Nesting Dolls

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Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Vegas. Panorama. Out of control construction. Row upon row of too-big houses squeezed onto too-small lots, since nothing says "Delightful!" like the combination of sterile suburban sprawl and life-sucking desert. We then go to a tight shot of a billboard reading "Sandstone...the American Dream," thereby alerting everyone via a tastefully-appointed anvil that we're about to discover something hideous in the innocuous burbs.

And we do: a pair of feet clad in high-heeled boots. The feet (and the rest of the body, which we assume is still attached -- always a risky proposition on this show) are encased in a block of tar. It's probably safe to say few people in America yearn for a house in a development studded with tar-wrapped corpses. Well, few people with good credit ratings, probably.

Cut to Nicky checking out the scene, a bandana over his face bandit-style, while the head of the construction site tells Catherine, "If this is an Indian burial ground, I'm totally screwed. I'll be in litigation for months." What, because of the families who sue after little Carol Ann gets sucked into the television? Catherine replies, "I can't make any promises, sir, but I don't think the Paiute wore heels." Yeah, that would have cramped their style. Although perhaps a stiletto to the groin might have slowed down some of the resettlement efforts.

Anyway, Warrick tells Catherine, "The body's been covered with something. It's black, it's flexible, but it's pretty stubborn. I think it's roofing tar. It keeps the smell and the animals away." Catherine grouses that it's also made her job a lot harder. Suck it up, supervisor. Set an example for the troops. Nicky notes the radius of disturbed soil, which is important only because it sets us up for the tricksy special-effects scene where we see the tarry block getting dug out and presented like a low-budget Damien Hearst piece ("I call this...my opaque period") in the middle of a big hole. Catherine, Warrick, and Nicky are poking around looking all forensic, and Catherine asks if Jane Doe got buried alive. Warrick's not sure, but notes that her thorough entombment in the tar indicates that whomever did this is not unfamiliar with industrial supplies, the use and procurement thereof.

By the way, Nicky has gone back to playing both cop and robber with his get-up. Just as Catherine's asking him if he's about done with soil samples, he's all, "Well, yes. And now I've moved on to taking desiccated toe bone samp-- wait." And that's how we discover body number two, stacked immediately under body number one. We then get a TMIcam of said body so we can all appreciate how it's decayed over the past few years. Catherine quips, "I don't know if she was buried alive...but she wasn't buried alone."

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