Feeling The Heat

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

Possibly because they suffer from shortened attention spans. We're now taking photos of the lady of the lake; Sara is combing through the girl's hair and picking out leaves of grass. No, not the book, although that would explain the blow to the head, huh? Nicky puts down the camera to note that the lady of the lake is remarkably free of birthmarks, scars, and tattoos. He also finds a locker key. Just then, Sara asks about Nicky putting in for a promotion; he answers that he did last week, but he hasn't heard anything. Sara replies, "Yeah, neither have I." That's subtle. Emergency Backup David comes over to ask if they're ready. Sara says she heard he had a bad morning; Emergency Backup David replies that he's had better. He washes the body, and points out a splotch of something to Sara. Neither of them can identify it.

That's okay. They have x-rays to look at. David the Non-Lead-Apron-Wearing Coroner says that verily, the lady of the lake didn't drown, but died from "a palpable fracture of the neck at C1/C2." (That's the first two cervical vertebrae, for those of you wondering when the human spine was reduced to acronyms.) Sara adds, "From the blow to the head." David concurs: "Probable. Cerebral contusions underneath the skull fracture. Savage hit." Nicky tells us that the sexual assault kit showed semen; David counters that there were no physical findings for rape. The lady of the lake is not giving up a lot of evidence. Insofar as stomach contents, there were meat and veg, but the stomach-emptying rates vary from person to person, so the only estimation David can give is that the lady of the lake ate some two to four hours before her death. While Sara and David have been talking, Nicky's cell phone has been bleating in the background. He answers it and holds a conversation; at the end, a smiling Nicky tells a glaring Sara, "Ranger Stone came though. He found our locker." You know, he makes it sound like Ranger Stone just did something epic, as opposed to merely trotting over to the lakeside facilities, sticking a key in a locker, and thinking, "Yup. It fits."

Back at the depressing baby plotline -- and I'll have you know how valiantly I am straining not to attach any alliterative cooking terms to the word "baby," and -- I can't do it. Broasted! Broiled! Boiled! Baked! Barbecued! Basted! Braised!

Okay. That's out of my system. The temptation has passed. Anyway, Catherine gets tagged in the hall by chief deputy DA Jeffrey Sinclair. I wonder if he's going to get replaced by chief deputy DA John Sheridan later on in this episode. Catherine comments that a personal visit must mean this is an important matter. Sinclair replies, "It is. Joshua Winston, the dead infant." Catherine replies tersely, "We're working on it." Sinclair asks how long Joshua was left in the car. Catherine replies, "Based on the time of death, we estimate...roughly an hour. The 911 call came at roughly 11:30 in the morning." Sinclair asks what time Paul Winston starts work; Catherine replies, "According to Captain Brass, 10 AM." Sinclair snorts, "An hour an a half -- come on. I've got a three-year-old at home, and I've left him inside a covered garage with groceries for two minutes, tops. But two hours, in this heat?" Catherine replies, "I know. It's a tragedy." That doesn't seem to be the word Sinclair is looking for. He comments that cases such as these almost never see the inside of a courtroom, but this one will. Catherine asks, "Is there any worse punishment than losing your child?" Sinclair looks at her like she's gone nuts before replying, "Jail time. I want him behind bars, so the next time a parent steps away from their vehicle in triple-degree heat, they check the back seat before they lock the door." Catherine snots, "That doesn't change my job." How is she missing the cause-effect link here? It's not exactly subtle. Anyway, Sinclair continues, "Look, I need you guys to thoroughly document this case. I don't want any more surprises in court, so from the car to the kid, just try to cross your t's and dot your i's, okay?" Sinclair walks off, and Catherine mutters, "I always do." Funny, but you can almost hear Sinclair coughing, "Hem hem Sam Braun, hem, hem, testing your own DNA, hem hem," as he heads off. Or maybe the heat's getting to him.

Catherine and Gil are checking out the Winston death car. Catherine notes that the baby seat was fastened correctly, and she pulls it out, dislodging the resident pianist. The instrumentalist recovers by hitting the ivories with something particularly poignant. Catherine notices something, so she calls for Gil's attention. She tells him, "Look at this [seat]. What do you see." "Fine Corinthian leather," Gil says. Oh, he does not. He notes instead that he sees a whole lot of nothing; the seat is amazingly clean, especially for someone who should be toting infants hither and yon. Catherine points out that there are no seat indentations in the leather; Gil replies, "Well, maybe this wasn't the primary vehicle for transporting the baby." How could it be? They had to keep one back seat free for that damn pianist and his tinkly keyboard of poignancy. Before Catherine and Gil can continue this line of thought, Gil notices a sticky red substance in a groove along the floorboards. Catherine swabs it; it comes up negative for blood. Gil sighs. Catherine asks what Gil's thinking. He replies, "I don't get people." Really? We would have never guessed.

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