CSI
Paper Or Plastic

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When Double-Coupon Promotions Go Horribly Wrong

"He" is one Todd Hallickey, who immediately begins mouthing off to Brass that Las Vegas's finest had no right to toss his apartment. Brass clues him in to the prints and the stolen car and the cell phone with the number of the store all over it. Hallickey tries telling Brass he doesn't steal cars anymore, but Brass laughs at him so derisively, he soon comes up with an alternate story about how he was "looking to get some wheels a couple of weeks ago, [he] test drove this old Honda Accord this guy was trying to sell." Brass asks if it happened to be a 1986 Aegean Blue car with matching interior. Well, what do you know? Funny how these coincidences match up. Hallickey says his grave reservations about the seller's character kept him from making the buy. Brass continues to chat up the guy while Warrick goes through the clothes the police brought back from the apartment; he asks Hallickey if he owns a firearm, and Hallickey points out that he's on parole, and "I don't believe in guns. They're dangerous." You know, there's a big difference between believing in guns and believing in the tooth fairy; if the existence of a fairly substantial lobbying organization didn't sway you toward believing in the former, I imagine that actually clapping eyes on a firearm might verify that yes, guns exist, so you might as well believe in them. You can say, however, that you eschew the idea of using a gun.

Enough with that gripe. Brass notices the bandage on Hallickey's hand and comments on it. Hallickey tells him he's got a rash. Brass is all, "Looks like a chemical burn to me. Know what sodium hydroxide is?" Brass, look at the man: he doesn't even know what shaving cream is -- let's not get into caustic metallic bases just yet. Brass blah-blee-blahs about what NaOH is (i.e. lye, commonly used for both industrial-strength cleaning and the preparation of lutefisk) while Warrick discovers ample evidence that Hallickey ruined at least one jacket by getting Drano all over it, and those bullet holes won't come out at the cleaner's, either. When he shares this news with Brass and Hallickey, neither looks particularly pleased. Hallickey, I can see why.

In the next scene, Warrick's saying," Hallickey's got no connection to the grocery store. He was just the wheel man. Still, he's looking at four counts of felony murder. But he's not talking. He lawyered up." Gil jumps in to the conversation with, "We've got a bullet hole in the jacket -- that's not even enough to prove that he was in the store." Seated to his left, Catherine asks, "What about the cash?" What about it? There are still nine minutes left to pull it out of thin air. Warrick wonders if someone in the store took it, and Catherine snaps, "Almost $900 in small bills? We'd have noticed pockets bulging with a wad like that." Gil muses that the calls from the grocery store to the suspect's cell could have been giving the "go" signal. Warrick points out that, thanks to the store's antiquated phone system, there's no way to tell who made what call. Nicky pops in just then, fresh off his drawer-pull spree at Restoration Hardware, to say that he's finished running the employee background checks; freight loader Raul Valdez clocked in for the night and never clocked out. Catherine notes that nobody by that name was interviewed at the scene. Nicky adds, "Here's the kicker: I have Sara locked away in the subplot subbasement until she learns to be unafraid of Aveda's Be Curly styling lotion." Oh, he does not. I'm grasping at straws trying to explain why she's off-screen. The actual kicker is that Raul was in Lompoc a few years ago, so he might be connected to the two dead Lompoc inmates. Brass is apparently preparing to bring them the head of Raul Valdez.

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