CSI
Spark Of Life

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The Wages Of Sin...

Cut to Gil asking Neal Matthews when the last time he saw his wife was. It looks like the Matthewses are yet another of those Las Vegas couples that have seen fit to decorate with "Our Love Is Bigger Than The Both Of Us, Baby" theme. I simply don't get why you'd put up all these pictures of yourself with your spouse. Is this so you don't forget what the other person looks like? Or is this because the set decorator gets a kick out of the oh-so-Alan-Ball idea that behind the smiling Olan Mills façade is a couple that's deeply dysfunctional? Anyway, we get to the contradictory business all quick-like, because that smiling woman hanging limpet-like off Neal's arm? Apparently blew out of the apartment after a fight and hasn't been seen by husband dearest since. Gil's all, "Do you have a lot of fights?" and Neal's all, "I don't know. What's a lot?" The Germans might say "Two." Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazer might put it at "three." Anyway, Neal's all, "Things have been a little rough around here lately. Tara's been on antidepressants for a while. I own my own business, so she's home most of the time. What's this all about? Where's my wife?" Liam looks at Gil as if to say, Please tell him, but only after you explain to me what owning your own business has to do with your wife staying home most of the time. Gil ignores the silent plea and breaks the news: Tara's at the hospital, and there's been an accident. Neal's all, "I want to see her."

Oh no you don't. The only reason Tara's looking better than the last time we saw her is because more of her is wrapped in white gauze. But it's not like she's resting peacefully; she's stabilized between blocks, presumably to keep her from moving and further damaging her skin. We cut to Neal, who's in pretty deep denial over who's on that hospital bed. Liam doesn't let him wade long, what with whipping out Tara's wedding ring so Neal can fall apart all over it. Liam's got a look like, You know, the DNA samples never cry. What was I thinking with this job? He averts his eyes -- and unfortunately ends up looking at the blood-soaked gauze covering Tara's left hand. Neal wants to know this happened, and Liam's all, "Um. We're still investigating." Neal sobs some about how "All day, I was waiting for her to come home. I was really going to make it up to her. I had planned a barbecue. How do you think this makes me feel?" Like you're saying made-up lines? Because it should. Liam just lets Neal marinate in his guilt for a while.

Back at the lab, Liam's holding the jar with Tara's fingers in it and staring at them with the haunted expression of a person who wouldn't be surprised if the fingers began wiggling. Gil ambles on by and asks how his trip to the hospital with Neal went. Liam doesn't take his eyes off the jar full of fingers when he replies, "About as well as could be expected. Doctors had to amputate the fingers of her right hand. Too great a risk for infection. They gave them to me to process for trace." Gil realizes that Liam's close to snapping and grabs the reins with, "You pulled a double. You need a break. I'll process it." Liam's face is a blend of embarrassment and relief. Gil and his eyebrows escort him on out the door, and Liam mumbles his thanks as he leaves.

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CSI

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