And now, back to the morgue for more hijinks. David strolls on inside and nearly scares himself silly when he sees Ecklie lurking among the body drawers. With his customary, faintly accusatory tone, Ecklie asks, "Where have you been?" David's not having any of it; he replies, "I posted three bodies, and then I took a time-out." Ecklie tries on the unfamiliar word combination: "A time...out?" David continues imperturbably, "A personal hour. A few weeks ago, my Siamese had kittens. I went by the house to check on 'em. They're just about weaned. You want one?" Ecklie gives him a look and spits, "I'm allergic." I bet the first thing the former Mrs. Ecklie did when she left was to adopt a couple of cats. Anyway, the two turn to discussing the not-yet-autopsied James Billmeyer, which is how they discover that the drawer holding his body…now contains only air. Long story short: the body, it is lost. The whimsical strings, they play.

And the shit, it continues to flow downhill. In the next scene, we see Emergency Backup David pacing and fidgeting outside Ecklie's office. He's making me tense just looking at him. David the Disgruntled Coroner swings on out. He stops to exchange a look with his underling; his disgusted expression speaks volumes. Curiously, this does not soothe his underling. Emergency Backup David heads in and stands nervously in front of Ecklie's desk. The harried-looking Ecklie is scribbling something on some paper, and giving off a general air of misery. Emergency Backup David casts his eyes skyward for guidance, then tentatively essays, "Sir?" "We? Have a situation," Ecklie quickly replies without looking up. "I know. The body disappeared," Emergency Backup David says. "No, no. Mr. Billmeyer didn't disappear. He's missing. There's a difference." Ecklie says through gritted teeth. He really does look exactly what you'd expect from a reptile who had embraced the Six Sigma program. Emergency Backup David protests, "Sir, this isn't my fault." Ecklie would like to believe otherwise. "You prepared the body for autopsy, right? Walk me through that." Emergency Backup David's all, "Come again?" I can see why: no doubt, Gil and Catherine wouldn't need to be told, nor would the make-believe leader of the Brigadoon shift formerly known as "days." He eventually says, "Okay. Um. I brought him into the washroom. I photographed the body. I took hair and fingernail cuttings. I emptied his pockets. I removed his clothing, washed his body, tagged him, I put him into the cooler, and I haven't seen him since." Ecklie decides he can't handle the truth, so he rolls his eyes and glares for a while. Emergency Backup David looks as if he wishes he could come up with a better lie. Ecklie continues to glare before saying, "I've lost my keys, I've lost my sunglasses, even a wallet --" "Sir, this really isn't my fault --" Emergency Backup David protests. "I never lost a body," Ecklie spits. "I didn't do anything," Emergency Backup David says, looking openly contemptuous. It's a weird look on him. "This goes on your record!" Ecklie threatens, always the last refuge of managers who know their underlings are better than they are. The scene ends with Emergency Backup David asking, "What would you have me do?" and Ecklie hollering, "Get out!" I don't think Ecklie was expecting Emergency Backup David to hold his ground. And underestimating his personnel is a sign of poor leadership.

Cut to a bored and irritated David the Contemptuous Coroner telling someone on the phone, "Six-one, brown hair, 200 pounds...are you sure? All right. Thanks." Emergency Backup David comes in, and David says, "I've checked every mortuary and funeral home in the city. No luck." Emergency Backup David says, "Right. Because you never authorized a transfer." David then asks his subordinate, "Are you familiar with the word necrostuprum?" Why, yes -- it means "body snatcher." David says acidly, "We didn't mislabel or misplace the body. Someone took it." Emergency Backup David asks, "If you wanted to steal a body, wouldn't it be easier to go to a hospital or university facility?" David concurs, then concludes, "Somebody wanted this particular body."

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