The Execution Of Catherine Willows

Episode Report Card
Sobell: A | 2 USERS: A+
The Executioner's Stall

Catherine She then wanders into the room where Gil is working on the rail to tell him the news. He tells her in return that the paint on Debbie's hands was an oil-based blue. Catherine points out, "Oil-based? That's for canvases, not railings." And in this case, canvases that also fire on four cylinders; the paint was mixed with 30-weight motor oil. Gil notes that the motor oil does a wonderful job of keeping paint wet. Catherine begins thinking this through ("He knew what he was doing -- expanding his window of opportunity") when Gil notices some paintbrush bristles. He and Catherine conclude that the killer knows both a lot about paint and about the Western LVU campus. With all the time the CSIs spend there, you'd think they would too.

Cut to Gil and Catherine interviewing someone as he goes about painting; he's claiming he's not much help, as he's only been around since '95. Gil moves on to ask about brushes, and the guy puts on his eyeglasses -- which he was not using to paint -- to examine the brushes. He explains, "We artists covet our brushes -- Russian blue squirrel, Japanese synthetic badger." Japanese Synthetic Badger would be an excellent name for an anime series, I think. It would have to feature a lot of robots. Gil points out that in the sample they collected, they found both badger hair and nylon bristles, to which Vincent Van Nogh responds, "Anyone who's studied art would never use nylon with oils, unless they were using the paint for something else. When brushes age, they shed hairs, then, if they used a nylon-hair brush the next time..." The brush picks up the old hairs in the paint. As Catherine's asking where one would find a badger-hair brush (short answer: all over the place), Gil's picked up Van Nogh's glasses and noted how weak the prescription is. Van Nogh catches Gil giving them his usual scary-intense scrutiny, and stops to stare. Gil recovers and assembles his features into the illusion of bland affability, saying, "Sorry. I was admiring your frames." Van Nogh thanks him, looking spooked.

In the next scene, back at the lab, a somber Liam is telling Gil and Catherine that he finished running the DNA on the wristband used to tie Debbie's wrist. There were no foreign epithelials, but he did find a hair, which he ran and cross-checked against all the previous cases, and lo and behold, it belongs to victim #1, Janet Kent. Gil states, "So Janet Kent's killer saved some of her hair and planted it on Debbie Reston fifteen years later, on the night that John Mathers was set to be executed." Catherine realizes, "John Mathers is the copycat." Gil says, "Yeah. And the real killer is still out there, playing a really twisted game."

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