Recipe For Murder

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
Meat Is Murder

For those of you who have managed to miss the previous 56 episodes of CSI broadcast between fall 2000 and tonight, guess what? The show takes place in Las Vegas! Who knew?

And now, let us move on to the establishing sequence of the night, that two-minute stretch wherein we, the viewers at home, will watch ordinary people going about their business until the moment they stumble across a body, call the police, and hang out until Captain Exposition and Gil arrive. Can you imagine this from their point of view? Say you're working in the wholesale meat delivery industry, as tonight's Man We Will Never See After The Credits is doing, and you stumble across a human arm stuck in a meat grinder, as this guy does, and after the omigawd, omigawd, it's a human arm, what do I do? moment has passed and you've managed to conclude that calling the police might be the thing to do, while you're hanging out and mentally reviewing every detail of the evening, wondering if you managed to sound more calm and competent than you feel, you're wishing you were somewhere else, and then some balding guy in suit comes by, telling a good-looking blonde, "Ever wonder what's in that hot dog?"

Well, you'll have to try, because tonight will not give us the spectator's-eye view of how the CSIs work the scene. We find the arm; next thing we know, Brass is making hot dog jokes with Catherine as a way of easing into his duties as Captain Exposition: "Human body in a meat grinder. Shop foreman found an arm; the rest of him is prime grade-A sirloin." Catherine thinks this "sounds kind of Mob-ish, except they left town in the '80s." After establishing that there were no people sticking out of any industrial machinery when the plant shut down for the night, Brass invites Catherine and Gil to check out the fresh meat. Catherine gives him a rueful smirk before ducking under the rope with Gil, then walks over and checks the mess of fleshy gibbets caught in the metal pan. "Oh, God," she groans. Gil, naturally, is focusing on the nature of the crime scene: "It looks like the elbow got stuck in the blade." The camera helpfully shows us how, lingering on the ground meat at the opposite end of the grinder pipe. Gil confirm this: "Yup. The ulna." Catherine adds, "One of the strongest bones in the human body. Probably what jammed the grinder." Gil figures that the jammed grinder explains why they're looking at a human arm as opposed to a pile of mystery meat. Catherine comments, "It's like that Morrissey album, Meat Is Murder." Or the Smiths album of the same name. Gil, however, can't let Catherine have the last word before the credits, so he grunts dramatically while he pulls on the fingers of the hand they found, and tells Catherine, "I'm going to need a hand."

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