Friday, February 17, 2012

Body of Proof 2.13: "Sympathy for the Devil"

“This is never a place where the living disparage the dead so keep your opinions to yourself and focus on the facts.”
- Megan

We begin this week with a new program reporting on a woman named Hilary Stone who has just been acquitted of murdering her 5-year-old son. Interestingly, the sitting judge on the case was Megan’s mother. The next thing we see, rain is falling on dirt and obscuring a face. Megan, Peter and Bud arrive and Megan quickly deduces that the dead body is in fact Hilary Stone. In short order, news crews, including Sheila Temple (whose news program was on at the start of the episode) are trying to get a statement out of Kate but blows them off. Bud comments that they have 1.5 million suspects (the population of Philly). Megan and Kate are more focused on Hilary’s injuries. She has a wound on her head and bruising on her neck that might indicate she was strangled. Unfortunately, the media circus has followed our crew back to the office. I can already tell I’m going to want to reach through my computer screen and strangle the reporter. Ms. Temple is commenting on whether Megan doing to autopsy is a conflict of interest seeing as her mother presided over the case.

Inside the lab, Ethan tries to get Curtis to check out Sheila’s website for information on their victim and her prior court case but Curtis isn’t interested. And he kind of goes badass on a reporter and cameraman who are trying to sneak in the building. Ethan heads into autopsy and makes a rather rude remark about Hilary, to which Megan promptly reminds him to keep his opinions to himself. They start the external exam and Ethan finds some abrasions on her back and a cut on her leg. And Peter needs them to run a sexual assault kit. Just as Ethan heads off to collect some trace and start the kit, Megan finds dirt under Hilary’s eyelids. She was buried alive.

Megan tells Kate that she’s got a preliminary cause of death and kind of flips out on Ethan (again) when he points out that Hilary has no defensive wounds. She tells him to section all of her organs and write up the autopsy report so he can get to know Hilary, not what he’s heard about her on news programs. Meanwhile, Bud is down helping Hilary’s mother into the building. She’s been mobbed by people and I honestly thought Bud might punch Sheila Temple as she tried to get a comment out of Hilary’s mom. Kate and Megan are very sympathetic to Hilary’s mother as she explains her daughter’s history. Things get a little awkward when she spots Megan’s mom. Guess there might be a conflict after all depending on what Joan has to say. It turns out a reporter did an op-ed piece on Joan and since her election is the next day, she wants Megan to keep her mouth shut. Over in the break room, Ethan is being kind of a brat. He’s watching the news as Megan comes in and he says he’s finished all his work and he’s just waiting on the sexual assault results. Too bad Megan yanked his iPad away and sees he got the results five minutes earlier. He throws kind of a hissy fit about the fact that he thinks Hilary did kill her son and that the child never got justice. Megan tells him basically to grow up. Curtis swings by Kate’s office with an update on Hilary’s toxicology panel. She had alcohol and some drugs in her system.

Over at the station, Bud is fending off people claiming they killed Hilary. Peter’s in the thick of it too until Megan shows up and tells Bud that the DNA from the sexual assault kit belongs to Hilary’s ex-boyfriend (and the father of her son). He’s doing an interview on Sheila Temple’s show and it looks like he’s asking for justice for both his son and Hilary. Until Bud and Megan show up and claim it’s their turn to talk to the killer. Craig claims that after Hilary was released, she showed up at his place, they had a few drinks and had sex. He claims he didn’t kill her and that when he woke up, she was gone. Next we find out that there is evidence in Hilary’s brain tissue that she was strangled and Ethan reveals that the trace from the cut on her leg was from sealant around a window on a boat. Megan sends Peter and Bud to the marina and they find a prison guard cleaning up glass on her boat. She knew Hilary while she was in jail and locked Hilary in when she showed up. She also drugged her with some sedatives. This case is really complicated!

Megan and Peter are processing the boat and Peter finds some skin cells on a pillow. There was also a combination lock on the door. So Hilary couldn’t get out but if someone knew the combination, they could get in. Turns out the skin cells had dandruff. And Megan has an idea of who that is. After a little deflecting about her mother’s judgment in Hilary’s case, Megan outright accuses Sheila of Hilary’s murder. Sheila admits to being at the boat and to providing the prison guard with incentives to get close to Hilary. But when Sheila and crew showed up at the boat, Hilary was gone. All of which is backed up by the footage Bud demands to see. Meanwhile, Megan shows up at the polls and she and her mother are accosted by a jerk in front of them in line. Bud and Sheila are watching more of the footage she shot at the crime scene and Bud recognizes one of the people who came in saying he’d killed Hilary. They bring him in and his story sounds pretty good, including an injury to the left kidney. That wasn’t in the press but something’s off. Megan and Peter are looking at the kidneys and x-rays. The left kidney has a puncture but the right rib is broken. Ethan screwed up the report. Big time.

Megan calls Ethan down to autopsy and rips into him quite ferociously about screwing up the findings and the report. Kate appears and hauls Ethan off for some more verbal battering but ultimately tells him to go home and come back in the morning. It seems that Megan is trying to cool off by checking the latest on the poll results and finds her mother lost (to no one.) Her mom is pretty upset and shell shocked but Megan doesn’t have much time to help her through it. She has to go reexamine Hilary’s body. Megan looks at the evidence again and realizes that Hilary didn’t walk to the construction site where she died; she caught a ride with her killer.

Ethan is back and acting like a normal person and he finds skid marks and tire treads at the crime scene that least to Hilary’s mom’s car. She begs to see Hilary’s body before she explains and Megan lets her. It turns out Hilary told her mom (after getting picked up at the marina) that she only went to sleep with Craig to have another baby. In that moment, Hilary’s mom knew she’d killed her son. But she hadn’t meant to kill Hilary. It really was very sad. We end this week with Megan stopping by her mother’s place to find her making jam. She’s recused herself from the bench and it seems that she and Megan might have a stronger relationship because of it.

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