Feeling The Heat

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
Life's Most Precious Cargo

Catherine comes out with a sample and hands it off to the waiting Liam with direction to "run this." He does -- my, but there are a lot of bubbles in whatever liquid he picks up whilst pipetting -- and after a long and silent interval filled with titration and pipetting, he comes back to tell Catherine that the only thing he can pick up from the sample is a trace of monocycline. Catherine tells us the anti-inflammatory drug is sometimes prescribed to Tay-Sachs patients because "it's the same principle as giving marijuana to glaucoma patients. It doesn't cure the sight problems, it just buys you time." Liam offers, "Maybe the Winstons didn't want Howard to suffer." Catherine asks, "They don't kill their first child who's dying. Why kill their second child who's healthy?"

When we get back, Catherine and the Pianist of Pathos have gone to the pediatrician. The good doctor calls on his extensive medical training and knowledge of Punnett squares to explain how two people who carry Tay-Sachs have a one-in-four chance of having a child with the disease. Catherine points out, "Joshua dodged the bullet." The doctor says, "We tested Vickie early in the second trimester. The results came back negative." The pianist takes a break, and then Catherine asks if the doctor had seen Joshua recently, so the pianist begins Etude for a Medical Misdiagnosis: Vickie had called in a panic and said something was wrong, they brought in the baby, and he seemed to exhibit a lot of the early symptoms of Tay-Sachs, such as floppiness and poor head control. As the doctor says, "When they brought him in, it was Howard all over again. My only conclusion was that the fetal test was a false negative." Catherine asks about the odds; they're under one percent. The doctor mentions that he sent out an enzyme test to confirm the Tay-Sachs diagnosis, but the results aren't back yet. You all know where this is going, right?

Meanwhile, in the B-plot, we find out that Mark drowned; he had no other injuries, save for a ruptured tympanic membrane. Ouch. Sara and the TMIcam lean in for a closer look, and she notes that the tear is red and ragged. David explains, "Ante-mortem injury. In water, burst eardrums typically result from rapid descent. Sudden changes in pressure without equalizing." We see a flashback where Mark pushes Sophia off the cliff and she dives toward the water. Nicky narrates, "She went in first and he jumped in after her." And then, presumably, he went looking for Sophia when she failed to pop up like a cork. His eardrum went, and he drowned in the deep water. Nicky concludes, "This was an accident, Sara. He was trying to save her." Sara snots, "That's a great theory, but we can't prove that." We can't prove he shoved her off a cliff with killer intent either, Sara. Nicky points out, "Twenty-six feet under with a busted eardrum? If not to save her, why dive that deep?" Sara's got no good answer for that, but she decides that the case is over. "Almost over," corrects Nicky.

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