Bad Words

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
A hot temper

Meanwhile, Brass is talking to a milquetoast in a sweater vest who's doing his best imitation of belligerence as he asks, "So what if I was the last person who saw Adam alive?" He carries on about how killing someone for a $2000 prize isn’t worth the effort, and Brass deadpans, "You play for the glory." Walter Mitty replies, "You ever attempt the New York Times crossword, Captain? Nah, you probably wouldn't make it past Tuesday. I do Sunday, in pen." Brass replies, "Good for you. I wish I could derive my self-worth from solving someone else's word puzzles, but I have to settle for enforcing one of the social institutions that lets people do their crossword puzzles in pen without fear of random violence. Damn!" Oh, he does not. He merely turns around a tray with tiles reading "DNA" and says, "I can still spell this."

Back at the Labitrail, Hodges is explaining to Catherine that there's no trace of accelerant on the couch. Catherine is baffled by this, as she was convinced there was an obvious pour pattern, and Hodges replies, "Well, my dear, this is why you should never take the couch left for curbside pickup." Wow, that both civil and charming for Hodges. Is there no man in the Labitrail who is not beguiled by Catherine's many charms? Hodges goes on to explain that the couch was polyurethane foam, outlawed in 1988 due to its incredible incendiary properties: "You light that crap, it heats up, creates a burning pool of liquid, and acts as its own accelerant. Disaster waiting to happen."

So Catherine goes back up to survey the couch disaster that did happen with Warrick and Nicky, glumly prying charred lumps of couch off the coils with, "We've got no accelerant. We've got no match. We have no idea what started the fire." Cue the fortuitous discovery. Snicky finds a menthol cigarette butt. He comments, "Cigarettes are a terrible way to commit arson. Unreliable. They take too long. Possible DNA trace, but it just doesn't make any sense." Warrick points out that it does make sense if the fire's unintentional.

Cut to the surviving Abernathy clan members in an interrogation room. Sam's refusing a soda from Jack, and Mrs. A apologizes for him being there, faltering as she recounts how Sabrina was her regular babysitter. Old Lady A comes back from her mental field trip to 1968 to ask why they're all there. Warrick explains that they may have figured out what caused the fire, then asks if anyone in the house smokes. Old Lady A claims she quit twenty years prior. Catherine replies that they found a cigarette filter in the remains of the couch, and the lab wants a urine sample to determine who's got nicotine in their system. Mrs. A -- who still hasn't bathed since the fire, by all appearances -- chokes out, "My house burned down. And my daughter is dead. And now you want me to pee into a cup?" Well, yeah.

Liam tests the urine samples, then does a lap with Catherine through the Labitrail as he explains, "Everyone except for the little guy was getting high and getting by. The girl's on uppers, the mom's on downers, and grandma sucks on the cancer sticks." Catherine translates to English: "Ritalin, Valium, and Grandma's a liar." Nobody should be surprised by this. If television has taught us anything, it's that old women are not to be trusted.

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