Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Nicked by Random Fate

The episode begins with a phone ringing; as it rings, the camera pans out from the skyline to the outlying 'burbs, then to the dark interior of one house. After a few rings, a mechanized male voice says, "No one is available. Please leave a message." Someone does: "Jane, you there? Pick up. Okay...I'll call back later." We see that the answering machine is on a small telephone table in a darkened hallway, and it's crammed full with 64 messages. Then we see Jane. She's crouched on the floor, her back against the wall, clutching a baseball bat and sobbing in fear as she listens to the message. No sooner does that message end than the phone rings again. Jane starts, and breaks into fresh sobs. The message plays again; this time, the same male voice hisses, "Slut. You can't hide from me, bitch." Jane stops sobbing, clearly pushed into a new level of terror by the anger in the man's voice. She looks over at the machine. The message continues, "Jane, you there?" We see three deadbolts on the door. Still, the voice persists as Jane cowers, gnawing on her fingers for comfort: "Now, didn't I tell you not to bite your nails?"

Jane's fight-or-flight instinct kicks in. She pulls out the answering machine's power cord, ricochets down the hall, closes her bedroom door, then hides in the closet. The bedroom door opens; Jane watches with wide eyes, gulping down her sobs in a valiant effort to stay quiet. Her cute little dog comes over to the door, whimpering. She urgently whispers, "Go away. Go away." The dog keeps whimpering, and Jane eventually pulls him into the closet, cuddling him close. She backs into a corner of the closet -- and right into the legs of her black-gloved attacker. Jane has time to scream, and the camera fades up and out on the attacker wrestling Jane to the ground.

And now, I'm stepping away from the computer so I can turn on every light in the apartment and throw all the closet doors wide open. My cats are overjoyed about this -- every time I open a closet door, they bolt in as if they're expecting an express trip to Narnia, and here I am, thoughtfully providing them with multiple itineraries to magical places. It's almost too much for their tiny, walnut-sized brains to process. Fortunately, they rise to the occasion, and after watching them go into raptures over discovering that they can stand on the Igloo cooler and be taller than the other items in the hall closet, I've managed to stop babbling nervously in response to one of the creepiest things I've ever seen on CSI. So I lock the cats in the closet and resume recapping.

Jane is now very dead, and very redheaded. We know this is not normal, as we got to watch her last few moments as a live blonde, but Catherine, snapping photos of Jane slumped over a toilet does not. "Posed?" Gil asks her, acting as the lighting tech on this shoot by aiming a Maglite in Jane's general direction. "Reading my mind," Catherine responds. Gil and Catherine look at the tub, which is festooned with streaks of hair dye, and ponder the nature of the smears. Catherine's reasonably sure it's not blood, as it's the wrong color and texture. She swabs one of the smudges and concludes that it's hair dye. Gil is a little puzzled and asks, "Her hair's still wet. Do you think the assailant surprised her while she was dying her hair?" "Or maybe her assailant was Julia Louis-Dreyfus and this was a Nice and Easy dye job gone horribly wrong," Catherine suggests. Kidding! Catherine says no such thing. She only asks who called in the dead body; Gil responds that a neighbor heard the dog yelping and subsequently called the police. Catherine continues to look around the bathroom and notes that the bathroom window is nailed shut.

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