We then go to the lab where a herpetologist is examining the snake. I'm pleased to report it's the same delightfully deadpan expert as the last time. She looks up from the magnifying glass with which she has been inspecting the wee dead reptile and says, "Large elevated vertebral scales. Definitely not your typical U.S. Crotalus." Or, if you're insisting on species names too, C. atrox, the Western diamondback rattlesnake. Nicky's not insisting. In fact, he's all, "You herpetologists, always throwing the Latin around." Let's not diminish the contribution ancient Greek has made to taxonomy, my fine Texan friend. He wonders why they can't just call a snake a snake. The herpetologist says, "My specialty, my jargon." She's so cool. She's probably an ectotherm herself. Anyway, she explains, "Stripes at the base of the neck...[that] makes it Crotalus simus. Indigenous to southern and coastal Mexico." Nicky's puzzled: "Apparent Mexican vic on a Mexican newspaper with a Mexican snake." Give someone points for cultural consistency, I guess. Nicky continues to blithely trample the distinguished field of herpetology by referring to snakes as "buzz-worms" when he asks whether the Central American rattlesnake might have decided to winter in the high desert. Nope. The herpetologist explains, "These snakes like to burrow in damp soil. They like it hot and humid." They'd be right at home in the Calistoga mud baths, then. That's a little something to think about if you're ever up there. No, no -- don't thank me now. So Nicky asks whether it's remotely possible that the C. simus, parched from the discovery that Las Vegas is not at all humid, crawled into a warm, wet head on its own. The herpetologist replies, "In a newspaper dispenser in the middle of a desert city?" She does not add, "You idiot." We end the scene with the scientist suggesting that the snake was dead when it was shoved down the victim's throat. Let's hope that the victim was dead too.
Finally! We get our Strip shot. Thank God. I was beginning to wonder where this show takes place. The scene switches to the very top of a parking structure well off-Strip. It's fairly empty. Brass quickly explains to Warrick that the vic du jour's in the driver's seat of the handicapped van. He's Vincent DeCarlo, age 28, and whoever killed him was interested in neither his 500 bucks nor his Nevada license. Warrick calls shotgun and hops in the van. He looks over at the late Vincent and comments that he's dressed quite nattily for someone who was chauffeuring around a bleak gray van. Emergency Backup David doesn't bother to respond. So Warrick tries a different line of inquiry, asking if there's any chance the late Vincent was using that there wheelchair lurking in back of the van. Emergency Backup David checks the late Vincent's legs and shoes, noting, "He's not wearing prosthetics and his soles are worn." That would be a no on the wheelchair, then. Emergency Backup David adds, "Gunshot wound to the head. It looks like it came through the windshield." Warrick looks haunted. That's probably because Sofia just crawled across the windshield and turned to the boys inside to say, "Crater in the windshield faces out, which means that the shell came from inside the van." What, did Ecklie teach his stealth moves to all his underlings? We then get the lamest new special effect ever -- Sofia imagining the crime kind of in reverse, as the bullet whizzes backward through the windshield, then back out through an unbroken windshield. Warrick looks unsettled by this too. Or just dyspeptic. Sofia then says, "So he's tapped out. Catherine asked if I could lend a hand." Who is this "he" to whom she refers? Did we miss part of an earlier conversation? Are we establishing that Sofia operates on her own planet, and its wildly erratic orbit intersects ours only infrequently? Both Warrick and Emergency Backup David look as if someone just gave them a wedgie.