Saturday, April 2, 2011

Body of Proof 1.01: "Pilot"

After all the help she's given with filling in on "No Ordinary Family" and "Glee" recaps, I just couldn't say no when our guest blogger, Sarah, asked to recap "Body of Proof" for MTVP! Plus there's the fact that she's a massive Jerri Ryan fan and has been talking about this show since, I don't know...August, maybe? Anyway, enjoy Sarah's take on the series pilot!


“But maybe that car accident was your own fall down the stairs and you’re just too scared to let the benefits kick in.”
- Peter

So I’ve been waiting for “Body of Proof” to come on since last summer. It was originally supposed to air starting in September, but ABC decided to save it to do more advertising I guess. So, after much waiting, I bring you the first episode! We meet Dr. Megan Hunt getting what apparently is the zillionth brain scan with no conclusive results. She’s fine according to every doctor she talks to. Except according to her own diagnosis. Her hands still go numb as a result of a car accident she suffered a few years earlier. But before she can berate the doctor she’s talking to any more (especially since he’s telling her to be happy she even has a job now), she gets called away.

She is now a medical examiner with probably the best taste in fashion sense I’ve ever seen. Hell, I’d want Dana Delaney to be my ME. She’s been called to the scene of Angela Swanson, a female jogger with head trauma. She quickly ascertains that the vic had to have gone in to the river on the west side of the river, since she died two hours earlier and the east side would have been in shadow. I couldn’t tell if she was deducing all of this to show off to the cops or just piss them off. I’m pretty sure she succeeded in the latter. Back at the office, Megan dispenses a few bits of medical advice as if she’s the go to for people’s problems. It’s going to get her in trouble some day, I’m sure. Too bad Megan’s personal life isn’t going as well as her new career. She tries calling her daughter’s cell phone, but her ex-husband picks up. She begs him to let her go to their daughter’s birthday party, but he outright refuses. It seems he’s cutting Megan out of their daughter’s life. I already dislike him.

At autopsy, Megan discovers a few key pieces of evidence that will later be extremely important, a scar on the victim’s scalp and healed bite marks on the victim’s arm. She also had a bit of an ideological argument with the lead detective. He wants fast answers. Megan is more interested in what the body can tell her about the life the person lived. It’s almost cheesy when she says that the body is the proof, but I guess the writers had to work it in somehow. She does give the detective a likely murder weapon and then her coffee order just to piss him off some more.

Megan’s in her office trying to find a good birthday gift for her daughter (which apparently means a super expensive purse), when Peter pops by to give her the latest on Angela. He’s held her stomach contents and sent a tissue sample from the weird lump on her neck and the diaphragm she was wearing to the lab to be tested. We learned some interesting intel about diaphragms which need not be repeated, and then Megan decides it’s a good idea to do a brain dissection while they wait on calls back from Angela’s doctors to determine why she had a scar on her head. On their way, they run into Curtis (Deputy Chief Medical Examiner) who yells at Megan for ordering an A&A panel (autoimmune test) on a suicide victim. I can understand his concern since it is a $1,000 test. She makes the snarky remark that now they both know that the victim didn’t blow his brains out because of his immune system. Frankly, Megan I’d have to side with Curtis on this one.

Megan’s dissection of Angela’s brain (people’s brains really do look grey after death…ew) reveals she’s suffered head trauma in the past. While she mutters to herself about what that area of brain controls, Peter gets a call from one of Angela’s doctors. Apparently two years earlier Angela was pushed down a flight of stairs by her then boyfriend and fell into a coma. Lucky for Megan (or unlucky for the detectives), she and Peter get to tag along for the interrogation. Megan thinks she’s a cop too, apparently, because after explaining that Angela couldn’t have told anyone her boyfriend, Tom, didn’t push her down the stairs because of short term memory loss, she proceeds to question Tom herself. Detective Morris puts a stop to it and drags her outside to ream her out. He tells her that she’s supposed to tell the cops what she knows and then let the real officers of the law do their job. Morris does have a point. Megan kind of thinks she can do whatever she wants. But she does tell him that even if it was an accident, Tom would have wanted Angela to see him if he’d killed her.

Megan and Peter make a stop at Angela’s parents’ house to try and get some information. It turns out that Angela didn’t have many friends. She was a workaholic, and while in school she’d been very driven about her grades. As a teenager she’d been distant from her parent, but after the coma she was more loving and involved. It’s like the coma knocked feelings into her. She was also sick with Strep A. Megan and Peter stop by the store so Megan can pick up the bag she was looking at getting her daughter for her birthday. Until Peter tells her that a bag isn’t going to make Lacey happy. And it costs $1,100. Megan tells Peter rather heatedly that he doesn’t know anything about her daughter. It seems she gets touchy when her personal life is involved. She goes on a rant about how she and her husband divorced and he uses everything she does to try and convince their daughter that she’s the bad guy. Apparently a guy can work crazy hours and be called a good provider but a woman who works the same hours is an absentee mother. I can see Megan’s frustration. It seems very sexist to me. Megan cuts the conversation short by telling Peter they should just pretend like it never happened. That’s one way to deal with your issues, I suppose.

Back at the lab, Megan tells Peter to get a rush on the diaphragm results, and she continues an examination of Angela’s body. She discovers finger impression and torn hair near her neck. It turns out Angela was sleeping with a married man. She’s out to lunch with an old friend who happens to be the most noteworthy “ball cutter” in Philly. After a little arm twisting, Megan get him to reveal a name; Bradford Paige. Who just happens to be Angela’s boss. Megan immediately starts in on the boss and could end up blowing the case for the detectives. Megan leaves upon Detective Morris’s order and as she’s trying to cool off outside, she flashes back to her accident. She was arguing with her ex-husband while driving, and she gets hit by a truck. Morris blows Megan’s theory that Angela was blackmailing Paige to make partner when he tells her that Angela already did. She won a big case a few weeks earlier and the partner committee made their decision. It sounds good, but she was defending a wealthy family whose dog mauled a young boy. Megan goes a little Sherlock (BBC series) on Morris by stating that he was kicked out of his house because he has an impression on his left ring finger, a cut on his chin from a disposable razor and rather unpleasant aftershave. This part of Megan, I like. A lot.

Logically, the next step is to go see the boy and his family to see if there are any clues. They find the dad to be kind of hostile towards Angela and later to the police when they accuse him of killing Angela. Megan gets him to open up though and they discover Angela gave him documents withheld by her firm at trial that shows the dog that attacked his son was a trained attack dog. Guess spontaneous feelings makes you do a lot of things. So the cops have another reason to look into Paige.

Megan heads back to the lab and is accosted by her boss, Chief Kate Murphy (played by ever lovely Jeri Ryan). Ethan told Curtis that he ran an A&A on his heatstroke victim at Megan’s suggestion. Megan doesn’t see the problem but Kate is annoyed at how fast and loose Megan is being with the lab budget. Megan challenges Kate to fire her if she doesn’t like the way she does things. In short order, Megan deduces for them all that the heatstroke victim wasn’t in fact a heatstroke victim. She had lupus.

Megan’s at the lab late looking at the tissue sample from Angela’s neck when Peter walks in. She’s confused about the results she’s found but Peter distracts her from work for a few brief moments when he compares to her Angela. She too is a workaholic with few friends. And he makes a really important statement that I think wakes Megan up a little. She’s still letting the accident control her life instead of moving on and living life, including building the relationship she wants with her daughter. Unfortunately, it is back to work when they get a call that the cops arrested Tom for Angela’s murder. He admits he was in the park the morning she died but that he didn’t kill her. He wanted to talk to her and find out why she accused him of pushing her down the stairs.

Megan’s pissed that Detective Morris arrested the wrong guy, and when he tells her to go back to doing whatever it was she did before she became an ME, she says she can’t because she killed someone. She explains to Peter that before her accident, she never really cared to get to know her patients. And that she learned so much from the body of the woman she killed that she never would have known just by talking to her. There’s some sort of party when they get back to the lab, and in short order Megan realizes they need to test the stomach contents for prescription drugs in case of an allergy (Peter declined cake because a nut allergy).

And since that’s going to take a while, she’s going to go to Lacey’s party, whether her ex likes it or not. Megan gets a few minutes with her daughter. Enough time to give her daughter a key to her apartment and the offer that its open to Lacey whenever she wants it. Guess she did listen to Peter after all and gave her something from the heart. Upon return to the lab, Peter hands her the test results from the stomach. She had amoxicillin in her stomach. But Angela was allergic to it. They (along with the detectives) head back to the Paige house and Megan (in somewhat typical Sherlock style) explains that it was the wife who killed Angela when she discovered she was having an affair with her husband.

Megan is saying her last goodbyes to Angela since the case is finished (minus trial of course) when Kate stops by. She tells that she got lots of phone calls before hiring Megan that she was driven and while abrasive got the job done. And it was all underselling her. But Megan needs to be careful because the moment she slips up, the knives are coming out and even Kate won’t be able to protect her. And Megan should get some friends. Megan gets home to her big empty apartment to find a piece of birthday cake sitting on the counter. Looks like Lacey’s already found some solace in the place after all.

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