The Execution Of Catherine Willows

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

Gil is now checking all the paint samples via a mass spec. Three are identical -- Janet Kent, Marcia Reese, and Debbie Reston. Only Charlene Roth is different.

Catherine, meanwhile, has an execution to attend. She checks her lipstick in her locker mirror, then exits to the hall, where she runs into Gil. She tells him, "Mathers's execution is back on. The Roths want me to sit with them." Gil asks, "Is that a good idea?" Catherine says, "I just need to do it." He asks, "Why?" Catherine replies, "It's like your first autopsy, your first murdered child. If you can make it through that, you can keep doing this work." Gil shares his news about the paint, and says, "Being capable of matching paint samples that are fifteen years apart -- that's why I keep doing this work." Catherine smiles at him and says firmly, "Well, that's the difference between you and me." She passes Sara in the hall and heads off to an execution.

The camera swings around to follow Sara and Gil's conversation: she talked to the dean of the Western LVU art school, and he gave her the name of graduate student Cody Lewis, who was a student there in the late 1980s. Lewis had left right after the Roth case for a postdoc in Louisiana, but he's back now. Wonder of wonders, Lewis is another painter with glasses, and it turns out he's into painting dead girls -- or at least he was back then. Brass conducts his usual ham-handed questioning (why does he loses his ability to question coherently after the forty-five-minute mark?), and the only thing we find out is that Lewis knew Janet Kent. While this is going on, the Young Turks are working over his late-model Chevy with the black interior, but find nothing. Even Jacqui finds nothing. Nicky muses, "Maybe he thinks he's some kind of smart guy, you know, covering all the bases. Like me. They all think I'm the dumb one, but I've been taking notes on every case, just trying to make sure I won't get tripped up by anything after I decide to -- I've said too much." Or maybe Nicky just stops after that first sentence.

Catherine is in the witness area, and sits down next to the Roths without saying anything. Campbell is in the back row, her face looking bleak. We see the beginning of the execution, identical almost frame-for-frame to the opening sequence.

Back in the office, Brass saying, "I keep racking my brain, going over these unsolved murder cases, and I keep coming back to the fact that they're fifteen years apart. That means he's either out of town, or in the joint." Gil wonders, "Why wouldn't he take his business to some other college if it was only about young girls?" Brass replies, "This has got to be personal -- he wanted to kill those girls."

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