Let The Seller Beware

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Sex, drugs, and the internet

We begin the episode with a warning that viewer discretion is advised, which I personally think is entirely too vague. If you're going to warn people, warn 'em -- tell them, "This episode contains gruesome violence/sexual acts typically found only in Joe Eszterhas's imagination/depictions of people using controlled substances and enjoying it/rabid misogyny/complete disregard for your intelligence/completely self-indulgent writing..." You get the drift.

Having warned the more delicate flowers in America's television-watching audience off tonight's episode, the camera then moves in for a shot of the Vegas skyline (casino of the week: New York, New York), then zooms out to what is one of Vegas's swankiest neighborhoods -- houses the size of hotels fronting acres of rolling green grass. Clearly, these people are so rich, they can import their own non-desert ecosystem. We then flash to the gate where there's a for-sale sign, and then to a couple walking past the fountain toward the double doors of the house. The woman burbles, "Wow. I love it already! I can't believe we're doing this. Is that the lockbox?" She's easily distracted by shiny things. The man tells her the realtor gave him the combination. Oh, that's not reassuring at all. After establishing that neither the realtor nor the owners will be coming by, we head into the house. Big, airy foyer with double staircases, all sorts of swanky interiors, et cetera. The man says, "Wait until you see the master." As they enter the room, the woman -- whose shirt seems to have a gaping problem across the chest area -- is all, "Oh. My. God. This is gorgeous." She flops on the bed, and the man flops next to her, grinning mischievously. "What?" she asks. "Wanna snoop around?" he replies.

Evidently she does, as the following few scenes basically sum up the paranoid fantasies of anyone who's ever had their house on the market: the man and woman rifle through closets and drawers, try on clothes, and generally behave like boors. Then they cap the experience by having a quickie.

Cut to the woman bouncing down the stairs, buttoning her shirt and holding her shoes in her hand as she says, "Oh. My. God. I could get used to this place. I could! You're an animal!" The guy tells her the backyard is the best part of the house, and in anticipation of still more inappropriate things-to-do-in-a-house-you-shouldn't-be-in behavior, the woman asks, "Really? Is there a Jacuzzi?" She bounds outside into a beautifully landscaped patio and pulls out her stock line: "Oh. My. God." As she's standing there looking at the pool, blood begins dripping down from an unknown height and landing on her blouse. The woman stands there for a minute, then gradually notices what's dripping before looking up at a blood-drenched awning in horror.

And now it's night. The blood is coming from a very attractive woman in what looks to be some underwear and a robe, body splayed very dramatically. Gil is snapping photos -- we see one framed all arty-like. Then we see Gil standing on the balcony overlooking the woman, with Catherine on one side. Brass comes up with another photo, and launches into Captain Exposition mode: "Cal and Monica Newman. Owners of the house. My guess, second marriage." Catherine says, "'Cause she's a babe and he's..." "He's, uh, got a good sense of humor." Gil's not smiling. Catherine finds a bullet casing -- .380 auto caliber -- and Gil moves the flashlight down so we can see the gun near Monica's hand. Gil notes that Monica's got a gunshot wound in her right temple, and asks, "Women don't usually shoot themselves in the head, do they, Catherine?" Catherine replies, "Well, gunshots do a number on your face, so women typically prefer pills." Unless you're Dorothy Parker; then you're going to be having issues with pills, as well as razors, rivers, acid, guns, nooses, and so on. Brass wants to know if they're calling the woman a murder, a suicide, or an "or what." Gil implies that it's contingent on the whereabouts of the husband and how much he knows. Catherine drawls, "Well, do the math...dead female spouse plus missing husband equals murder."

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