Too Tough To Die

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Junkyard dogs

Cut to Gil and Nicky in yet another bad neighborhood; they're meeting with a Detective Vega from the gang detail, and Vega's going to give us more backstory on the Snakebacks and their anthropological quirk of abducting women to rape and kill them. "Your guy might have left the neighborhood for a gang initiation; it means more when the victim's a civilian," Vega says. Nick notes that the neighborhood is packed with Snakebacks and the people who know them, and Brass chortles as he tells Nicky to have fun asking questions door-to-door. "Why can't we just use those scent pads?" Nicky asks Gil. "The dogs? Constitutional issue. We can't get a warrant for the evidence we find off the dogs' search," Gil replies. "Then why'd you even suggest it?" Nicky continues. "You're a grown man," Gil snaps. "Stop whining." Hee!

Warrick and Catherine are talking with Roy McCall and his court-appointed attack lawyer. Warrick reconstructs the events for those of us who missed the first two versions of the tale; McCall shows the scar down his arm from the screwdriver. The position and angle of the scar indicate that he's not lying. Warrick presses to find out whether Hastings was facing or turning away from McCall when he was shot. The lawyer says the two men were facing each other; Catherine notes that the evidence indicates otherwise. The lawyer responds, "Well, that's the coroner's problem. And after I tell any jury how your side managed to lose a piece of evidence as important as a screwdriver, really, how much weight will a coroner's report have?" Ladies and gentlemen, the triumph of rhetoric over empirical evidence. Catherine and Warrick leave the interrogation tank and fume over how little the judicial folks understand about the twisty trail evidence takes from collection to analysis; the battery of specialized tests demands that a piece of evidence be passed from one person to another through the course of an investigation. "It's just human error," Catherine fumes. "Defense attorneys have made a whole career off that human error," Warrick notes, without once managing to cough Johnnie Cochran or F. Lee Bailey's names. Just then, Catherine's cell rings and she picks up. It's Eddie, the perfect target for her foul mood.

Warrick and David the coroner review David's notes on Hastings' bullet wounds. We see the bullets entering from the back -- I mean, really see them, courtesy of the TMI-cam -- and careen around Hastings' body before exiting again. Or, to quote David, "entry wounds piercing the back, both small regular, with evidence of carbonaceous material typical of having just exited a gun, and they exited the front with evidence of keyhole irregularity." Okay -- so we've established that there was some sort of screwdriver assault and gunshots from the back. Warrick makes the best point of the night: "I'm not doubting your findings, but when guys go at it, they're not like gingerbread men. They're like bobbing, and weaving -- it's like WWF Smackdown." Oh, so there's also half-hour monologues and the People's Elbow. David counters, "Anatomically speaking, it's open and shut. You guys are the ones to put perspective on it." Warrick heads off, presumably to do just that.

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