Down The Drain

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
Family Values

I suppose I should be all a-twitter over the rain damping the Vegas night sky, but honestly, the minute before this aired, CBS showed a promo where that Cold Case chick appeared not sporting a coif by Cuisinart, and that's more or less blown my shock circuits for the night. So it's raining. Big, gusty, sweeps-worthy torrents of rain. We see a plague of rats go scurrying out of the drain, squeaking loudly in indignation, and then we see a pair of men's legs following closely behind. Excellent! We're going to see the Pied Piper's murder.

The guy runs in slow motion, and through flashes of lightning, we see that he's dressed none-too-nattily. He's also just a little too slow: as he exits a drain pipe into an open culvert, a gush of water takes him out. He struggles to his feet, and the camera switches angles back to the drain so we can all be appreciative of the awesome power of water, ya-da, ya-da. We then see one of those head-mounted flashlights Miss Alli mentioned in the Amazing Race recaps. It's bobbing around the water, which is probably not good news for its erstwhile wearer.

As it turns out, the wearer currently has his face smooshed against a grate in the drainpipe, so my prognostication was correct. Four years of watching this show has paid off.

Then Gil's there, taking pictures of the guy. By this point, the water and the grate have done a number on his face; think of the texture of ground beef, and you're about there. Catherine wades on over and trains her flashlight on the body before asking who found Hamburger Larry here, and Gil tells her the police did, when they were sweeping the area looking for vagrants practicing either their water-treading or breath-holding skills. Gil helpfully points out all the special features that have given Hamburger Larry his nickname -- beefy texture, toes worn away to bloody stubs -- and concludes with some pique, "He lost all his points!" Mr. Sobell wonders from the depths of the couch if that makes him a ten-point underdog. Catherine comments that Hamburger Larry's been treated "like a rock in a tumbler."

And then Emergency Backup David floats on over with, "I'm sorry I'm late. I stopped to get my waders." Awww. Also, I like to imagine David the Supervisory Coroner giving an evil little cackle before saying, "Of course, you'll be the one who's hip-deep in runoff in the sewage drain. Enjoy!" Emergency Backup David rifles through the body's pockets: there's no wallet, but there is a little vial filled with a milky white substance. Gil then calls everyone's attention to something that may be slightly more relevant to the immediate investigation: the giant wooden spike sticking out of the corpse's neck. The brain trust immediately wonders if that could maybe been a factor in the guy's death.

Just then, Warrick comes over. Tragically, the powers that be declined to exploit this opportunity, so he's not wading over clad only in a Speedo. He provides a little backstory: he's apparently talked to every resident in the area, but they've all failed to recognize Hamburger Larry. Gil says smartly, "At least we know where he came from." He flashes his light dramatically so we can see the miles of tunnel that are (presumably) about to be searched. Catherine gives Gil a despairing look and asks, "Aren't we at least going to draw straws?" Gil's all, "Nope. It's good to be the supervisor!"

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