The Execution Of Catherine Willows

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

Gil is busy shining his flashlight around the inside of the residence; there isn't a single uncluttered surface, and a Ronco infomercial merrily jabbers on as he picks his way around the room. Nicky enters from another doorway, and comments, "People are pigs." Because it's not an episode unless Nicky gets chided by Gil, Gil says, "Don't insult the pigs, Nick. They're actually very clean." Nicky makes a mental note to transfer this exchange to his diary later, in the column titled, "Ways in which Gil uses my colloquialisms to keep me down." The two men then open a door, and upon seeing the clean, tidy space, Gil concludes, "This would be the girl's room." He notices the multiple deadbolts on the door. Nicky comments that it doesn't even look like it belongs in the same house, then snaps a picture of the door. The two men continue to look around. Gil notes the bedroom refrigerator and opens it: "There's milk, fruit, a toaster?" Nicky comments, "Guess they weren't much on family dinners." I'd guess she was probably big on eating, and if Dad's any indication, if she didn't buy her own food, she didn't eat, and if she didn't lock up her own food, it wouldn't be there when she got home. Nicky keeps snapping pictures -- the carefully-arranged bulletin board, the made bed -- while Gil looks inside the closet, whose scanty contents are carefully put away. Gil pulls something out and flatly calls Nicky's name. Nicky turns around sees what he's holding: "A ghi and a black belt." Gil muses, "Trained in the art of self-defense." You can practically see the mental picture he's drawing of this girl as he goes through her room. The hamper sets off alarms for Gil -- there's fabric sticking out of the corner, which seems uncharacteristic -- and once Gil's opened the hamper, he sees a bloody towel. Nicky sighs and comes on over; he and Gil check out the towel.

Back in the lab, Catherine's standing in front of a light table and looking at photos of the Mathers crime scene. She's looking at pictures of a woman's bound hands; the palms are smeared with a blue goo. Warrick interrupts Catherine's reverie -- and why, I ask, can't people who look like Warrick be the ones who interrupt me when I'm woolgathering? -- and says, "I heard Mathers had the I.V. in his arm and everything when that call came in." Catherine's just looking at him, so Warrick walks in and comments, "I've never had a death penalty case get that far. Just working it all out?" Catherine comments, "Yeah. Old case, new eyes, new technology." Warrick asks, "This evidence was processed -- what, fifteen years ago? That was before DNA." Catherine sighs, "Now that the case has been reopened, I can re-evaluate all three murders. We always thought Mathers was good for the other two, but if they overturn Charlene Roth with the new DNA, we can go back and retry Mathers for the other two murders with the new evidence." That Catherine, she's resilient. As Warrick begins flipping through the case files, Catherine's Gil-ovian conditioning kicks in; evidently trained to talk to any man reading a file, she asks, "You pro or con?" Warrick looks up and matter-of-factly says, "Pro, if he did it." Well, that's reassuring; I'd hate to think someone in law enforcement was all for randomly enforcing the death penalty. Warrick continues, "The application sucks, though. A lot of brothers get on death row. What about you?" Catherine admits, "I try not to give it much thought. I stick to the work." Warrick packs a world of subtext into his response: "Really." Catherine changes the subject, noting that campus police found Charlene Roth in a trash bag that she's about to take down to Franco down in the print lab. Although the bag had been processed six ways to Sunday before, Catherine's about to avail herself of fifteen years' technology advancement in fingerprint retrieval and analysis.

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