CSI
Crow's Feet

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It is necessary to suffer to be beautiful.

Back at the Labitrail, Brass interrupts Sara and Liam's study session with, "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, I presume?" Sara snaps, "What do you need, Brass?" He doesn't miss a beat when he replies, "Well, it may be elementary, but I have a conundrum." The predicament: Brass just got back from the Four Aces, where the hotel manager said he turned away Beckman and his bird since the bird was cageless -- "but neither [Beckman] nor the bird ever returned." Liam turns to Sara and says, "Looks like we need to find that bird." You think?

They head back to the Beckman bungalow. It's all very spooky, and then, in an ironic coda that shows how futile extermination was, we hear a lot of flies buzzing around. Gil would be pleased that the insects got their revenge. Liam and Sara enter the house, being less than thrilled that they're walking into a fly-filled kitchen, and they figure since extermination killed all the household insects, these are latecomers. Liam sniffs and reasons, "The bird could have flown up somewhere and died." Sara wrinkles her nose and we have a scene that's clearly meant suggest that's just what happened…but what they actually find is a maggoty rat carcass in the pantry. It's every bit as delightful as it sounds. I bet that rat regretted having the ability to squeeze through tight spaces right before it passed out and died.

Since the scope of the investigation has now widened to include bird-napping, Gil stops at a pet store to see if anyone's tried to fence a big blue bird lately. As he walks in, a guy is busy telling a white parrot how very much he loves him; in profile, the two have similar beaks, thus proving that, occasionally, people do end up looking like their pets. Gil tries to break the ice with, "Teaching him to speak?" and gets a beakful of guff for his trouble, courtesy of the guy with the bird: "Although the cockatoo is highly intelligent, birds don't speak. To speak requires a cognitive ability to understand, which they don't have. They just imitate. And Edwina is a she." Gil apologizes for not noticing the tiny "Girl Power" shirt the bird was wearing. Actually, he and Barry Bird come to a meeting of the minds, and we establish that if Gil were to purchase a macaw, he'd have to come there, to Las Vegas's sole exotic bird emporium, Buy Buy Birdie. Although nobody's tried to sell Barry Bird a hyacinth macaw lately, we do establish that they're so rare, he's only sold one -- Bob, who belonged to the late Beckman. Gil breaks the news that Beckman died to Barry Bird, who bears it stoically. Then he whips out a photo of the feathers found at the scene and Barry looks genuinely grieved: "Tail feathers," he chokes out. "That's not good…macaws only molt one feather at a time. Get a pile like this, someone yanked. Real hard." Gil looks thoughtful as he hears this.

Meanwhile, Nicky and Enviro-tech labor to comply with the dictates of the post-48-minute mark, namely that if anything's going to be applicable to solving the case, it'll appear starting now. Enviro-tech -- who, we discover now that the episode is nearly over, is called Travis -- tells us we can rule out arsenic as a cause of death. Catherine snaps out of her panicky meditations on mortality to notice that the blood samples Travis processed yesterday are kind of funky, because the serum hasn't separated from the red blood cells yet. "The red blood cells have lysed. Something caused the red blood cells to lyse, or pop, and the hemoglobin from inside those cells infiltrated the serum," Nicky concludes. The accompanying TMIcam sequence has little popcorn-like sounds every time a RBC explodes. Hee! We also have a cause of death for these women -- as Nicky explains, if enough red blood cells lyse, you'll die. Yeah, not having those oxygen-bearing cells can be a real drag. But what -- oh, what -- can possibly have caused this?

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