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Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
The Young Turks in winter

Once he gets to the door, he's got his company manners on, reminding everyone to watch their fingers. Two elderly folks -- Stuart Manslow and Betsy Lewis -- have appointed themselves the fact-finding commission here, and are wondering what's going on. Warrick cleverly redirects the conversation, asking, "Could y'all tell me what's the deal with the boxes here?" We learn that Bonnie, lonely after her husband's death, struck up a telephone friendship with a salesman and kept buying things from him. That's...dismayingly common. For the first year that my mom was in her widow support group, she'd tell me about other women who, for want of any social interaction or actual purpose in life, would spend days simply wandering the malls or calling in to QVC and buying things. If your life doesn't include some sort of external purpose, it's easy to push shopping into the void and confuse it with accomplishment. Warrick looks suspicious. Or maybe he's wondering why he's on AARP patrol for all these cases.

We cut to a rough-looking Sofia fixing a laser through the bullet hole in the windshield and muttering, "Off we go, in the wild blue yonder." Just then, the newest CSI ambles up and clears his throat. This CSI? You once knew him as "Liam the Lab Tech," but as he is no longer a lab tech, that name is no longer appropriate. "Greg Sanders" does not please me. And so, by fiat -- and backed up by intermittent survey results -- I hereby declare the erstwhile Liam the Lab Tech to be known henceforth as "Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three."

Sofia turns around and fixes Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, with a look. "Why are you here?" she asks audibly, while her tone of voice tacks on worm to the end. Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, says, "Grissom said it'd be okay for me to come help. I need the experience." Sofia accepts this, and immediately conscripts Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, into helping her find shell casings if she can't find bullets. She then takes his pen and tells him stand back, saying, "You don't shoot a man with your door open." A brief flick of the switch and the wheelchair ramp raises up. Sofia tells Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, to keep an eye on the pen. Then she makes like she's shooting, and pushes the pen lid with her thumb. It tumbles out past a surprised Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, and that's how they figure out the casing is stuck in the van's ramping mechanism. Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three, sees the pen lid come tumbling out, then extracts a casing. Sofia smiles with pleasure over having been able to share a smart bit of crime-scene modeling with Grasshopper, Gil's Adopted Son Number Three.

Back at the lab, Nicky's sitting on the floor cross-legged, listening to Extremo and translating the lyrics as he goes. Catherine gets his attention by rubbing the back of his buzz cut, and Nicky grins as he turns around. Oh, this lab. Catherine reads the lyrics Nicky's been working on: "They were found the next day in a dry river bed / their intestines exposed and many cats feasting upon them." No doubt it's catchier in Spanish. Nicky then explains that Catherine's just had her first exposure to the narco corrido, a ballad which exalts particularly notorious incidents in the controlled-substance marketplace. Nicky explains that narco corridos often come with their own clip file, bringing up a file from TODOS Dias which features the headline, "Ultima Pieza de Rompacabeza," and a picture of an mannequin's head. Oh, wait -- that's supposed to be a real head. And the headline's alluding to how this is a complete beheading, since you wouldn't be able to figure that out from the notable lack of body below the neck or anything. Nicky explains the story -- your typical drug lord meets girl, drug lord dumps girl, girl rats out drug lord, drug lord kills her and does who-knows-what with the body, narco corrido becomes a huge hit. And to think that in this country we just have people fretting that Britney Spears' lyrics cause, rather than reveal, profound mental atrophy. Catherine herds us toward the conclusion that Veronica's murder was life imitating art...that imitated life. Nicky points out, "If that's the case, then anyone who knows this song could be a killer." Catherine adds to his unease by pointing out that all they know about the victim is that she's somewhere between art lover and meth user.

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