Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Daniel: B- | Grade It Now!

A woman's dead body is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft in a...research lab? She's pretty dead in pink (a filthy formal dress), and whoever killed her strangled her three or four times with her pantyhose and then sliced off her breasts (which are nowhere to be found). Date gone wrong? The presence of lock-picking tools in the victim's purse suggests she's the one who broke into the building. "Murder's a high price to pay for breaking and entering," says Elliot. Well, that's for the voters to decide, Elliot. Vote yes on Prop 245!

Victim: Tina Snow, 21, a student at Hudson University. She's got a rap sheet, mainly for breaking and entering, trespassing, that kind of thing. There's a high-end art gallery in the building, so maybe she was upping the thieving ante? Her previous arrests never involved a partner, but Olivia wonders if maybe this time she was working with someone else who turned on her. The rape kit was negative, but Tina's blood-alcohol level was three times legal limit, plus there was GHB in her blood. Olivia wonders why someone would give her a date-rape drug and then not follow through. "Maybe he couldn't rise to the occasion," smirks Fin.

The detectives interview Tina's roommate, who says Tina's into "freaky stuff." The freaky stuff consists entirely of, apparently, staying out all night and not going to class. Never heard of that going on at university! But Tina had problems, too: the school was threatening to kick her out for not paying tuition -- she owes 12 grand. Her parents aren't helping, because they're from Arkansas and aren't happy their daughter went away to Sin City (they must have seen the movie -- no wonder they're kind of freaked out). The detectives also find a lot of ash in Tina's room -- her roommate says Tina used to get cards in the mail, which she'd burn and then go out. And she'd come back covered in mud.

The increasingly photogenic forensic unit has analyzed the dirt found on Tina's dress. It contains finely ground Manhattan schist. "Well, that narrows it down to Manhattan," snarks Fin. There's no plant material whatsoever in it, so Chester immediately figures that it came from tunnels, and then has to explain to a befuddled Fin that sunshine helps plants grow. No plants, no sunshine. "So which tunnels are full of schist?" asks Fin. "They're all full of schist," says the forensic guy. Couple that with some fancy technology that reveals the words "Astoria platform, ten fifteen, nineteen thirty" on a charred piece of paper from Tina's room, and the detectives have a lead: the Astoria platform, October 15 (today) at 7:30 PM (written in military time, and about an hour ago on the show). Only one thing: there's no Astoria platform, points out Fin, who I predict is at some point going to snap at Chester when Chief Knows Everything shows him up for the millionth time. "Actually, there is," he says.

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit




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