Bad Words

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

And now it's daytime. Looking at the spread of Vegas 'burbs across the desert always makes me thirsty; it's the Lawrence of Arabia effect. See sand? Need a drink. Jack the arson guy is leading the CSIs through the house; they're picking carefully around the debris and the heaping helpings of exposition he's leaving in his wake. We learn that the smoke detector batteries were all dead, and Sabrina's room is the only one that sustained serious smoke damage. We do not learn how close Sabrina's room was to the fire's point of origin. Everyone troops into a remarkably intact room -- not even any fire damage to the cuddly toys -- and Catherine notes that Sabrina wasn't even asleep. "Not in her bed," Jack adds. Catherine walks over and sees a book sitting beside a floor pillow, then flashes back to Sabrina sitting on her floor, reading as she listens to her music. Warrick reads Catherine's mind, then comments, "That would explain why the fireman didn't find her right away." "But it doesn't explain what she was doing down there," Jack doggedly insists. Catherine sighs, "If you can explain the behavior of teenagers, more power to you." How old is Lindsay this week? Thirteen? I ask because she's apparently aging like a Marvel comics character, which is to say, in a completely arbitrary and contrived way.

Then everyone walks out to the kitchen, so Jack can explain that beneath ordinary linoleum lurks a silent but deadly killer -- flammable adhesive. We get a TMIcam shot of the linoleum boiling as the fire gobbles the adhesive underneath. Then everyone goes back to waving their flashlights around and snapping photos of the detritus. Warrick notes that the kitchen door's unlocked, which is a little hinky, since the firemen only used the front door. That seems eerily formal. Did they wipe their feet on exiting and entering too? Catherine adds that Mrs. A said she locked all the doors before bed. Warrick speculates that maybe Sabrina left the door unlocked. He adds that she basically provided the arsonist with an engraved invitation. Or, in the case of an arsonist, cherries jubilee, molded together to read, "Come flame with me."

Anyway, Jack continues strolling through the house and going all Trading Spaces on it with, "A few cheap wood panel walls, polyester curtains, fake plants." I know the point is supposed to be that this place was a firetrap waiting to happen, but I'm guessing Mrs. A went with the mass-produced synthetic goods because she had to let the servants go following the car crash, and her hectic working/caretaking schedule left little time for ironing the damask curtains, cultivating the orchids, or renovating the house. Catherine then points out that "a bottle full of liquid fire with a low flash point" certainly didn't make things any safer. The two of them go over to look at the couch and wonder whether it's the fire's point of origin. I wonder how it's possible to take something as nifty as fire and render its investigation so deadly dull. They did this last time, too. I mean, the flashback's really pretty mesmerizing, what with the flames leaping hither and yon, and yet, they're all talking it to death. The upshot of the scene is that Jack thinks the fire started on the couch, then conducted its own protest against cheap décor as it moved toward the kitchen. Catherine watches Jack work, and in a shocking break with precedent, fails to immediately fall into bed with him afterward.

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