CSI
Crow's Feet

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It is necessary to suffer to be beautiful.

The CSIs head next door, where the neighbor is busy depositing his alveoli all over the lovely hardwood floors. Sara introduces herself and breaks the news of Beckman's death to the guy. He's not what you'd call broken up about it. He does, however, deeply miss the ability to keep anything down, as he's been "laid up for the past two days, puking [his] guts out." He's a regular master of the small talk, as this revelation is followed by the admission that "[his] wife bailed a few months ago." She probably despaired of ever keeping up with him conversationally. Liam asks the guy (whom we shall refer to hereafter as Rory Kendall, since that's what the writers called him) if he's been feeling particularly lightheaded and out of it, and when Rory stops screaming, "Bats! Bats! Man the frigate, my good bosun! Woo-chuka!" Sara decides that now is a good time for a urine sample. Rory's all, "Huh?" and Liam explains, "You may be suffering from sulfuryl fluoride gas poisoning. Urination's the only way for the poison to get out." Ah, but what does it do to you while it's inside? And why isn't the TMIcam explaining this to us? Rory protests that he's got the flu. Sara chirps, "If that's true, your urine will be sulfuryl fluoride-free." Liam adds, "But if you're lying, you're in big trouble." And then he looks around because he's hoping The Who will kick it for him. And you know, just once, I would love to see the CSIs have to apologize to whomever they're bullying into submitting evidence, or at least be all, "Dude, we're sorry. He keeps shooting for the pithy one-liners and hitting the Bazooka bubble gum wrappers."

Back in the lab, Nicky's decided to fill the gaping silence where once Liam capered by playing around with a bunch of jars and asking, "What do Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and our victim have in common?" They peaked four presidential administrations ago? Catherine guesses, "Heavy metal." Her dead voice makes it clear this isn't the first time someone's made that joke in this lab. Nicky flashes the devil-horns hand gesture and confirms that Ms. Stern had arsenic in her system. She's had it in her system for about three months, coinciding with two sweet old ladies moving in next door and inviting her over for tea. Nicky waves his arm over the cluttered table and indicates that of the many ingestibles collected at her home, none were contaminated. Catherine injects a refreshing note of skepticism by asking whether Nicky's sure arsenic poisoning was the cause of death. Nicky says, "Not yet. Until the quants come back, we won't know if the concentration was lethal." The two then banter about how in a poisoning case, the killer's usually a relative who has easy access to the victim. It just so happens that Ms. Stern's next of kin has a vineyard in Pahrump.

Cut to said next of kin in the interrogation room, inquiring testily, "You sent a cop all the way to Pahrump to pick me up. What couldn't you tell me on the phone?" Nicky asks when the last time Next of Kin saw his mom; NoK recalls that it was three months ago, and the visit didn't end well, what with Ms. Stern getting all worked up that her son had the nerve to have a four-year-old child of his own, thus selfishly contriving to make her feel old. Catherine asks, "'Grandma' was a dirty word?" NoK replies, "She could hardly look at him. Nice, huh?" Nicky mumbles that he also did a background check, and NoK's maxed out three different credit cards. NoK explains that he did not go a little nuts at the iTunes music store, but dealt with his vines contracting the black rot. He's all, "What are you, Equifax?" Nicky wonders if maybe NoK wanted to pay off that 15%-interest balance, and NoK is all outraged. Catherine wonders if maybe NoK wanted Mom's money, and he spits, "When my dad died, he left my mom boatloads of cash. On her last visit, I asked her for a loan…she'd spend thousands on designer clothing, jewelry, plastic surgery, but wouldn't lend me a dime." Catherine tries not too look judgmental, but fails miserably. Nicky wonders if maybe NoK's using pesticide on his vines, and the guy snorts that of course he is, since people's silly insistence on not swilling PCBs with every mouthful of liquid is merely a passing fad.

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