Big Middle

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
A sensitive look at weight in America

So the episode opens with what might actually be one of the most off-putting dead-body shots ever -- someone with their face blown off, and their body being gnawed by assorted scavengers in a time-lapsed sequence. I love how someone's face being turned into maggot lasagna evidently passes muster with America's bluenoses, but a grown man in a diaper is something that'll warp the kiddies for life.

Anyway, the few remaining gobbets of flesh left on the face liquefy and turn into what I can only conclude is the Hamptons of the Hyde beetle world. Gil is peering at a Dermestes maculatus now. He concludes that the guy's been a bug buffet for at least two weeks. Gil then pokes his forceps into the seething beetle scene and pulls out something he thinks may be "number four buckshot, maybe?" Emergency Backup David replies with, "His pockets are empty. There's no wallet or ID," and Gil points out exactly how that doesn't address a question about buckshot with, "What would be the point of blowing someone's face off if you're going to leave the driver's license?" Emergency Backup David concedes defeat with, "He's all yours." As he walks off, he says hello to Patty Hearst, fresh off knocking over a bank.

No, sorry, that's just Catherine, sporting the latest in retro-SLA chic, accessorized by a chip on her shoulder that must have been cut from an old-growth forest. She snipes, "Grissom, what's the deal? You getting to my crime scenes before me now?" Gil replies, "Weren't you on a 419 in north town?" "Guess you missed me," Catherine replies. Gil says matter-of-factly, "I'm just documenting. Then I'm leaving." This deflates Catherine's attitude considerably. Although why she has it is a complete mystery: she knows -- and has said in the past -- that Gil has neither political acumen nor particularly burning ambitions. She also knows that as a boss, he's scrupulously fair. So why is she acting like he's out to undermine her?

So then Catherine points out how an abandoned corpse can be an indicator of biospheric diversity, rattling off the assorted animals that gnawed on Faceless Johnny here: "Rodents, coyote, buzzards, the occasional mountain lion." She also notices the ring he's still wearing. Brass materializes out of nowhere to crouch down next to her and say, "The end of Rainbow Canyon. This must be the pot of gold." If by "gold," you mean "grue," then yes. Catherine reads the ring, which is set with several tiny diamonds in a football shape -- it was given to members of the Las Vegas Greenbacks, a team in the long-defunct American Franchise Football Association. Because someone, somewhere would probably still be willing to sue if the show used the name of the USFL. But before Brass and Catherine can debate whether professional football will ever work in a town that makes a lot of money off sports wagering, Catherine yanks the conversation back around to the case and notes that the fist-sized hole blown in Faceless Johnny's stomach would seem to imply that he was shot at close range. We see the injury being inflicted in flashback. And then Gil says in the present time, "Right between the numbers."

The Who wants to know who you are. I wanted to know what "Right between the numbers" meant. From the depths of the couch, the husband tells me, "It's a football term. As pithy sayings before the credits go, it beats 'Looks like the shotgun formation!'" He's right. It does.

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