A teenage girl's troubled sleep is intercut with flashes from a crime scene. She twitches restlessly under her covers. On the wet pavement at the crime scene, another woman's body is lying oriented the opposite way to Joan's. She too is under a blanket, but she doesn't move at all. Forensic photographers snap pictures as a trenchcoated Joe Mantegna ducks under some police tape and approaches the body. Professor Frink immediately intones: "Hard, but not jaded." Another cop walks over and meets him at the body, and it takes me and Frink a moment to place him, though his face is instantly familiar: it's Erik Palladino, ER's Dr. Dave Malucci. And he turns out not to be a tool here, as he was on that show. So I hope he sticks around, because yum. And because Joe Mantegna, with all due respect...not so much. They crouch by the body as Detective Dave tells him that he didn't mean for the chief to come down; he only called to let him know. The Chief pulls the blanket off the body to reveal a pretty, young white woman in a fuchsia tank top. She's dirty and bruised. He asks, "Drug-related?" Detective Dave says they don't know; it only happened an hour ago and they haven't identified her yet. Detective Dave takes it upon himself to advise the Chief that if he shows up on calls like this, the cops on the force will think he doesn't trust them. The Chief: "Yeah, I wouldn't want them to think that." He turns on his flashlight, finds a boot print immediately, and asks if they've got it. Detective Dave emits an irritated sigh and yells for Osbourne to get over there and get a photo of it. Osbourne says the ME just arrived; that gets the Chief's attention. He questions Osbourne about whether the victim had the blanket on her when they got there; Osbourne makes a sheepish explanation about how she was just lying there out in the open. The Chief informs him that he's contaminated the scene: "It's Procedure 101!" Please. How many cops are that dimwitted? I'd bust out my trusty Credulity Strain-o-Meter but it's at the shop. John Wells's first episode of The West Wing knocked it for a loop last week. Osbourne apologizes and leaves. Detective Dave tells the Chief that Osbourne's not a homicide cop, he was just the officer on patrol and it's the luck of the draw. Chief: "He's a cop, isn't he? He passed the exam?" Detective Dave gets it, and will take care of it. He wants to get back to his point about the Chief showing up on routine murder investigations. Chief sets him straight: "Lieutenant Daghlian, when these investigations become routine, I won't have to show up anymore." Daghlian? That'll be fun to type a lot. Chief trudges back to his car.
Joan of Arcadia
Episode Report CardDeborah: A- | 322 USERS: B-
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Joan of Arcadia