Monday, November 24, 2008

Death, Lies, And Videotape (S3, Ep9)...

Dex-Bot prepares for a normal day, from making Rita's kids' lunches to dressing for work, because he has had dozens (if not almost one hundred) of these so-called "mornings after." Jimmy Smits, however, is flying high, and Wifey actually shows up on Rita's doorstep to ask if he was with Dex-Bot last night. Dex-Bot says he was, but it only relieves her for about four seconds because though Dex-Bot got home around midnight, Jimmy Smits just sauntered in an hour ago. She assumes an affair, but Dex-Bot takes off for their house, assuming the truth.

Jimmy Smits lies about his whereabouts to Dex-Bot, probably because Dex-Bot was the one who nixed the plan in the first place, and he looks genuinely surprised to catch him in that lie. Are we supposed to believe that no one has ever lied to Dex-Bot before or just that he never questioned the lie? Anyway, it's clearly only a matter of time before Jimmy Smits begins to throw his own cases just to get to kill some more perps, so Dex-Bot better act fast.

Dex-Bot heads to the C.I.'s apartment, where Deb is itching for some answers. He doesn't find any blood inside, but the trash liner is gone, and one look at the dumpster behind the building proves he was escorted out of the area against his will: there is blood and hair on the wall, as if he was shoved into it from behind. Quick cut to the C.I. sitting in, and assumedly tied to, a chair with a big chunk of his right shoulder missing. The Tree Skinner looms over him, wiping the knife free of blood for the entire scene, taking his time, taunting him, and all the while allowing the C.I. to beg and barter. He tells the C.I. that this is not about Pheebo owing him some money but respect, and then he leans in to get back to work.

Batista organizes a hotline to get any tips on the C.I. or the Tree Skinner, and Kristin Dattilo shows up to help out. I hope it's her day off or the Miami citizens' tax dollars are going to waste. Masuka is there on his day off, but he's there to "meet chicks from other departments." Dex-Bot overhears Girlfriend calling Ellen and just getting her voicemail, assuming she's sick. His stomach appears to sink.

Hot Cop (who needs a haircut, btw) and Deb head to some little shack owned by the Tree Skinner where they stand around, digging their toes into the dirt, waiting on a warrant. Deb is panicky and wants to save the C.I. as soon as possible, so she busts down the door only to find some rakes and garden hoses and boxes and stuff. Hot Cop is surprisingly level-headed and lets Deb dig her own grave, basically, even when she is snapping at the Tree Skinner who arrives home looking surprisingly refreshed (come to think of it, so did Jimmy Smits, even though he got no sleep after his kill-- murder seems to do wonders for the skin and the spirit!).

The Tree Skinner and Mario are being questioned in side by side rooms; Mario is cracking but refusing to speak. Dex-Bot watches from a security monitor and can see his fear is real but wonders what he is so afraid of. The Tree Skinner is a small, slight man, who "looks harmless" according to Deb, and she lunges at him in the interrogation room, accusing him of showing no mercy and probably using some sort of back-country/old-country military techniques in order to get information. Hot Cop excuses her, and she runs into Dex-Bot in the hall and asks for his help. He divulges that guys like the Tree Skinner (and guys like him) usually abide by some kind of code, and disrespect is probably pretty high on his list. Nailed him in a nutshell again, Dex-Bot! Or are you just talking about yourself? Jimmy Smits disrespected you by going behind your back, and after all you shared with him, too; that has to be a slap in the face. He must pay.

Though it's only been a few hours, Girlfriend is worried about Ellen, and Dex-Bot agrees, so he goes to check out her home office to see if there are any signs of a struggle. Surely a newb like Jimmy Smits would make mistakes, especially since Dex-Bot never taught him how to dispose of a body. And he did; there is blood there. Just for the record, though, sometimes people just decide not to answer their phone for a little while. One time I decided to turn mine off for about a day and a half just because I had come off a really busy week and needed a chance to relax. My friends were so paranoid that they actually drove out to my apartment and started pounding on the door because they thought I was dead. I wasn't; I was just severely pissed off, and I couldn't help but point out that pounding on my door would do no good if I actually was lying motionless on the floor.

Jimmy Smits stops by Rita's open house to see Wifey; she's not there, but Rita offers some advice on how he should proceed to make things right. He sits and listens patiently, but the wheels are slowly turning in his head, and it's obvious. A few more "righteous" kills, and he'll go for the truly innocent, too, just because they piss him off. That's called escalation, my friend, and that's what serial killers do.

Hot Cop leaves the Tree Skinner alone for a few minutes, and Deb seizes the opportunity to jump back in and jump back on him, quite literally actually, and not only earn herself a place on his shit list but also play Mario's name. He glares over at the wall, knowing Mario's behind it and silently vowing revenge, and Hot Cop busts in and pulls her out. They argue over the fact that he used the C.I. and that she was too caught up emotionally to play the right cards, and they realize they can only hold the Tree Skinner for a few more hours, so they head back in to get something on him before having to let him loose and then finding not only a dead C.I. but also a dead apprentice gardener.

Dex-Bot goes to the cemetary and digs under the four graves that are prepped and ready for the day's funerals. He had told Jimmy Smits the best place to dispose of a body was under a freshly-dug grave because they were just going to lower a coffin and dump some dirt on top of it in a day or two anyway. He finds her body in the second one he tries, apologizes to her but zips her back into her own plastic coffin, and hallucinates his Harry-Conscience because he realizes she didn't deserve this. Harry-Conscience is the only part of Dex-Bot that can admit he has to do something to stop this before the bodies pile. So he calls Jimmy Smits to meet him for lunch.


True to form, Jimmy Smits tells Dex-Bot he can have the Tree Skinner out on the street in a mere few hours, and then they can take care of him, but Dex-Bot confronts him about Ellen. He admits to it, finally but only after being forced into a corner with the evidence, and he cleans his knife while telling Dex-Bot that they have different definitions of innocent. He is clearly letting the rush go to his head, and Dex-Bot clenches his fist and plays with a balled-up napkin under the table just to keep himself from reaching out and socking Jimmy Smits in the eye. Or at least, that's why I'd be fidgeting in the same way.

Instead, though, he heads back to the cemetary so that Ellen's body can be found. It gets called in when Jimmy Smits just happens to be there, sipping a cup of coffee, and Dex-Bot glares at him, knowingly. He doesn't want Jimmy Smits to get caught, though, so he wiped the body first "just in case." Girlfriend is quite distraught, especially because the killing was particularly brutal: strangled, beaten, and stabbed. He comments once again how gruesome it is when "the innocent die" because he wants Jimmy Smits to learn that no one is untouchable. No, the real way to do that would be to plunge his syringe deep into his neck. Making a point is all well and good, but he's still a loose cannon and bad for business. Dex-Bot no longer believes what Jimmy Smits says to him, so when he admits: "you're going to save my life," though it seems like the lesson was learned, it will most likely come back to bite him on the ass. Dex-Bot, you have to take his life.

Turns out, though, that Jimmy Smits fed the same line to Rita earlier, and he suddenly remembers the shirt with Pheebo's blood on it. He leaves in a hurry. Jimmy Smits, meanwhile, is at the station, about to lie to the Tree Skinner about what he can do for him simply because Batista doesn't want the guy to walk out and either finish off the C.I. or completely skip and leave the C.I. to die of blood loss in some place they can't get to him. Batista even goes so far to tell a fib of his own and says the security monitors are on the fritz, so no one will ever know what Jimmy Smits is saying or promising or offering. It won't jeopardize his career. While Jimmy Smits works his lying magic, Dex-Bot tests the blood on the shirt to see just how long ago those lies started. Personally, I can't believe he isn't kicking himself for not testing the shirt earlier; it's not like he's a naturally trusting person, and he could have avoided getting in too deep with this nutbar.

Hot Cop and Deb take Mario home, where he spots the trimmed trees. Deb is using this to work on him, to get information on where the Tree Skinner takes his victims. It works. He leads them to some building under the highway, and since they had to cut the Tree Skinner loose, he is of course making his way there, too, as they are. He spots the headlights, though, and takes off before Hot Cop can drive his beautiful car right into the wall of the building in order to bust in and save the C.I. who is miraculously not dead, though he has finally stopped screaming for help.

The blood on the shirt is not human. Dex-Bot is enraged at how he was used and throws a chair through the glass window overlooking the rest of the department (well, in his mind). He found an emotion, though: for the first time, he feels something real-- something he doesn't even feel when killing. Instead he just promises to play golf the following day with Jimmy Smits. He needs to keep "face" for a little while, probably because the show was picked up for two more seasons, and without Jimmy Smits, there is no threat to Dex-Bot. Sigh. I'm back to yawning.

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