CSI
Feeling The Heat

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Life's Most Precious Cargo

Sara and Nicky are dealing with pretty people, and pissed-off-looking park rangers. I don't blame the rangers; those uniforms probably aren't built for the heat. Nicky hands Sara a stack of chips and comments, "Dollar slots." Sara replies, "Is there truly no place left in Las Vegas without slot machines?" She's been here for what -- three, almost four years? And she's still surprised by this? Nicky hands over the rest of the lady of the lake's belongings. The Western Las Vegas University student ID labels her as Sophia Renatta. Sara's gone rummaging through the bag and found a guy's wallet with no credit cards or ID, and an XXL t-shirt they conclude has to be too big for Sophia. Nicky suggests, "It could be a boyfriend or beach buddy." Sara shoots back, "A suspect?" Oh, you just know how the rest of this is gonna go.

Cut to a bitter dock rat telling Sara, "I remember her and her punk in shining armor." Nicky asks, "He wasn't a cool guy?" Dock Rat says, "Dude stiffed me twice, bro. Rented a Wave Runner and doesn't bring it back, and his cheap-ass plastic's got a two-k limit." Two thousand isn't enough? How expensive is it to rent a Wave Runner? Apparently it's five grand, whatever this guy owes. I am still wondering how on Earth you run up a five-thousand-dollar bill on a Wave Runner without owning it outright. Anyway, Nicky asks if the two were a couple, and Dock Rat gets all judgmental with, "She was a pretty girl with a problem, and he knew an in when he saw one." We flash back to what happened -- the "problem" was that Sophia didn't have a credit card and the Dock Rat was completely unsympathetic to her plight, so the kid swoops on down, hands over the card, and a couple for the ages is united. Back in the present, Nicky's wondering if that move would work for him. No, not really -- knowing his luck, he'd get someone who would commit fraud. Sara checks the rental log: the phantom guy's name is Mark Young, and he checked out the Wave Runner at 11:45. However, he and Sophia didn't hit the water until 2:15. Nicky comments, "Well, if he did just meet her, he's a pretty smooth operator. Bailed her out, bought her lunch, and had enough left over to play the dollar slots." Sara snorts, "Classic lake date." Oh, did Hank take her here? I'd like to imagine that he did, and that she hated every minute of it. We see two jackasses heading out on Wave Runners, and we flash to Sophia and Mark riding around, looking equally as asinine. Or maybe it's just my prejudice against personal watercraft, since their presence in a park usually means disruptive things for water quality, air quality, soundscapes, wildlife, wildlife habitat, shoreline vegetation, and other water-user safety. Irrational, I know, but there you go.

And now, we meet the mother of dead little Joshua Winston. She's all, "I ask my husband to do one thing -- one thing. I got up early, I fed Joshua, got him changed, dressed, all he had to do was drop him off." Is it just me, or do you get the feeling the Winstons still hadn't negotiated who the primary caretaker for this child was? We find out that Mrs. Winston is in horticulture, and designing a garden for a new hotel in Anaheim. This just goes to show, you can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her marry someone who can deliver a child to daycare. I kid! We know nothing about Mrs. Winston's sexual habits; I just couldn't resist the Dorothy Parker riff. Anyway, I can't help but wonder: since a different parent was dropping off Joshua at daycare, wouldn't daycare have called the primary parent or phone contact when the kid failed to show? Anyway, we flash back to Mrs. Winston putting the car seat in Mr. Winston's car before she took off; she prissily informs Catherine she had a car seat in her car because "it's the law." What, is this going to be news to the law enforcement? Catherine asks if Joshua had a cold. Mrs. W cops to the baby having a slight cough, courtesy of a bug going around daycare; she gave him some cough syrup last night, but not this morning, because "there's a rule in our house that only one parent medicates the child. But I told Paul to go ahead and give it to Joshua if he was still coughing." Nice temporizing there; I'm sure Catherine and Brass didn't notice you checking out their faces or pausing as you felt your way along that one at all. Catherine gets a skeptical look on her face, and Mrs. W immediately asks, "Why?" Brass hustles into the exchange with, "Thanks for coming in. We're all done now. Feel free to take the damn tinkly piano player with you when you leave." Just then, Mr. W comes on by, and Mrs. W decides that maybe she will leave the office. Paul starts in with, "Vickie..." and she smacks him in the chest, sobbing, "What is wrong with you? How could you leave him in the car? What is wrong with you?" Then she collapses into him and just begins bawling. Catherine and Brass watch them stagger off; both of them are teary too. Tell me again why the two parents on this shift are handling this case, whilst the four child-free folks who may not identify so closely are all working on something else?

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