I promised myself I was going to get caught up on anything and everything…and then Leap Day happened. Either way, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Today I’m going to review the episode of Body of Proof that aired, erm, sometime not this week. I’ve been a very bad recapper.
Anyway, you would think that I should love Occupational Hazards, since it’s my first recap to feature Lacey, a strong Kate storyline, and Sam. All of the ladies are here, including Joan, Megan’s delightfully-at-odds-now-that-she’s-been-fired mother. This show is one of the very few on television, after all, that writes its women far better than its men. Seriously, for every quality in Peter that sets my teeth on edge, Megan and Kate have something stellar to counter. This episode, however, showed signs of “I did my research!” It wasn’t a bad hour of TV and there were things I adored, but nothing apart from the Kate storyline felt original and therefore the episode dragged a little.
The victim this week is discovered not in a freezer or on a construction site, but when a cabbie passes out and careens through traffic, terrifying the newlyweds in the backseat who have come to Philadelphia on their honeymoon (Guys, this episode takes place in Philadelphia. It is Very Important that you get that this episode is in Philadelphia, and not, you know, Los Angeles. Philadelphia. Got that?). Passed out cabbie rear-ends an awesome old boat of a car. Only, it turns out that this isn’t so awesome, as the car kind of has a dead body in the trunk. Even less thrilled about this development is Megan, who should have known not to plan a big weekend in the Big Apple when she’s on a TV show. That’s just asking to have your plans cancelled.
The dead body is Kyle Harrison, an architect with a young wife and a baby on the way. Said wife never learned that Kyle had been laid off by his boss Harvey Brandt the year before. Brandt is played by Jason Beghe, inspiring me to say “He did it,” right away, especially since we don’t see him for 90% of the episode. Anyway, what’s up with all of these storylines where wives don’t know their husbands haven’t been working for over a year? I’ve seen this pop up on other shows (hi, Castle and Covert Affairs) and it always puzzles me.
Anyway, the cause of Kyle’s death is a “through and through and through,” as Megan puts it (favorite exchange of the episode is when she tells Bud to “zip it, Flatfoot.” Bud cheekily tells her that he always thought she was Snow White, not Grumpy). Turns out the bullet went out of Kyle, ricocheted, and bounced back in. There’s also a rock embedded in the bullet, which they discover during the autopsy, and reflective paint. The trunk belonged to a restaurant supplies salesman, who drove all over Philly (which apparently isn’t the City of Brotherly Love), so the crime scene could be anywhere.
Anyway, Kyle has been filling his time at his ex-girlfriend’s, having his unemployment checks sent there so his wife won’t know. He’s also been working with delightfully greasy Sal Rubenstone. A leaf in Kyle’s teeth from a very expensive cigar leads them to an old client, Teddy Gorman. Gorman’s not real pleased to see the detectives, but he shows them around the house, and Megan somehow figures out he’s got a dead body in the wall. A mummified dead body, at that. Invisible ninjas last week, mummies this week! Somehow, this show always gives me what I want.
Let’s careen over to the B plot for a minute. Kate Murphy plays politics and gets the shaft when the daughter of Dexter College’s dean shows up with a cocaine overdose. The cocaine is laced with some pretty bad juju (they said the name, but all I caught from the overly expository dialogue was “veterinary medicine”), creating a public health hazard. Kate does the responsible thing and holds a press conference, but doesn’t quite cover well when reporters ask if this is anything to do with the daughter of the Dexter Dean. Khandi Alexander shows up for a brief scene to thoroughly demean and demote Kate, who points out that she’s under budget and well-staffed and doing exemplary work. The scene is so absurd that it makes me wonder why they didn’t just borrow Penny Johnson Jerald and ol’ Iron Gates.
Okay, maybe I just want all of the Star Trek actors I can get to show up. I’m selfish that way.
Anyway, Kate throws herself into M.E. work, which prompts Megan to figure out something’s up and be annoyed on Kate’s behalf. I’m actually okay with Kate getting demoted if it means more Megan/Kate friendship scenes, for the record. Kate spends the night reconstructing the face of their mummy, as her background is in anthropology and art, and seriously, I’m kind of fascinated by the whole rebuilding process with clay, even if the end result is kind of an Uncanny Valley clay bust. They browse through Teddy Gorman’s Not-Facebook Timeline of pictures and match the Uncanny Bust to a woman named Lisa Schmidt.
Gorman, in lock-up, is not looking so hot. Schmidt was a fling that moved in far too fast while Gorman’s house was under construction. He went away the year before and when he came back, she was gone, and he wasn’t bothered. He never knew she was in the wall. Rubenstone also remembers Schmidt as the woman who used to sit by the pool “and drive [his] men crazy.”
Philadelphia makes another cameo as they finally get results back from Trace that the paint found on the bullet was not reflective road paint, but spray paint with a protective coating. They figure out in a “Did the Research!” moment that Kyle must have been shot in front of one of the murals from a city-wide program to stop spray painters from tagging buildings in the 80s. Seriously, I went to college in a town with a lot of history and similar murals, and we never knew the name of the program. We just called them “The murals down by the river.” Please, Body of Proof writers, I know you’re proud of your research, but speaking naturally like natives is so much more important. Your audience will pick up on what they need to know.
So they find the scene and they find a bullet casing that leads back to…Harvey Brandt, Kyle’s boss! Turns out Brandt has a history of being skeevy, forcing interns. Ringworm, of all things, leads them to tie DNA evidence to Brandt (seriously, called it!), who killed Lisa Schmidt after she refused him, put her in a wall, and then fired anybody that might be able to trace the crime back to him, like Rubenstone and Kyle. At the end of the episode, Megan delivers a letter they found on Kyle’s hard drive to his wife, leading to a teary montage where we see Kate try to come to terms with her new role in the M.E.’s office and shots of the wife crying. Oh, no, that was me, crying for Kate. Never mind.
Things I left out: the C plot! Joan and Lacey join forces when a hot British dude (Jamie Bamber) befriends Megan on Not-Facebook. They send him to Megan’s workplace, where he surprises—and charms her into a date at his favorite place in Philadelphia (it’s been almost a paragraph since I mentioned Philadelphia). The date goes…interestingly. They snark at each other, Aidan tells Megan he kind of called her marriage ending (seriously?), and then there’s making out at a diner. Megan gets the last laugh when she hilariously convinces Joan and Lacey that they set a stalker on her. They didn’t, in this case, but they very well could have, so I’m glad that Megan takes them to task for it.
Body of Proof airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 10/9c.