Nesting Dolls

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Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Sara debuts her face mask to the swing shift, and Catherine, Warrick, and Nick all murmur appreciatively. Everyone sits down. Catherine thanks Sara for the mask, then kicks off the brainstorming session: Jane Doe Top was killed owing to the severe blow she took to the head, a premise supported by the copious amount of blood found on her clothing, but nobody will know for sure until the DNA tests come back; she had a broken jaw, as evidenced by the giant steel appliance wiring her mouth shut; she's missing her fingertips, which were cut off by some sort of tool that's jagged on one side, smooth on the other. Just then Hodges comes by to ask, "You guys still working on that mass grave theory?" Mass? Two is "mass"? Anyway, Catherine confirms that they are, and Hodges says, "You know what I like about flesh decomposing in soil? It's predictable." You know what else it is? Showing up in full, glorious color via the TMIcam. Hodges explains, as the skin melts off Jane Doe Top's bone, "The constituent parts diffuse into the ground over time, the longer they're there, the lower the concentrations. I tested some of the soil samples Nicky took from around the body. Curly Sue was around for at least five years, and Flat Sally was on top for only two." Having fulfilled his expository duties, Hodges then returns to his netherworld lair -- located immediately under Ecklie's feet, no doubt -- with a loud bang and a dramatic puff of smoke. Or maybe not.

Catherine fills us in on the last fifteen minutes with, "We've got a killer who digs a grave, dumps a body, fills it with tar, comes back a few years later, digs again and dumps another one on top of it?" Yes. You do. Or you've got one hell of a coincidence. Maybe it's a case of identical twins, separated at birth -- but prone to killing women and disposing of their bodies in identical manners. Believe it...or not.

Sorry, I was channeling Burgess Meredith there for a moment. What did I tell you about being a pop culture reliquary unto myself? Sara looks at the X-ray of Jane Doe Top and decides it's a case of domestic abuse -- "Beat up, then shut up." We then go to the face mask, just so we can all feel outraged by this hypothetical miscarriage of justice.

Sara's now plowing through box after box of broken-jaw medical records, courtesy of every ER in town. I presume she's in one now. But where is the hot Croatian doctor? The self-centered wrecks humping over the prone body of a patient? The breaking pane of glass? Damn you, ER, for ruining me for other hospital shows! Anyway, some woman says they don't see as many broken jaws as they used to. Sara replies, "Domestic violence laws have forced men to get smarter about their hitting." She fixes the hospital employee with a Meaningful Look, and the woman scurries off so Sara can review the files and suffer the periodic flashback. We don't see any of the latter, only hear them via vague, muffled shouts between a man and a woman. O, frabjous day, it's Sara's Very Special Episode. Sara emerges from the mud pastures of her memories long enough to notice a file that matches her death mask -- it belongs to a Svetlana Melton.

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