The Finger

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
Rabbit, Run

And David the Coroner -- back from the wedding and apparently no worse the wear for it -- tells Gil that the finger Catherine passed on was severed postmortem. That makes this case about a thousand times more interesting. David continues that it was sliced off with a serrated blade. After he finishes, Gil's cell goes off. Gil answers it with a cursory "Grissom," then, as he listens, delivers a heartfelt, "Thank God." Cut to Catherine talking on the cell while Logan sits slumped in the background: "There was a kidnapping." Gil delivers his usual news: he knows already. He even knows who it is: "She's dead. And whoever touched the money probably has glow-in-the-dark paint on their hands." Catherine smiles a little, weakly, and says, "You got my clues." Gil concurs: "Yeah. Nicely done. I know just about everything except...where are you?" Catherine looks around, at a loss to answer that question.

Eventually she must, because when we get back from commercial, Catherine's walking down the hall with Warrick, who's giving her the rundown on how Lindsey spent the night: "She ate, but she didn't fall asleep until way late. We had her helping Greg out in the lab." Catherine says, "I bet she loved that." They stop in the break room, where Lindsey, still in her moon-face paint, is out like a light. Catherine grabs Warrick by the arm and says warmly, "I owe you. Thank you." She tilts up to give him a peck on the cheek; he leans into it and kisses her too. This is just the episode of a thousand grace notes insofar as the characterizations go. Yay, Danny Cannon and Carol Mendelsohn for writing it, and yay, Richard J. Lewis for directing it! They should get some credit too. Anyway -- back in the scene, now: Catherine quietly lets herself in and sits on the edge of the couch where Lindsey's sleeping, just reaching out to touch her daughter's hair.

Then she goes back to work. As she and Gil prepare to enter the morgue, Gil says, "So you couldn't see what he looked like." Catherine finally calls someone on the pronouns by sassily noting, "You're assuming it was a he." They then head in to see the results of David's work. Amanda's looking quite waterlogged; David says she's been in the water about twenty-four hours. He pulls back the sheet, displaying Amanda's seriously wrinkled toes and saying, "Washerwoman effect, but no saponification." For the jargon-impaired: saponification is the process by which triglycerides (compounds found in fat) react with a salt (sometimes sodium) to produce a glycerol/fatty acid compound we know as "soap." Human bodies, with their profusion of phospholipid in cellular membranes, can undergo saponification in some circumstances, depending on conditions like humidity, temperature, body fat percentage, and bacterial activity; there's the infamous "Soap Lady" on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Anyway: Amanda is not yet soap. David then moves to the head of the body and pulls out Amanda's tongue; nestled beneath it is a thriving colony of blowfly eggs. David notes that they're waterlogged; ergo, they were there before Amanda went in the drink. Gil notes that the decomposing body would need time to attract blowflies before it was submerged; David replies that she's been dead for at least 48 hours. Catherine notices the bloody nose and ecchymosis (a medical term for bruising exceeding one centimeter, as a result of trauma). David replies that Amanda died as a result of blunt-force trauma. He directs our attention, via TMI-Cam, to a gaping head wound that's not benefited from a 24-hour bath. Embedded in said wound is what looks to be a shard of granite.

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